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07:00 am: I am not in control I am not in control I am not in control
It's become increasingly apparent that I/we/parents are not in control of our offspring.


I mean, Teddy's a person with his own mind and his own opinions and all that. I knew that.*

But more and more, I'm seeing the influence of his peers. He's crazy about Transformers, which he has never seen, because some kid at school talks about them. He talks about Star Wars, which he has never seen, including his new favorite conversations about all the characters, whose names he cannot remember, because he's never seen them, laughing uproariously about the imagined antics of Yoda, C3P0, R2-D2. Chewbacca, and Darth Vader (and "the one with the white helmet," whose name none of us can remember).

Weird. Even weirder, he doesn't even want to see Star Wars until he's "a bigger boy." He knows it's too scary for him (Iron Giant is too scary for him). And yet he's fascinated by it.

I'm pretty cool with all that, as little as I understand it. I don't even mind hearing "that's so awesome!" a dozen times in an hour.

What's less cool is his intermittent interest in criticizing others' appearance. This is definitely not something he got from Peter and me (we talk about such things even less than we care, which is very little indeed).

The first occurrence really took me aback: "Mommy, you should be skinny." I was really hurt, and had a hard time balancing between my role as a parent ("it's not nice to criticize how other people look") and my role as a person ("you really hurt my feelings and I'm sad").

I should've known better. The next morning, he told Peter he should be fat so he's like Mommy. Teddy's just figuring out that people come in all different sizes and trying to understand why Daddy is taller and has bigger feet, but Mommy is still "bigger."


So we're having some conversations about not saying anything if you don't have anything nice to say, and about how different people look different for all kinds of different reasons, and so on.

Teddy doesn't like anything he perceives as criticism of him. I don't think anyone does, but it takes a 4-year-old to cover his ears and try to block it out.

So we're working on not covering ears, too.

* Though I must admit it's mostly a pleasantly bizarre sensation to hear my words come out of his mouth.

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