“Let’s fight!” he’ll say, growling as he advances. He’s two. I’ve just walked in the door from a long day at work. He holds a plastic golf club like a rifle, which is pointing at me.
I say, “Mommy doesn’t like to fight. Give me a kiss, honey, hello!”
“It’s just pretennnnnd,” he says, wheedling so softly, sweetly, as if he can convince me of anything. “It’s not real, mommy.” Up goes the golf club again, poking dangerously close.
I put my stuff down and offer to play chase instead. We can both growl and roar and run around the house. Once I start chasing, he runs and laughs his head off. It’s awesome. I can awkwardly tackle-hug him, and actually make contact with my dear little boy. He never does give me that kiss I asked for. After a couple-ten minutes of the chase, he runs off in search of daddy, who might actually (play) fight with him. I sit down, dejected by his quest for a true fighting partner.
I grew up with a sister. I grew up with the idea that fighting meant repeatedly pressing the triggers of your opponent’s most deep-rooted insecurities. Verbal and psychological warfare. We were both great at it, and boy did it hurt! I’m sure fighting is healthier when you just get it out. And I know Alejandro’s not really thinking about fighting the way I know it. There’s no ill will on his part – he just wants to play, like a puppy or lion cub or something. (Oh right: like a small human.)
I boil water for pasta, pick up the remnants of our living room. I try to forget the psychotic face he was making as he brandished the golf club, and remember his arms around my neck in a hug. His hair smells sweet when he simply says “Mommy.”