Atticus, Atticus, Atticus.
You, sir, are such a puzzle to me.
More often than not, I really feel like I just don't understand our three-year-old son. To be fair, I'm pretty sure he feels the same way about me. Confused. Bewildered. Puzzled.
It's hard for me to tell how much of it is his boy-ness and how much is him as an individual. I have no brothers, and was more or less surrounded by girls throughout my childhood. So small boys don't really fall within my normal milieu.
It's different with Adelaide. She's remarkably similar to me in many ways, so I find her to be easier to predict and understand (except for the whole dissolving-into-tears-all-the-time thing- I really don't get that). And Caedmon is still young enough that we're still discovering his little personality (although he does request to be put to bed with one or two books at naptime and bedtime).
Atticus does lots of normal little boy things that I was pretty much expecting. He loves sports, particularly golf. He likes trains and trucks and getting dirty.
But then there's other stuff. Take his clothing, for example. He generally won't come down to breakfast until he's completely dressed in the outfit of his choosing. When I do pick out his clothes, he'll often inform me that that shirt doesn't go with those shorts, or that he only wears this shirt with these pants. His favorite shoes are his brown leather loafers, which he typically pairs with Derek's 20-year-old Vikings hat. He disappears upstairs multiple times a day to change his outfit. He recently asked me, "Can you look for a green belt at a garage sale? And a green watch, please?" Because he's obsessed with the color green.
How about music? I check out a couple CD's every week from the library, trying to expose our kiddos to an array of music. Atticus likes a lot of what we listen to, but his favorite is easily The Beatles. Second favorite? The Beach Boys. You should hear him belt out "Barbara Ann."
And girls. Oh, my. I knew that with two sons, we would be addressing the issue of our son's eventual interest in the opposite sex. But what I didn't know was that "eventual" would be three years old.
We watched quite a bit of the Olympics. What was Atticus's favorite sport to watch?
If you guessed Rhythmic Gymnastics, then congratulations! You guessed what I never would have.
The first time it came on, he was immediately entranced. The commercials would interrupt his viewing pleasure, and he would ask (over and over and OVER), "When are those girls gonna be back on?" Adelaide or Caedmon would try to say something, and he would say, "SSHHH! I can't hear the girls!" When he wasn't shushing the rest of us, he was saying things like, "I like the pink girl. The pink girl's pretty," and "When I can see the pink-and-green girl again?" He referred to them by the colors of their costumes, because he seemed most besotted by the Russian girls, and it was easier to call them according to color than actually try and pronounce their names.
While none of the other ladies in his life seem to measure up to Russian Rhythmic Gymnast standards, he will occasionally tell me, "I like So-And-So. She's REALLY pretty." (Pronounced, "I yike (insert name). She's REEWEE pretty.")
I'm really hoping the whole girl thing is just a phase. Because who wants their son to be known as the lecher on the playground?
I realize that lots of kids don't fit into a predictable mold. Atticus often calls to mind a report card of my sister's that came home one day: In the comments section, it simply said, "Kelli is a unique child." 'Unique' is Lutheran for "Your kid is so weird." I take comfort in the fact that Kelli's turned out better than most of the people I know.
Conclusion: I just love our Beatles-singing, loafer-wearing, Russian rhythmic gymnastic girls-loving boy.
He's just so unique.