Mateo opened up one of his Christmas presents yesterday. Granted, it was a gift from last Christmas, but it wasn't age appropriate, so he was going to get it again this Christmas. The present has been living in our bedroom closet since last December, unwrapped, and Mateo has seen it on occasion, sometimes emitting whiny grunts of anticipation since everything nowadays is "mine" to him.
Last weekend was his twin cousins' birthday (Happy Birthday, D & T!). They received presents from their grandparents and from us. Mateo, since it was not his birthday, didn't receive anything. I knew this was going to be a slight problem since he's not old enough to understand what a birthday means or why he's not getting cool things and those other two kids are getting things. He stood watching them as they opened their gifts, sometimes trying to help unwrap the gifts, and eventually trying to adopt a cool car his cousins received as his own.
His cousins are a year and a half older than him, so the toys appropriate for them are not really appropriate for Mateo, and I was afriad at one point Mateo was going to rip the door off the car he thought was his. So, being the evil Mom, I took it away. He flipped out. He got over it.
During the gift unwrapping, both my husband and I felt really bad for Mateo. Really bad. It stunk watching him stand in the middle of everything, not getting it and not getting a present. I almost brought something for him to open, but then felt that wasn't right - again, it wasn't his day. Not that I think his cousins would care too much. My Dad even said they should have bought Mateo something to open. He was so dumbstruck that all this fun was going on around him and he wasn't really part of it. (And really, isn't it all about him?)
My husband told me, as Mateo stood with his mouth hanging open in confusion, that we should give him the toy in the closet. The first thing I thought was, by the time we get him home, he's not going to remember any of this, so giving him the toy in the closet is just that - giving him a toy, and for no real good reason. Mateo's got tons of toys. He's going to get a ton of toys this Christmas. The boy doesn't need the toy in the closet.
So I ignored my husband.
This always works perfectly.
Then yesterday I decided to go through all Mateo's toys and pull the more "baby" toys so we can donate them. I put the pile of toys in the hallway, hoping he wouldn't notice them, but by golly, that child can spot a speck of dirt that moved since the last time he saw it.
When he walked out of his room after his nap, he immediately saw the pile and said "OH NOOOOOOOO!" in his drama king fashion.
I looked around and said, "Oh no, what?" Because I couldn't figure out what he was fixated on.
My husband said, "The TOYS!"
I grabbed Mateo's hand and gently persuaded him away from the pile and to come with me to the living room.
As we walked away, my husband said, "Can he have that toy?"
Like Mateo will understand why he's getting the toy (again).
I just gave up and let my husband drag the toy out of the closet, which of course made Mateo's day. The two sat in the living room, Mateo watching his Daddy untwist all those flipping twisty tie things toy makers use.
Now he's got a new toy with parts that will soon be dispersed throughout our condo. And whenever Zoe walks by it (a cat, by the way, who really does not care one lick about his new toy), he yells, "MINE!" at her.