Friday, December 02, 2005

Thing Three is a Ham

Quote of the Day: "In the sixties, normal people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal."--JC Mikesell

Ah, the woes of having a child who is a bona fide "ham." Everywhere I take him, he's performing for people. Whether it's using his "squeaky toy voice" to answer whenever someone tells me he's a cutie, or singing assorted songs at the top of his voice in the grocery cart to elicit comments from passersby, this kid was born to be on a stage.
Thing Three (who is four years old) has always attracted an audience--since he was a baby. I literally had people come up to me and compliment me on him. He has super blond hair and huge green eyes (he's a carbon copy of his daddy) and a little pug nose, and I'm not being biased here-- he's definitely a cute kid.
The only problem, is he's been told it so much, he's beginning to realize it. And he's acting accordingly. Which is, to be honest, highly annoying.

Now Thing Three (the only child I stayed home with, I worked with the other two) has always had a healthy dose of self-confidence. When he was three, we went through the "Exhibitionist Phase" (where whenever we had company over he would inevitably end up streaking in plain view of the guests in nothing but his birthday suit, and when caught, would begin to dance) and we went through the "baby voice" phase (where, whenever I'd get a compliment on his cuteness at a store or other public place, he'd lapse into this high-pitched baby voice and make cooing noises--UGH) and after the singing phase (he was so proud he learned the ABC song he'd sing it very loudly anywhere we went, apparently sotto voce wasn't in his repertoire) during which he literally had a fan club...well, now we've entered the "so-cute-and-bashful" phase.
Whenever someone compliments his cuteness, he now emits a high-pitched squeak and proceeds to hide behind my person. And he won't reappear, until the complimenter gives up or leaves.

I have to roll my eyes at this. Healthy dose of self-confidence or not, I don't want Thing Three to grow up to be arrogant and self-absorbed. He's always been the "leader" at his preschool, all the girls want to sit with him, all the boys want to play with him, and so far he hasn't suffered the pangs of social rejection. Someday it will happen, and I'm hoping sooner rather than later. He needs some good old fashioned teasing or outright rejection, so he'll be better rounded and have a better grasp on reality.

But for now, he's a cutie. I'm sure every family has a "ham" like this. Maybe I should find a "Mothers With Hams" club or something. I'm not sure what to do about him. He's a kid, for cripes sake--I don't want to shoot him down or undermine him in any way. But one day his cuteness will get old, and his eyes will be opened. That will be a sad day.

1 comment:

Lowa said...

I have the exact same problem with my 5 yog. She has been approached to model, and gets stared at, commented on and we get double and triple takes everywhere we go. She used to seem to love it but since she has turned 5, is getting a bit bashful about it also. We actually took her to an audition and she blew them away with a room full of teens. She strutted down the "runway", did her little turns, etc. Got a call back and was in her element.

She was three at the time!

I was just talking to her oldest brother about this last night. It drives her brothers nuts when people go on and on about her and they are standing right there. They have told me they KNOW she is very cute, but why do people have to go on and on?? When admiring crowds gather, I try to think of things to say so that people realize she has three brothers right there who feel left out and may resent their little sister, please don't add to the sibling rivalry that is already there!

We don't want her to be arrogant either. When she was three and the 4th person in one day came over to start the complimenting and ooohing and awwwing, when they said how pretty she was, her reply was "I know." I was mortified, but couldn't blame her, she was just a tiny, young innocent thing and this has been told her countless times since she can remember. What else is she supposed to say!?!? LOL

I have been going to attempt to tackle this on my blog, but no one reads it but family and I am sure they have no advice. I seriously don't know what to do with this one. I DO NOT want to raise one of those snotty, self absorbed pretty girls you know??

What a pickle we are in!