Since Sidamo came home, he's been spending at least three mornings a week with Max, my friend Jessica's son. At first Jessica and I did a babysitting swap: I'd take Max two mornings a week, and Jessica would take Sidamo for two. At that time, Max was 4 months old, and Sidamo was a little over a year-and-a-half. In other words, worlds apart.
When Nora came along, we decided to leave the babywatching to the professionals, so we now share a nanny a few mornings a week. And as the boys grow, their age difference makes less and less difference. Max has changed from being the little baby to being a true friend to Sidamo. It's magical to watch their relationship blossom. Max lights up when he sees Sidamo ("Damo" was one of his first words), and Sidamo clearly delights in the adoration. Sidamo, for his part, has developed a true affection for Max and loves to make him laugh.
I've seen this friendship developing for more than a year, but today it clicked for me as I saw the two of them lying on the floor laughing—so hard I thought they might puke—at some inside joke I couldn't hope to understand. I realized: These aren't just two kids whose moms are friends with similar work schedules; these are friends. Best friends.
This afternoon, after Cara (our babysitter) left for the day, I took Sidamo and Nora for a walk around the neighborhood. Still reflecting on my morning epiphany, I was hell-bent on engaging my 3-year-old in the feely-goodies that were coursing through my veins.
Me: Sidamo, you and Max are so lucky to have each other. Is Max your best friend?
Me: What do you like to do together?
Sidamo: We like to say, "Mine!"
Me: That's not all you like to do. You like to share, too, right?
Sidamo: Yeah. But Maxy says, "MIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!"
Me: And what do you say?
Sidamo: I say, "No, MINE!"
Me: Well, honey, Maxy is a little boy. He's still learning about sharing and taking turns, and you can help him learn. What would be a better thing to say when he says, "Mine"?
Sidamo (after a lengthy, thoughtful pause): I could say, "GIVE THAT TO ME!"
Ah well. Maybe it's best that moms (and women) don't try to understand the relationships of kids (and men).