The Boy’s Got Game

If I had to say what some of the Unreliable Narrator’s strongest traits are now, at almost age 4 (4 in november), they’d have to be:

  • highly verbal/chatty
  • outgoing
  • loves to swim, dance, do gymnastics, hop on one foot
  • goes on these intense little jags–guitar-playing, singing, puzzle-doing, maze-unraveling
  • and perhaps the most dazzling and strongest trait thus far: an ability to find within 5 minutes the sweet spot of charmed indulgence in the heart of a female.

This last trait is uncanny. as a newborn, the UN (then called the Cutie Nubbin) spent a few hours in the NICU for mild jaundice and other non-threatening issues (which I later diagnosed as overactive medical resident imagination which further fueled my overactive new mama imagination). Anyway, the Filipina nurses LOVED him and all he had to do was wave his tiny little bandaged hand (he had an IV taped to it) and they would do his bidding, bringing him out to hang out with me in my room anytime they saw the bandaged hand wave, even if they had been given explicit instructions to release him at 3 hour intervals and 3 hour intervals ONLY. The moment he came back to NICU from visiting me, they’d immediately bust out into a chorus of “baby L**, baby L** baby L**!” They’d wheel him out to me for nursing and I could hear them down the hall on the way to my hospital room: “baby L**, baby L**, baby L**, baby L**!” As I spent some time in NICU watching him sleep and just generally hanging out, I could see they didn’t have this enthusiastic chorus for every baby, just him.

I just shrugged it off as sweet, loving nurses.

But when I’ve since watched him wriggle into the warm cockles of the heart of an 11 year old girl (daughter of a family friend), charm his way into the smiling embrace of a total stranger/older lady at Asilomar while on vacation, basically steal the hearts of his all-female preschool teachers, and be given special treats that no other child was offered (fruit from the cafeteria) by another older female cafeteria worker who took a shine to him…well, it’s astonishing. I have to say that he sure knows how to wrap the hearts of females older than him around his little finger.

When he started preschool last year, there was this little girl with golden rapunzel hair and cornflower blue eyes (who can be a bit of a diva and we all already know will be head of the cheerleading squad/queen bee some day) who captured his fancy. He ran around moony-eyed after her, made up nicknames for her, got all soft and squishy in her presence.

She ignored him. As she did most people. I guess we were too ordinary and plain to warrant her attention, or something.

But at the end of the school year, this Little Miss was running up to the UN and saying, “Yay, R.’s here! It’s party time!” and coming up to him and plucking at his sleeve or asking him to play or otherwise treating him as an equal.

A little girl six months older than him who he recently met and had a playdate with (her grandparents were hanging out with the UN’s grandparents) warmed right up to him and by the end of the evening, could hardly bear to be separated from him. I’m told they shouted forlorn goodbyes to each other as her grandparents drove off.

When HB told me this last story, I shook my head and said, “What’d I tell you? Boy’s got GAME.”

HB and I chuckle about this–at one point, when the UN was still nursing and showed no signs of wanting to let up despite entering toddlerhood, we joked that based on his current interests, the UN would grow up to drive a bulldozer and manage a Hooters. (I really don’t know where all this comes from, as HB was a self-professed nerd all through adolescence and while I think I have a little bit of animal magnetism, I’ve certainly never been a maneater. Nor do either of us show much interest in heavy machinery.)

We speculate that the UN will grow up to work his cell phone like a virtuoso, making much use of call waiting:

“Hi, Carla, whassup? Oh hey, another call coming in, be right back.

…Hey tina, how are ya girl? Yeah? Listen, my mom’s calling me I gotta take the call, hold on…

…Louise? Hi babe, what’s going on? I was just gonna call you too, hold on…

…Annabelle? How are ya? Haven’t seen you in a while…”

etc etc etc. HB is worried that in years to come, he’ll have to field angry calls from fathers of girls the UN’s age. Me, I hesitate to say the UN’s straight. I don’t care one way or the other, I just think 4 is too young to say. He’ll definitely have lots of friends who are girls, that’s for sure.

All we can say right now with any certainty is this:

The UN likes females. and they like him.

Both HB and I think that you should make your life’s work coincide with your strongest gifts and interests. Anyway, I’m not sure what this all means career-wise for the UN.

Verbal, social, charismatic, reads girls backwards and forwards, chick magnet… all signs seem to be pointing to pimp, or actor.

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