Thursday, October 06, 2005

My Little Oedipus

Having completed a child development major (alongside my geography major and American Indian studies minor) at San Diego State University, Kellan has decided to play havoc with my disdain for Freud and his theories by becoming a poster boy for the "Oedipus Complex". Nic and I are not permitted to touch or show affection towards each other. Any touching will be met with quick reprimands from our toddler son, plus an immediate demand for my full attention. This all began when Kellan was an infant and we were cuddling in bed one morning. He crawled in between us and made it clear that he was to be the centre of attention. We thought that it was cute at the time. And yet, many months later, we are wondering where to draw the line on this phase.

If Nic and I should attempt to hug or cuddle each other, Kellan immediately runs in between us, pushes us apart, and asks me to pick him up, thereby not only separating us, but also focusing all of my physical attention on himself.

If we kiss, same reaction. If I happen to be holding Kellan while giving Nic a kiss, Kellan will say, "No no", and if the kissing does not immediately desist, he will smack his father in the head. At this point he usually asks daddy for a kiss, a part of the display that we don't fully comprehend.

We were holding hands at the soccer match the other night. When Kellan spotted this, he ran over and said, "No", then grabbed Nic's hand away from mine. Nic took my hand again and Kellan pried it off, then crawled into my lap. Any further attempt at hand holding was met with resistance, removal of hand, and fussing.

And in bed now, if we attempt a family cuddle, Kellan will immediately decide that he needs to nurse that very second. He realises that asking to nurse means getting mommy's full attention and of course results in me turning my back to Nic.

Yes, Kellan's got things well figured out. And I'll just hang on to this stage of life for the later years when mom is "yucky" and touching dad is just "gross", rather than competition. When he's a teenager, I'll love regaling him (and his future girlfriends) with tales of his early Oedipal self.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

It could be worse. My son pushes us away because he doesn't want *me* kissing his dear father :)