Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I am now used to regular displays of jealousy from Martin. Sometimes as intense as throwing a fit on the ground and purposefully bouncing his head on the floor or on the wall until I put down Valentin to take him instead. The other day we were visiting friends for dinner and Martin was an angel until I started feeding Valentin - he then took a photo frame from a glass side table and banged it on that same glass table... It is a miracle nothing broke - actually, the frame did, but the host was kind enough to assure us it had been broken. In his defense, this happened way past his bedtime, when he was super tired and he had a soiled diaper on top of that.

I notice that the more tired he is, the more (self-)destructive his jealousy. It is very rare that he would target his rage towards his brother - only occasionally he would try to pinch him while he is in my arms and I would not put him down after Martin has demanded so.
Otherwise, Martin is very gentle to his little brother - he would touch him, kiss him, talk to him, explain to him what he is doing. He would insist to me in the morning to go upstairs to take Valentin: 'Valeto se sabudi se! Mama hodi gore vzemi Valeto!' (Vale woke up! Mama, go upstairs to take him!). I believe they communicate with telepathy, because Vale does not let out a single sound, yet every time I go to take him after Martin's order, Vale is awake indeed! The other thing Martin very correctly guesses about Vale is when he has had enough to eat: 'Mama niama veche hrani Valeto!' ('Mama won't nurse Vale any more!') at which Vale stops in the middle of his feeding and I cannot put him back on the breast at all! Of course, he says that only because he wants me to hug him instead, but looks like Vale too doesn't want the drama which could unfold if I don't.
Martin has always been very huggy-kissy type of a child. Not only he would let me hug him at any time of the day, but he would occasionally come to me with 'Martin gushi mama!' (Martin hugs mama). Which is super cute and adorable and melts my heart and would have been my favorite phrase except... he uses it to oust Vale from my arms or when he is about to throw a tantrum because he did not have something his way. I try to hug him as soon as possible but this does not always stop the tantrum or the fit of jealousy.

At times, Martin is jealous of his father as well... If he is not tired and cranky, he would just observe 'Mama gushi tati' (Mama hugs Daddy)... However, if he is cranky, he gives out his orders 'Mama niama gushi tati!' ('Mama stop hugging daddy!') and throws himself on the ground and continues with a full-fledged tantrum. Naturally, this made me research Freud's Oedipus complex theory (a boy is fixated on his mother and competes with his father for her attention); and yes, it is manifested between 3 and 5 years of age (when the ego is developing) and at times even earlier... And yes, a successful resolution of such feelings is critical for the child's future development... And such resolution comes with the boy identifying with his father and the external world rather than with the idyllic image of his mother.

I think Martin is on the right track, because he is more and more accepting his father into his world. Isra used to work really hard in order to gain his attention and affection. Lately, however, I see Martin doing more and more with his father - he can hardly wait for him to come back from work to start playing with the ball. Also, it has been a few months now that every time Martin wakes up he would call 'tati! tati! tatiiii!' to go pick him up from his crib and not the usual 'mama'... And finally, he does not wait for me to put him in bed at night - his routine is to read books with his dad ('Oso Pardo' is mandatory), to listen to some music (Martin picks and plays the CDs himeslf), and if I come in to help his father to finally put him in bed (Martin knows he can prolong this with his Dad as much as he wants), he would order me 'Mama hodi hrani Valentin!' (Mama go feed Valentin!). Yes, this is his way of kicking me out of the room; and that hurts my feelings, but I know I also need to let go and let him grow up!

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