Saturday, December 05, 2009

How our pasts shape us…

I had the most fascinating interaction with Marcus yesterday.

It was raining cats and dogs, so I picked up not only Marcus from school, but his best friend, Claire, as well. She has a brand new baby brother (about a month old) and naturally, her mother didn’t want to take him and his two-year-old brother out in the rain if she could avoid it.

Since we were there, we let Claire and Marcus play for a while. Perhaps inspired by the baby, they had a wonderful game of “mummies and daddies” with one of Claire’s dolls as the baby.

Later, when we got home, Marcus decided he needed to “have a baby”. It couldn’t be one of his stuffed animals, it had to be a “person”, so his Spider-Man toy ended up stuffed under his shirt, ready to be “born” (and at five, I’m grateful to confirm he remains oblivious to the actual details thereof).

Suddenly, he announces to me, “Oh, I have to go and get the incubator!”

“Does he need an incubator?” I asked.

“Yes,” Marcus said. “He’s coming when he isn’t supposed to.”

“Is he coming early, like you did?” I asked.

“Yes,” Marcus told me and went off to find something to be an incubator.

(You’ll be pleased to know Spider-Man was born safely, even if it was a breech birth, and was soon climbing out of the incubator.)

We’ve never hidden his prematurity from Marcus and he’s seen pictures of himself in the incubator. But all the same, I was surprised by this sudden appearance of how that history has obviously shaped the way he sees thing. I shouldn’t expect that most five year olds playing “babies” would ever think about needing an incubator, if they even know what an incubator is. To Marcus, it’s a part of how babies come into the world.

Nothing amazing or earth-shattering, but a very interesting moment all the same.

1 comment:

Erin said...

He is most familiar with his own birth story, and that is just what is "normal" to him. I agree, though, it would be a surprise to hear that from someone so young.