My preschooler is an incomparable individual already. Jrue has an amazing memory and can diagram lyrics and jingles and whole children’s stories in his brain, then can ricochet them into the air sporadically without much rehearsal. He is a sweet boy with the gentlest spirit, which I believe is one of his greatest mortal gifts. Once he is attracted to someone, he is unfailingly friendly and loyal. Jrue doesn’t recognize differences in physical anomalies or race or gender or social station–he loves my boss as a grandpa and “the lady at Publix” as a friend who gives stickers. He takes his time, constantly battling that need for independence while learning how to ask for help. I imagine little compartments in his mind space, sized like diamond ring boxes, filling up with information as he takes it in, the edges of each container stretching out to accommodate the incoming data download of the moment.
Jrue is irreplaceable as a young human; he is going to be an awesome grown human someday.
I meditate on all of his endearing qualities and pray that no one finds the utter gall to try to take advantage of him or attempt to change his nature. As a mother, I want to understandably protect my son from pain across the board, no matter the impossibility. But, what I may additionally do while “praying away” anguish in his life is to encourage his firmer side. He can be far from meek and weak when tapped into. What I plan is to leverage those characteristics and idiosyncrasies that make me think that my son is a mutant.
For one, Jrue is all-knowing, and not in the way of omniscience. He can locate me in quiet, dark rooms. He will tattle on Jai before she makes the action, almost as if he can predict that she’ll snatch off her diaper or put the pen cap in her mouth. (But, she does this a lot, so he’s recognized patterns.) Jrue “hears” when daddy is on his way into the house. He grasps the gist of storylines quickly and can run back nearly every conversation from the earlier school day in full vocal tones and emphasis.
Because of how rapidly he recollects his experiences daily, Jrue can ramp off 30 questions in 30 seconds. Many children often stick to hypotheticals or the “Five W’s” to obtain the evidence they seek until satisfied. Jrue will run off with inquiries regarding Nemo’s fin and why Dory is bigger, followed by pointing out that whales live in the ocean and commenting that he went to the beach a long time ago. My responses, while succinct, usually open up new queries. I have literally instructed him to go lay down and “rest his brain.”
A minimal quirkiness that Jrue sports is that he regularly bites his toe nails. When I catch him in the act, he will giggle at what I’m sure is the silliness of his positioning, skinny leg bent oddly, toe nail in teeth, and keep going with the nibbles. He also sleep-walks. This is a notation besides the fact that he awakens from deep sleep because he’s self-proclaimed “tired” or “sad.” I have suffered several nights of Jrue coming into my bedroom and just standing beside me, silent as a mannequin, as I’ve repeated, “What’s wrong?” and “What do you need?” Luckily, I have been able to lead him back to bed, and he’s complied with no explanations whatsoever.
The one thing, however, that I could bet money on that’s a bit more mutant-like is that this child can drink a gallon of whole milk in 3 days. By himself. As a baby, I supplemented formula with pumped mommy milk and rejoiced when it was time for whole milk to take over because the price of ready-made formula, and the rate at which he engulfed it, was ridiculous. I thought that his milk cravings would wear off when introduced to juices and flavored waters. No. They got worse. Now, his beverage of choice is all milk. I have to make sure to infuse other drinks to keep him “regular” or else my child would never poop again. If left to his own devices, he would eat or drink nothing but whole milk.
It’s unconventional and bizarre, but we deal. It could be worse.
The good news is, his bone strength should soon be nearly superhuman.
I suppose these attributes just add to that grandeur benevolence I know he’ll continue to grow into and proudly display. As long as it’s not a “Jekyll and Hyde” or “Banner and Hulk” situation, we should be good.