Maritza Ruiz-Kim

Artist, San Francisco Bay Area

Seeing My Reflection in a Two Year Old

There are so many ways that Enn and I are alike. Not a day passes where I don’t think to myself- wow, that’s just like me. I don’t intend to raise him with the notion that I know him inside and out just because we share so many characteristics, but- I will understand- I hope- what he’s going through to a better extent because I tend to process the world so similarly. I think I even tend to feel free to talk about the difficult things in his character because it is so much like me. Anyway, I wanted to start a list of the ways that we are so much alike, because it’s just too uncanny to see yourself in a two year old. Am I really that immature? hmmm. j/k It’s more about realizing that there are inate ways to my being (or anyone’s, for that matter) that are just there from the start. And how, once we start from there, we need to learn how to best live in this world. Also, I believe that from there, we also learn how to live a spiritual life. Anyway… on to my list (I may keep editing & adding to this as the days pass):

• We are visual eaters- Give us verbal choices of what to eat, and it’s so hard to decide, we may even say- I am not hungry. But pull out a plate of food, and yes it’s- I want what you’re having. Right Now.

• We are visual, period. Enn is not only attracted to the bright colored stuff in any store, he gets sooo excited because he think it’s there for his pure enjoyment, and his eyes get wide just taking in the environment. He is really tuned in to the mix of color and design and experience- so that things that are marketed for kids are not lost on him- he zooms in & locks into it without me having anything to do with it.

• We don’t like aggitating, loud, or repetitive noises. So much that we get irritable until it stops.

• We hate being interuppted from an activity we are enjoying. Sure, we can come back to it later, and sure, the other thing may be enjoyable too- but- don’t interrupt me!

• We are stubborn. Let’s call it- persistent. When we get our minds set on something, we don’t want any other option, we have made up our mind, and will work our position until it’s achieved. We cannot be tricked or dissuaded or persuaded. We have made up our mind.

• Sometimes give us two choices, and we’ll go for option #3 that was not offered. We like making up our own mind. Did I say that already?

• We get really into something and it becomes a personal fad for awhile. And then- we drop it like a hot potato, suddenly, as we develop a new fad. I do this on subtle levels, like about being REALLY into eating oranges like crazy, and then suddenly, could care less about them. For him- it’s an obsession with the Incredibles, then Pablo from the Backyardigans. Now- it’s Mickey Mouse coz that’s his bedroom. When he loved Thomas the Tank Engine, it was ALL ABOUT Thomas. Now? He likes him alright, but…. Mickey Mouse… now that’s AWESOME. Is this totally a small thing? Well, I still relate to it when I see it in him. Maybe on this level I am 2 years old? ha ha.

• We can sleep like a rock but then other times be awoken sooooo easily. I wish I knew which nap session was which with him!

• We test limits. How about this, can I do this? I told Enn he couldn’t throw balls in the house. So he drops it on the ground and kicks it. Yes, it’s normal, it’s just the most recent example I can think of. Give him a line not to cross, and he’ll see if it’s OK if he sticks his toes a little past the line. He needs very clear definiations of what’s expected and desired, or he’ll come up with his own way of doing it. Actually, he might do that anyway (very likely) but he does need that starting point of what’s expected. Me too.

• There’s no coming up with an exact routine with us. We change all the time. We have a general routine for Enn, but he’s not a rigid guy, and would rebel against any rigid routine imposed on him. And I can’t keep a rigid routine going & going for the life of me. Also- what works for Enn one day won’t work the next- it’s like he doesn’t want us to figure him out. He wants to keep us guessing, on our toes, so that he can somehow have his way. It’s a constant activity for the adults in his life to figure out- what works for this kid? How can we get him to comply? And yet- teachers love having him in any class, how he shares and helps and participates. It’s just with his trusted loved ones that he blesses with this trying way of doing things! ha ha.

• We are motivated by fun. Is it fun? I’m in! Let’s go! Show him life or any activity in an exciting way, and he’s all over it. His eyes get bright, his face lights up. This is any kid, yes, but it’s really what truly deeply motivates him. I can’t explain it, I do mean it more than an every kid likes to have fun kind of way. He doesn’t do anything just because he’s supposed to. He only does something because he’s inspired to do it. I am the same way- I am not a rule follower for the sake of following the rule. There has to be a reason why. Like working out. It’s good for you. Whatever. But now that I think of the adreniline rush that comes from finishing that 50 mile ride? That’s a goal I can get behind.

• We are very aware of & in tune to people’s emotions. We can empathize, too. Even before he was two, he had feelings for any down & out cartoon character on TV.

• It has been said about both of us that we can be sooooo sweet & kind and yet still have this edge to us that is a “don’t you dare cross me I’m made of steel and you can’t make me do anything” kind of attitude. It has been said about me both in college and on the job and by good friends and by my husband. It’s a thing where there’s an endearing nature to us, but then- an underlying strong strong strong self-will, too. I work to nurture that to be postive attribute in both of us. It’s funny how surprised people get when they learn that darker side of us, but it’s there. I know it’s in me, I know FOR SURE it’s in him! Makes us unique, huh?

• Neither of us falls into one catagory when it comes to describing personailities. I imagine my son will always want to be his own person & that he’ll never want to be boxed in. I didn’t. I hope I don’t do it to him.

• We are super independent. Want to be self-capable. Want to do everything BY MYSELF. I have learned as I have matured to be completely comfortable with asking for help. But I still enjoy being independent. Enn THRIVES on it right now, and help is the LAST thing he wants- with anything. He’ll throw incredible tantrums when we try to help him. He’ll learn balance at some point.

• We love getting presents. I do enjoy surprises, and maybe everyone likes getting presents, but I did that Love Languages book, and I was embarrased to realize that getting presents is the way I feel most loved. Cross that with feeling dumb about that, and not wanting anyone to spend money on me, and well- it’s complicated. But anyway, I do love getting presents, and Enn- it’s like he’s in heaven with any present. It’s like he’s never experienced anything so wonderful as what is happening right that second. He loves presents! And “thank you thank you thank you!!!!” he’ll thank you up and down because he is really THAT happy.

• We like to make full fledged dramatic presentations when telling stories about our days- with sound effects and re-enactments as needed, interjected instead of words.

This is long winded. This is mostly a list I have wanted to compose for myself, for my own reference for the future.
🙂
Last update: Friday, April 7th 2006, 1:07pm.

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