Like most things that provoke anxiety in G, this one was totally my fault, and totally unintentional. See, I made the mistake of telling him that he was going to move into his own house.... some day. It came about kind of innocently: I was tucking him in bed one night and he voiced the opinion that he couldn't wait to be daddy's age so he could sleep in my bed like daddy does, which is infinitely preferable to his own bed. Envisioning the next 60 or so years of having to lay with him to get him to sleep, and feeling a little queasy at the prospect, I blurted "by the time you're daddy's age, you'll be sleeping in your own house". He freaked out at the thought of living somewhere - anywhere - that didn't involve me. I assured him that he was not going to be forced out before he was ready*... but we have still revisited that topic several times. After all, G will be five in just a few short months. In his mind, five is a gloriously grown age; the oldest (and tallest!) boy in his class at school is already five. To G, five brings the promise of being older, more independent (and taller! bless his little heart, that's soooo important)... and with age comes the anxiety of leaving the nest.
Yesterday a new wrinkle occurred to him - although I have assured him that he is welcome to keep his room (and his toys) under my roof for as long as he desires.... I have made no such assurances about PB.
He has many plans for PB, and none of them involve her moving out.
G is fascinated by the concept of pregnancy. He loves the idea that babies grow in bellies, and he was highly indignant when he learned that his belly lacked the proper plumbing for it... it took a little while for him to connect the concept of "only girls can be moms" with "PB is a girl", but once he did, he promptly decided that when she is mom's age, PB will have a baby in her belly.**
Yesterday he voiced his master plan for keeping our family whole and intact for decades: When my babies are grown, G will live with us, and since I am not available for marriage, he will settle for his second choice, PB, thereby ensuring that neither he (who has been assured a safe place in the house for as long as he wishes) nor PB will ever be forced out. Since they will be married (and since he is unable to birth his own children), PB will have a baby in her belly and will graciously allow him to be the daddy. Here, I feel compelled to add that he really has no concept of the biology of conception; in his mind, the baby just appears in utero as if by magic, the father has no involvement in that appearing, and is deemed the father by virtue of his marriage to the mother.
Oh my. Not exactly my plan for successful offspring.
Setting aside the squick-ness of his plan (I mean really - sibling marriage? and coparenting? eek!), and reminding myself that he is, after all, only four and young enough that he still believes that "P*wer R@nger" is an attainable career goal, I can momentarily be proud that however much they pester each other, however many times G refuses (loudly!) to share his toys, his games or his mom, deep down, PB is still important to him. After all, despite the fact that he believes girls are gross, there is one girl that he thinks is ok enough to be his friend, even if she is his sister.
... he dealt with it pretty well when I dished up the double-dose of disappointment by informing him that PB could neither be his wife, nor the mother of his children; his familial plans were apparently a desperate attempt to keep his baby sis from being kicked out of the house. having been assured that was not our plan for PB, he was no longer interested in pursuing the idea of marriage... or children, thankfully!
*unless, like, he reaches 30 and still isn't ready, but he doesn't grasp the nuances of situational ethics, so I let that one slide.... for now. If he reaches his 20s and still thinks there's no place like mom's, we'll revisit the topic.
** and if that's her desire, please, please, let it be an easy journey.