I was watching my two youngest children play recently and got inspired for this blog post.
They were playing together on the floor and having a great time. They’re close in age (a 17-month difference) and have always played together really well—although sometimes (when we let them) they also spend time on laptop and iPad, one playing Minecraft, the other watching cartoons on YouTube. But I try to limit the time they spend doing this, and much prefer them to interact with each other, or other children.
I won’t use their real names, but will refer to them as Boy-Six, and Girl-Five. They both go to the same school, and are wonderful company for their mum and me.
So, what sort of things do they play? Most of their games tend to involve Girl-Five playing with her Frozen figures, doing the voices of all the characters, while Boy-Six attacks them with some sort of craft he’s just made out of Lego.
Ever since Boy-Six was old enough to crawl, he’s had a liking for tying things up. I’d often find the laces missing from my shoes, and then find one of his teddies wrapped up in said lace, often with another toy tied to him.
At a recent visit to his grandparents, I watched him pilfer a ball of his Grandma’s wool and proceed to tie my legs up as I was sitting in a chair. I’m sure it’s nothing unusual among young boys, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with it, but it makes me wonder if this ‘liking’ will stick with him as he grows up.
His sister doesn’t seem to be quite as interested in tying things up (although she has agreed to being tied up a few times, just to appease Boy-Six). But she is definitely into being stroked. Many times she comes and plonks herself on the couch next to me, peels off her socks and instructs me to stroke her feet. I expect that this is something that will probably stick with her for life, because her mum still does exactly the same thing.
But Girl-Five’s favourite body part by far, when it comes to being stroked, is her armpit! If ever she’s upset, scared, or just restless and can’t sleep (most nights at the moment), I’ll go and comfort her. I’ll offer to stroke her back, which is Boy-Six’s favourite stroking spot, and she’ll nod, but I can guarantee that within less than a minute she’ll have rolled over onto her back, pulled her pyjama top up and straightened her arm above her head. Then she’ll instruct me to stroke her armpit. A minute later, I’ll have to do the other armpit, and then alternate between both until she’s ready to sleep. Some nights I’ve been expected to keep this up for about half an hour.
Another ‘liking’ they both have is to be treated like a dog. They have a small backpack in the shape of a monkey which fastens with two straps (in the shape of arms and legs) around the chest. There’s a long ‘tail’ from the bag which is there for parents to use as a rein when the wearers are toddlers. My kids, no longer toddlers by any stretch of the imagination, now take turns in wearing the backpack and crawling around on the floor, while the other holds the lead and gives orders. The ‘dog’ isn’t allowed to speak and can only communicate by barks, pants and yelps. The ‘dog’ tries to get treats (in the form of biscuits or sweets) by being obedient, or performing tricks.
I’ll never know the answer to whether their childhood preferences stick with kids into adulthood. At this point, I should emphasise that I also have three grown-up children from my first marriage, and I’m blissfully unaware of any of their fetishist preferences remaining since their childhood.
For their respective partners, I hope they haven’t. Boy-Twenty-Seven used to be really into tractors and frogs!