He Loves Us But Not You

Our 3-year-old, Ronan, is sharp as a tack. He recognized most letters and numbers before his older brother, can recite entire episodes of Dora the Explorer and consistently bests his sibling’s Angry Birds scores. He is also speech delayed and is just now speaking in sentences that have been mastered by many two-year-olds.

He is incredibly loving and equally willful. Just to show you who’s boss, he’ll bang his head over and over on the carpeted floor. If we’re outside of the house and the only option is cement, he’ll pretend bang his head on the ground so that you know all the intent is there but that he’s not quite willing to commit to a concussion.

He’s quirky too. When he was younger, he referred to me and my husband as “Mommy” and “Daddy”, you know, how most kids refer to their parents. About a year ago, he began calling me “Daddy” and my husband is now “Man”. Just woke up one day and changed our parent names. I tried for a few weeks to correct him but gave up when he started with the head banging at the mention of the word “Mom”. It’s been so long now that I’m not sure I even notice anymore unless someone else comments on it. There is a tightly wound woman who works in childcare at the gym I go to and it makes her feel crazy. When I walk in to pick him up he greets me with “Daddy, Daddy!”. “No, you say “Mommy!” her name “Mommy!”, the lady says. Ronan pays her no mind and it makes me laugh on the inside to see her get so worked up about it. Mostly, though, people think it’s funny.

Another little thing he’s said since he’s been about a year old is “HELL-o!” when he farts. I’m not sure where he picked that up either. Like, anytime anywhere, if he farts he says “HELL-o!” and then giggles. He’s said it in his sleep a few times too.
Also, he doesn’t like strangers. He never has. Don’t try to make him laugh or smile. I remember death rays shooting from his eyes at strangers who simply wanted to speak to him in line at Target. I remember thinking that I’d never had a child that I had to make excuses for being so unfriendly at such a young age or ever, really. If he doesn’t know you, he’d assume you not speak to him and if you do, you’ll probably get punched in your feelings.
All of our kids know this about Ronan too. He loves us but not you. They’ll often say “Oh, he won’t talk to you” when they see a not close family member or friend start to turn their attention to Ronan.
It was no surprise then that on a recent shopping trip with Ronan and Leo in tow, Ronan sitting in the back of the shopping cart farted (a silent one, I guess) and said “HELL-o!” followed by the giggle. An older man was standing near us and, assuming Ronan was being a friendly little guy, turned and said “Well, hello to you young man!” Ronan starting shaking his head and yelling “Nooooooo!” at this poor man who had no idea he was dealing with an preschooler with a hot Irish temper.
Leo, attempting to save the day, said to the man very matter of a factly: “Oh, hims not talking to you. He donts like people. He just says ‘HELL-o’ when he farts.”

The man didn’t do a great job hiding his confusion and disgust. He did walk away quickly which stopped Ronan’s freak out so that was awesome and appreciated.

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