My son Aryeh, still two, on the cusp of threeness, has proclaimed himself no longer Aryeh. He did not do this today. Or yesterday. It did not last an hour, or four, or ten. He has a new name and he’s sticking with it.
For reasons beyond today’s story, our little boy is a sheltered one: he does not watch videos or TV and we don’t have much in the way of children’s CDs. He may have watched an occasional Uncle Moishy video at camp last summer, the black hatted full bearded cheerful singing character so many Jewish children love. I may have shown him a clip or two on You Tube, but other than that he’s not a huge fan.
And then my husband took him to The Uncle Moishy Concert. Over a month ago, I may add. And so it began.
He came home in a daze, enthralled with the character who said clap clap clap your hands, and he’s never been the same.
The next day when I called him to come eat supper he said my name is not Aryeh it’s Uncle Moishy. I laughed. I’m still laughing. But five weeks in, I’m beginning to wonder how much longer I’ll find this funny.
He’s insistent that he’s Uncle Moishy, indignant when I call him Aryeh, and foists his identity on unsuspecting relatives, his playgroup teacher, and mostly on his forgetful mother.
Our day goes something like this:
Good morning Aryeh! No! Uncle Moishy! I love you Aryeh. I’m not Aryeh. It’s time for a bath Aryeh. I’m Uncle Moishy. I want to kiss you up sweet Aryeh. I’m Uncle Moishy.
You get the gist of it. I’m hugging, bathing, and dressing Uncle Moishy and I’d like my little boy back.
Which is why I was excited, although sympathetic to the crestfallen look on his face, when his four year old cousin informed him yesterday that “You ARE NOT Uncle Moishy. Just because you saw him doesn’t mean you are him. You’re Aryeh.”
He looked like he was trying not to cry. And then those blessed words came forth.
He said, “Right, I’m Aryeh.”
I hugged away his dejection, silently rejoicing at what his cousin had accomplished. A feat I’ve tried and failed at plenty, trust me.
So I was a little surprised when this afternoon I said Aryeh do you want to help me put the laundry away?
And he said I’m not Aryeh! I’m Uncle Moishy!
I calmly asked, trying not to stunt his creativity, “But what about your cousin told you yesterday?”
“Yes,” he told me. “He said that I was Aryeh. Yesterday I was Aryeh. Today I’m Uncle Moishy.”
I think it’s time for Bob the Builder.