K had the day off from school on Election Day. I took him out to lunch at the diner, where we told knock knock jokes while we waited for our food. After a string of increasingly silly jokes, K said, "Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Why do you always pay more attention to X than you do to me?" Whoa. Shit just got real.
I explained that I had to keep X from destroying everything and/or himself, but I tried my best. And we agreed to have some one-on-one time over the weekend. I felt guilty because he has a point. But I can't feel too guilty with K because even when we're attached at the hip for days, it's never enough togetherness and attention for him.
[I am now going to make a really bad mom confession. In the book "Inheritance of Loss" by Kiran Desai, the mom tells her kids that every time they lie, she loves them a little less. And especially in the first couple of months after X was born, but on occasion still, the treacherous thought crosses my mind: Every time you are excessively clingy, every time you ask me to do something for you that you could easily do by yourself, every time I'm already looking right at you and you say, "MOMMY, MOMMY" I love you a little less.]
K also asked me, sort of out of the blue, "Was Reagan a bad president?" Out of the blue because we had been talking about something completely different, but only sort of because the night before we had been looking at a slideshow of U.S. presidents and I did indicate that a few of them were either good or bad. Don't worry, I didn't try to indoctrinate him and mostly went for uncontroversial ones. Lincoln good, Nixon bad. I think he picked Reagan because there's a kid in his class with that name.
I told him that people have different opinions and different things that they think are important. "Well, what do you think?" I told him I didn't like Reagan's trickle-down economics, and explained that Reagan had the idea that if you give rich people money, they will use it to start businesses and hire people and get money to the poorer people. But it didn't work, it just made the rich people richer while the poor people got poorer, and I didn't think that was right.
He thought for a moment and said, "Why don't the rich people just give the poor people some of their money? That would be more fair." My little socialist. I told JW this story and he said, "Yeah, if either of our kids grows up to be a Republican, it's going to be X."