I’ve long had the feeling that Dylan is going to be a bit of a player when he grows up as he already has a keen eye for the ladies. You know how, in older films, the two main protagonists start by exchanging coquettish glances across a train carriage? Yes, looks like that – and it’s often when we take him on the train too. He’s a proper little flirt; they just need to catch his eye and, inevitably, smile at him and he’ll keep trying to get their attention with a cheeky grin on his face for the duration of the journey. But there’s a new rival for Dylan’s attention in town now – the little man himself!
He has been becoming more and more self aware of late and I think he’s reached Lacan’s ‘mirror stage’ that I vaguely recall being taught about when I was at university. I’m still not entirely sure how I came to be doing an elective that included psychoanalysis as part of an English literature degree, but somehow I did and it was all very interesting. With the other stuff my course covered in mind, I only hope that the Freudian theory of the Oedipus complex is wrong, however. I like being alive and Kate is mine! I digress.
So, anyway, he seems to have started to understand that ‘mirror baby’ is not another cheeky little monkey who can be found exclusively on the bathroom wall and above the fireplace in the front room but, in fact, him. And he also seems to like what he sees. Until recently, he still hadn’t quite mastered the arts of waving or clapping his hands. Well guess what? Ever since he recognised that the reflection looking back at him is, well, him the penny has dropped and he is quick to show his appreciation at looking at himself. I think we have a little narcissist on our hands!
He has now become mildly obsessed with his own image and can often be caught admiring himself in any vaguely reflective surface. It’s not just his image that provokes these reactions either though; he applauds himself for achieving various things that are already second nature. Putting him in his sleep suit at bedtime has become a long-winded process for one. It’s not entirely dissimilar to the Hokey Cokey actually: you put his left arm in, he applauds – or shakes it all about, one or the other. You put his right arm in, he applauds. You get the picture.
Oh well, he may be falling head over heels in love with himself but, as long as we’re never too far from a mirror, at least we’ve got a good way of stopping his tantrums now…