Only Child

Today I was lying on the floor with Edith playing with some plastic stacking cups. She was gnawing on one of the cups, so I picked up another one and began to gnaw on it companionably, whereupon she snatched it from me and hovered possessively over both cups at once. We repeated this maneuver until she had a whole pile of slobbery cups guarded between her fat little forearms and I had nothing at all.

I recall my mother saying that when I first started trying to make friends, it was unsuccessful because when other kids came over for playdates, I thought the point was for them to sit there and watch me play. I wasn’t trying to be selfish; I simply didn’t understand playing with other children as a concept.

And if I’m being honest, that general pattern of relating to the world as performer to audience has pretty much persisted in every facet of my life. Most people seem to like me well enough despite my limitations, but still, I don’t want Edith to be self-centered, so I hope everyone gets their shots so I can socialize her early and nip this in the bud.

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