Batman and I are like the waves on the ocean. Sometimes we're up, sometimes we're down, occasionally there's a high tide involved. We're deliriously happy, then upset. We are probably justthisside of bi-polar. Robin and The Spouse are much deeper and calmer in their emotions. It takes a lot to push their buttons, but when it happens it's more like a tsunami of emotion. Rage, happiness, sadness, doesn't matter.
Robin and I had a cold over the weekend - nothing major, just some sniffles and coughs. Enough to keep us out of swimming lessons in the unheated pool on Saturday (Yippeee!!). Batman was grounded from tv and playdates for his attempted food fight on Friday. By Sunday evening, he was bored, bored, bored and restless. We relented on the tv ban while The Spouse and I watched our respective football teams win(!) because we knew it would torture him to have to watch sports. Batman began begging The Spouse to take him out to play football after dinner. The Spouse gave in, but told me he didn't want to take Robin due to sniffles, inability to catch a ball, prone to wandering in the darkness, etc.
I took Robin to the basement to "help" me with laundry and letting the dogs out. Then he went upstairs to "help" me clean his bedroom. After 20 minutes or so, he noticed that Batman wasn't around. Then he did an audit of the house and reported that Batman and The Spouse were both gone. Then, my little 3 year old baby, put 2 + 2 together and discovered it equaled him getting screwed. He sat on the stairs and sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed. He cried his poor little heart out. My heart broke for him, and I also thought it was unfair that I
I projected forward on all the things that will break his heart someday: First crush that doesn't like him back; first love that cheats on him; not getting to attend his first choice college; loss of a pet or family member. All of these things looming in front of him, but this was his first broken heart and, worse yet, a betrayal by his father. After awhile, I was able to calm him down and distract him with toys until the backstabbers returned with pink cheeks and frozen fingers. Then the sobbing began again.
The Spouse didn't quite get it, so I walked Robin through confronting his father. "Daddy, you really hurt my feelings because you didn't take me." Sob. "It wasn't fair that I had to stay inside." Sob. "I wanted to go, too." Sob. His poor little body was wracked with sobs. The Spouse was blindsided by the emotion coming from this heartbroken little boy. He still thinks of Robin as a baby who is easily distracted by things, not realizing that Robin wants to be treated the same as Batman.
I'm not sure that there is a happy ending to this story. Maybe The Spouse will remember this and take Robin with him the next time he and Batman go out to play. Maybe The Spouse will feel guilty and take Robin out on an adventure for just the two of them. I don't know. I hope Robin doesn't remember how hurt he was last night.
I did learn one thing last night: Robin and I sob exactly the same way when our hearts are broken.