I want to be five and a half… with you.

Yesterday, Margaret was over with the boys and the two older ones were playing in the living room.

Luke, who looks at Mark often with stars in his eyes, said to him, “Mark, I’m two and a half, and you’re five and a half.”

Mark said, “Yup.  that’s right.”IMG_5570

Luke said, “I want to be five and a half with you.”

Margaret had been listening to all this, and had her heart strings pulled a bit, so she came over and joined them on the floor where they were playing and scooped Luke up and said, “And I want to be five and half, with you and Mark too.”


I think this is such an interesting dialog because when Holly originally told me the story, I thought Margaret was going to scoop Luke up and tell him how much she loved him and how two-and-a-half is a great age and she loved him just as he is.

Well, that would have been my first thought anyway.

The question of what Luke really meant is fascinating because to me there are two options: Luke could mean that he doesn’t like his current age and wants to be the same age as Mark or it could be that Luke thinks it would be fun if he was the same age as Mark so they could do more things together

I think it’s great that Margaret can see things from Luke’s perspective, or Mark’s, or even John’s (six months old).  This process of seeing words and behavior from the perspective of the other person is sometimes called Mentalizing and is a very valuable skill in any social situation whether it be in school, in a family setting, on the playground, in the workplace, or in a relationship according to Robin Grace who gave an inservice to the faculty this spring on the topic.

Mentalizing helps people get along better and is best learned by having someone else do it to you.

So, what do you think Luke meant by saying to Mark, “I want to be five and a half, just like you.”

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