When I hear the word feelings the first thing that comes to mind is the hyperdramatic song by Morris Albert in the 1970s. The next thing that comes to mind is how much Everett shares them with us. If there is one easy thing about spending time with him it is reading his emotions. He is quite transparent, and one of the best experiences we get to have as parents is to witness his sense of joy and wonder about the world. For some time now he has talked about his feelings, which is great because it reduces guesswork for us. Some common phrases:

-“You hurt my feelings”. This usually happens after one of us raises our voice with him after failing all attempts at a peaceful resolution to a problem.

-“That makes my feelings happy.” Self explanatory, but I need to get a picture of how he puts his hands on his chest when he says it.

-“Does that baby feel sad?” He can get pretty concerned when he observes other children who are upset. He wants to know why, and he will sometimes comfort them if he knows them well enough.

-“Angry mandril face.” One time about a year ago he and Luka were at the zoo with Melissa and Maryke. As they were going through the ape house they ducked under the railing and got right up to the glass next to a male mandril who, as it turns out, didn’t like having them that close. The mandril started screaming and they ran. Ever since then any kind of angry face is associated with mandrils. Soon afterward he added a happy mandril face as well.

-“I feel roughhousy! Are you feeling roughhousy?” Also self-explanatory. Note that roughhousing is not the same a lion fighting, which is a term he started using at the beach this past summer with his cousins. Lion fighting and roughhousing seem remarkably similar to us, but sometimes Chris will perform some kind of maneuver during the latter and Everett will stop him and say “Dad, we’re not playing lion fight now.”

-“I feel scared” has become a common phrase when he is dropped off at school in the morning. This is also new –  for a long time he seemed completely comfortable during dropoffs.


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