Babies have all the luck. Strangers and neighbors coo at their chubby cheeks and thighs, everyone makes a huge deal when they say just one silly little word, and they don't get scolded because they're just babies and they don't know any better yet.
Finney's had this harsh life lesson shoved in his face repeatedly over the course of the last year as Shea has taken half the spotlight he used to wholeheartedly hog. His cleverly crafted response to this, in a page out of Freud's Cliffs Notes, is to role play that HE's Baby Shea and SHE's Finnegan. After all, why not get where the gettin's good?
While playing "Baby Shea," Finn will occasionally don a bib and insist that I feed him in the high chair while he drones on in an alto Waaa! Waaa! that would make Sarah Bernhardt proud. He'll climb into her crib when she's not in it to read books and play. He'll also sit (and even nap!) in the little buzzy chair in front of the television that Shea still uses as a Barcalounger.
But the biggest surprise and funniest incarnation of the "I'm-A-Baby-So-Go-Ahead-And-Just-Start-Spoiling-Me-Now" fascination was when, for the first time, Finney came downstairs partially dressed as Baby Shea. Which means he took a pair of her 12-month sweatpants and a 9-month beanie cap out of the bag of clothes in their closet marked "too small" and slapped them both on over his Peter Pan jammies. (How he got them on I'm not sure, since he seems to lazily struggle with his own, properly fitting clothes every morning. Especially when we're late. But whatever.)
Things took a turn for the surreal when I grabbed my camera and he grabbed Shea's unicorn pogo stick and started dancing in what could only be described as Finn as Baby Shea as Flag Girl Contestant #47 Who You Just Know Won't Be Picked For The Squad But Tried As If The Movie's Ending Depended On Her. It was one of those times I wish I had the video function turned on instead of the camera function.
Then, like most natural phenomenon, it ended as soon as it started, and we were back to full-force (nearly) four-year-old Finn, with his machine-gun questioning, I Can Do Its, How Do You Spells, and adorable hand gestures.
So, maybe he was right: Babies do have all the luck. But witty and imaginative (nearly) four year olds have all the style.