You know when you think you're finally figuring out this whole parenting thing and life seems to be flowing just fine? And then your kid turns three? Yeah that's pretty much been my life these last few months (like 6). Life with a three year old is never boring. Also never quiet. Unless said child is sleeping. Which becomes much less often. This third year of parenting really has had me questioning... a lot of things.
Most mornings begin with something like this:
Aiden enters room with much more energy and enthusiasm than any human should have before 8 a.m.
"G'morning mommy! Can I have breakfast? I need some food to eat. Come get me some food. Can I have lollipops for breakfast? Let's get some lollipops. C'moooon mommy! Come. On. Cooooome oooon. Mommy, get me food, mommy!"
(Almost every morning he begins by asking for a dessert item. I am not sure why. I don't think I have ever given him cookies, ice cream, or lollipops for breakfast before and I highly doubt I ever will. He remains undeterred.) All of this before I can even get a good morning out. Slowly we make our way to the living room, Aiden hopping and bouncing, me stumbling over scattered toys that some how made their way out of the basket sometime between bed time and wake-up time. Before I can get to the kitchen, a new request has become his primary focus.
"Mommy, can I watch a show? Let's watch TV mommy. How bout a cartoon mommy? Let's watch somefin'. C'mooon mommy, let's watch somefin', mooooommmmyyyy....."
Here I have a choice... Be the wise adult of the situation and realize that if I allow one cartoon, even if it quiets the voice for 24 minutes, the request will just become even greater and louder once the show is over and with even more crying and whining when I say no. Go ahead and nip it all in the bud, deal with the tears and dramatic protests, start the day out right without the tube and have a much less whiny child in the long run. OR, succumb to the beauty of silence while I fix myself some coffee and attempt to wake up completely before the talking commences. Sadly, I choose the second more often than not. I am weak.
Once the TV is off and the agony and quite impressively dramatic displays of disapproval make their way out of my little boy, beat me over the head, and move on, we actually have a lot of fun. It's really cool to be able to have real conversations, even if most of them involve a lot of repetition, the question "why?", and an obscene amount of truck discussion. He has a gift for turning anything you give him into a truck. He has done this since he first learned what a truck was. And I mean anything. When he was much younger a friend of his brought him a doll to play with. He looked at it for a moment, the turned it over and started pushing it around, making "vrooooom, vroooom" sounds. He turns blocks into semi-trailer trucks and his toy box into a car. He even took a little bird house thingy he got for Christmas and reconstructed it so that it actually really looks like a truck. The kids got skill.
Lately Aiden has really been into both art and imaginative play. I am a big supporter of both. I've never been artsy or crafty, but even I love sploshing paint onto a blank canvas. Aiden recently discovered the thrill of spreading his art to other things such as doors, floors, walls, and dressers. You can imagine how thrilled I was when I walked into his room (where he was supposed to be sleeping) and found permanent marker EVERYWHERE. I didn't even know I owned a permanent marker. Imaginative play involves a lot of yelling, "Heeeelp!" "CRASH!" "Whoooooo sssskkkkk!" "Aaaaahhhhhh!" And other high volume noises of impending doom and destruction.
Because of this incredibly warm winter (thank you Jesus), we have been able to spend a lot more time outside than we normally would (than I normally would). His favorite things to do are to "race" Gypsy on his bike, throw things, search for deadly snakes and spiders, and see how hard he can crash into rocks. When I advise him to be careful he gives me a long, drawn out explanation as to why my worries are needless and that what he is doing is perfectly acceptable. None of it makes any sense to me and it reminds me a lot of someone else I know... Last week he found a mama brown recluse guarding her pile of eggs. I am so over this hobby.
Like I said before, life with a 3 year old is never boring. Or quiet. I imagine there is only much more exciting/frightening experiences to expect as he gets older and Gabriel joins him. Dear Lord, patience, wisdom, and strength, these three I pray. Amen.