Monday, April 15, 2013

Lessons in Truth from a Three Year Old

The number 3 has a profound and spiritual significance in almost every culture.  The 'trinity' or triad, is a symbol of the unity of body, mind and spirit.  

If I was in charge, the symbol of unity would be THIRTY.   Around the time I turned 30, I came to a certain understanding with myself.  Meaning, I decided I'm not the dorky, clumsy lack-wit I always imagined myself to be, but  I'm also not the perfect genius snowflake that I also always imagined myself to be.  I know what makes me happy (people, sewing, and donuts in that order), and what makes me sad.  Anyway, this isn't about me, its about the maniacal bipolar exploding Mento-in-Pepsi that I call my 3 year old son, Jimmy.   He is only 2 years and 10 months (but he has always been an overachiever).

Tonight, Jimmy was pleasant and sweet after I picked him up.  We found a package on the doorstep and played "guess what’s in the box"... a dragon? candy? a HOUSE?! It was a pair of $3 size 4T jean shorts.  He actually said "Oh boy! Thank you mommy, for buying me these!" I was mid back-pat for what an amazing child I've raised when all hell broke loose.  Three or four tantrums later, I decided to distract him with an art project (hey, I'm a first time mom, what do I know!)

Much of the following hour is a blur, but I had a moment of clarity as I was frantically rinsing sparkly blue plaster-of-paris out of my eyes and nose, as he sat on the floor playing with the jars of messy paint and dozens of popsicle sticks he had scattered around himself.  At the time, he was singing about Lightning Mcqueen at the top of his lungs.  My child was completely oblivious to the chaos surrounding him.  Literally.  This afternoon, 3 people died in the Boston Marathon terrorist attack.  Even if I tried to explain what happened, he wouldn't be able to comprehend it.  While watching "Star Wars" earlier, he had said the words "Mommy, what does Yoda mean?" In the sweetest, most innocent voice he had.  How could you not know what Yoda means!?

He doesn't know.  He doesn't know the terror, stress, fear; but also the immense joy, beauty, and peace that come with being 30.

It took both of us to get him to bed tonight.  Daddy held him over his shoulder (where he let out a cute toddler fart [I'm assuming 'cute toddler fart' will all too soon turn into 'gross boy fart'], and tickled him while I put his pajamas on.  By "put his pajamas on", I mean "hurled myself aimlessly at the arms and legs of what may have well been a panicked, flailing, cat who was trying to avoid a suppository."

Before bed, I tried my best to explain that he should listen to Mommy and Daddy and not throw tantrums (like I said, I'm first time mom.  I know nothing.)  I told him that Mommy and Daddy just want him to be safe.  Like movie script, he replied (blowing my mind):

"But Mommy, I just want to climb the table!", while proceeding to attempt to climb on his nightstand.

"No, honey, you could fall and break your neck! Please don't climb on the furniture"

He then grabbed my pants leg, and said "Mommy I'm taking you to jail!" while pulling me out of the room.  I played along, pretending to go to jail, pretending he had power over me (which is all he really wants).  I let him immerse himself in the joy of pretend-play; but I could only watch, from the outside.

I don't know.


  1. Well dont beat yourself up for giving him "control" it is one way he can learn to assert him self outside but just let him know the best way (self control and no violence). Sounds like your doing good- familyfirst28 twitter friend

  2. I love that he is learning to control his environment... I'm not beating myself up. I meant I don't know what its like to be 3 anymore... I lost the power of imagination.

  3. Oh ok! :-) I interpreted wrong. I wish I had the creativity and the energy too.

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