...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Quirks of a 3 Year Old

After having multiple children I have decided that the mental mechanics of a 3 yr old are by far one of the most fascinating, and confounding aspects of raising children. I know deep down inside there is some logic they live by that we "grown ups" cant seem to grasp. And because of that (the fact that I am alas, a grownup no matter how hard I try to deny it) I cant for the life of me figure out some of those dang quirks my children come up with once they hit the age of 3.

Here is one great example that I am dealing with on an (almost) daily basis with Ashe. 

It came about a few months ago. When exactly I couldn't say. But I noticed that whenever he started to get upset, nothing would console him. Not hugs, promises of "Daddet" his blankie, not even made up fantastical promises to Disney World which most kids would do anything for. As 3 year olds are wont to do, the smallest thing could set him off too. It might be that he couldn't open the top of his Play Dough. Or maybe I told him no to his 22nd lollipop. And before anyone goes off to call CPS on me, I am exaggerating. It was only 17 I swear! Or it could be something more serious, like a bonk on his head after trying to sock skate on the newly mopped living room floor. Or he was scared of the dark. It didn't matter what set him off, when he threw a fit, it was a fit of a 3 year old. Uncontrollable. Unstoppable. And worthy enough for any mom or dad to start fantasizing about a glass of wine.

And then one day after sobbing for one reason or another, he turned to J and said "WIPE MY EYES!". J, being the good daddy that he is, did so. And it was like magic. The moment he wiped the last tear away, Ashe stopped instantly and was the happiest kid on the block. It wasn't one of those, lets catch our breath and then be happy. Oh no. This was instantaneous! Like flipping a light switch. He went from the most upset little kid to smiling and laughing and having no recollection of why he was upset in less than half a second.

And so it began and thus it remains. Anytime Ashe gets upset, be it a tantrum or for something worthwhile, his waterworks will not stop until he requests for us to "WIPE MY EYES!" And without fail, each and every time we oblige, he is instantly happy.

I want a trick like that. To be able to drive away the worries and fears, the stress of life, parenting, work, and everything the world throws at me, with the wipe of an eye. Instead of tossing and turning at night when I have things on my mind, the only quiet time during the day I have to really focus on dilemmas and potential strategies, I could just wipe my eyes, know everything was going to be ok and sleep the sleep of a trusting child. Or when I have a big issue I cant stop my mind from dwelling on, instead of being stuck in the cycle only stressing myself out more, I could wipe my eyes and be done with it.

But as a grown up my mental mechanics aren't quite in synch with my 3 year old. And while I sit there in bafflement over what it is that calms him down so instantaneously, I both admire him for finding his *trick* and I'm jealous that I can't seem to find my own. I've tried asking him how it works, but generally he looks at me confused and then says "Quiet Mommy, I am watching Dora Da Explora!"

Maybe one day he will reveal his secret. 

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