Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Thing about Three

Here's the thing about three. Or, what I've learned so far since his birthday five months ago.

It makes you want to pull your hair out.

But then it makes you laugh your pants off.

And then after that you want to cry, because really, three is still small potatoes compared to what's coming down the road.

Last week, the following actions provided me absolute, one hundred percent just cause to pull out my hair without being labeled legally insane.

1. Laying completely naked on his bed for 30 minutes refusing to get dressed so that we could go to the grocery store.

2. Running out in the backyard crying and completely naked when I threatened to leave for the grocery store without him.

3. Taking a bite out of a red apple in the produce section at the grocery store.

4. Running out of the automatic doors and into the parking lot when he saw the look I gave him after he took a bite out of the red apple in the produce section at the grocery store.

5. Sneaking into his sister's room and waking her up from her nap ten minutes after she fell asleep.

6. Stealing his father's wedding ring off the dresser and hiding it under the covers of his bed thus forcing his father to go to a client meeting unwed.

But then God whispered to me. He said, "You still love him. He's your son. And let's face it, you and I both know this kid is a freaking riot!"

Do you think God uses the word "freaking?" In my head he totally does.

So then he turned around and said and did these hilarious things.

1. While picnicking next to the walking paths by the river he stood up and did muscle poses for every passerby. Bikers included.

2. Still on the picnic he randomly decided to start singing "Do Wha Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do" to a girl who was, well, walking down the street.

3. He asked a (presumably college) girl why her shirt was pulled up while we were walking on the walking path. Thankfully she didn't hear. Although part of me wishes she did. When I told him that it was probably because she was too warm he replied, "But everyone can see her belly!"

4. During church he suddenly exclaimed, "Daddy you bent my sticker!" But he quickly rethought his anger, "That's OK Daddy, I know it was an accident."

5. After church he ran up to our priest and said, "Hi, God!" He interchangeably calls God "Jesus", "the priest" and "God". Looks like he's got the trinity concept figured out. We'll just have to make sure the Holy Spirit gets a shot.

Then there was last night. After dinner we shuffled both kids out the door to the playground. It's staying light out later now and the air was oh so warm.

There was a Boy Scout troop having a meeting at the nearby school. We witnessed a small altercation in which two Boy Scouts threw another boy's bike lock up into a tree. The scout master was brought into the situation and seemed to be turning it into a teaching moment as a responsible scout master ought to.

I wondered, in six, seven, eight years, who will William be?

Will he be the boy being made fun of?

Will he be the teaser? The taunter? Or maybe the tattletale?

At one point one of the boys said the word "stupid." A blacklisted word in our home.

William got down from the jungle gym and came running to me.

"Mommy," he whispered, "That boy said 'stupid!'"

"I heard," I replied, "You should tell him what you think about that."

He ran back over to the boy who was at least twice as tall and probably four times his weight. He stood right in front of him.

"You don't say that word!"

"What word?" asked the boy, no doubt accustomed to saying that word in regular conversations just like the rest of us.

"You don't say 'stupid,'" William demanded.

"Oh," the boy said glancing over at me. "Sorry."

And I realized in that moment maybe everything is going to be OK. Maybe I am doing a halfway decent job with this three-year-old boy who drives me crazy and makes me laugh all at the same time. Maybe doing the best I can is the best. Maybe three is small potatoes compared to what's to come. But if he can already stand up for what he believes in, well, then that's a pretty good start.


  1. Jenny - What I do know of B. Nash, I.m guessing he and William are sharing similar childhood experiences?

    You guys are great parents!

  2. Hilarious!

    And three is harder than two... I'm sure of it.

  3. Ah, 3. Such fun.

    I particularly love the part of your post when you heard God's "whisper." Cracked me up.



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