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My three-year old, "D"


My three-year old-- almost four-year old-- is going through a "phase." With little provocation, there can be much crying. His favorite statement right now is, "I don't want to." He feels the need to instruct not only how something will be done, but who will do it, "I want Momma to put the ketchup right here and for Daddy to get me my blue spoon." He knows which words I don't want him to use and tries to slip them in conversation, a devious look on his face, "Oh, poop."  He always has a quick reply when I give instructions, "Well, I didn't put my listening ears on."

And he cares deeply. He gets down from the table, no matter how many times we tell him not to, when one of his brothers starts crying to see what's wrong. He gets so upset when I let one of his brothers cry for a couple minutes in their cribs, "But they are saying they want their momma! You need to go to them!" He loves his friends and talks about them all the time, "Can we go play with my friends today?"

This child can drive me absolutely crazy sometimes. I don't know why he won't listen the first time or why he would rather do things the hard way (arguing, crying, breath holding). I want to tell him that I am on his side and that I want to figure out something that works great for both of us.

This child has filled my heart with so much joy and love that it hurts. I smile when I think about him and can't help but laugh when he gives me a silly voice or face. I love when he curls up in my lap to ask what I'm doing and if I will read my book to him. We are reading Mark together right now and he always asks, "Just one more, Momma!" whenever I stop. I think he just likes hearing me read out loud (in case you are wondering, I do voices even when reading the Bible. I'm not sure if that is sacrilegious or not). We are also reading The Giraffe and The Pelly and Me together. He likes the pictures Roald Dahl includes. He does not like William Shakespeare; I tried having a sonnet themed summer. We made it to sonnet six before D informed me that "Shakespeare isn't a very good writer." I'm going to keep trying on that one because I just cannot imagine a future in which my children do not love Shakespeare. I have a couple ideas: Shakespeare Can Be Fun series by Lois Burdett or acting out the plays (have you read The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown?).

He loves "working" with me. He scribbles in one of my old calendars when I'm making our family plans or pulls out his laptop when I'm doing online grocery shopping. He has always liked to do what I'm doing the way I'm doing it: recycling, laundry, cooking. He doesn't want to work with little kid things, but the real things that I use. When I set him up with his Melissa and Doug chopping set, he wants it at the kitchen table or on the kitchen counter. I love his enthusiasm to help with things, "Can I unload the dishwasher? Can I fold laundry? Can I feed my brothers? Can I cook dinner?" He just happens to be stuck in a clumsy, three-year old body, "Oops! Sorry, Momma!" I love the help and willing attitude. I sometimes struggle with always having a shadow and never getting a minute to myself. I cannot tell you how many times I have stepped on him because he was following so closely behind me. I think part of him was touching me almost 24-hours a day between his first and second birthday. As I type this his elbow is resting on my forearm.

His personality is contradictory, adorably sweet, and complex. There is so much beneath the surface with him. He, as my first, has taught me that I have an extreme amount of patience, something I did not know pre-baby (a fact I rediscovered with teething twins). I have learned to apply my faith in a very real way. I have learned that I can love more than I thought and that putting others before yourself can become second nature.

I love you just the way you are, D man.



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