Monday, July 25, 2011

My Heart Smiled

So, I've got this three year old, I love him very much, I've had him since he was a baby. Our relationship has evolved over the years. In the beginning he needed my help all the time, he couldn't even eat by himself. Today I hear "I do it myself" much more than I hear anything else. I like this, he is growing up, he is becoming a man, at least he thinks he is a man.

I wanted to share one thing I don't like about three year old behavior, and a couple of things I LOVE.

What I don't like, selfishness. My little J loves "Friends", he talks about them all the time, wants to play with them, but then when he does play with friends if they even LOOK at his toys he freaks out. He has been known to sit in front of our house, on one of his little push cars while holding onto the other one. Heaven FORBID he share his second car and have some fun with friends! Only HE can touch his cars. My favorite part of this selfishness is that he is perfectly willing to use other peoples toys. For example,on the 4th of July he discovered a big wheel outside a neighbors house, so of course he started to use it, that's what anyone would do when they saw a really cool vehicle sitting all by itself, right? Right! So for 5 or 10 min he rode this big wheel up and down the sidewalk, UNTIL our cute little 2 year old neighbor started to ride on one of HIS toys. He was off that borrowed big wheel in the blink of an eye, and unfortunately his next act was to push our neighbor off of his toy, pull the toy back to our house and start his protective stance, i.e. sitting on one toy while keeping a hand or leg on the other. Just sitting, not playing, just living in fear that someone will try to play with HIS toys!

Now, why don't I like this, for one thing pushing and fighting accompanies this selfish behavior. I don't shove him, and I try not to fight with him, so where did he learn this behavior and why is he displaying so openly?
We practice sharing several times a day, thanks to Baby B, who is now mobile and likes to touch toys. J does not want baby B to be anywhere near ANY toys, including B's own toys. So several times a day I talk about sharing, and unfortunately, after talking and modeling good behavior, I sometimes take toys away from J (right after I see him take something from his brother), then I ask "do you like that" and he says no....I am pretty sure this is not the best way to teach sharing. So, Selfishness, I don't like it.

What do I like. Imagination! J has got a wonderful imagination, and he uses it all the time. This makes my life very fun. Sometimes he dresses in costume but most of the time it's all in his mind.

I was feeding the baby one morning when J started to talk to me in a low voice, the lowest voice a little 3 year old could use. "Me Daddy" he said "Me Working" and then he did some work, he fixed things that I didn't even know where broken. He puts out fires around the house all the time, I am so glad he is here, because I didn't even know there were fires burning! The other day he asked to watch a "Wallace and Gromet" movie. He wanted to watch "The Wrong Trousers". After it was over J spent an hour or more imagining himself in Wallace's trousers, every time he would start walking he would make mechanical/robotic sounds as he walked with stiff legs.

Last Friday (when I started writing this post) J did something that made my heart smile. When he came out of his room he was holding "Griff" his Hippo toy. J informed me that Griff was a baby and that he needed to feed his baby. He put Griff into the highchair and gave him some Cheerios, he even talked to him, "Dows yummy Chewyo's? Yes, dows yummy!". But my favorite part was when I heard him say, as sweetly, tenderly and truthfully as a 3 year old could ever say anything "Baby, I love you, I love you so much" I can not even express how happy I was to hear him say that while he pretended to be a Daddy. I felt like Ken and I  must be doing okay as parents if our little J was such a loving parent to his pretend baby.

And finally, despite the moments of selfishness, my little 3 year old J loves his baby brother B. And B worships J. Now that B can crawl he will find J wherever he is in the house, he wants to do whatever J is doing, and for the most part J treats him pretty well. I do say "Please Don't......" a lot, but I think that is pretty typical. Please don't put your feet on your brothers....face or head.....Please don't feed your brother.... cheese... dirt... leaves.... Please don't sit on your brother. You know the typical things. Yesterday morning the boys took a bath together, it was a joyous occasion.

Now an update about B, he has his first tooth (not sure if I shared that) and he is crawling around like mad! But on Friday he did this for the first time-
Since the morning after he started crawling he has been crawling over to things, like the couch or boxes, or the side of the tub, and he has been trying to figure out how to push himself up to a standing position. Well on Friday he came over to the dishwasher and figured out how to stand. He was so amazingly proud of himself. He stood there for about 5 minutes and then got frustrated because he couldn't figure out how to get back down. So I helped him down and he immediately got back up. A little while later he followed J into the bathroom where he stood up next to the tub. It is now an addiction, if he is awake and near something he tries to use it to stand, I can see the wheels turning in his mind, he is trying to figure out how to cruise. He will be 1 year old in about a week and a half, he is bound and determined to be big like his brother. 

I've got a pretty great life.


Scarlett said...

I love this post! It made me chuckle. The not sharing phase is a little rough. Kassi still has a rough time with this every now and then. But you are a great momma and teaching him well!

Kristen said...

Hey I see the vent that B pulled out. HAHA. Love your kids.

I hope you're feeling better! Still healthy here and keeping our fingers crossed.