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.
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.