The nice thing about having a big family is that as I watch my older girls become more and more independent and just so ridiculously big, it helps me to appreciate the wonderment and magic of toddlerhood.
Which would be a real gift if my 3 year-old son wasn’t making me so crazy all the time. My son’s idea of independent play is independently saying “I’m hungry” a 1,000 times a day. So I simply explain….
“No one can eat 3 pancakes, a yogurt, applesauce, a cheese stick, and a bowl of cereal and be hungry. Do you have toys?”
“I have toys,” Chase confirms.
I knew he had toys.
“Do you know where they are?”
“If you don’t go play with them right now, I will throw them away.”
And then he scurries off to play with them for 45 seconds which apparently whips up his appetite again.
When it comes to naps and bedtime, he comes out of his room over and over again to complain about phantom stomach aches, unacceptable dinosaur sheets and hot pajamas.
And this is also a boy who will eat his entire dessert and then proclaim that he did not like it at all and throw a tantrum because I won’t give him another more acceptable dessert.
The 3-year-old mind is an intriguing place.
I look at my older girls (7 and 9) who seem to be moving further and further from me way too quickly and I plead with myself to enjoy my 3-year-old boy who adores books, loves magic and will say things to me like, “If this was my house and I was you, I would totally let me eat this candy cane right now.”
He is so loveable and frustrating and I know that someday he will make his own snacks, sleep for too long and be far too busy with his iWhatever to notice me.
So I try not to yell (too much), and appreciate his deep commitment to jumping and flying through the air whenever he sees the opportunity. There are lots of opportunities.
And at night, when he is finally asleep, I brush his strawberry bangs to the side and kiss his sweet lips and whisper, “God, I love you so much when you are sleeping.”