Friday, November 14, 2008

Child psychology, according to a two-year-old

As we were driving home from getting 3B's picture taken with Santa...yeah, a Santa picture--we did it because Shutterfly had an offer that made the picture free and because nothing says Hanukkah like a Santa picture and because we need a new photo of 3B to send out with all the Christmakwanzukkah cards we didn't send last year, so people don't think 3B didn't grow at all over the last year.

Where was I? Right--we were driving home.

And we were talking with 3B about what we had just done:

"Did you have fun driving the train?" [Santa was ensconced in a Polar Express exhibit.]
"Did Santa give you stickers?"
"Do you want to play with them?"
"Yeah, sure. Thanks."
"What does Santa say?"
"Does he say, 'Ho ho ho'?"
"Santa says, 'Ho ho ho and a bottle of rum!'"
Now, that's my kind of Santa.

Mama made cupcakes one night this week. The next morning, 3B spied them sitting up on the counter as I was trying to convince him to eat his Life and blueberries with milk. He was fine with the blueberries, in fact, he picked them all out and gobbled them up in a few minutes, but he was having none of the cereal.

So, having learned everything I need to know about parenting from Bill Cosby, I said, "Sure, let me get you a cupcake."

3B ran over, had me pick him up and said, "I can't wait to have one of those cupcakes."

For a sentence like that, sure, whatever you want, kid--just eat it before Mama comes back. And wipe those crumbs off your face.

The other day, one of the first freezing days of winter here, Mama decided to take the boys on the dog park, playground, coffee shop circuit. Even though she figured that there wouldn't be any kids at the playground, Mama wanted to get 3B out and running around for at least a short while before frostbite sets in, plus he gets busy at the coffee shop, which has a play area overflowing with toys.

So Mama was happily surprised when they arrived at the playground and saw that a girl and her mother were there. The girl was just about 3B's age, and they started playing as Mama and the other mother fell into conversation. They talked about, of course, the kids' ages and sizes--the girl was a head taller than 3B, which is remarkable, since he tracks in the 90th percentile for height for boys. That's one tall little girl.

As the kids moved from one activity to another, the moms' conversation meandered along. While the other mom explained that she was finishing up her residency, 3B and the girl started drumming on one of the stools. Mama asked what the other Mom's residency was in and the other mother replied "child psychology" just as 3B slapped his hands flat on the stool and declared, "The drumming stopped," reciting from one of his favorite books.

Suddenly, as Mama realized what 3B was going to say next, time slowed down and all she could hear was the echo of the other mom's last words in her mind: child psychology.

Then, 3B recited the next line of the story, slowly and clearly, "The executioner raised his great axe."

Really? Child psychology, you say?

Full disclaimer: Mama didn't care one whit about the cupcake for breakfast. In fact, she sent two of them with him to Mrs. K's that day, so I'm in the clear.

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  1. Anonymous10:41 AM

    "Dad is great! He gives us the chocolate cake!"

    I gave my son chocolate chip shortbread for a snack yesterday. Meanwhile there's fruit moldering on the counter. Sigh.

    Poor Mama. Another potential playdate down the drain. I'm waiting for my kids to bust out the reincarnation talk with our Mormon neighbors.

  2. Did I mention you were a great dad?? I thought that Bill Cosby knew everything about being a parent and I know I use his examples with my own kids. Okay, maybe just no soda with breakfast... juice, you can have juice with that cupcake.

    It is nice that you read with your son, if only so you can get into interesting conversations with other parents.

  3. Oh, anthromama beat me to the Cosby song!

    That story about Mama & the park...lovin' it.

    reminds me of a post I never wrote about how I started a fight on the playground between these two women...oh, the passions of homeschoolers when others disagree.

    ...gotta know: what's the book that 3B recites so well??

  4. Amama: Oh yeah, we've got three bananas that may be past even banana bread. I'm thinking they may have rolled over into the banana schnapps realm. Yuck a doodle doo. But we have fresh cupcakes!

    As if Mormons can cast aspersions for non-mainstream beliefs.

    KMoo: We don't have a go cart, but we did go running down the hill to music class today, which had me suddenly wondering about the efficacy of my braking system, which wasn't a stick, but rather my two Keen sandals with rather worn soles on a wet sidewalk slick with fallen leaves. You know why they have those rubber balls on the side? So your pants don't catch on fire!

    L-P: Yeah, some topics I don't have the energy to discuss. Homeschooling can be one, depending on the person. Often, I resort to accidentally lighting one of my garments on fire to gracefully exit the situation.

    Oh, it's Herb the Vegetarian Dragon.

  5. Anonymous3:13 PM

    WHooo I am glad you had the book listed. We had it on the short list of Christmas gifts for 3B this year. Iy might be helpful for those of us out here if you had a 3B owns list of books. And maybe a list of oys that 3B could or could not have. You know like a Jesse James gun belt etc...

    TCB on great gifts.

  6. How adorable. I want to come live with you guys to see all these stories play out in real time. BTW, if you ever need a babysitter, Eric and I will come over! 3B is a riot! (And can't forget about my favorite beagle.)

  7. Your Santa sounds like he is up there with Eartha Kitt's Santa Baby. I can see the bottle of rum there under the tree with the sable and the baby blue convertable.

    3B ate his blueberries, what do you want. I hope he knows better than to eat a Blackberry though. If the cupcakes have bananas in them, then they are good for you. I know that part. If they have chocolate chips or sugar in them, they count as vegetables too.

    If the mother on the playground has no sense of humor, then it would be a boring playgroup anyway. I let my daughter hang out with Mormons (as if I have a choice) because they enforce the dress code at their dances and she has fun. They are all going to Utah for college and she has more sense than that. I do not hang out with their parents because they are too conservative for me.

  8. King: You're way too kind. We were just going to make him a fried PB and 'nana sammich on Christmas in your honor. Uh, books...where to start? I'll try to post a picture of his bookshelf, toy cubbies and all the piles on his floor, so you can see what he has? Lemme think about that and get back to you, although, really, the kid has plenty, you can just give a little more to your favorite charity in his name and he'll be happy. Also, what's your shirt size? And 'Cilla's? (T-shirt size, c'mon, I'm not that spendy.)

    Liberal 'Nana: What are you doing all next week? Mama will be in Ghana, and it's just me and the boys all week.

    CAGirl: Are you kidding? Nobody touches Mama's Blackberry. Nobody who's lived to tell the tale, that is. Truth be told, it's too techno for me and we're pretty sure that if 3B could get his hands on it, he'd use it to videoconference with Elmo for tips on potty training, so we're keeping it out of his hands.

  9. Update from a 16 year old. If it is HiHo, HiHo.... there is no rum involved. That means off to work we go (or school or someplace)

    I believe we are all on board with the hohoho and a bottle of rum. 3B is such an influence on us.

  10. Glad to hear that he's such a good influence at such a tender age.