Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm not gonna lie...

Sometimes I dream about doing this...

Not to Eme... barely ever.
It's the other child in our house.
I probably would never actually do it.  Probably not.
But sometimes this "I'm three" phase gets a bit old.  Like for example...

1.  A couple of weeks ago I realize that it had been awfully quiet in the house for waaaay too long.  I walk into Caleb's room to discover that he has dumped everything in his room-- all toys, every article of clothing, and all bedding into a huge pile in the middle of him room.  

I say: "Caleb!  Why did you make such a mess?"  
Caleb says, with a bit of an attitude: "it's not a mess Mom.  It's art."
I say (trying not to laugh): "I don't care if it's art... it's going to take you a long time to clean this up."
Caleb: "I'm not cleaning it up.  YOU clean it up." (statement accompanied by an angry glare.)

Now I'm not laughing.

2.  Lately I've been catching my son trying to "wrestle" with his sister.  Sometimes I think he's just trying to express some sort of sibling camaraderie... but for some reason Eme doesn't seem to get the message.  Probably because "wrestling" means she ends up being flat out tackled to the ground on the living room floor, body checked into the side of the shopping cart, or strangled while trying to bounce in her jolly jumper.  And there are times when Caleb just gets annoyed with his sister and decides to test the waters when he thinks I'm not looking.  All I can think about is how much MORE fun it's going be when Eme starts crawling, walking, and chasing her big brother.  If you think she's cramping your style now buddy-- just wait until she starts stealing your toys.  Oh my... I can hardly wait.

3.  This next one totally caught me off guard for some reason.  All of a sudden, every single time I asked Caleb to do something he would give me this look.... this look that I thought only teenagers could pull off.  The other day I asked Caleb to go to the bathroom-- he is doing the uncomfortable I can't sit still or I'll pee my pants dance.  And he turns and furrows his brow, wrinkles his nose in absolute repulsion, and grunts in complete disgust.  I get this look dozens of times a day.  50% of the time I turn and laugh because it is sooo funny, 25% of the time I'm annoyed, and the the remaining 25% of the time I'm at a complete loss.  I had no idea 3 year olds could be that disgusted with their parents... already!!

4.  GROUCHY.  Caleb used to wake up as happy as could be... annoyingly happy (especially when it's 5 am) but those days are long gone.  Nowadays he wakes up angry.  For about 10 minutes post wake up any attempt of mine to engage with him is met with grunting, hissing, and growling.  After a few minutes he flips a switch and is suddenly the most pleasant child in the world... but there are moments when I want to hang him from the clothesline by his toes.

It's a phase... this I know.  But sometimes I just wish I knew how long the phase would be :)  All I can do is keep trying to be consistent in how I respond, try to be a good example to my kids, and pray LOTS!  And besides... Eme's not going to pull any shenanigans like this... right?  I'm pretty sure girls are a walk in the park... right?

On the other hand there are, of course, many many wonderful moments to be had with my three year old boy.  Like...

1.  Last Saturday... Caleb and I went on an impromptu date for lunch-- just the two of us.  He got to choose where we went-- it's was a pretty tough decision-- do we go to the Walmart McDonald's or the one with the playplace?  In the end Playplace won... and he was an angel child.  We had a great chat over french fries, Caleb enjoyed the slide while I tried not to think about how loud and crazy the playplace was at noon on a Saturday, and when we got to the car he said "Thank you SO much Mommy for taking me on a date to McDonalds."  It was lovely-- well maybe not the food and playplace... but the company was lovely :)

2.  Caleb has began to teach Doug and I a whole new vocabulary that we never knew existed.  The other day he taught Doug a new "word"-- I couldn't tell you what that"word" sounded like or even attempt to spell it-- but  I can tell you that it means (direct quote from Caleb): "both angry AND surprised. Kind of like when I find a new game on the ipod."  Gotcha.

3.  And last weekend... Caleb got to crack open his piggy bank one morning and counted up his money.  The grand total was $11.75 (approximately... we didn't feel like counting the hundreds of pennies in there).  We then took him to Walmart to pick something out.  Of course, he was immediately attracted to the $69.99 lego set, but quite quickly settled on the $6.00 car lego set that was well within his budget.  When we got home, he opened up the box, pulled out the instructions, and quietly put the ENTIRE car together completely on his own with no help from Doug and I.  The kid has some serious lego building skills (especially amazing when you consider how unskilled he is at dressing himself) and he also plays on his own amazingly well.  I love that.

4.  The other day-- without any prompting-- Caleb shared his fruit snacks with me.  He knew I like the red ones... so he willingly surrendered them to his mommy.

5.  And last night... as I was leaving for an evening out with the ladies Caleb stood bedside the car and blew me kisses... not one... not two... but probably close to 100.

So in the end... while there are times where I can't wait for my three year old to grow up... I'm choosing to focus on the wonderful moments-- because there are many!


kelly ens said...

isn't it fun being a mom? :)

flowers2boys said...

boys... even before i read your post i was wondering if i could fit two little boys on there... three, ahhh i remember age three... it definitely gets better after three! i think for boys three is their teenage years all rolled into one year... (however sometimes i have a three year old trapped in an older boys body) just make sure you write down all those crazy things caleb says as you will cherish reading them someday forsure!

Kelsie-Lynn said...

I so am in the same spot. I am ready for this three year old stuff to be over! Its exhausting! (and rewarding!)

Brad and Karla said...

Yep, definitely in that stage right now and hopefully leaving it soon. Carter's response to me asking him something is usually snorting in disgust or making some other random noise (along with a look of course). We are working on that one. And as for Eme getting into his toys? Yep we are at that stage now and it gets harder to referee unless you are watching them every minute.

The good news is Carter just turned four and is (hopefully) starting to respond more to our discipline and caring about other people's feelings.

But definitely the good things far outweigh the bad.

Dan and Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing, Elissa! I hear you on the three year old stuff. They think they're all grown up and that they can make they're own decisions, when really they've only been on this earth for a mere three years! And like you said, they can also be oh so cute and wonderful:). Kids are a mystery!

Team AC said...

wow, what a great post! Totally made me laugh! Hope the terrible threes stage doesn't last too much longer.

Trev and Rebekah said...

I'd say it doesn't get better by 4..maybe in some areas but in others it doesn't. Though I hear it gets better by 5!