Just another day in this suburban household, and like most others, it’s been eventful. I’ve taken particular notice of the fact that Jack, my 3 year-old, is growing more and more curious the older he gets, thus causing my day to swerve in all different directions. It’s nothing, if not interesting, tobe the co-pilot to Jack’s daily adventures.
Today has been no exception.A good portion of my day has been spent conceiving answers to questions like, “Why does Lewis (the dog) have eyelashes?” Or, “How comemy hand does dis?” as he flexes his fingers so hard they start shaking. Unfortunately, my answers of “because he has eyes,” and “because you are flexing your fingers” don’t cut it. This kid is getting too smart and I’m beginning to think my lack of employment, i.e. adult-to-adult daily contact, is catching up with me.
But, at this point in time, it’s just Jack and me. And because I believe in the power of sharing, the following represents a mere smattering of the events of my day.
This morning– This was, perhaps, the most frustrating part of the day, and unfortunately, the very beginning. If you’ve already been following my blog, then you know we’ve been attempting to potty train Jack. He can pee on the toilet like a pro, uh, pee-er, but has been less than successful with the other part of potty training. It’s not from lack of trying, on either of our parts, mind you. Jack knows there’s a big prize at stake (something I’ll manage to procure from my pantry when, and if, the big day ever comes) and has been giving it the ol’ college try.
The problem? Jack wants to know how to do it. He wants me to tell him how you make it, er, happen. Yeah, I got nothing. Therefore, I have spent the better part of my morning explaining to the kid that you can’t make it happen.
“But I want to,” Jack cries, pushing with all of his might.
“Buddy, it doesn’t happen that way,” I try to console, urging him to get off of the toilet.
“I can do it,” Jack purposes, crouching down with intensity.
“Jack, you can’t just make yourself poop. It comes out when it’s ready,” I try to explain, kind of grossed out by my own explanation.
With a big sigh, he answers,”Okay, mommy,” and slips off thetoilet. Well, guess what? Moments later, underpants back in their rightful place, it happens. I guess all of that intelligent conversation got things moving. Lucky me.
This afternoon– My son is still enamored with Barney. And, I will admit, from time to time I’ll pop the purple dinosaur into the DVD player to buy me some much needed time and space (ofcourse that’s after we’ve studied Bach and practiced French). After lunch I started his favorite Dino Dancing Tunes movie and set out to finally mop the floors.
“Mommy, mommy, Sophie’s on the TV!” Jack calls out.
“What, honey?” I ask.
“I see Sophie on Barney. Right der,” he answers. I look to the TV and see the little girl he’s pointing at. She actually does bear a slight resemblance to his cousin, Sophie. But, alas, unless the 7 year-old moved to Hollywood to pursue her dream of singing alongside the mega-star I’m pretty sure he’s mistaken.
“Jack. That’s not Sophie. Sophie’s at school with sissy. That’s just a girl,” I attempt to explain.
“I know it’s Sophie. Cause her has yellow hair,” he says.
“Jack, I promise, that’s not Sophie.”
He tears up a little as he says, “But I fink it is, mom. I see her.”
Then, in a move demonstrated time and time again since the beginning of ‘motherhood’, I answer, “Okay. You’re right, honey. That’s Sophie.”
And then, after Jack reflects on my answer, I get this…”No, it’s not. Sophie don’t know Barney.”
This evening– A highlight of Jack’s little sheltered day is his job of starting the dishwasher. He hangs around the kitchen all day long waiting for the moment when I say, “Jack. It’s time. Let’s turn it on.” Well something amazing happened today. My family of four managed to not blow through every plate, bowl, glass, cup, fork and spoon in the kitchen. It was not necessary to run the dishwasher. You’re welcome, folks. Just doing my part for the environment,s’all Well, try explaining that to Jack. He wasn’t buying it. At various points thoughout the evening I would hear the familiar whirr of the dishwasher. “Jack!” I’d yell. “Did you turn on the dishwasher?”
“Yes,” he’d answer. This kid sees no need for dishonesty. He’s all for leading an honor-filled life.
“You need to leave it alone, okay, buddy?”
“Sure, mom.” Moments later, whirr. Mm hmm. That made all the difference.
Well, needless to say, the battle continued on until bedtime where I had to swear up and down we would, in fact, start the dishwasher tomorrow.
I wonder what tomorrow will bring? More explanations of the bowel system? Perhaps a couple more Barney episodes? For sure we’ll be doing some dishes.
One thing’s for certain. It won’t be boring.
If there is one thing I do miss, it’s the funny conversations. Bryan was the king of that and I spent a lot of time laughing. We still laugh a lot, which I’m grateful for, because life’s too hard to spend it without some chuckling.
Isn’t that the truth! I will say, life has certainly picked up a bit since Jack got an opinion about things. What a funny kid. And Bryan? That dude is one in a million! =)
I was sitting with Bridget (3) in the chair last night and she asked where Sydney was. She said, “Is she in Mississippi?” (where Syds dad lives). It’s really funny to hear a 3yr old say that long word. I said, “No, she is at home with our two doggies.” She looked at me and laughed out, “That’s ridiculous!”
What??? Haha haha. I don’t know. That age is something special. 🙂
Love the Jack stories.
Don’t they just surprise you? Jack came running into my bedroom the other day to tell me I should buy “Smooth Away” because it’s “100% pain-free.” I don’t know what I should be more disturbed about, the fact that he’s watching infomercials or the fact that he thinks I need some hair removal. =)
I’ve always pitied atheist parents because my all-purpose answer to 3 yo questions was, “Because God made it that way.”
And let me just say that if Jack still knows how to start the dishwasher as an ADULT male and husband that you are the most successful mom in history.
Hey, I’m just trying to do my part for the next generation! Advancing the feminist movement and all that. =)
Stephanie Faris says
These conversations are what life is all about! I’m not a mom but listening to my fiance and his daughter talk, I realize being a parent requires a LOT of intelligence. They ask questions. A LOT of questions. Most of the time I have no idea what the answer is, but he seems to always know.
He knows because us parents were installed with a special “BullS—” gene. But, you are right. There is something so satisfying about holding an actual conversation with your kids. The older they get, the neater it is. =)
*sigh* A dishwasher. What I wouldn’t give for one of those. You should see my sink right now. Full to the brim, and me with zero energy to actually do something about it. I’m SO jealous! 😉
For me, the solution to the constant questions was:
1) A bookshelf full of answer-type books, complete with pictures
2) A permanent bookmark on my computer for “howstuffworks.com”
That website was instrumental in keeping me sane and educated. It’s now one of my Son’s favorite sites. I’ve never been one for the because-that’s-the-way-it-is type of answers (or the because-I’m-the-mom-and-I-said-so answer, either). I didn’t realize then, but I was setting him up for his love of learning, and his desire to attend MIT in 6 years. 🙂
“Howstuffworks.com” is an EXCELLENT idea. That would probably shorten most of my conversations with the little man to about 30 seconds. I have no doubt he will fill the extra time with…more questions…but at least I could be prepared! =)
Yeah, my boy is a geek. But he comes by it naturally. I’m forever researching and learning, and so is he. Awesome yes. My bank account is terrified! LOL
Just goes to show, the next generation is going to be smarter than the ones before.
Your 3 year old can operate a dishwasher, he’s doing better than I am. I’ve never even tried!