Monday, December 5, 2011


A three-year-old mind is a hard thing to grasp. Or maybe I should say that a three-year-old mind has a hard time grasping. The dink's a mess lately trying to get several important concepts straight:

1. Birthdays are for celebrating when you came OUT of Mommy's tummy, a place to which you never, ever return. Leading up to D's birthday, he kept telling me with concern in his eyes and fear in his voice, "I don't want to go back in Mommy's tummy," as if I were threatening to whisk him away from his home and family at any given point and absorb him back into my abdominal prison. I kept reassuring him that I would never, ever do that. And I guess he finally believed me because weeks later, following his party, he started at it again, but this time with a different request and a much jollier tune: "I want to go back in Mommy's tummy! Because then the doctor can pull me out and I can grow and grow and grow and have another birthday!!!" Sigh.

2. We don't eat our poo-poo. Gross, right? And it's not like he's ever tried, but the subject came up one day while the dink was sitting on Mommy and Daddy's potty (his favorite place to poop) and thinking deep thoughts. He has a habit of making these random statements to me, with a slight lift in his voice at the end of the sentence, not like he's asking a full-blown question, but like he's attempting to state a fact and gauging my acceptance of it as true or false. This time it was "Mom, sometimes we eat our poo-poo." Of course my reply was at peak shriek and decibel level. "Declan, we never ever ever eat our poo-poo! That would make us very sick. And it's really, really yucky." It's possible that I even spit on the floor in disgust. And as usual when he makes an absurd statement like that, I asked him who told him that we eat our poo-poo. His response was matter-of-fact: Daddy. Oh really, I asked him. Yes, he confirmed. Declan, I said, I think I might give Dad a call at work right now to ask him about that. The response this time was less bold: tears. He then begged me not to call Dad, but still never clarified who had told him such a thing. Takeaways from the incident: The dink is clearly capable of lying and blaming things on other people in their absence, even his poor dad. But on a brighter note, he most certainly will never discuss the possibility of eating one's poo-poo again.

3. Not everything that one desires can be easily gotten by Mom "at the store." I realize that this three-year-old misgiving is mostly my own fault. He asks for something we don't have (bubblebath), and it's inexpensive and innocuous enough that I tell him I'll have to pick up some at the store. Usually it's a food item that we're simply out of--apples, goldfish, Cheerios--and when it reappears in the pantry or fridge, he always confirms with me: "Mom, you got more Cheerios at the store?" Lately the concept has expanded, though. He's asking me to go to the store to get him things like a shirt with a car on it, a Transformer that turns on, and a never-ending treat supply of ice cream, fruit snacks, and "orange Coke." The madness must stop! So now we're having these awkward discussions about the fact that even though most things he wants can be purchased at the store, Mom is not going to go to the store to buy them. Luckily, he hasn't started asking "why?" at the punctuation of each statement I make, so he's still taking my word as gospel.

4. For reasons that are very difficult to explain, we do not play the banana-fana game with Jesus's name. We just don't.