As challenging as this year of parenting the preschooler has been, there have also been moments of great hilarity. This is probably why we’re keeping him instead of sending him to a boarding school for preschoolers. (My better half has wondered aloud on numerous occasions if this would be a possibility.)
I was helping the little man pick up some toys the other day and he said to me: ‘you’re doing a good job helping me!’ Uh, thanks? I couldn’t decide if it was affirming or condescending. My mom was over for dinner the other night and she helped the little man put on his pj’s while I was scrambling to get everything ready. As she put on his shirt, she said ‘oh look at your little riblets’ – which is what we always say when the skinny boy is shirtless, displaying his ribs for all to see. He replied, ‘I feed the baby with my riblets,’ (pointing to his little nips for emphasis.) No amount of reasoning or explanation could convince him otherwise.
A few nights later, we were sitting on our bed, and he grabbed his baby (a doll from my childhood) and started nursing her. Again, he insisted ‘I feed the baby milk with my riblets.’ His baby sleeps in a plastic container by his bed, and occasionally he’ll jump up and tend to her, saying ‘my baby is crying’ or ‘my baby is hungry again’ or ‘my baby is sleeping.’ We found him rocking his baby’s crib the other night, with the same stressed out, impatient look we display as we’re trying to get our real live baby to sleep.
And sharing…I suspect we’ll be working on that for many years to come. He is a big fan of one-way sharing – meaning you share whatever you have with him. He was eating a bowl of popcorn one night and my mom asked if she could have some. He adamantly refused. After much coercing (and threatening), he proceeded to sift through the bowl of popcorn to find the tiniest kernel imaginable. He dutifully handed it to her. I was eating chocolate chip cookies last night (he’d already swallowed his whole, practically). He sidled up to me: ‘Can you share with me? You can share!’ After he wrestled away a bite of my cookie, he walked away saying ‘thanks for sharing with me.’ Ohhh!
But his singing is surely my favorite thing. He continues to sing ‘Jingle Bells’ though slightly less frequently than he did the week preceding and following Christmas. ‘Bells on bub-tail ring…makin’ speer-its briiiight.’ And, following the Johnson Christmas gathering, he has displayed an affinity for ‘The Sound of Music.’ ‘Jo, a deer a female deer, way, a drop of golden suuuuun, me a dame I cah myself, fa, a longlong way to run…that will bring us back to jo.’