We’ve arrived at a phase in the evolution of a 3 year old that I’d forgotten about, it’s delightful and enchanting and makes bedtime really long. Neirin has reached the point where he is beginning to describe his own thoughts, he can ask questions and tell us how he sees things and it is just too fascinating. I remember going through this with Huwyl at bedtime, he’d start chatting about anything and everything and I just couldn’t stop listening, Neirin has reached the same wonderful stage.
Being 3 is a confusing and tough time, Neirin let’s us know this regularly. Being stopped from doing anything he wants is NOT good and Mummy regularly falls foul of his world view with such transgressions as,
- NOT letting him eat crisps for every meal
- NOT letting him eat salami for every meal
- NOT letting him watch Dora the Explorer for 15 hours straight
It really is a world of hurt as far as he is concerned. Luckily the storms pass pretty quickly and we move on to something else. Following on the heels of a champion tantrum thrower, Neirin really has to work hard for his stormy moments to get noticed. He does a pretty good line in nasal whining though that really is coming along very well. But mostly he’s a pretty happy chap, getting up to mischief and discovering the world in his own way.
Here are some of the things in the foreground in the world of Neirin right now.
- Aeroplanes. How they fly, how high they go and how you get on them. We’ve tried explaining airports but he remains sceptical. I told him there is a special set of stairs but he seems determined that boarding requires super powers and being able to fly, he wonders is crisps might give him super powers.
- Age. He can’t quite work out where he is on the spectrum, he’s not a baby but not a really big boy or a Daddy. He’s big but also little, this requires hand gestures to be fully understood.
- Saying I love you. He says it a lot, even when he is really cross with me (see list of transgressions above). When he is really cross he shouts I LOVE YOU at me, like an accusation. When I say thanks he tends to give up being angry and give me a firm hug instead. A hug that clearly says, you have done wrong but I will let it go. Maybe.
- Being a ghost. He’s mentioned this a few times and this morning I found him in tears after Huwyl had told him “Neirin, you are only three, you are not going to die for many days at least.” Helpful. I instructed that further responses should be limited to “You’re not going to die” and leave it at that.
Over the summer what remained of the baby in Neirin has disappeared. He’s emerged leaner, taller and endlessly curious about everything around him. While I mourn this loss of the baby years I can’t help but be charmed by this new person who has emerged; a mass of contradictions he is (the same boy who says I love you, you’re my best brother can be pulling the same brother’s hair within 5 minutes) but he is so definitely himself. Bold one minute, shy the next, fearful, strong, clever, funny, frustrating, delightful, loving, destructive, sweet.
He may be a Big Little Boy but I know I have years of hugs and snuggles ahead, more bedtime conversations and heartfelt revelations. I have years ahead to get to know him, to listen, to teach, to learn. I hope I have the good sense to cherish them all.