Archive for February, 2015


You are three years old.

You chose standard birthday candles over a giant number three. You requested chocolate cake with yellow frosting (at first you wanted blue, and we were glad you changed your mind). You held the frosting tube as Mama wrote “Happy Birthday” (you didn’t want your name on it), put gummy bears on it, and stuck the candles deep into it in a nice little cluster.

You wave goodbye to Mama and blow her kisses when she leaves you at school.

You sometimes push your classmates and then grin at the teacher.

You recently declined an offer of honey to soothe your cough, saying, “No, I’d like a chocolate biscuit for my cough.”

You have lost the baby fat from your feet.

You had your first hearing and vision tests at your three-year checkup — the nurse was amazed at how well you followed directions.

You told the doctor (when he asked) that Mama was a boy. This was also part of your checkup. Other than that, you passed with flying colors. And to be fair, you could have been confused — Mama always calls herself a lady or a woman, not a girl.

You got a basketball hoop, a science book, and a marble track for your birthday. You love all three.

You sometimes declare “I don’t like you Mama, I want Daddy to put me to bed” when Mama is putting you to bed.

You sometimes declare “I don’t like you Daddy, I want Mama to put me to bed” when Daddy is putting you to bed.

You were reluctant to come downstairs to join the crowd (of five people) at your birthday party. Half an hour later, you were chatting happily with everyone.

You count to three like so: “One, two, tree!” This leaves no doubt of your Polish heritage.

You get royally pissed off when Mama says she can’t understand you when you whine.

You were able to sing snippets of “All the Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)” after hearing Mama sing it twice. This leaves no doubt that you are Mama’s offspring.

You recently learned how to propel yourself around the pool on a water noodle. You were concerned when Mama showed you she wasn’t holding the noodle anymore, but then your face lit up when you realized you had independence in the water.

You are flirting with the idea of potty training but have thus far only condescended to practice sitting on the toilet.

You continue to be a picky eater — so much so that you refused to eat the pancakes at your school’s Pajama Day and only ate a few bites of frosting from your birthday cake. Well, that and all the gummy bears on your piece. And the gummy bears from Mama’s piece.

You are three years old, and your new favorite phrase is, “I can do it myself!”

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Last week, we paid a visit to the MySci bus, a roving interactive science experience housed in a tractor-trailer. We were in there for approximately 90 seconds, because small spaces filled with loud people are not the Boo’s thing. At all. So we missed out on that particular enrichment opportunity.

But I’m not worried about what we missed because in the past week, the Boo has been bursting with questions about science. Herewith, a list of our topics and my explanations:

– Why a spoon gets hot when you put it next to the dishwasher vent (the heat likes to jump to the spoon because it’s made of metal).

– Why and how eyes move (thank you, Internet, for excellent anatomical diagrams) and how the brain makes that happen (it sends messages that are so fast you don’t even know they’re being sent).

– Why plumbers cost a lot of money
Me: They know a lot of special things about pipes and faucets, so we have to pay them a lot.
Boo: If they don’t know so many stuff… do we pay less?

– Why light helps us see (it bounces off everything).

– Where wind comes from (the sky, storms, fans, hands that are waving really fast).

– How the heart works (I used my fist as a model and said “lub-dub, lub-dub.”)

Maybe next time we’ll enjoy the MySci bus a bit more, but for now I think I’m doing pretty well explaining physics and biology at a preschool level.

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Blast From the Past


Did you know that “February” can be translated as “couch, cookies and cocoa”? Or so I’ve been told.

Here, then, is a post from a year ago, about something I’m still doing: Using a timer to trick the Boo into doing what I want him to do. Although now he asks for additional timers to be set…

There are so many long stretches of parenting a small child that are absolutely mind-numbing in their repetitiveness that when you occasionally come up with a genius childrearing idea on the fly, it’s both a shock and cause for celebration.

I had one of those moments a few months ago when I asked the Boo to take me upstairs instead of telling him we had to go up. I have no idea why I did it, but the appeal to his budding independence was instant and dramatic — he seized my finger and practically dragged me up behind him. A couple of weeks ago, though, I came up with an even better trick, though once again I couldn’t tell you where the idea came from.

The Boo was being particularly disinclined to be happy about delaying his desires, which is to say, it was close to nap time on yet another butt-cold day in February and I needed to do a few more things before I could grant his wish to help him play at the sink. I pulled out my phone and opened the clock app.

“I tell you what. I’ll set the timer. When you hear the bells, it’s time for water play.”

He looked a little unsure about this timer thing, but he was pleased that I let him push the start button. Then I made a huge deal about the bells ringing and let him push the cancel button. Then I set it again to signal the end of water play, because he will seriously spend as much time as we let him “washing” dishes.

So now, instead of whining at me (my least favorite thing about my kid) when he needs to wait or stop doing something he likes, he submits to the will of the phone. Because, see, the command is coming from the phone — the provider of videos and games and general fun — not from me. And he doesn’t have it in him to whine at the phone.


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I'm over 50. I'm raising a fifth grader. Sometimes he posts too.


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