Summer with a three-year-old

I think 2012 was the fastest summer in history. Cliché or not, I don’t know where that time went. It seems like it was June yesterday… and yet, there’s been lots of summer weather, lots of time at the park, lots of splashing and sand-playing, lots of ice cream. I know we did the whole thing.

I can’t deny that it revolved in a large part around my little boy, who seems more and more grown up all the time. There’s no way I can call him a toddler anymore. Even his intonation is more worldly than it was a few months ago.

This three-year-old business is pretty fun. He’s learning to imagine, pretend, role-play, socialize. We’ve had some good times.

Back at the end of May, my school did their annual humongous barbecue fundraiser, and it was a big day for E, because he got to see a fire truck up close. Like, actually get inside it!

three-year-old in a fire truck
Steering! (Sorta.)

You might notice that in that picture he is also wearing a backpack. It’s a Spider-Man backpack, brand-new that day; Daddy got it for him on clearance for $5, not realizing E would immediately be obsessed with it. It seems he had an unexpressed wish for a backpack, because when he’s at the babysitter’s he walks the other kids back and forth to school – the BIG kids – and they all have backpacks, of course. He was SO PROUD of that thing, and so adorable we could hardly stand it.

three-year-old with spiderman backpack
Complete with bed-head.

Then there’s the ice cream. But only plain chocolate – he refuses to eat any ice cream with “food” in it (nuts, brownie pieces, marshmallows… NO FOOD!). We’ve taken an embarrassing number of ice-cream-on-face pics from this summer… but hey, that’s our prerogative as parents, right?

chocolate ice cream face
He looks rather debonair, no?

Other things I will remember as being his obsessions this summer:

The T-Rex Ramp he got for his birthday,

hot wheels ramp tyrannosaurus rex

playing Plants vs. Zombies with Daddy, on Daddy’s phone (NOT proud of this, sigh),

plants vs zombies

and going for bike rides! He has gotten so good at gliding along on his balance bike, it amazes me – and he’s also very good at being safe, proudly wearing his helmet, and stopping where he needs to stop (and waiting for Mama to waddle and catch up to him).

radio flyer balance bike

He also enjoys his markers. He really wanted to use Daddy’s Sharpies, but we told him we would get him some washable markers that were okay for him to use. He was excited about that. As soon as he got them, he set off for the bathroom… to wash them.

He has also been spending a lot of time “reading” to himself with his MeReader – another birthday present. In fact, he’s starting to memorize lines from the much-abridged Disney stories. I first realized this when we were at Family Camp, and I left him alone in the cabin for a moment. He said he would be fine, playing with his cars, but when I got back, he’d come outside: “I was worried that I didn’t see you, so I ventured out and wanted to find you.” Ventured out?? Turns this phraseology comes directly from his Winnie-the-Pooh book.

So now I know that when he’s playing and I hear him say epic things like “Just when all hope was lost…” or “He plots his rise to power…” it’s from Aladdin or Peter Pan or 101 Dalmations. (Otherwise I’d be freaked out.)

Then, there are little things people teach him to say because he sounds hilarious saying them. My jaw dropped when we were having a normal chat about swimming and he inserted, “I beg to differ.” (That one had Auntie Em written all over it. Not that E gets what it means or when to use it.)

With some of his turns of phrase, I haven’t figured out where they came from. Just a lot of listening, I guess – it’s been clear for a while that he logs away basically everything he hears (scary!). Examples:

The thing is, as in “The thing is, Mummy, I don’t know where my pajamas are.”

It seems a long time, as in “It seems a long time since I played with Laura.”

Certainly, as in “Certainly, I want to play with the loop-the-loop!”

Awkward, as in “I just dropped a carrot – that was really awkward!”

Splendid, as in “Your bread and cheese looks splendid!”

Shocking, as in “That’s pretty shocking, Mama, when you opened the door.”

I’ve also heard him use the word absurd, but I’m pretty sure he has almost no clue what it means.

A few other gems:

When pretending that his dinky car had a flat tire: “I can’t fix it. I don’t have any plumbers!”

One of his many random “What if” questions: “What if a cat got in that birdhouse?” (“I don’t know, how would a cat get way up in there?”) “It would fly, with its amazing paws.”

When told it was bedtime: “No, it’s not bedtime, Mama – the sun is high in the sky!”

When I was trying to explain how a bar of soap gets smaller, clumsily likening it to when he eats up a bowl of O’s, he offered: “It’s like rain that evaporates.” (I was gobsmacked. I’ve tried to ask him about evaporation since then, to see if he actually understands the process based on a couple conversations about puddles, but he isn’t forthcoming.)

Soulfully, after I asked what he would like to play with: “I don’t know when my heart wants to have fun.”

Mysteriously, the first thing he said upon waking up one day, with a dreamy grin on his face: “Mama… I wish we could spin.”

The best was when he woke up one morning after an overnight at my parents’ house: “Mummy, are you okay sleeping by yourself? I’m going to let Daddy be at school and you sleep a little bit. I’m just gonna go downstairs and see Grammie and Papa.” (Thanks to Daddy, Mama has been allowed to “sleep a little bit” many times during this pregnancy. 🙂 )

Oh, I almost forgot – he’s learned what chillin‘ is. The perfect summer activity.

three-year-old with the iPhone
Chillin’ with the zombies :S
relaxing with Daddy
Chillin’ with Daddy. 🙂



16 thoughts on “Summer with a three-year-old

  1. Arwen says:

    Wildly adorable! Those are great memories to capture.
    This summer really did fly by for us, too. A lot more quickly than normal. Maybe I was just loving it so much!

  2. Quinn says:

    These are so fun! I love “I don’t know when my heart wants to have fun” and using awkward. He’s such a smartie! Love Dilovely’s new look, too! Very sleek and lovely.

  3. Mama says:

    Ah, “splendid” is from me! I remember how his eyes lit up the first time he heard me say it. We had a little discussion about how it’s several steps up from, say, “nice” or “good”, and I could just WATCH him internalize it. How does he fit it all in??

  4. emerge says:

    Ok, when we did “I beg to differ” I DID explain the meaning, with examples! If I say something and he asks what it means, I’ll tell him. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    (Di, if you want to include the ice cream video, it’s on youtube I think.)

    • diblog says:

      I know, and I explained it again later, after he used it… I think it’s just kinda subtle. And I certainly do want the ice cream video! (SYNCHRONICITY!)

  5. Jan Scheidt says:

    It’s a good thing you don’t live in Western Canada, then. With regards to his comment about bedtime, it brought back memories when we were raising our three boys and living in Saskatchewan at the time. In the winter, it was easy enough to get the boys into bed – it’s dark early in late fall, all through the winter, and begins to lighten up in April….HOWEVER, after that, you never say “when it gets dark”, as because of the summer solstice, the sun stays in the sky quite late and before one knew, it would be 10:00 p.m. and it was still light. So, as parents, we were quick not to say “when it gets dark…”

    As for the summer, I admit the summer flew by. I REALLY enjoyed this summer – no courses this year for this teacher. We travelled West to visit family, attend a wedding reception in Alberta, and holidayed at the Hot Springs in Radium. In August, I deliberately had fun making quilt tops. I am not back at work, putting in my regular 12 hour days, but rethinking Mondays. I am not happy with how I have been treated with no respect by my government.

    • diblog says:

      Jan, ha ha, I know just what you mean! We have to resist talking about how light or dark it is in relation to sleeping – morning or night. Our latest sunsets around here are just after 9 pm, but it still makes bedtime tricky in the summer… and sometimes he wants to get up without enough sleep too, because it gets light so early in June.

      Good for you for enjoying your summer (I’ve always wanted to try quilting!), and I’m glad you’re loving your job… too bad the political wrangling has to sour things so often. Sounds like you live in Ontario now?

  6. Jan Scheidt says:

    I meant to say “I am NOW back to work…putting in my 12 hour days. I am LOVING MY JOB this year, working in two different schools (alternating days)…. I AM NOT LOVING THE POLITICS, however. I DO not desire a wage increase (I am at the top of A3), but I want MY UNION to have the RIGHT TO NEGOTIATE on my behalf, NOT BE DICTATED TO….

  7. AuPair says:

    Absolutely adorable!!! I love how you’ve put all of his little phrases down into one really cute blog post. It’s going to be a great piece of writing to have once he’s older. 🙂

    • diblog says:

      Thank you, AuPair – you’re right. I already look back on old posts and can’t believe how much I’ve forgotten about things he used to say or do… and he likes seeing younger pictures and videos of himself, too. I just hope he won’t be embarrassed by all this later…

  8. berty says:

    Oh, my goodness. My favourites are “with its amazing paws” and “are you okay sleeping by yourself?” !!! (Shakes head with disbelief at how cute.) xoxoxoxoxo for you all.

  9. Mary Snow says:

    Awesome! He sounds like a British aristocrat! LOL! How much fun this stage seems!

    I am the ultimate Plants vs. Zombies player. Serious. I’m ridiculously good at that game.

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