Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Terror of Toddlerhood

Being a toddler must be about the most frustrating experience a person can have. My theory is that is why we don't remember those years. That time of our life is so frustrating that to bear the burden of remembering it would be impossible, and still be a functional human being.

My son turned three recently. His language has come in so well. He tells little stories and has actual conversations with me. More importantly he has conversations with OTHER PEOPLE and they actually understand him! His vernacular is just so darned cute, too. He'll finish making a mess or an art project (there is a difference, but you can only recognize it if you're a parent) and declare with great satisfaction, "There! Perfect!"

What I don't get about him (and his sister, who is older by three years) is how learning English from my urban California accent and their father's mutt conglomeration of Australian and British accents came out as a Brooklyn accent. Both my kids say "boids" for "birds" as one of many amusing examples. It really is a mystery, but both kids have done it. I wonder if anyone else's inter-lingual kids have an accent that comes from some outfield somewhere.

But I digress. My son was in his room today, screaming his head off. He was so frustrated, and angry, and just couldn't take it anymore so he just laid his lanky little body down on the floor and yelled. I managed to get in without pinching any of his anatomy under the door and took a few moments to ascertain what his major malfunction was.

Turns out he had taken a sticker off its paper and it wouldn't stick back on. We've had this issue before in the week, so it's not like this is a new concept for him: sticker paper is one use only. If you take the sticker off it, it becomes trash.

I finally convinced him that we could stick his sticker to another, colored piece of paper. The tears stopped instantly, and he gladly threw away that mean old sticker paper.

Except for the screaming Rumpelstiltskin episodes he has occasionally, this age is a joy to experience from an adult perspective. His brain makes explosive leaps regularly. Last week his brain got big enough to encompass the wonders of Pokemon. His sister has loved Pokemon since she was about his age, too. We have a large collection of little plastic ones. I was looking for motivational rewards and found a set of 60 on Ebay for $3 plus shipping. The kids love them. My son has played with the toys for a while now, but last week he "got" it. Now he won't go anywhere without his Pokemon (not even the bath), he wears his red baseball cap (like Ash Ketchum's) even to bed, and at irregular intervals, Pokeballs are hurled at me or the cats with a cry of "Bulbasowah I choose you!" It's all Pokemon, all the time. Lucky for me my eldest is a tomboy like her mom, so the toys can recycle down to her brother.

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