The Only Easy Thing About 3-Year-Olds

Have you ever played Hide and Seek with a 3-year old?

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It’s honestly the only thing about having a 3-year-old that is actually easy.

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In fact, you will probably have to remind them not to tell you where they are. As if that even matters.

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3-year-olds are actually a lot like cats. “I can’t see you, so you can’t see me.”

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I recommend this activity to anyone who’s had a hard day at work and just wants to feel smart for a change.

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Unfortunately, it won’t always be this adorably easy.

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Biscuit and the Black Guy

2014-10-20 08-51-35-510Since the day she was born I have dreaded Biscuit’s first “from the mouths of babes” moment. You know, when they repeat something they heard at home that was not intended for anyone else to hear. (“Mommy says Uncle Mike is a deadbeat.”) Or maybe they share a too personal piece of information. (“Daddy only likes the toilet paper with the lotion in it!”) I’ve been very cautious about what we say around her, and I frequently remind Insurance Boss that words like “douche bag” can be repeated after only a single introduction. So we were completely caught off guard when her first act of mortification was something she came up with all on her own.

Biscuit is a very social little girl and will talk to just about anyone, including the pizza delivery man. In fact, every time we order a pizza she runs to the door and comes up with something, no matter how insignificant, to tell her unsuspecting victim. Fortunately, they are usually good sports and respond with an encouraging, “Wow, that’s so cool!” So the other night when the doorbell rang, she came running right behind me. She stepped into the doorway, looked up at the delivery man, and excitedly exclaimed,

“I found a new show, see! It has the black guy!”

She was pointing at the TV screen where she had just turned on a game show for kids, who’s host was – you guessed it – a black guy. From this statement, it was obvious that the “black guy” was a major point of interest for her. It was a defining characteristic of the show and how she’d chosen to name it, since she hadn’t caught the show’s actual name. It sounded as if this “black guy” were a new, rare, fascinating species she had never encountered before.

The delivery man’s response was silent, open-mouthed, and wide-eyed. I froze, embarrassed and bewildered. I had never heard her refer to anyone that way. What I love about her pure, literal, 3-year-old view of the world is that people are just people. She sees things exactly as they are with no learned biases or nuances. I was certain that if I had pointed to any human being and said that person was “black”, she would have corrected me immediately and said their skin was brown or pink or even gray. So where the hell did this come from?

I could feel the blood rushing to my face, and I blurted out some mumbling, fumbling garbage like, “I don’t think she meant – that – like that – I…” In order to avoid making a big deal out of what she’d just said (at least not yet), I calmly looked down at Biscuit, assumed ignorance, and said, “The black guy? What do you mean? Show me.” Instead of pointing at the face of the host on the TV screen, she grabbed the Apple TV remote, hit the Menu button, and pointed at the show’s icon.

 

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There it was: a human figure that was, literally, black.

Biscuit on Her Favorite Pastime

Biscuit: [suddenly, angrily, from the backseat] MOMMY! It’s WINDY today!!!

Me: You need to try that again. Nicely please.

Biscuit: Mommy, it’s windy today.

Me: Yeah, it is a little breezy.

Biscuit: No! You say, “It’s NOT windy!”

Me: Are you trying to argue with me on purpose?

Biscuit: Yes.

Me: No, don’t do that. Arguing isn’t fun.

Biscuit: It IS fun!!!

Me: No, it’s not.

Biscuit: Yes it is.

Outsmarted by a 3-year-old. I’ll just hang my head now.

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Biscuit on Patience

 “I’m just gonna lay on the floor and wait.”

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Biscuit has a serious blueberry muffin addiction. Once they go into the oven she’s a jittery, sweating ball of anticipation. She looks in the oven and announces that they are done, even though they are still very wet plops of raw egg and oil. Once they come out, I have to physically restrain her so she doesn’t sear her little fingers on the pan.

“Wait,” I say. “They need to cool.”

“But I want them NOW! I WAAAAANT them!!!”

“Well, you have to wait. You need to work on being patient. They are too hot, and you need to wait.” So she sprawls out in protest of this whole “waiting” thing.

At least now she’s silently protesting.