The other day after dinner, my husband was preparing to take out the trash, and I was horsing around with my three-year-old son, who had just emitted a huge belch (I guess they start young). “You better say excuse me, or I’ll have daddy toss you out with the trash!” I said as I tickled him. He giggled uproariously, as the baby watched on, amazed by all the activity. “OK, if you’re not going to say excuse me, then out you go!” I said, acting as if I was going to give him to Daddy. “No!” he said, still laughing. “You won’t throw me out with the trash, you love me!”
The fact that he said this makes me extremely happy. His dad and I tell him a lot that we love him, and I feel like we show him every day that we do, but I sometimes wonder, does he understand? Does he know that he is loved? The fact that he said this makes me think that yes, that lesson has sunk in. I think he knows that whether he says excuse me or not, whether he is “good” or not so good, whether he is grumpy or happy, we love him.
Here are some other lessons that I’m hoping will start to sink in:
- We don’t drink our bath water. I don’t know why, but I can’t break him of this habit. It’s so gross. I’ve stopped giving him cups in the bath, but he still finds a way to dink it whenever he can.
- We don’t scream at/throw things/hit baby brother. This is a tough one. I know, having two younger sibling myself, that baby brothers can be trouble, but we must find a way to cope.
- We don’t ask for food when we go to people’s houses. We’ve been visiting an older couple across the street. The first time we visited, the woman had some leftover Halloween candy that she gave me son. Now, every time we go, he blatantly asks for candy.
- There is a fine line between singing and yelling. I love to hear him sing, but he often does so with great gusto. Sometimes, in the car, it can be a little much. It’s a small car.
- Be grateful. This is also a tough one. After the consumption at Christmas, he’s still all about “I want, I want, I want.” It’s a challenge to teach him to be grateful for what he has.
This list could go on, but those are the top things that we’re working on at the moment. For a three-year-old, some of these aren’t easy. But we’re making progress. And as long as he knows he’s loved, we’ve got a good foundation to build on.
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