Our youngest child is three. Like every other parent that’s ever existed, I’m inclined to think he’s smarter, cuter, funnier, and more talented than every other three year old that is currently in existence.
However, every now and then the little darling will do something to ground my often-inflated faith in him.
His latest is an annoying phase that he’s been in for a week or so. He’s asking permission to do everything. Now, when I say everything….I mean EVERYTHING. Each individual bite of his dinner. Each goldfish cracker in a bowl. Do you know how exhausting it is to answer affirmatively to each “Daddy? I can eat this goldfish?” He can’t be ignored either, because he just gets louder in his inquiries. A sweeping permission doesn’t cut it either.
“Yes baby, you can eat that goldfish. You can eat all of them. They’re yours.”
“I can eat this goldfish too?”
As excruciating as this is, it is worse when we’re dealing with situations where permission is implied. The other day he came up to me and was handing me his juice cup.
“Daddy? I can drink juice?”
“I just gave you juice one minute ago, that’s empty already?”
…he was handing me BACK his full juice cup because I hadn’t granted him permission verbally to drink it.
A few nights ago he woke up at 2am, having had a little accident. Nothing minor, but it necessitated a change in pajamas and sheets. I stripped him from the waist down, plunked him down on the potty, and went in to change his sheets. When I came back a few moments later he sleepily asked me: “Daddy? Can I go pee now?” He’d sat there and didn’t do his business until I gave him permission to go.
I know this won’t last forever, but at 2 in the morning when I’m cleaning up a minor bathroom accident, it wasn’t cute.
What IS funny, is if I thought that this would last forever…certain situations could be a lot easier to deal with when he’s a teenager.
“Can I go smoke weed with Tommy under the bridge?”
“Can I $20 from your wallet to buy beer with?”
(The joke here is that by the the time he’s old enough to ask this, I’ll have two teenage boys, and the likelihood of having seen a $20 bill in years will be pretty slim)
For now, its a little irritating, especially when I’d rather be sleeping than giving a three year old permission for his bodily functions. If he keeps it up, he might be the easiest teen that there ever was to raise.