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First Date

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At 3 years old, Lucas is at the most adorable age. He can entertain himself for an hour with a piece of paper, pretending it's a sword he's using to save the world. He has proclaimed that he and Justin will be best friends for life because they both came from "Mommy's belly." He's able to negotiate when the situation calls for it. And though he is fiercely independent, he still likes to be kissed and cuddled.

Of course, 3 years old is not without its issues. Lucas is particularly headstrong when it comes to choosing his clothes, picking out shoes, and deciding what to eat. And instilling any interest in potty training is a battle Husband and I are horribly losing. Still...I can't imagine that Lucas will get cuter than he is now.

From the start, we never really baby-talked to Lucas. We spoke to him like he was a big boy, which was easy because he was an early talker, with a great vocabulary and enunciation. Now that he's 3, our conversations are like those between two old friends. In fact, Lucas so loves to talk that some evenings he starts talking at the dinner table and by bedtime, Husband and I realize he has not stopped talking for 2 ½ hours!

At 3, Lucas is also much more aware of his surroundings and the consequences of his actions. There was a stretch of time where Lucas would not poop outside of our house: I first noticed this when he would almost immediately poop after coming home from school. Then at a playdate, he abruptly announced he wanted to go home because he wasn't feeling well, which I later learned was code for "I have to poop." One evening while out to dinner with the family, Lucas complained of a stomach ache, which, I discovered, was brought on by holding in a poop.

After much discussion, Lucas admitted that he was afraid people would smell the "poo-poo" and laugh at him. I explained that nobody would ever be close enough to smell his poop, but Lucas opted for a compromise instead: "Why don't I poop in a hide-out, like the car?" This kid is brilliant! I thought, as I gladly agreed to his suggestion.

At 3, Lucas is progressing beyond parallel play in favor of social interaction. This past week I had the pleasure of attending a huge, all-out baby bash thrown in honor of my best friend's new beautiful boy-girl twins and Lucas was my date. It didn't take him long to understand the concept. He asked Husband what a date was and Husband told him it was something a girl and boy go out on when they like each other. "Oh, that's nice," said Lucas, "because I love Mommy."

When we first arrived, Lucas was overwhelmed by the number of guests and the noise and began to cry that he wanted to go home. People came over to say hello, and Lucas put his head down and shrugged his shoulders up, withdrawing into an imaginary shell. But as he got comfortable with what was going on and saw another little girl his age dancing in the middle of the room, he began to metamorphose into a social butterfly. I couldn't have been more proud. By the end of the evening, Lucas was blatantly showing off, performing donkey kicks for the crowd and showing "the girl" all of his action heroes who had accompanied us to the party.

On the drive home, Lucas told me he had a nice time on our date and wanted to know when we could do it again. I had butterflies in my stomach – I was hoping he'd ask me that!

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