Thursday, October 27, 2005

Stuck In The Middle With You

For years I had heard how hard two-year-olds could be: Beware the terrible twos. Wait until he's two. Two is harder than one and one combined. And all sorts of other abstruse warnings and strange math.

Frankly, though, I find three to be a far more perplexing and exasperating age. Three is too old to rest comfortably in the mother comforts of toddlerhood, but too young to fully embrace the autonomy of boyhood. Three is able to defend the what, when, and how of his argument, but is unable to remember why he objected in the first place. Three is trustworthy enough to leave unattended for a few minutes at a time but is able to injure himself in new and excruciating ways even under a watchful eye.
Finally, and probably most significantly, three is too old to nap every day but not old enough to go entirely without, which makes three extremely cranky by day..., well..., three.

Below you'll find a recent example of the great divide that is three, complete with photos.

Here's a shot from last night's Fall Carnival at Finney's preschool, where he dressed up in his menacing Darth Vader costume and mustered up a convincing face of equal parts venom and bravado, channeling Anakin Skywalker as he finally embraces his inner badass and gives in to the Dark Side.

Now, here's another shot of Finney just 30 minutes later, when he was too timid to partake in the carnival's CAKE WALK. That's right, walk slowly in a circle with other children for a possible shot at fresh baked goods. No way, man, I ain't going. How about bowling for prizes? Nope. Temporary tattoos? Forget it. Face painting? Are you high? The only way we got Finn to participate in any of the activities at the carnival was to--you guessed it--provide significant security detail, meaning Grandma Emely had to carry him around in her arms on the cake walk.

Don't get me wrong; I'm in no hurry for Finney to grow up. (I mean, have you noticed just how many pictures I take on a daily basis in an attempt to capture and keep close these youthful moments? It's almost criminal.) And I'm fully aware of and sympathetic to the complex changes he's going through this year. I've realized, though, that if three is the adolescence of childhood, the tender time between babyhood and boyhood, I've got a precocious thirteen-year-old girl with her first case of PMS on my hands.

P,S, For those of you familiar with this blog, you'll also notice that three wants to be both Darth Vader and a kitty cat--on the same Halloween.

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