First Aid Andy

Three-year-old Andy is chafing at the yoke of independence. Too big for a playpen, too small for kindergarten, he’s testing his limits every chance he gets. Unfortunately, he’s testing my patience, too. Whether he’s refusing to get dressed or insisting he can cut his own hair, I’m torn between letting him make mistakes and his attempts to off himself. Yesterday, I caught him perched in the kitchen sink like a parrot; when questioned, he was “getting a gwass of water”. Two days ago, he scaled my bookshelf like a monkey, looking for his favorite story. This kid is determined to drive my blood pressure up!

When he’s not practicing his high wire act, Andy’s getting better at taking care of himself. He happily brushes his teeth, washes his hands, and dresses himself with ease. Last week he scraped his knee and administered first aid to himself. He used nine band-aids, an entire tube of antiseptic cream, and left greasy footprints all over the bathroom. Hurray? Lately, band-aids are his favorite toy; he peels them open and scatters them like rose petals. Then, he greedily raids the band-aid box and polka-dots his body with the plasters. Why? Who knows. I’d prefer it if he stopped having accidents, but he’s a kid and I can’t win ‘em all.

My son is growing up quicker than I realized. His crib is gone, his diapers are gone, and he’s getting taller by the day. Part of me (a very, very small part) is sad that my tiny baby is gone, but I love watching Andy grow into a marvelous child. A marvelous, frustrating, mischievous child. There’s no rhyme nor reason to three-year-olds. Today, he was upset because his socks didn’t match. The socks that he picked out. How can a toddler’s world fall apart due to foot coverings? If only he could be a baby again; he’d wear whatever I chose without complaint. I could pop him into the stroller and not chase him around like a headless chicken. Wait…. Am I forgetting something? The two a.m. wakeups, the non-stop breast feeding, the exhaustion……….. oh no, NEVER MIND! I DON’T WANT A BABY AGAIN! Keep growing up Andy, I love you just the way you are.