The Absorbent Brain

I've heard it said that age three is really, really hard. Some "experts" have even narrowed the hardest part down to 3 and a half. Something happens in the brain and all that.

I'm starting to think that maybe "they" really are the experts. (But only sometimes, because half the stuff "they" say makes me laugh a bit as I live out the true reality of raising children).

The thing about three, is that developmentally Miles is gaining smartitude. And emotionally, while trying to find his own identity, he's gaining CRAZINESS. A lot of the time, he's expressing emotion like he never has before. And other times, he's simply reflective and knowledgeable.
The smartitude thing is quite entertaining. He's all, "I can count to a million" and, "Look at me! I remember everything ever said to me, EVER!!!" Which is cool. (I'm pretty sure this is the age when every parent fully grabs a hold of the belief that their child is a genius, even though they're all pretty much sponges no matter what their IQ will be later in life.)

So anyway, we were driving in the car yesterday. It had been a long trip, since we got lost and Ryan and I were getting all, "I know what I'm doing and you don't." Ryan spelled something to me, trying to be cryptic for the sake of the small, innocent ears in the backseat.

(You might imagine that he was spelling out a horrible name for me, but he wasn't. It was much more harmless and boring than that. You wouldn't believe all the things we spell now that we've gotten in the habit.)

After Ryan spelled out his harmless word, Miles said, "Daddy, you shouldn't say that.," so I turned to him and said, "What do you mean? Daddy shouldn't say what?"

He answered, "Daddy shouldn't say D-U-M-B." (Yes, Miles spelled out dumb.)

I am telling you the honest truth when I say that dumb wasn't the word that Ryan had spelled. But, we have quite frequently spelled the word dumb when describing politicians, people who cut us off in traffic, and our dog.

After Miles spelled DUMB, Ryan and I turned to each other, shocked. We did that thing where parents read each other's minds for a moment (which I totally wish would happen when I'm thinking he should fold the laundry).

It's not that dumb is such a horrible word, but how did he know how to spell it? I said something about how it had been a really long time since either of us had spelled "dumb," and couldn't believe the letters stuck in Miles' head. He doesn't yet recognize many (or really any) of his letters, so he hasn't even begun to spell.

I asked Miles what "D-U-M-B" meant, half-expecting he might just tell me. But he said he didn't know.

So I guess all he's figured out so far is that we spell things that we shouldn't say. And everything we shouldn't say is spelled, "D-U-M-B."
I will leave you with one last adorable quote:

Mommy- "Miles, please stop throwing puzzle pieces all over before I lose my mind."

Miles- "Mommy, you WILL lose your mind!!!" (in a cartoon-like angry voice, while giggling)

Good point.

Age three is CRAZINESS. And really, really great.

10 clicked right here to comment:

a Tonggu Momma said...

Oh, goodness, yes! The Tongginator was actually at her worst during her two's, but most of her friends achieved Sassitude at around three-and-a-half. Good times!!! And I can see spelling is no longer working for y'all. It doesn't work for us either. Let me know if you find an alternate plan.

PsychMamma said...

SO many of my friends have told me that they shouldn't be called the "Terrible Twos" b/c the threes are MUCH more terrible. J will be three in January, and I just keeping hoping that their words aren't true in our case. Sigh.

How cute that he equates D-U-M-B with what you shouldn't say! :-) J started figuring out our spelling around age 2 - I think mostly from the context. We would look at each other and say, "B-E-D" or "N-A-P" and she would shout, "No! No want to sleep!" Ha! We started speaking using German words instead of spelling, and she started figuring THAT out! They really are amazing little genius sponges!

Thanks for sharing!

Ewelina said...

Funny! My husband TOTALLY reads my mind when I'm thinking he should fold the laundry. No, actually I would never think such a silly thing because he has no idea whose clothes are whose or how to fold them.

Nice prophecy about you losing your mind. Cute. Enjoy this stage because it's not too long before they stop hearing a word you're saying.

joolee said...

Kids never cease to amaze me! My 2 year old pointed out New York on a U.S. map not too long ago. Pure genius!

Kimberly said...

Oh my yes...three is a rough age. Big joys, big frustrations. It just about did me in, to be honest!

The Three 22nds said...

3 is a fun age. I think it just depends on the kid, whether 1, 2 or 3 is the tough one!

When we spell things my 4 year old starts spelling things too. Only they aren't words, just strings of letters. He thinks he is clever.

charrette said...

Hahaha! Smartitude is my new favorite word!
I wonder if craziness is a prerequisite for acquiring more smartitude!

I can think of a few choice words we should have done a better job of spelling out! Actually when we don't want the kids to know what we're talking about we speak Spanish. (Being kinda-sorta pretend bilingual has its advantages.)

And as for that last quote, sometimes don't you think it's our kids' lifetime goal to drive us to losing our minds? :)

Abra said...

The nice thing about three is the fact that they're developing their own little personality... the crazy thing about three, is they don't fully grasp the concept of this new personality - I think it throws them off and then they revert into that craziness because it's something they know.

Melanie J said...

While I spend a lot of time telling my ten month old to STAY LITTLE and DON'T GROW ANYMORE, I also can't wait for the time when all the cute things start tripping out of his mouth. I love that point where the cute hits keep coming!

Eowyn said...

Three is a crazy age. I've always thought it was harder than the twos.

And they are sponges. It's frightening what they pick up.

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