I’ve been meaning to write about Elliot for a while now and even this post probably won’t do his three year old character the justice it deserves.
At three years and three months old, Elliot is a full fledged little human. As in, he understands pretty much everything I expect him to. All things considered, I think he has a very high level of responsibility. He’s using the potty regularly now and will go in, do his this, dump, flush, and wash his hands. Still has trouble with his buttons and zippers but otherwise, he’s got it down. Sometimes he still refuses to drop the crocs off at the pond but if we leave him in there to his cryfest over it long enough, he’ll relax and let it go.
He’s fun to play with in the way all boys are; he enjoys being chased and playing games of keep away. Anything can be used as a gun and makes the “pew pew” noise, though I have no earthly idea where he got that…other than daycare. And even then, what kid ever thought that up, you know? I’m torn on the gun/violence thing. Most of the time I don’t give it a second thought but things will be going along just fine until he uses said “weapon” to hit one of the dogs. Game over, go to you room. And then we have to talk about that fine line between playtime and hurting someone/something.
He’s still disgustingly defiant. If he’s playing and we have to get ready to go, the answer is NO. He’ll run from us in the house but eventually, depending on how we broach the subject, he’ll calm down and go with the flow. He has learned how to manipulate, push buttons, and push boundaries. My boundary is that moment in the car when he screams at Isaac for making noise and I have to wrench my hand around to pinch his ankle. That’s usually when he realizes he’s gone over the line.
Some days are better than others. I’ll see a shadow of the kid he was at nearly two, when he was so easy going I oftentimes stopped to thank the powers that be that he was such a wonderful child; how ever did I get so lucky?? But for the most part, he’s operating on his own time and by his own rules until we whip him into shape. And I know this is all part of him figuring out who he is and how he fits into our family and our way of life. It’s not like that stuff came ingrained in his DNA, though wouldn’t that have been nice?
I hear four is better than three and I kind of look forward to it. I feel bad when I go days at a time feeling utterly exhausted by his behaviour, almost dreading dealing with the attitude. Of course, there will be a time when he’s grown up a bit more and this kind of thing is merely a memory and Ash and I will reminisce about it all. I shouldn’t wish away our time together. Just like in Toy Story 3 when Andy’s mom is looking at his boyhood room and everything is gone and packed for college. The look he gives her to console her makes me break down in tears every single time. Some day, that will be us. And this three year old terror phase will have faded away like early morning fog, wisps of memory long gone.