Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pete and Repeat

Today has been spent in the company of my three year old nephew. Of course, there have been other people around as well, but when you have a three year old in your presence, everything and everyone else basically flies out the window as you are endlessly entertained by an unintentionally funny mini Shecky Green.

Being three means you have WAY too many words that need to be said IMMEDIATELY and a mouth that just cannot seem to say them fast enough. It's as if there is a huge bottleneck at the point of phonation, so while we wait for all systems to sync up, there are a huge number of "AND.... AND.... AND... AND...." with lots of heavy breathing. Because you know, it's incredibly hard work to get all those thoughts out. It's like driving down the highway in 2nd gear. You'll get there, but boy howdy, you sure have to pedal hard.

One very important thing I learned today was that the magic word isn't what you might think it is. Or should be. The magic word isn't abracadabra. The magic word isn't please. The magic word, is in fact, "Uno Dos." Why? No idea. But this stayed constant throughout the day. Because it amused me no end, I constantly prompted for "the magic word." If things didn't work, it's because he didn't say the magic word. If he wanted something, he had to say the magic word. Uno, Dos. Live it. Love it.

Today I learned three year old are able to identify makes of cars. We were driving down the road, and from the middle of the back seat he yelled, "A CORVETTE! THAT GOES FAST!" Yes it was, and yes it does. Scary.

Now, as I have all sorts of conversations with my nephew, I love to ask open-ended questions that encourage him to take the conversation, well, anywhere he wants it to go. I don't generally ask yes or no questions. I want to hear what he has to say. After the 25 introductory "AND.... AND.... ANDs...." We were in the car today talking about books, and I asked him what were his favorite bedtime books He looked at me quite simply and said, "Why don't we go home and you and I can find out?" TeenTuna informed me I was just schooled by a three year old. Uhhhh, yep.

Other lessons learned today: If you drive too far you get put in a timeout, T-Rex's ate other dinosaurs, hippos live in the water, I wanted to eat one particular container of strawberry yogurt for breakfast, Santa comes when you are asleep, three year olds won't recite the entire pledge of allegiance until you put your hand over your heart (and even then, the word "allegiance" comes out awfully weird), the song "The 12 days of Christmas" is impossible for a three year old to sing, and the explanation for what a patridge was was so bizarre, I cannot even recount it, and last, but perhaps most importantly:

Three year olds repeat every single thing you say, over and over and over again, which, by the by, makes teaching a knock-knock joke an impossibility.

So, whatever you say, you had better make sure it's something good. Otherwise, it's all you'll hear the rest of the day. "Blah. Blah. Blah!"

You have been warned.

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