When Did He Grow Up?

February 24, 2012 at 6:00 am | Posted in motherhood | 6 Comments

We see my SIL for dinner every week.

Cousin D is 8 months older than Lucky.

And ever since Lucky realized that Cousin D was FUN to play with (it took him a while to not cry when Cousin D looked at him, let’s just say)… well, the boys have been inseparable.

In general, they’re a great match for each other. They really seem to dig each other, and aren’t very particular about how a game should be played.

That’s not to say they don’t have problems some nights, though.

Like Wednesday night.

We were eating dinner when the first sign of trouble happened. I heard Lucky yell from the living room, Cousin D, NO! and then start to cry.

Cousin D was sitting there, silent, and Lucky was sobbing, Cousin D is FIGHTING WITH ME!

We waited a second, and when Lucky reached out for a toy, we saw what was happening.

Cousin D was simply batting his hand away so that Lucky couldn’t get the toy he wanted.

And my SIL remarked as she stood up to talk to him, Yes, this is a new thing. Passive-aggressive way to get his way. Not REALLY hitting, but hitting nonetheless.

She talked to Cousin D, though, and took the toy away because they couldn’t play well with it.

And for a few minutes the boys put it aside and picked another toy to share.

But it happened again.

And then again.

And finally, I watched Lucky smack Cousin D in his frustration. And Cousin D started to cry.

I went over and told Lucky that it was NOT okay to hit, no matter how mad he was. And I told him to apologize. Which he didn’t (which drives me NUTS, btw. I get that he’s embarrassed and I can’t MAKE him apologize. But it’s RUDE, and my kid is usually pretty polite).

So I follow through on the consequences: dinner at Cousin D’s was over, we were on our way home, if Lucky didn’t like it, all he had to do was apologize.

But he didn’t and it was time to go home.

I apologized to Cousin D for Lucky, told him that he was sorry he hit him and made him cry even though Lucky couldn’t say it himself, and that both Lucky and I loved him.

And we left.

So on the way home, once Lucky was calm, I told him that I was disappointed with the fact that he didn’t want to apologize to cousin D, especially since he had hit him and made him cry. And that it was never okay to hit someone.

And then Lucky started TALKING to me.

But Mommy, Cousin D was FIGHTING with me!

So I asked him why he thought that Cousin D was fighting with him in the first place.

No answer.

So I ventured a guess. Do you think maybe he was upset that you weren’t letting him do what he wanted with his rocket ship? What do you think you could have done differently to make it so that he wasn’t mad?


And I thought, oh well, that was a Good Parenting Try.

And then, Lucky said, Hey, Mommy! I have an idea! I could let Cousin D put the CAR in the spaceship FIRST, and then I can take a turn!!!

That is a GREAT idea! I responded.

I figured the conversation was over. Took advantage of the milliseconds I had to teach a lesson.

Go me.

Because, you know, my kid is three. And too often we’re having a conversation about something, and randomly he’ll say something about having POOP in his BUM and cackle and then jump into silly rhyming games.

It’s like his brain can’t be Serious for too long without throwing in some potty words, mixed in with silly rhymes.

But, you know, I thought we were having a pretty good conversation.

So I pushed ahead and asked him: When you’re mad at someone, what can you do differently instead of hitting?

And damned if he didn’t think for a moment and answer me.

Hey, I have an idea! I can TALK to them and tell them I don’t LIKE that they’re fighting with me!

And then: I have an idea, Mommy! I can walk away and let Cousin D play with the rocket ship!

And before I knew it, he had listed three more “ideas” – all good, serious ones.

With no mention of poop or stinky diapers.

Who is this kid?

And who let him GROW UP?



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  1. Wow! I can’t even fathom this kind of conversation with nugget. How fast they grow/learn!

  2. Oh wow! That literally blows my mind. I can’t believe how fast they change/learn/grow up!

  3. Wow, that sounds like a great conversation! He *is* getting big. And way to go for setting limits and enforcing them. I’m impressed by both of you.

  4. So bittersweet, the growing up. But growth is soooo heartwarming!

  5. Amazing! Not just the real conversation but all the great idea he had!

  6. I love it when they start to make real connections between thoughts and behavior. Those A-HA moments are so satisfying 🙂

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