Wednesday, January 16, 2008

3 Going On 21

Bagel goes to our district's special needs preschool, and he rides on a school bus to get there. Consequently he's gotten quite a swell head over it; he's convinced he's now the biggest kid in the house. He takes every occasion to point out how he is now big enough to ride the bus and even Princess and Sonshine aren't big enough to do that. If you ever slip up and call him a "little kid" he will immediately correct you: "No, I'm BIG." And then he demands adult privileges that he is not ready to have. He just declares that whatever he wants is For Big Kids; once he decides that, there's no convincing him he can't have it, and he will rage and scream when you won't let him.

It's really cute if it happens once or twice, but it's really wearing when it's day in, day out:

"No, you can't have that."
"I want that knife!"
"You're too little for that knife."
"No, I'm not LITTLE, I'm BIG!"
"You're big, but you're not that big."
"I AM that big!"
"Only big kids like Princess can handle Mom's sharp knives."
"I AM a big kid!"
"Big kids like you can have this [rather dull] dinner knife."
"NO, I want THAT KNIFE!"

Every day, about six times a day, we have this discussion or one like it, and it usually ends in him storming off to a different room in a rage. If we once slip up and use the "L-word" (Little), it's over. The word sends him into a meltdown. Of course, Sonshine, with his laser focus on absolute truth and an instinct for needling those around him, never misses an opportunity to point out that Bagel is littler than him.

Yesterday I had finally had it. I'd had to strap Bagel into the shopping cart for his own safety and he was protesting that big kids didn't need straps. I turned to him and I said, "Listen, Bagel. You are not now an adult, you have never been an adult, and if you keep this up you may never be an adult. So sit down and get strapped in like the kid you are!"

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