Friday, August 12, 2005

Ode to my Three Year Old

After some thought, I realized that Aidan did not get much favorable press here on The Big Picture. I've discussed Harry's orange pants, and purposefully discussed Owen and Einstein in the same post, but most of Aidan's attention comes in the guise of his temper tantrums, or boundary issues. Aidan, sometimes reminds me of Oskar in Gunter Grass's The Tin Drum. Now should Eric read this, he'd be mortified I even dared make the comparison. He found elements of the story so disturbing that they have been etched into his sieveish memory. And Rightly so - eel fishing with a horses head and popping other people's boils are not things that Aidan typically participates in (nor would I encourage). If you have not read this novel - its weird and ecclectic - and proudly displayed on my "See! I am an intellectual!" spot on my book shelf. It's nestled between Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Ben Okri's The Famished Road. Enough intellectual egosim, Heather.

In The Tin Drum, Oskar (for reasons I presently forget) decides to drum himself young -or rather, prevents himself from growing when he was three. Oskar also had this ability to shatter glass with a high pitched screech, which he invoked when his drum was revoked. Although Aidan does not drum, he rivals Oskars screeching ability. Especially in public. Aidan seems to have willed himself young too. He truly does embody the baby of the family. Case in point - he gave up his soother (binky, pacifer) by 2 or 3 months, but now he carries his bottle around. Most of the time it is empty, and there is this chirp that eminates - the sound of Aidan sucking air from an empty bottle. I think that with each suck he wills himself small, and for the time being, it seems to be working.

Alright alright, I betcha you are beginning to wonder why a three year old has a bottle? Well, because. WHO CARES. Owen and Harry were attached to theirs too. And then one day when I decided the time was right, there was no more bottle. Owen proudly attended kindergarten without his, and Harry will soon follow suit. So, for the collective tisk tisk that I might endure, my response is who gives a flying BLEEP... You are only a baby once.

Aidan is not on the ball when it comes to talking. This of course served only to provide mom and dad with a huge amount of anxiety. Would we endure the diagnosing, testing and useless speech therapy (ad nauseum) with Aidan? He is not nearly as quirky as Owen. He is not into spinning objects or looking at fans and 90 degree angles. So I decided to postpone the worry, and not pursue or engage with any professional hell bent on mislabelling him. Aidan has had chronic ear infections since he was 18 months old. He had tubes surgically inserted, and one failed to work properly. So we continued with the ear infections. Sometimes I wonder if that has contributed to his reluctance to speak. I mean, there isn't much to hear when everything sounds like it is underwater.

Late speech also postpones potty training. That bites. Seven years of shitty diapers are more than enough for my lifetime. He does love to be naked, and has developed that important skill of holding his weenie and aiming his stream. That's progess, I figure.

And of course there is Ed and Bess. When it became clear that Ed was his constant companion, I decided it was time to name his little horse. I brilliantly came up with Owen's companion Mr. Moo, who still participates in Owen's bedtime rituals, although he has retired from public life. So, whats a good name for a horse? All I could come up with is Secretariat, which is not the best of names when you haven't yet learned to talk.

"Eric, whats a good name for a horse?"
"Mr. Ed"

So Ed it was. Notice the wear pattern on the tail. That is Aidan's favorite part. And Ed was one of Aidan's first words. He says Add...but no one is complaining.

Yes, Aidan is our baby. Some day when he smells like BO and is getting phone calls from shy and tittering Junior high girls, I'll fondly remember how he learned how to sing before he could talk and how he spent hours playing with Thomas the Train, and follow any child around in the mall who was wearing Thomas sneakers. I'll tease him that he asked me to read Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse at least 5 times in a row each day. And who can forget those adorable little cheeks? They are nicely tanned now that he refused to wear a diaper outside.


hotboy said...

I loved the Tin Drum! My meal was brown rice and pilchards till I saw the woman guzzling the fish in the movie!

hotboy said...

BTW. My friends Brian Wilson and Adolf have both suffered in later life from severe presbyterian toilet training as nippers. How do you stand on this?

Mary P. said...

You're the second woman this week who's worrying about toilet training. I've toiled trained a heap of them, and my approach is always to wait till they're ready. If you do, it can be a done deal in three weeks. If you do it to someone else's timetable, it can take months.

However, it is also true that kids tend to be "ready" far sooner with me in daycare than they are with mom and dad. This would be the (normal) power struggle aspect of the family dynamic, which just doesn't seem to be much of an issue in daycare. Why is that? Different type of emotional bond? Peer pressure? That fact that I don't take as much shit? (Ar, ar, ar... sorry.)

I've just offered to take on the training of Susan's three-year-old. She's sending him to Ottawa on a plane with a backpack full of tequila as payment. You want in on this?? You can provide the lime juice!

Susan said...

Mary P, thank you for sending Heather to me--which brought me here. What nice karma.

Heather, I love this post; I've been thinking, so much lately, about how my three-year-old waffles between wanting to be a big boy (like his brother) and needing to be the baby (he will announce, in a plaintive voice, 'I'm the BABY! Hold me!' And it always works).

And I've been browsing around your site and reading about Owen--my son, Henry, is five and was recently diagnosed with ADHD; he also, according to the lovely doctor, 'exhibits some characteristics of children with Asperger's' and he may--or may not!--have a touch of sensory integrative disorder. Whew.

Let's leave the boys at home and go to Mary P's for margaritas ourselves . . .

Vicarious Living said...

Hmm... I'm pretty sure I don't have one of those shelves.
Loved the ending on the post.