Three-going-on-four is a very big age. This is when they are officially out of the toddler stage and are turning into full-on preschoolers.
Jon was kind of ahead of the game for a while. I was secretly smug about how well my two year old could speak and that he was fully potty-trained long before he was three years old. Little did I know that while he was learning basic little kid skills before most of his peer group, he was also mastering.........The Art of DECEPTION.
Last night I was laying in bed and at 11:37, I heard yelling coming from Jon's room. At first I thought he was just talking in his sleep, he does that every once in a while, so I just listened. And from his bedroom I heard:
I checked the monitor and didn't see any movement in the dark, but I knew he was awake so I went to investigate. But his room wasn't dark at all. The lights were blazing, toys were EVERYWHERE and "If You're Happy and You Know It" was cranking out of the CD player.
"JON! What are you doing?! It's the middle of the night!" I don't know why I was doing the loud whisper, it's not like anybody was sleeping with all that racket going on.
"I'm just playing." If he were a few years older I'm sure he would have followed that statement with "DUH," because that was definitely the look he was giving me.
"It's the middle of the night! Why are you even awake?! Have you just been sitting here in the dark?"
"No. The lights were on the whole time. I can't see my toys in the dark." More duh-face.
"I just looked at the monitor and it was dark. What are you doing in here?"
"Oh. Sometimes when I play at night I cover the monitor with my blanky so you can't see me."
So that's what's been going on!
"ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" Loud whisper has now been replaced with the Loud Mom Voice.
"If you seed me I couldn't play anymore, so I just covered it up."
"IT'S BEDTIME! YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYING! AND HOW DID YOU TURN ON THE CD PLAYER?"
"I know how. I turned on my Toddler Songs."
"This morning you cried for 20 minutes because I was too busy to turn it on for you. When exactly did you learn how to turn it on in the last 12 hours?"
"I knowed how for a long time, Mom. I just like it when you do it."
"So you rolled around on the floor for 20 minutes bawling like a baby and you could have just walked over there and started it yourself?"
"Yeah......" He was starting to look sheepish.
"And you knew you were supposed to be in bed, so you covered the monitor so you could play and I wouldn't see you?"
"Do you think those were very good choices?"
Eyes to the floor, "...no..."
"That's called being sneaky, and I don't like it when you do that. And another thing-How did you get your Legos out? You can't open the closet door. Or can you?"
"Sometimes I open it and get stuff out...I know how." More sheepishness.
"So, really you're a big boy. And you've been acting like a little boy who doesn't know how to do things, when really you can, right?"
"Yes. I can do lots of stuff. I can even scoop peas by myself, I just want you to do it for me. And I'm good at taking off my shirt. You just do it faster."
"Honey if you can do things by yourself, then you need to do them like a big boy and not act like you can't. When you make Mommy do things that you know how to do yourself that's called being lazy. Can you start doing things like a big boy?"
"Yes. I'm good at being a big boy."
"The next time you want to hear your songs, just turn on your CD player. OK?"
"And the next time you want something out of your closet, just get it. OK?"
"And all of the big boy things that you really know how to do, but pretend that you don't, you need to do. OK?"
"Right. Big boy now. Doing my big boy jobs-got it."
"And don't EVER cover up this monitor again. Mom needs to know what's going on."
"Right. I'm a big boy so I can play at night and not cover up the monitor."
"NO. You still have to go to bed. It's LATE."
"BUT YOU SAID I WAS BIG! BIG BOYS CAN PLAY WHEN THEY WANT TO! EVEN AT NIGHT!" I think the lack of sleep finally fried his brain. Soooo many tears.....
"Honey it's late and you have to go to bed so you can have a good day tomorrow. You can't play at night, big boys have to go to sleep too..." ...and other calming things in a motherly tone...
I finally got him back into bed and calmed down. I tucked him in and he gave me sleepy kisses and was drifting off to sleep.
"Good night Mommy, I love you. I'm glad I'm a big boy now."
"Me too, sweetheart. Go to sleep. I love you."
"Mommy?" He was so sweet laying there with his eyes fluttering shut.
"Yes, honey?" My heart was melting at how cute he was falling asleep.
"Does this mean I'm big enough to say 'Damn it' now?"