Finn is 3. He is a completely different 3 year-old than my daughter was - he's a boy, that is clearly one reason, and he challenges me in ways Greta never did.
This morning, for example, I asked the kids to play together for an hour so I could get some work done. Miraculously, they did. I didn't hear any fighting, and nobody came to ask questions or for a snack. I should have known that it was too easy - when I finished my work and came into the kitchen, Finn was naked and literally covered from head-to-toe in Trix yogurt (you know, the bright pink kind?). It was everywhere - in his hair, his eyes and other unmentionable places. "I'm a Yogurt Monstah!" he cried happily. Greta was standing off to the side, looking bemused. She shrugged and said "boys...."
Then there are our conversations - Finn is nothing if not tenacious, and once an idea is in his head, there is no shaking it out. The other night he put his feet up on the table during dinner - he knows he isn't supposed to do this - and the conversation went something like this:
"Take your feet off the table, Finn."
He puts just his toes on the table, grinning. "My feet aren't on the table now, Momma."
"Take your toes off the table, Finn."
"They aren't on the table, Momma, I'm seewious."
"Finn, take them off now, or you will go to your room."
"Its just a dweam, Momma, you're dweaming. You only think you see my toes on the table."
"Go to your room, NOW."
"YOU ARE JUST DWEAMING!" he yells "Wake up and you'll see!!!"
The other day in the car, he asked, "What does A-B spell?"
"Ab", I said. "Its not actually a word."
"NO!" he says, "it doesn't spell Ab. What does it spell?"
"I don't know what else to tell you, hon, it spells 'Ab'."
"IT DOESN'T SPELL AB! Don't you know anything? What does it spell?"
So I try a new tactic: "Well, what do you think it spells?"
"Dat's why I asked you - I need to know - what does it spell?"
We can on like this for a good half an hour.
For all his tenacity, he is also very reasonable at times... patient, even.
Two weeks ago my father-in-law and husband gave Finn a "tickle cut" - what they call a homemade buzz cut with the electric hair clippers. Finn does not like to have his hair cut, but he finally let them do it.
He was gazing in the mirror later that day, and said "Momma, my head looks weird."
"Your hair is shorter, hon, that's all." I said.
"I don't like it - it looks like a big weird ball."
"Sorry you don't like it, I think it looks nice."
"It growses back, right? Someday? All by itself?"
"Yes, it does."
"Okay then," he said. "I just wait."
And sometimes he is just plain cute. We got him those "Bendaroos" - little bendy rods of different colors you can mold into shapes and stick on the wall and they don't leave a mark. Finn fashioned a little shape out of a few of them, and stuck them to the wall.
"Look!" he cried. "No mess, no stain, no fuss!"
I marvel at his boy-ness, and how he is starting to lose all traces of toddler, and become a little man. He is so open, so loving. Greta is too, just differently. Finn will crawl into my lap, curl up to snuggle and say, "I just love you, Momma." He always wants to be touching me somehow - holding my hand, leaning on my leg, sitting in my lap. It can drive me nuts, for sure, but I try to remember this won't last forever, and cherish his sweetness. A few days ago, after one of our frustrating conversations that make no sense, I lost my patience.
"I. Just. Don't. Know," I said. "You keep asking me and I don't understand what you're asking and I'm getting really frustrated."
He looked at me with his big, smiling eyes and said, "Its okay, Momma. Just be happy!"