Now he is three.

I don't get to see many three-year-olds in my line of work — I know a few whose comprehension is on a three-year-old level, but that's another story — and it's been many years since either of my children was three, so I didn't have much of a frame of reference when I encountered First Grandchild this past week. I did remember what he was like when he was two, which was loud and uncooperative and surly, which if nothing else confirmed the line of descent.

And maybe the common factor in all three of those characteristics was "bored", because this fall he's enrolled in some sort of pre-school/day-care thing connected with a Lutheran congregation, and while he may still need some work on cooperation (as who doesn't?), he's suddenly soft-spoken and sort of docile and he even smiles a lot. It's like he's aged a year and a half since I saw him in the summer.

He is also methodical. I watched him take on one of those jigsaw puzzles with Officially Licensed Characters®, with somewhere between a dozen and fifteen pieces, and he sat there, brow furrowing, turning each piece every which way, generally snapping it into the correct place on the second attempt. This is far more patience than I had at that age. (I think it may be far more patience than I have at my age.)

His vocabulary isn't especially huge, and he tends to collapse complicated terms into simpler ones — one of his favorite animated characters is referred to as "Bob Pants", which sounds like something that's on sale at Old Navy for $19.50 — but, true to three-year-old form, he will occasionally surprise.

This is, as noted, First Grandchild. (Second is due in the spring.) I'm still not comfortable with the idea of having such a thing, but technically, I wasn't the one who had him, as my daughter will cheerfully point out. But kids — all kids, really — are pretty remarkable. I'm just grateful for the opportunity to have someone to make remarks about.

The Vent

#319
1 December 2002

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