When You are Three
Kids! They do stupid things, don’t they? The other night I was watching my three-year-old grandson brush his teeth. Suddenly he picked up the plug out of the sink and studied the water that had accumulated in it. Then, before I could stop him, he drank the water out of the plug!
“Yuk!!” I said, “You don’t drink out of plugs!”
He looked at me and said firmly, “You do when you are three!”
Now, that kid taught me a valuable lesson. Behaviour that would be unacceptable in an adult is perfectly normal in a three-year-old, because that is the stage where they are at the time.
It made me think of some of the stages his father went through. His father, of course, is my son – Joel.
Joel was a perfect baby. I mean “perfect” in the sense that he behaved in the way you would expect a baby to behave.
I would sit him in his high chair and try to spoon food ...view middle of the document...
Our rubbish was spread the full length of the street the day I back the car over the bin.
10 year-olds don’t usually like carol singing, so I should have been suspicious when Joel and his friends wanted to attend “Carols by Candlelight” in the park. I soon found out why. I had to stop them from competing to see who could hold a burning song sheet the longest. The climax of the evening came when our rug caught on fire. Nearby carolers helped to beat out the flames and we made a hasty retreat.
Then there was the Sunday School concert! The soloist was a big woman, with a Queen Victoria figure. 12 year-old Joel was at the back of the hall with his mates. I didn’t know he had a balloon in his pocket! He blew up the balloon and let it go. The audience watched open-mouthed as it squealed its way round the hall till it ran out of air. Then it dive bombed straight down the cleavage of the hapless soloist.
She was not amused.
Teenage years are a time of uncertainty. Joel was with me one day when I parked the car at the shopping centre. “Don’t get out yet!” he said urgently. He slid off the seat and crouched down under the dashboard. “There’s a girl from our school coming!” he whispered frantically.
The girl strolled along the footpath toward our car. She had a mystified look on her face as she passed. She must have seen Joel in the car as she approached, and now he had vanished! Joel waited until the coast was clear before emerging from hiding place. He looked wistfully at the retreating girl and muttered, “I should have said ‘Hello’!”
Perfectly normal behaviour – for a teenager!
Today, Joel is a responsible adult. He is still growing in wisdom, but he eats fairly neatly, behaves at concerts, and he doesn’t drink out of plugs.
Like Joel, we are all still developing.
You may not have reached your full potential, and sometimes you might do stupid things. That’s OK. It’s perfect for the stage where you are. You have changed a lot since you were three.
But …. if you are still drinking out of plugs, stop it at once!