Keep Your Hands Inside the Ride at All Times

This morning, Butterbean came padding into our room and climbed wordlessly into bed between us. I moved the covers so he could snuggle down, and I promptly ignored him.

I’ve trained him to expect to be ignored in the early morning. If he wakes up and it’s light out, I tell him, he’s welcome to come to cuddle. But if Spouse and I are sleeping, he needs to settle down with us and try to sleep, too.

The “trying to sleep” is always in vain, of course. The kid, like his brother, just began sleeping through the night at age 3.25 years. And when he wakes up at 6 a.m., he’s completely done sleeping. Done. Revved, raring, rambunctious. Usually he wakes his brother with knock-knock jokes or wakes me screaming about covers he can’t adjust. Or sings to himself for a few minutes.

So a quiet ten minutes or so is the best I can get from him, and I gleefully take every second.

This morning he waited only two minutes before he whispered to me.

“Mommy?”
“Mmmm.”
“When the sun goes down at night, do the clouds go away, too?”
[wide grin inside that exhausted exterior failed to show]
“Nope. The clouds float above us in the air and they stay in the night and in the day. If there are no clouds, the sky stays clear. And if there are clouds, they drift along with the wind just as they do in the day. Because the sky is still there at night. We just don’t see as much because we’ve turned away from the sun.”
“Oh.”

And before I fell back to sleep for another two minutes, I died of the cuteness.

This morning was like the moment you’re next in line at the roller coaster. The boring part of the waiting is done, you’re the special one who gets in next, these delicious moments are all about “any second now”. Just before your turn the whole ride seems exciting and new and full of promise. Not jerky and nauseating and whiplash-y and quick and emotionally draining.

Three is a challenging age. Three is screaming and fits and rage and no impulse control and crazy and “can I listen to that song for the 1,095th time?” Three is an exhausting roller coaster that lasts two years or so, pausing infrequently to allow gulps of air before continuing on, terrifyingly quickly and without seat belts.

But at least once a day, Three is so intensely cute it makes my brain think we’re on vacation on a tropical island with nothing but clear warm water and bright blue skies. Every few hours, amidst the crazy and the angry and the are you kidding me, we have a moment of recalling how freaking edible children can be when they are little balls of wonder and exploration and joy.

Mmmmmm. Waking up to silently padding feet and a cuddle and a science question?

That is the pure bliss that Three occasionally brings. And oh me, oh my it’s tasty.

Delicious little pat of Butter.

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8 thoughts on “Keep Your Hands Inside the Ride at All Times

  1. AHHHHHHHHHH. I *heart* science questions. Combined with cuddles… I just don’t know what I would do with myself.

  2. Oh, the beauty of 3. I feel like both of mine are stuck in the vacuum of this deliciously infuriating age. And you are right. 2 1/2 = 3, 3 yrs, 9 months = 3. But I do love these moments. The questions….oh the questions. I must go back to school just to answer the questions flying around the brain of a 3 yr old.

    • The little scientist part is one of the top three reasons to adore a three-year-old.
      There might only be four reasons, though, so top three isn’t saying a lot…but it’s still something. Reasons to love are good.

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