Trying to See the World From My Son’s Perspective

My 4¾-year-old son is a character who regularly astounds me with his view of the world.  While his experiences to date have been limited, his perspective broadens mine as I try to understand where he’s coming from so I can fully participate in our conversations.

Last Tuesday, he and I visited friends for 2½ hours in the morning, went to Target® to return items and evaluate its stock of picture frames for Christmas gifts, then shopped at Homegoods® to see if I could find better frames.  Driving home, my son announced that his legs were hurting, and I said mine were too, plus I felt like I’d pulled a muscle in my groin, a side-effect of my pregnancy.

“Is today Monday?” he asked.

“No, it’s Tuesday.”

“What days did I say I would help you walk?”

“Sundays and Mondays.”

“Well, I’ll help you on Tuesdays too.”

“Well, thank you.”

 A couple of nights earlier, he’d told me that his toy elf would help me walk the other days of the week— although he has no toy elf.   To read our full conversation, see my December 21 “Back on Track for Christmas” post.

On Christmas Eve day, my family of five—my husband, my 15- and 13-year-old stepsons, my son and I—watched the movie Elf.  That night, as I put my son to bed, he said, “Santa had better not try to grab me.”

“Why would Santa try to grab you?”

“Because I’m about the size of an elf,” he said, matter-of-factly.

When I asked why Santa would need him, when he already has elves, he simply responded, “Because I’m about the size of an elf,” as if I were an idiot.

When he woke up around 2 a.m. Christmas Day, yelling for me because he was on the edge of his bed, about to fall, I moved him over, then listened as he, half-asleep, rambled about needing to make a trail of caramels down the chimney and around the pilot light in the gas fireplace, so Santa wouldn’t catch on fire.

I found this to be very polite, considering that he was worried about being kidnapped and enslaved as an elf.

My son, who wants to be a paleontologist, received a robotic dinosaur for Christmas, and today he told me in detail how he put his nose in the dinosaur’s mouth—and how it hurt. 

“Why would you have done that?” I asked.

“Well, he was turned off…”

“But you know his teeth are kind of sharp, so why would you have put your nose in his mouth?”

With no explanation for his experiment, he announced, index finger pointing, how I would not want to be bitten by his dinosaur, how his dinosaur has very sharp teeth, how his dinosaur is a very dangerous dinosaur.

So, he was sacrificing for the greater good? 

If only I could understand what goes on in his head.  I don’t, but I will continue to try.

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