Monday, September 12, 2011

The Existential Crisis of a 3-Year-Old Boy

There's this funny little story. When I was a kid, I had a fight with my older sister. We were latchkey kids, alone in the house, and expected to solve our problems ourselves, which we did most of the time. But not that day. What my sister did was so mean, apparently, that for the first time I decided to call my mom at work.

My mom didn't have a direct line, and the number I had was of the receptionist.

"Can I speak to Mommy?"

"Who is your mommy?"

"Mommy."

"But what's your mother's name?"

"Mommy!"

"There are many Mommies here. Does she have another name?"

"No! Just Mommy!"

... It went on like that for a while... At some point the poor guy even tried to imitate a woman's voice, asking, "Do you know my name?" But I was crying, because my sister was mean, and the evil receptionist at my mom's work would not let me speak to my mommy...

I don't remember exactly what age I was when that happened, but I can't imagine I was THAT much older than my 3-year-old son. So I thought this could be a fun story to tell him. He had other plans.

--Here's a funny story. You know, when I was about your age, probably a bit older, I lived in a house with my sister and my parents, Grandma and Grandpa, and--
--Where was I?
--What do you mean?
--Why didn't you live with me?
--I was a kid. You weren't born when I was a kid.
--Why?
--It's... Hmm... Anyway, I had a fight with my sister, and--
--Why didn’t you have a fight with me?
--Because you weren't born yet. I was 3-years-old, maybe a bit older, and--
--How old was I?
--You weren't born when I was 3. You weren't around then.
--Where was I? Was I in Mom's belly?
--When I was three, your mom was one. You were not in her belly then... So... I was alone in the house with my sister, and we had this big fight, so--
--Was Madeline there?
--Madeline, as in your baby sister Madeline? No, she wasn't there. She's a baby.
--How old was she when you were three?
--She wasn't--
--How old was I?
--I told you... Now I'm 38, so I was 3 more than 30 years ago. It was a long time before you were born. But it's a funny story! Let me tell you the story. No more questions. So... I had a fight with my sister, and I decided to call--
--How old will you be when I'm 38?
--Seventy-three... Finish your food. It's nap-time.







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34 comments:

  1. He totally killed you with the "How old will you be when I'm 38?" stinger, didn't he? Kids are brilliant.

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  2. Very funny! I've had a very similar conversation.

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  3. Practical Parenting, in his defense, maybe we're all Blade Runner robots with fake memories, created just to serve him.

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  4. Heehee....HE knew what was important for you to tell him. Good thing he has always and forever been there, to keep you in line, eh? ;-)

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  5. This story made my day:)) thank you, i love reading your articles, your son is just adorable...

    But now...on a serious note...where was he when you had the fight with your sister and why didn't you fight with him? ^^

    I wish you and your sun all the best!

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  6. Hahah funny one! Good thing you decided to end the story or else he wouldn't stop asking. :)

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  7. Rhiannon, I just wish he were there during some of my less-than-great life decisions... Where was he when I decided to buy a Gateway laptop, for example?

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  8. Lol that was funny! I thought this was all about your story and I didn't expect there could be more. I think that indicates that your kid is smart and will grow smarter. ^^


    ~Ira

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  9. I had to read this one aloud to Jason. It was that funny and sounds like what we hear from River.

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  10. Cute story. :) You surely are a proud father of a very smart boy!

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  11. His questions were much funnier than your story sorry... Does he know your name? Just in case he has a fight with HIS sister?

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  12. Ira, thanks. He is smart! His constant questions can drive me crazy, but that's how he learns stuff, so I do what I can to answer...

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  13. Autumn, hey! And on an unrelated note, long time! Liam started school 5 days a week, so things have changed here a lot. Hopefully we'll be able to meet up soon. Maybe Liam and River can answer each other's questions.

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  14. Daddy's In Charge, he calls me Dad, but in Hebrew (Aba). Funny thing is that we go to the playground, and him being much more outgoing than I am, he introduces himself to people and then he introduces me to them. Parents in the neighborhood think my name is Aba.

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  15. I have to agree with Daddy's in charge. Your child is a wittier version of you.

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  16. You are a lucky dad! Next thing you know everyone calls you Aba :) So you are the father of the neighborhood.

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  17. Awww! Very sweet! (on both - but did you ever get to talk to your mom? And what happened with the fight?) I used to get a lot of those calls when I worked at a fabric warehouse. There were around forty women answering the 800 number, so a LOT of mommies!

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  18. Seems kids never want to hear the funny story. They just want to ask a bunch of questions.

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  19. Jill, I ended up hanging up on the poor guy. And it all had a positive effect, because by the time my mom got home I wasn't as mad at my sister. Our fights never lasted that long, although I'm pretty sure in an alternative universe one of the plates she threw at me did end up hitting me.

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  20. Jessica, everything is an opportunity to ask the most random questions. "Why are you driving slower?" Because the speed limit is lower now. "And what will happen if you drive fast?" It's dangerous. I might get into an accident. "And then what will happen?" We'll get hurt. "And then what will happen?" An ambulance will--

    And then I stop, because I can't let him think that an accident might bring about the most fun experience he can imagine: riding in an ambulance.

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  21. Now I understand why you are an anti-spanking dad. I hope the scars of yesterday healed already.

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  22. This story is great! I also have a 3 year old son. And I have had similar dialogues with him. It's funny to understand that with this age they can't conceive the idea of not existing. I usually tend to overcome that by saying that before he was born he was always on his mother's belly.
    But then again, with that kind of interruption your story wouldn't be half as funny, would it?

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  23. Pedro, there are maybe 5 minutes a day when he doesn't ask questions. I love that he learns stuff and that he's interested in the world around him and all, but sometimes I admit it would be nice to be the one guiding the conversation... Never mind, once I give in to following his lead, I'm having a good time.

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  24. Happy to see your blog as it is just what I’ve looking for and excited to read all the posts.

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  25. LOL! Your son is so adorable and funny. Enjoyed reading the story.

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  26. I hope to have a son like yours in the future. :)

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  27. I bet that kid will do go in school. :)

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  28. LOL! That conversation is precious. I also love the rotary phone image at the end of the post. Nothing better to illustrate the end of that conversation!

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  29. Kids are really brilliant, observant and witty sometimes. Love the story. I experienced it a lot also with my son.

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  30. I ended up on the poor guy..!!!

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