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Four Going on Seventeen - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
Four Going on Seventeen
In many ways, Julian is a four year old boy going on a seventeen year old girl. He comes home from school and has at LEAST two wardrobe changes before bedtime. No kidding. He actually told me once, in good seventeen-year-old-girl-style, that I had ruined his life. I love the melodrama. But tonight's scene really was fun.

Julian was throwing a massive fit about something and he calmed down enough to ask if he could have a "special treat". In Julian's world a "special treat" is a fruit roll-up. He had been pushing my ottoman across the floor during his fit, so I told him he could have a special treat when he put the ottoman back where it belonged. This made him scream and cry louder than ever, but I wasn't going to move anywhere, because I was busy feeding two babies and Seth was holding the third. Bear in mind that Julian's side of the conversation was screamed at the top of his lungs the entire time.

"But PLEASE, Eema? Pleeeeeeeeeease can I have it?"
"Yes, sweetie, you can have it as soon as you put the ottoman back where it belongs."
"Gimme it now! Gimme it now! Gimme it now! Gimme it now!"
"You may have it as soon as you put the ottoman back where it belongs."
"Oh, I hate you, Eema!"
"I want it! I want it! Gimme it now, now, now, now, now! I don't wanna put it back. I want my special treat. Gimme it now!"
"No. You may have it when you have put the ottoman back where it belongs."
"Okay, I can live with that. I still love you."
"But, Eema, I want it so much!"
"I know you want it, and you may have it. You may have it as soon as you've done this one thing for me."
"No! I don't wanna I don't wanna I don't wanna! Gimme Gimme Gimme my special treat!"
"Does throwing a fit ever get you what you want?"
"No. *sniff*"
"So what makes you think it's going to get you what you want now?"
"But I want it! Gimme it! Gimme it NOW! I can't move the thing. My arms don't work! I don't want to do it. I want a special treat. You never let me do anything! You're never gonna give it to me! I just want it! I want it now! Give it to me! Give it to me NOW!"
"Julian, the answer is no. You may have it when you have moved the ottoman back where it belongs."
"Ooooooohhhhhhhhh, now I TOTALLY hate you!"

At this point I burst out laughing. I couldn't help myself. It was hysterical. The best part is that my laughter made Julian giggle and he suddenly forgot that he was angry and suddenly it was a big game to him and we were laughing and giggling, and Seth was getting the fruit roll-up while Julian was moving the ottoman back to its rightful place in the living room. A miracle!

I actually am pretty impressed with his ability to understand that there is a hierarchy. I graduated along that hierarchy... "I hate you" to "I really hate you" to, finally, "I totally hate you!" This takes a fairly sophisticated understanding of the concept, I believe, and shows just how smart that little boy is, in my opinion. So while I'm completely unimpressed by the ridiculous fit that the monster threw over something so stupid (it could have been avoided all together had he just moved the stupid ottoman the 12 inches back into place when I asked him to), I'm totally impressed by his conceptual language skillz. Aren't you?

Tags: ,
Current Mood: amused amused

16 comments or Leave a comment
pocketnaomi From: pocketnaomi Date: December 7th, 2007 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Grace threw a shrieking fit a couple nights ago because she wanted to go back downstairs and play with her Chanukah present when it was bedtime, and announced that she hated her dad. Who came downstairs to me afterwards chuckling and said he must be doing his job correctly if she was saying that already. :)
mscongeniality From: mscongeniality Date: December 7th, 2007 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually, my favorite bit was 'My arms don't work!'

ichur72 From: ichur72 Date: December 7th, 2007 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Very funny! He does indeed sound like an adolescent with this kind of talk.
From: black_op Date: December 7th, 2007 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)
You and Seth are saints. I am confident that you will successfuly transmit
high moral standing to Julian and he will one day have a screaming match on
the floor of Congress.
(Deleted comment)
From: black_op Date: December 7th, 2007 12:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
"First time for anything" rules apply to the futures of all child
prodigies. Seriously, look it up. :^)
hannahsarah From: hannahsarah Date: December 7th, 2007 09:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I love that in the middle of a meltdown, you're thinking "Wow, that's some really developed language concepts". Julian is a very lucky little boy to have parents like you.

I do the same thing with Rivka. When she's having a tantrum over something she wants, it often goes something like this: "Do girls who throw tantrums get candy? They don't? OK, then how's that workin' out for ya?"

What really cracks me up is when she gets so mad that she mixes her words up. She stomps her little foot, flips her long blonde hair, and yells "YES I WON'T!"
journeytoernie From: journeytoernie Date: December 7th, 2007 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
4 year olds make me want to drink.

asher is trying to do the levi style jewish princess drama. but he doesnt have a knack for it. he just ends up acting like a baby instead of the drama queen. and he has SERIOUS verbal spillage. i think to myself all day "shut UP!" he hasn't ever said he hates me, but he has said "you dont love me anymore...." in one of his whining attemps at drama.

levi on the other hand, is my punishment for something i've done in the past (dont know what). that child gets into EVERYTHING. he opened all the drawers on his dresser to get a toy i confiscated. he piled 10 toys so he could get to the next nights hanukkah present. i dont know WHAT i'm going to do with him.
ginamariewade From: ginamariewade Date: December 7th, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
My boy is 9 and still occasionally has these kind of tantrums.

Little Bear's threat was "I'm going to spit in the groceries! I'm going to eat all the donuts and you can't have any!"

They tell me it gets better over time.

But yeah, I am impressed with his conceptual development.
hopeness From: hopeness Date: December 7th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
All too familiar a battle! I'm like you and remain pretty calm and quiet when Peanut and Munchkin are raging. Actually, Munchkin is getting much, much more rational now that he's almost six, and I catch him throwing my own phrases back at me, which makes it hard not to laugh.

But Peanut... yeah, right in the thick of 3.5 year-old dramatics. My current favourite is when he's angry at Munchkin he will go from "I'm not going to play with you EVER AGAIN" to "I won't be your friend anymore" to "You're not my brother anymore!". Which of course leads to a bigger fight as Munchkin teases him about the fact that they'll always be brothers, even if Peanut doesn't like him. Sort of a "ha, ha, you'll never be rid of me!"
From: have_inner_lady Date: December 7th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was quite impressive all around!

(And I agree about the hierarchy -- not only highly amusing, but highly perceptive.)

You are doing a great job.
ailsaek From: ailsaek Date: December 7th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yup. No idea about age-appropriate reasoning or not, but that's something David can't do, so it impresses me. (Is also quite funny.)
jeannegrrl From: jeannegrrl Date: December 7th, 2007 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's hysterical! And in my own way I've been there - especially with comments like 'My arms don't work!' I get stuff like that from Jacob when he doesn't want to do something. You're gonna be SO glad you got this exchange documented!
archgirl06 From: archgirl06 Date: December 7th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
That exchange was pretty amusing. But yeah, he's a smart little boy. =)
ellipticcurve From: ellipticcurve Date: December 7th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, man. It sounds simultaneously so adorable and yet so... aw. I just want to reach through cyberspace and tell him to go give his mom and dad a kiss.
eyelid From: eyelid Date: December 7th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
haha, sounds familiar *grin* except I'd've shoved Isaac into a time out about 1/3 of the way through that. I have no patience.
lizziebennet From: lizziebennet Date: December 7th, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's really funny. Aggravating at the time, maybe, but funny! And I would have burst out laughing at "My arms don't work." I've heard kids say that kind of stuff, and apparently said it as a toddler myself, and I think it's totally hilarious.
16 comments or Leave a comment