Sunday, March 13, 2011

the rights and privileges associated therewith

Aidan is very anxious to exercise what he believes should be the rights and privileges associated with turning four. It seems that every day he's proclaiming at least one more of them that he's thought of.

Again the other day, he told me "When you're four, you make the rules and growups have to listen." Nope. Still no. The other night, the rule thing didn't get him anywhere, so he told me he was making up a law. Oh really? Yes, he told me, it was a law that he would go downstairs and watch one of his shows (TV) before bedtime. Of course, I put him to bed with flagrant disregard for his law, and he was completely incensed. Felt apart. Total meltdown. I don't believe his outrage came from going to bed; he really doesn't mind that. He just kept telling me, through the tears, "You broke my law! You broke my law!" It took a lot not to laugh, for several reasons.

First, I completely remember the outrage and indignance that he's feeling. I have distinct memory of being in those shoes, even yelling at my dad at a similar age that just because he was the dad and I was the daughter didn't mean he would always be right and I'd be wrong. What if he was wrong and just didn't know it? Had he ever thought about that? I know in my heart why he's so upset, infuriated; I understand how unfair his situation is and will be, so there's a laugh of recognition (and now understanding) brewing in the whole situation.

Second, it's pretty funny that a four-year-old (today!!) would be so insistent that he makes the rules and laws. I must, however, be proud of his self confidence. When he's sure he's right, he's sure he's right.

Third, I love the problem solver in him. If he doesn't get his way at first, he'll try two or seventeen other approaches, fully believing that the current one will work.

Fourth, he doesn't "do" the letter l. So, "You broke my law," comes out, "You broke my waw."

The combination of these four things was nearly insurmountable. However, I was able to suppress it until I leaned down to kiss his forehead, at which time he couldn't see my silly grin, and then recomposed myself to say good night. Another day to come, more injustice in the universe.

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