The incredible focus of a three year old

Seriously. This girl will be the end of me. And the end is nearer than you might think…

There is daily drama in Sonja’s life. Some sort of minor situation that evolves into a major crisis. Life just seems so hard for her. And she concentrates all of her focus on whatever the current drama happens to be.

She never forgets anything either. If something eventful happened to her yesterday, be prepared to hear several elaborate (and complicated) recounts of said situation for at least the next 24 hours. Sometimes longer.

Like I said: she’s focused.

I can’t recall a time when I was like this. Certainly not at that age. Neither was her dad. So how come we have a drama queen on our hands?

When we emerge from some crisis or another, I often look back and think to myself: self, there is humour in this. Look at it from that perspective. Sure, the girlie is exhausting herself with her drama, and her life is just so tragic, but I am the adult here, and frankly, when all is well again (or she’s asleep) I could, theoretically, find a smidgen of humour in her mostly self- inflicted catastrophes.

Take the stick situation. The girl likes sticks. I have no problem with this. Let her walk through forests, parks, or along well-treed streets and let her pick up as many sticks as she can carry.

Yesterday she picked up a smallish stick with her friend after I picked her up at lunch, and the two girls played imaginary games with their sticks. Upon waving goodbye to her friend, Sonja climbs into her car seat, requests to hold on to the stick (which I allowed ONLY because the stick wasn’t long enough to reach the back of my head while I was driving), and she happily chattered away during the 10 minute drive home.

Just as I pulled into the driveway she starts screaming her head off. I can’t even understand what she’s crying about, until I unhook her of her car seat. Turns out she managed to break her stick in half.

“I’ll never ever have another sick ever again!” she cried.

It was tragic. She went on and on about it, until, finally, when she stopped long enough to catch her breath, I pointed to a nice long stick she left on the front steps and said: “Why don’t you take this stick.”

Well no. That wasn’t good enough and it wasn’t the right size and that wasn’t the stick she had and and and…


Somehow, as these things usually go, she managed to distract herself long enough that eventually the broken stick in the car crisis was over.

Fast forward to 5 o’clock. We have an early supper, and shortly after daddy takes the kids to the library. The library is two blocks away so they walk there.

I stay home to putter around. 45 minutes later a screaming child enters the house, and DH looks at me and rolls his eyes.

“What’s the matter Sonja?”

“I loooooost my STIIIICK that daddy left outside the LIIIBRAARRYY!”

Seems she found a stick, took it to the library, they put it on the window sill outside the main doors, and upon returning home promptly forgot to pick it up again.

Major crisis that lasted until bedtime. She literally passed out from exhaustion (screaming for hours will do that to you).

Fast forward to early this morning.

Sonja jumps into bed with me, stares at me while yapping at me, and when I open my eyes she says “we have to go to the library to pick up my stick”.

Focused, she is. Isn’t she.

Due to several factors involving other priorities, we didn’t make it to the library until Benjamin’s pick-up time and lo, the stick is still there.

She is so happy she’s skipping.

Skips right across the street, pokes her stick at a gutter and let’s go of her stick.

The stick is lost forever.

And she tells everyone she encounters about her lost stick. The poor child.

What am I going to do with her…?


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