It is kind of mind boggling how much a 3 years old is trying to understand. Sequoia is working so hard to make sense of the world around him. As his ability to speak grows daily, I can be included more in his thinking process and his emotional states. To say the least – it is a wild ride being (with) a 3 year old!
One thing he tries to understand is people; us human beings. He is especially interested in how families work. He does a lot of role playing and the different family roles are being executed by his plastic animals, his cars or of course by being a cheetah which seems to be something like his alter ego. There is the mean mama cheetah with 4 Stück babies in her belly “entecting” (protecting) them from all sorts of dangers, or the fastest cheetah in the world, or the baby cheetah that wants to cuddle, etc. Everywhere are mamas and papas, sisters and brothers, babies and grandparents. His little friends are either brothers or sisters and if he does not see the dads of his friends he assumes they are dead. He wants 2 more sisters and one more brother and one of the sister’s name will be Clive (like one of his buddies at playgroup). Only recently he started to distinguish between relationships and gender. He used to only introduce himself as a brother, now he also says he is a boy.
I think my task is to help him consolidate his discoveries and see more – beyond a gender or a role. It is a balancing act to add just enough to his understanding to not cause confusion and chaos. Yesterday, we had such a good discussion within this theme:
Sequoia: “When I am big, I am a guy or a dad. But when I am a dad, I need a mom too.”
Me: ” Hm, yes, but also dads can have babies.”
Sequoia (smiling): ” Oh yes, like Wonder. He has 2 dads. Baba and Dada!” (Wonder lives in our apartment building with his 2 dads.)
Me: “Exactly, Wonder has two dads! Also 2 women can have a baby, like our friends Julie and Heidi.” (Sequoia knows that we will potentially move to their land in the summer).
Sequoia looks at me like a mean mama cheetah and shouts: “We are NOT sharing Nova, mommy! They can only look at him!”
Me: “Sequoia, we won’t share Nova with them, but they can play with him and with you. Do you think Julie would be a good mom?”
Sequoia: “Yes, she would be a good mom.”
Me: “And would Heidi be a good mom?”
Sequoia (thinking for a bit): “I don’t know!”
Any ideas why Sequoia thinks that we need to share Nova?!