A before-bed-changing-into-jammies conversation with a five year old:
“I want to get dressed all by myself like a big kid.”
Okay. That’s great.
“Like [my cousin]!”
He pulls on his pajama pants.
“Mama. Do you remember that [my cousin] wants to sit in the other seat in the car?”
I scramble to figure out what he means.
“You mean he wants to drive?”
“Yeah! I never want to do that.”
We have had conversation similar to this one often, and it always puzzles me why he, who loves drawing trucks and vehicles and has a huge collection of books about vehicles, is very clear that he never wants to drive.
“Because I might bump into buildings.”
Oh. I try and reassure him.
“Where would you and Mamadu sit?”
“If you drove?”
“Well, if you’re driving, I’m staying home!” I tease.
“Me too!” He squeals.
And then we realize that while we’ve been talking, I, out of force of habit, pulled his pajama shirt on over his head, and he wiggled his arms into it. I’d forgotten that he wanted to do it all himself. He’d forgotten, too, but once he remembered, he was really upset. The moment of independence had been lost, and taking the shirt off and doing it again wasn’t going to recapture it.
I felt bad, but I couldn’t help but smile at the wonder of him worrying, at five, about “driving” because he’s afraid he’ll “bump into buildings.”