The 3 year old mind is an amazing thing. It can twist the simplest of commands into something entirely different. Here are a few recent examples of this breakdown in communication in our house.
I say: "Please at least try to poop on your potty."
Big One hears: "Throw yourself on the floor, kick and scream, completely ignore all logic, and hold poop in until you are constipated. Or, wait until I put on your night time diaper. Let it all come out because I LOVE cleaning up poop."
I say: "Pick up all of your toys in the living room and take them to your room."
Big One hears: "Pick up one toy, get sidetracked, drag out a new tub of toys, spread them all over your room, and pretend to be deaf when I remind you of your original orders."
I say: "Please be quiet. Your sister's sleeping."
Big One hears: "Please run up and down the hallway right outside your sister's door, stomping as loud as possible. Roar like a dinosaur while running by her door. Please make the roar realistic by doing it as loudly as your little lungs will allow. Throw a few toys at her door. When I lecture you about being quiet, throw yourself down on the floor and kick the wall to her bedroom. Refuse to go to bed by screaming and fighting me the whole time."
I say: "It's bedtime. Go to sleep. No getting out of bed. No yelling."
Big One hears: "Go ahead and stay up another hour. When I try to leave the room, ask me a million random questions. Ask for more water. Get out of bed and collect a few of your favorite toys. Play with them for at least 30 minutes. Be sure to play loudly. Come to the door and lecture us about how loud the TV is and how you can't sleep. Return to your bed and beg to be tucked in again. Ask for more water. Continue to play in your bed until you can't stay awake any longer."
I say: "No you can't have a sucker."
Big One hears: "Kick and scream long enough and I'll probably give in just to make you be quiet."
I say: "Please stop touching the Christmas ornaments."
Big One hears: "Stand next to the tree suspiciously until I turn my head. Proceed to play with the ornament that I just told you not to touch. Drop it on the floor. Make sure it breaks. Go pout in the corner when you get in trouble for breaking the ornament. When you're finished pouting, return to the tree and repeat."
I say: "Leave Mommy's computer alone."
Big One hears: "Wait until I turn my back for a second. Press every single button that you can get your sticky little fingers on. I prefer that you either open a million Firefox help windows or shut my computer down altogether. Forget about the work I'm doing. I didn't save it but I might be able to recover it. If I'm lucky."
I say: "Mommy's working right now."
Big One hears: "Jump on my back. Yell as loud as you can. Get right in my face and talk about random things that make no sense. Sneak out to the kitchen and pull things out of the drawers. Go to the bathroom. Unroll the toilet paper. Shove some of it in your potty chair. Squeeze half of your toothpaste on your toothbrush. Throw a fit when you get caught.
I say: "It's bath time."
Big One hears: "Do everything in your power to stall. Throw a fit. Kick. Scream. Refuse to remove your clothes. Make me beg and plead with you to get in the bathtub. Get in the bathtub. Refuse to let us wash your hair. Throw another fit when we do anyway. Start playing with your bath toys. Refuse to get out of the tub when bath time is over. Splash water all over the bathroom, especially near the wood trim. Wood and water are a good combo."
I say: "We can play Candyland if you follow the rules."
Big One hears: "Rules? What rules? Don't pay attention when I try to help you. Take 5 cards instead of one at a time. Bounce about wherever you feel like it. Declare yourself the winner after your second turn. Get sidetracked and ignore my pleas to just pick a stinking card. Get bored and scatter the pieces all about. Get mad when I put the game away."
Isn't the 3 year old an amazing species?