Life And Times With The “Threenager”

It’s been an interesting last year, to say the least, with our (now) three year old.

To look back on a year that includes the experience of the pandemic with a toddler who appreciates quarantine about as much as he appreciates time outs has been eye opening for the entire family.

In many ways, Sebastian is almost exactly the same at three as he was at two. He still has an obsession with home appliances: vacuum cleaners, blenders, washing machines, toilet bowls, food processors and the coffee grinder.

He oscillates between wanting to be fiercely self-sufficient: “I want to do it by myself!!” (also, stated as “I want to do it on myself!”) and the team player “I want to do that with you!” Of course, if for some reason his mother and I don’t give him precisely what he wants, a colossal meltdown is not far behind.

However, as with age comes a more animated personality, fewer naps, a greater vocabulary and (dare I say) more drama. It’s not uncommon for him to say “I want something to drink.” To which we’ll ask:

“Do you want milk? “

No.

“Do you want water?”

No.

“Do you want juice?”

Yes.

“OK, here you go.”

NO! I don’t want it in that container, I want it in that one!!

*cue meltdown in 3, 2, 1, go*

It’s not all meltdowns though, I promise. As Marissa has been working to keep her own workouts consistent, she and Sebastian have been at the Rev at least 3 days a week. Sebastian is getting more and more comfortable around the gym. He grabs kettlebells, dumbbells, battle ropes, gym rings, you name it. He wants to get his hands on the same toys all the rest of the clients do.

Sebastian still adores his big brother, Jackson. While it’s always been the case that Jackson appreciates having his own space when he’s here, he does a pretty good job interacting with his little brother (assuming that Sebastian isn’t touching Jackson’s toys!)

He is absolutely his mother’s child, though. Sebastian has been involved in musical theatre through all of his mere three years. Prior to the pandemic, when Marissa would be directing or choreographing a show, Sebastian would frequently be at the theatre learning the big numbers of each show and promptly coming home to cue Alexa to play those numbers again and again and again and again. I’m not sure Marissa or I can handle the numbers from Mamma Mia or School of Rock in this household ever again.

Of course, as a result of the pandemic, the silver lining for those who enjoy theatre was the inclusion of Hamilton with Disney Plus. Sebastian loves it. In fact, as much as Marissa enjoys it, it’s debatable over whether Sebastian likes it even more.

I got to recently relish in the fact that I’ve had my little guy turned on to 70’s era punk music and while I might be able to boast that Sebastian loves “Blitzkrieg Bop” by Ramones, Marissa can just as easily say: Yes, but he also has the entire first half of Hamilton memorized! You win, Mama. I’ll keep working on the rock and roll though.

I’d say that, by and large, Sebastian survived quarantine okay. Certainly, there were aspects of missing out on his “Buddy and Me” 2-year old class and the interaction with other kids his age was obviously impacted. We’ve even had to pare down the size of his birthday party so that the few attendees we invited will be able to socially distance while they celebrate with Sebastian.

And then, there’s the aspect of his life that I likely contributed to the most (for better or worse). Over the last several months, Sebastian has seen my bourbon collection grow in our dining room. While neither his mother nor I are heavy drinkers, we’ve both been favoring bourbon over things like wine and beer in the house.

As a result, Sebastian frequently follows me into the dining room when I go to pour a shot for us. That interaction usually goes something like this:

“What’s that bourbon?” Sebastian asks.

It’s (insert type here).

“I want to smell that bourbon.” He says.

Ok, buddy. You can smell it but you can’t drink it.

“Mm, it’s strong!”

Yes baby boy, it is strong. They’re all strong. Too strong for a little boy. What’s it smell like?

“Bananas.”

No, Sebastian. It does not smell like bananas!

Such is the conversation each night we do this. I have yet to smell bananas in the bourbon bottle. I think my child is hallucinating.

I heard the term “threenager” for the first time a year or so ago. I’d say it’s appropriate for our guy. He’s three going on 13. He’s laughter, smiles, meltdowns and attitude. Sounds about right. I know who his parents are.

To our (mostly) sweet little boy: Happy 3rd Sebastian. We love you.

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