My 3-yr-old

by Thomas Brady in


If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed a theme that could be stated, "So, my 3-hr-old…" 

Some favorites:

On election day:

My 3-yr-old: I didn't vote for piggy-bank. I voted for cheese. 

Just a couple weeks ago:

It's fun how my 3-yr-old is really grasping holidays this year. He just asked, "Can I be Dr. Doom for Christmas?"

Who-is-the-boss-of-me:

My 3-yr-old: YES THEY ARE!! NINJA TURTLES AND ANGRY BIRDS ARRRRRE MY AUTHORITIES!

He's a delight, and several hands full at the same time. For the past couple months, he's been getting up some time between 4 and 6 AM, usually toward the early end of that spectrum, and roaming the house. We find all sorts of things in a different place than they've ever been when we wake up. I try to get up with him, when I can, but our schedules have been a mess, and after three or four days of going to bed around midnight and getting up with him at 4 or 5 result in me sleeping right through his tyrannies. 

This past Saturday was just such an example. He woke us up waving around a gardening wand. Thing is, we don't own a gardening wand. When asked where he got it, he replied, "I was chasing the cat!" We also don't have a cat.

A couple heart-attacks later, we realized he'd opened the front door and roamed our neighborhood while we slept. The garden wand belongs to a neighbor two doors down and across the street.

I can't begin to think about what might have happened to him. I tried to warn him of the dangers of the outside world for an unattended 3-yr-old, while I pressed him to my chest like I was trying to make wine. All the while, in the back of my head, I couldn't stop thinking, "Are you making some kind of promise that he's safe when he's inside?"

The news from Newtown is devastating. As a parent of two young ones, I just don't know how to process it. I can't bear to think of it too long. And yet I want to be there for and with those families who were terrorized. I don't want to turn my back on them because I'm so concerned for myself, when my children are still alive.

My heart breaks for these families. I pray for you all. And I struggle to teach my children not to fear, but to have a healthy respect for the lives they've been given.

Here, below, is my 3-yr-old, Liam, as Joseph in a Christmas pageant from a couple weekends ago, doing it his way.

Liam as Joseph. You don't see him?

Liam as Joseph. You don't see him?

P.S. I assumed, wrongly, that it went without saying. We have added chains to our doors that are out of his reach (for now, at least), and I'm ever-more-fervently attempting to adjust my sleep schedule to match his. We're doing our best.