If you don't think a three-year old can outwit you once in a while, then you don't know many three-year olds. Even before they're out of diapers, they understand enough about what's going on to say things you only wish you had thought of. Or maybe you thought of it and didn't say it. You've got to be pretty smart to stay ahead of savvy youngsters.
Graham is our three-year-old going-on-thirty grandson. He loves tractors, trucks, toy or real, big or small – anything to do with farming or building things. Sometimes he gets so loud with his toy saw at his toy workbench a couple rooms over when he's in our house that I think there's real construction going on. It's always a good thing to check to make sure there's not any major renovation underway.
The other day my old pickup was stuck because it's not four-wheel drive, I'm dumb and I headed it downhill to unload stuff at a shed. The back tires become as smooth as a baby's rear end once a little mud goes around a few times. Even on a cold morning in the teens, the tires found moist dirt and just sat there and spun.
So Saturday morning I convinced Carla, my wife, to guide the truck and I would pull it out with my John Deere utility tractor. "Sure, I will," she says. "But you've got to wait until Graham gets his hat and boots on. He wants to come too."
Whatever. I fired up the tractor, backed it out and drove over to the truck, backed up to the rear end and hooked the chain to the bumper. By that time Carla and Graham were in the truck cab. I could see him turned around, watching me, and chattering away to grandma.
Pulling it out didn't even phase the tractor. I went slow so it took a bit to get it where I could drive the truck out.
What did Graham say? "Gee, grandma, that was fun! Can we do that again?"
Now every morning when he wakes up, he wants to know if the truck is stuck. It might be fun for a three-year old, but I'd just as soon keep the truck on gravel and avoid the pulling-it-out business.
Winter and mud will pass, and so will his cute three-year-old stage. Sometimes you would just like to freeze them there and keep them young and innocent.
Well, young, maybe not totally innocent. He has a small toy tractor and wagon in my office he can play with. Above my desk is a collectible wagon he can't play with. The other day he tried his best to convince Aunt Kayla that grandpa said it was OK if he played with the wagon above the desk. She didn't bite. So he went back and loaded packing peanuts into his little toy red wagon, pulled by a toy Fordson tractor.
Never underestimate what goes on in the mind of a three-year old!