Little Man: Why can I walk now?
Me: What do you think?
Little Man: Because my knees are all better.
Me: That's right!
Jumping from the arm of the couch into a pile of pillows. Hopping from one foot to the other across the room. Explaining that the reason he didn't fly when he jumped from the second highest rung of the playground ladder is because "I forgot to flap my wings!" Disappearing for a few minutes, and then yelling from the bathroom, "Mommy, I'm pooping!"
I am grateful to be on the road to taking these things for granted again. It's a strange age, 3-going-on-4. He is articulate for his age, but he is still a three-year-old, who doesn't like talking about boo-boos very much, because talking leads to looking, and looking leads to bandaids, and bandaids leads to the horrible taking off of bandaids, which is best avoided. He will answer differently at different times, because he lives zennishly in the moment; so, in the morning he will say "I'm not standing because it hurts" and in the afternoon he will say "I'm not standing because it feels weird, but it doesn't hurt."
All of which brings to mind the time I had him in the doctor's office with some minor virus or other, and a trainee doctor asked him whether his ears hurt, and he said "yes" and Dr. Trainee looked at me and asked me, in so many words, whether to believe him or not. I thought for a minute, and then looked at Little Man and asked, "Honey, did you vote in the last election?" and he said with easy-going assurance, "Yes I did!" Language is fluid, definitions are foggy, assurances are creative. This is not lying so much as practicing the grownup art of conversing, as when Michael and I are talking about something boringly grownup at dinner, some kind of long-term financial planning or whatever, and Little Man will pipe up and say something like "I think life insurance is due at the library!"
He wants to be a part of adult conversation, and he's feeling his way, just as he did with learning to walk, or feed himself. It's a beautiful thing to watch, but it makes it hard to judge whether an injury is scary or not. So you develop the ability to wait and watch without panicking. Well, without panicking too much.