Carter, who is three, has been paying a lot of attention to traffic signs and rules of the road. He will inform me when traffic lights change. He will tell me to slow down when I drive past one of those speed limit signs that check your speed and blink the message “slow down” in red letters. We have had numerous discussions about the difference between red and yellow fire lanes (the color of the paint depends on the width of the road and the use of the building located next to the curb). Yes, we have some rather riveting conversations.
He has recently learned that a red circle with a line through it means that whatever the picture is in the circle should not be done. This caused him some worry today when he saw this sign as we got on the freeway.
He tells me he sees a sign with a circle and a line and a thumbs up. I open my mouth to start explaining what hitchhiking means but he is faster than I. In a voice that can only come from a slightly panicked, dramatic three year old boy he sucks in his breath and says “Us not have thumbs up day on freeway, momma?”
At the end of everyday at Carter’s preschool the kids do circle time and when they are waiting for the buses and parents to come pick them up they sing a simple song about how they had a thumbs up day. Carter likes this song. I feel that it is borderline brainwashing so that a child who peed his pants, dropped paint on the floor, and stuffed a bean from the sensory table up his nose will be inclined to tell his parents when he gets home that he did indeed have a thumbs up day. Whatever. I explain that we can have a thumbs up time on the freeway and never even get to my spiel about hitchhiking and how it is unsafe to pick up strangers because he has seen a bridge ahead and is hollering for me to put my hands up.
Then I get that damn “I had a thumbs up day, oh yes, I had a thumbs up day” song stuck in my head. As I am wont to do, I change the lyrics to something that usually involves one of our dogs, Rosy and Dexter, or one of the boys. This time I start to sing “Oh, Dexter had a thumbs up day! Oh yes, he had a thumbs up day!” Carter, quick to correct me, says that us have thumbs (we are working on the pronouns thing) but Rosy and Dexter do not. They have paws up days.
Yes indeed they do, my sweet little boy. How can I not help but love him.