Monthly Archives: August 2013

Mindset List for a Three-Year-Old

The recently released annual Beloit (Wis.) College Mindset List differentiates the world view of this year’s entering college students – the class of 2017, born in 1995 – from the “so yesterday” world of their predecessors. 

Like dial phones and cell phones, cultural references are generational markers. That’s groovy. But I was wondering what references might define the world of a much younger, toddler set.

My grandson Abraham, who will soon be three years old, has a Mindset List of his own. Actually, I created it for him as I thought about what experiences might define these precious and eventful three years.


Abraham in the egg and Uncle Jimmy

  • The Beach Boys are young and hip and you can dance and sing to their video. 
  • The worst day ever is when you don’t feel so good.
  • The scariest time, at least for a minute, is when Mommy and Daddy leave the room. 
  • A brand name is “Uncle Jimmy’s Blanket.
  • Diapers have always been everyday apparel, until recently. 
  • Pizza has always been a primary food group.
  • Cars and trucks were made for little boys.
  • Most everyone has always been bigger and taller. 
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks have always played guitars.
  • A racing ambulance is more fun than a racing horse.
  • Being a big brother will always be the most fun thing.
  • Licking the bowl is the best part of cooking.
  • Milk has always been a drink of choice.
  • One is never done playing with toys.
  • Going to Wisconsin is an adventure Up North.
  • A vacation villa is another name for Grandpa’s house.
  • Wrapped presents have always been for me. 
  • Golf is an easy game played in the back yard with Grandpa. 
  • Tiger Woods has always been old.
  • Chicago has always been very easy to get around in.
  • The back seat is where I have always sat.
  • Cups always have covers on them.
  • Food is made in finger-licking sizes. 
  • There is no such thing as an unfriendly dog.
  • Stuffed dogs have always hugged back.
  • There has always been a good reason to sit in a giant eggshell. 
  • Truffula Trees are growing somewhere.  
  • You can sit in a Mini Cooper or a firetruck if you just ask.
  • Building sets are meant to be taken apart.
  • I have never had to pay for dinner or groceries or rent.
  • Every little girl and boy is a potential friend.
  • Saying “Get your butt over here” always makes people laugh.
  • An iPhone is a toy that is not kept in the toybox.
  • Hot dogs come in little pieces. 
  • Jumping up and down and waving your hands has always been the proper way to greet grandparents, aunts and uncles.
  • Use of eating utensils has always been optional.
  • The ABCs started out as a song. 
  • There has never been a need for shoelaces.
  • A walk to the park is always a good idea.
  • The world will always be as big and wonderful as Mommy and Daddy say it is.

Celebrity Sightings

The woman on the bench gestured “Hush! Stop!” I stopped my bike on the paved park road and watched tImagehe tentative movements in the woods — a mother deer and her three young ones, looking to cross. We waited. A couple and their dog halted ahead of me. The children coming behind me quieted suddenly. For awhile we all stood still and took in the little pageant. Mother stepped across the road first, then waited patiently for her charges to follow, which they did, in their own time, with dainty fawn steps. Her family intact, the doe led the way up a small rise through the cedars and away out of sight. The human watchers stirred, breathed satisfied breaths, pleased at what they had witnessed, then renewed their hiking and their chatter. “We were seeing rock stars,” the woman said.  

He Can Drive My Car, and He Did

My son Jim is terrific. He is so terrific we took a mother-son road trip and he drove my Toyota all the way. I learned that both of us are planners and doers and love history. Jim also has a passion for maps so we were never lost. In fact, when in Washington, DC, he was asked for directions often and he always steered the tourists right. I also learned that Van Halen and the Who and McDonald’s coffee are great long-haul incentives. 

Continue reading