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.

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