Today we went to the library. Desmond has a few favorite books he likes to habitually check out. Today, Freight Train, by Donald Crews was on his mind.
Wanting to encourage him to explore first, I convinced Desmond to find some other books for us to read before we found Freight Train. As we read a different book, Des looked up and an expression of sheer panic seized him. Another family had chosen Freight Train and was reading it at a nearby table.
I explained they might end up taking the book home with them. He might not get to check-out Freight Train this time. "We were here first," he said with a quivering voice. True, I replied, but they got to the book before we did.
His lip trembled. His wide eyes filled with tears. He looked personally affronted. The next three minutes were character shaping.
I expected a tantrum. I expected him to forcibly take the book away. Instead, Des collected himself and we finished reading the other book. He asked if we could look for another copy of Freight Train. We did and found none. He stared at the other child longingly - dejection written all over his face. No tantrum. No show of force.
As it turns out, there was a special display of Donald Crews books that day (explaining why it wasn't on the shelf). There were THREE more copies of Freight Train, much to Desmond's delight.
Three minutes is an eternity for a 3 year old. I think it took the self-control equivalent of an Olympic athlete for Desmond to respond the way he did. I am so proud of my son.