Calvin has never lacked confidence. A healthy self-image is a good thing, but I often wonder if he isn't a little too enthusiastic about himself. Case in point: I recently walked in to Calvin's group violin lesson to hear my three year-old state to the parents, teachers, and fellow students gathered around him "Yes, actually, I'm pretty great at it." I have no idea what his boast was in reference to, but according to Calvin, he is "pretty great" at everything.
Perhaps we have indulged him too much at home. RB and I both have told him that he is smart, fast, brave, can jump high, throw hard, kick far, etc. It would seem, however, that Calvin's little mind just adds "-est" to everything we say. And since he is "the fastest," if he engages in a race where he doesn't win- watch out. I've seen him take out unsuspecting friends running ahead of him who had no clue they were in an actual race. Alternatively, if he is losing he has yelled from the top of his lunges, "THIS ISN'T A RACE," and he then proceeds to start walking and not restart the competition until he has gained an advantageous position again.
This became more concerning when I noticed a growing trend in his conversations. His normal comments changed from, "I'm fast" to "I'm faster than you". We sat Calvin down and talked about how he won't always be the fastest and how saying that type of thing can make other people feel sad. Calvin still wasn't grasping the idea, so I had to simplify it into banning all sentences with the words "than you." So far, it seems to be working.
A friend of mine came up with a great idea of setting up a little race at one of the parks here for all of the children interested. I asked Calvin if he would be up for a real running race and his eyes almost popped out of his head as he said, "YES MOM! Because I'm the fastest and I'll beat everybody!" I explained to him that big boys and girls would also be racing, so it is ok if he doesn't come in first place- as long as he does his best. Trying to reassure me, he said, "It's ok mom, I'll just biff the big boys into the grass." Great.