Oh how I adore this age.
I feel like I was born to mother a three-year-old. Where imaginative play really takes off, and the little tackers have enough attention span and interest for glitter and glue. It’s a time of cubby houses and understanding movies, to sit and read and absorb books, and to interact with peers. They can eat without obliterating the entire house, and their conversations are hilarious.
Of course, on the flip side they’re obstinate, wilful, defiant, unrealistic, unreasonable, incapable of controlling their own emotions, unsure of how to safely and appropriately express anger and frustration, and prone to tantrums. We’ve even had a few that involved Abby throwing herself on the floor in dramatic fashion (I know! that face! So innocent. You can’t imagine it, can you). Fortunately for me I feel as though I can talk her down pretty quickly and we are yet to really have a huge blowout. Occasionally I’m taken aback at how childish some of my reactions are to her obstinate unreasonableness. I can usually catch myself and apologise, but wow – they really test you these wild little guys!
I love listening to her chat away to herself, and to give voice to her teddies and toys. She sings in mangled preschooler fashion, and asks incessant questions all day long.
She is equally as kind and generous to her small sister as she is selfish and unwilling to share. Only time and practice can redress that balance.
Three means unprompted “I love you, mummy”s and couch snuggles. It means jumping in muddy puddles, drawing those funny round shapes with sticks and calling it people, sneaking cookies, getting excited about the Easter Bunny, wiping their own butts, learning books off by heart, being unconcerned about cold weather, appreciating when you do nice things for them, and wild, unbridled joy when doing something they really love.
It means dumping all their pencils out all over the floor every time they use them. It means asking for broccoli for dinner but still not going anywhere near anything in a bowl at dinnertime. No soup, no apple crumble, no spaghetti that isn’t red. It means trying cucumber and liking it, and mispronouncing “penguin”.
Three is a barrel of fun with just enough anti-social toddler behaviour to keep you on your toes. And constantly buying more paint.