I read this lovely essay and thought yes, three year olds are the best. The phases my kids are in - being three and a half and 21 months – are perfect. Now, more than ever, I want to find the illusive freeze button and cling to these moments.
Jonas, dropping everything to run over to me when I come in the door and shouting, “Hi, baby!” The way that he tucks in his stuffed giraffe and dog, smothering them in blankets, and shush shush shushes at them. How excitedly he shouts, “Yeah!” in response to everything from the suggestion that he put his milk in the fridge to the addition of another block to a wobbly tower. His budding language skills, and the funny sentences he comes up with – no doggy toast, airplane up high oooohhh, Mama-daddy-mama dinner try it. He, like most toddlers, throws his whole body into (and off of) everything, his joys and sorrows are full body.
Axel, discussing ducks and their fears (people on bridges and pirates), or explaining to me the rules about what three year olds can do and what they can’t do (can: what movies with sword fights that are too scary for one year olds. Can’t: have coffee or shoot guns.). How he still holds my hand and wraps his arms around my neck. How he looks out for his brother, and loves to put toothpaste on both of their toothbrushes or bring Jonas his sweatshirt.
This morning, we joined 2 billion other people watching the royal wedding – well, we joined them a bit late, since we just pulled it up the DVR as we munched on buckwheat pancakes. Axel talked about how the hats resembled airplanes, discussed the curly haired four-year-old in his class who he’s decided to marry, tried to figure out how princes and princess and queens are related to one another, and wanted me to fastfoward until we got to the good part — which we never found, according to his standards. I think he was waiting for a dragon to show up and for the hosts to draw their swords and have a duel. Jonas shouted “Hurray!” at the end, and clapped whenever anyone sang.
I loved them when they were babies, when drool drenched their shirts and their heavy heads wobbled. This, though, this is so much better.
But I’ve said that at every stage – six months is perfect, when little ones giggle and smile at strangers. No, walking one year olds are the best. Actually, it’s about 18 months, the age both of my boys were when they could repeat “Love you” back at me. No, wait, it’s two year olds, with their blossoming independence and determination to do everything themselves. As they grow out of their clothes and into their own little person, I get to know them better, and learn more about them as they learn more about the world.
Whatever age my kids are at the moment – unless that moment happens to be one in which I’m getting bit or someone’s having a screaming fit in public – seems like the best. I love them all, and each one is better than the last. Wouldn’t it be lovely if this just continues?