For some, it’s the newborn stage, when we spend all day holding a tiny baby and trying to memorize all of its delicate features. Others love that chubbiness of a 10-month-old, when they begin to happily scoot around the family room on all fours.
Some love the sweetness of a one-year-old or the silliness of a two-year-old whose personality is really beginning to emerge.
For me, though, it’s three. It’s my magic age.
Why? Well, for starters, by three most children are able to communicate quite well (even if their word choice and grammar is occasionally fodder for a mother’s Facebook status updates). They’re constantly questioning, asking why.
Why did you turn on that street, Mama?
Why do humans wear pants?
Why does dinner come after lunch?
I love this stage when they’re so obviously trying to make sense of the world.
Another great thing about three-year-olds is that they suddenly seem to understand that their actions have consequences; if something they say gets a laugh the first time, prepare to hear it on repeat for the next several days. It’s also for this reason that time outs start being effective at three, and watching your child grasp these concepts is truly amazing.
Some will say that three-year-olds are difficult. Stubborn. Demanding. And while all this may be true, I see it as a sign of emerging independence. They’re honing the skills they need to be successful in the world.
But my favorite thing about having a three-year-old? Witnessing her unrelenting sense of joy. She is delighted by the littlest things — the summertime fireflies, a skirt that twirls. She reminds me that there’s so much about life to be appreciated.
So say what you will about the “troublesome threes.” I’m choosing to savor them, one “why” at a time.
Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
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