My daughter is on the brink of 3. Her upcoming birthday has caused me to reflect on the past year: the potty training trials and switch to the big-girl bed.
The way her vocabulary has exploded from a handful of words to detailed instructions for how she’d like her hair fixed for preschool.
All the milestones, the happy and the bittersweet, that she’s bounded through in the past 12 months.
She is, after all, my last baby, unless life throws me a major curve ball. It’s easy to get sentimental.
Instead of focusing on what I’ll miss about having a 2 year old, I’ve decided to think about why I’m excited for 3.
In the comments, tell me what you love most about 3 year olds. Think of it as a pat on the back for a mommy whose baby is quickly becoming a little girl.
Curiosity About the World Around Her 1 of 10Three is a magical year for children. They're growing increasingly interested in their environment, often pausing to appreciate the little wonders of the world.
Photo Credit: Isabella Blake Photography
Improved Fine Motor Skills 2 of 10At this age children are preparing themselves for a future of relying on their fine motor skills for a variety of tasks. This is when they're laying the foundation for writing, picking up small objects, and fastening their clothing. It's amazing to watch as they acquire these new skills.
Photo Credit: Vince Alongi/Flickr
Her First Tricycle 3 of 10Gone are the days of pushing my daughter in a stroller or pulling her in a wagon with her baby dolls. She is ready to join the big kids on a new set of (three) wheels!
Her First Tricycle Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography/Flickr
Climbing Stairs Like a Big Girl 4 of 10Younger toddlers take the stairs one step at a time. Around age 3 they begin alternating feet when climbing the stairs. In the past I could always tell which child was coming downstairs by the number of feet I heard on each step...soon those days will behind me.
Photo Credit: HoyasMeg/Flickr
Dressing Herself 5 of 10My daughter is just now beginning to put her own clothes on. I love the "creative" outfits that 3 year olds come up with! Photo Credit: Isabella Blake Photography
Expanding Sense of Humor 6 of 10Three year olds love laughing and making others laugh as well.
Photo Credit: *Clairity*/Flickr
Quiet Time 7 of 10By this age kids enjoy a few moments of quiet play, and they're capable of entertaining themselves for longer periods of time than their younger peers.
Photo Credit: John-Morgan/Flickr
Fun with Friends 8 of 10With more awareness of their environment comes more interest in the people in it. Three year olds enjoy meeting new friends and are beginning to be interested in parallel play.
Photo Credit: KR1212/Flickr
Growing Independence 9 of 10At 3, children love doing things on their own, and they're often adamant about not needing mommy's help.
Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography/Flickr
Developing Empathy 10 of 10Social skills like empathy and concern for others are beginning to emerge at this age. They enjoy giving hugs as much as receiving them!
Photo Credit: Alex Campos/Flickr
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.