by guest blogger, Deanna Cogdon Miller
Three can be a frustrating age. Between whines, cries and all-out tantrums lies a child who is old enough to know what they want yet still too young to do many of the things they think they can do. They begin to exert their independence – choosing to share when they feel like sharing, choosing to eat when they feel like eating and choosing to wear plaid tights with polka-dot skirts and striped shirts if that's what they feel like wearing.
I fell in love with three this weekend. Of course I'm truly, madly, deeply in love with my three year old but there's something magical about the age of three that hit me over the past few days. In addition to everything mentioned above, I realized how incredible the world is to them. At this age they are just starting to really grasp everything around them and to get excited about the fact that because they are getting bigger, there are more opportunities available to them. More importantly, when you give them those opportunities, you can see the sparkle in their eyes as they soak it all in.
Our three year old began her first swimming lessons without a parent this weekend. Before we left she was adamant that she did not want to go. She was convinced the pool was too cold, that she didn't want a boy teacher and that she already knows how to swim. We somehow got her there and she very quickly trotted off with her (female) teacher and the other kids in the class. As soon as she got into the pool and started following the teacher's instructions you could see how incredibly proud she was of herself. After each task she completed, she'd look for us with a huge smile and wait for our little claps from the sidelines. I felt full of life watching her accomplish something new and something that was so obviously bringing her a ton of joy.
We celebrated that afternoon with her first haircut (took her a long time to get hair) and again, the joy in her face as she sat in that big chair experiencing a hair salon for the first time filled my heart. Full of questions, beaming from ear to ear and very proud to show me the locks left on the ground when it was done. As she walked out with a piece of her hair, a certificate for her first cut and a sucker it was as if she was floating.
The weekend ended with our girls participating in the MEC Citadel Highlander Kids Race. Our three year old was the youngest participant and as I ran next to her in the moat, I found myself wondering what she was thinking as all the kids passed her. It only took a few minutes for us to feel like we were all alone and as we ran she looked up at me and said, "Mommy I'm running a race." As we neared the finish line and could hear cheers coming from around the corner, her sister suddenly appeared, grabbed her hand and said, "Come on you're doing great, you're almost done." After they crossed the finish line I knelt down and gave her a hug. I couldn't help but think about how amazing this weekend had been for her.
As we walked to grab a snack and some water, I told her how proud I was of her. She was once again grinning from ear to ear. As we reached the snack table I asked her if she wanted an apple or a banana. Her arms suddenly crossed and a scowl came across her face. "I want a granola bar." "Well there's only apples and bananas." "I don't want anything." How about some water." "Only if it's in a green cup." I just had to laugh. Such a magical time. Such a frustrating time. Welcome to three.
Deanna lives in Dartmouth with her husband and three children. When she's not reading stories, dancing to ABBA or burping a baby, she works in communications for Bell Aliant.