This post was first published on the TODAY Parenting Team Community Blog.
“You must have more patience than I do!”
“I don’t know how you do it.”
“You must have your hands full.”
So I smile. I laugh. I keep my head held high and I should. I truly LOVE being around my kids…especially my little three-year-old. Some people are expecting a wave of sass, attitude, and tantrums. Not me. I. Can’t. Wait.
I hear this from people all day long. Why? Because I have four little ducks following me, one on my hip, three walking behind and I am usually running (wait…sprinting) from the car to drop off to the grocery store to wherever. I wave, yell my hellos and tell them I will text them later. This is my life and I have embraced it.
My favorite age though…three. I LOVE the three year-olds. Crazy right I know…Why three you ask?!?!?
I have four kids under 10 and now, I’m about to have my last three-year-old grace my house with the energy of a comet, the coordination of a drunk monkey and a VERY spirited personality, that is likely to be a glimpse of who they will become one day. I can’t wait. Having gone through this phase three times already, I will embrace every moment of this littlest person because SHE is what feeds my soul. The baby of the house rules the house. We learn purpose and perspective from her everyday. And here’s why…
5. They want to learn.
They are sponges. Absorbing everything you do and everything you say. Each action is watch, studied and taken into account. New words, new body movements, new everything. It is really cool to teach a three-year-old because they are so ready to learn. Never underestimate a three-year-old. Never.
4. Embrace the three-year-old’s confidence.
They are brave. Ready to try new things. Trusting that you are there to guide them, they build confidence to go down slides, swing on the big kid swings, try new foods, or meet new people. Think of how brave three-year-olds really are! “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” Even Shakespeare knew that size wasn’t something to be underestimated! Take a page out of the three-year-olds book and get out there and try something new today! (When was the last time you REALLY tried something new?!)
3. They are SOOOO funny.
Three-year-olds are funny. They have no filters. They tell it like it is. They have no clue what context is. They are gullible. They will believe anything. They are the life of the party (wearing underwear on their head because an older sibling said that’s where it goes.) They are learning new ways to explore the world around them and everything they see is new. They don’t know how it works. Their version of how to use everyday items is hilarious! And what they say is even funnier. If you haven’t laughed until your stomach hurt, go find a three-year-old to hang out with for the day. Best. Day. Ever.
2. They show you everyday is a new day. (Challenges and all.)
Everyday is a bright and sunny new day. A new day to wake up and be thankful you have this new day. It’s rare that a three-year-old will wake up on the wrong side of the bed. So embrace the attitude. Get up. Get going and loose the attitude. Look on the bright side of life that today is a gift.
Abby has a rare medical condition that she knows nothing about. (Two of her siblings also have it so she isn’t alone.) She takes medicine three times daily and will every day… forever. She is not bitter. She doesn’t let it stop her. She wakes up and is ready for the day. I learn from them to wake up and gave the day head on. You can’t change the past and you can’t predict the future. You can live today like it is the most beautiful and wonderful day.
1. They love with all their heart.
They forgive. They forget. They love. Without judgement. They love with every fiber of their being. They don’t hold grudges. They can’t be mad forever. They teach us to forgive and move on. They show us that love is unconditional. Those that love a three-year-old, completely understand that their love is pure and can fill their soul.
These are just a few of the million reasons I can’t wait until my last child turns three on Thursday. I’ll always be learning life lessons from my children. It’s easy to forget what it’s like to be young. Being around three-year-olds keeps me young. It keeps my sanity in check and helps me realize what raising kids is really all about. Raising good people.