A few weeks ago, my daughter and a friend of hers were FaceTiming. They were just chattering away about whatever three-year-olds talk about on the phone. It was so cute and yet so odd to see a glimpse of what was to come. It hits me now and then that my “baby” is not a baby anymore and I’m both happy and a little sentimental over it.
A year or so ago, my daughter was running around in pull ups, refused to go to bed without her nightly bottle, and loved running around the house naked. Well, ok, so she still likes to run around the house naked sometimes, but the pull ups are long gone and so is the bottle. She now wants to “look beautiful” and asks for “privacy”. Not only does she ask for it, she knows what it means. My daughter no longer needs my help when she’s going to the bathroom, getting dressed or brushing her teeth. She’s also become quite the negotiator- must get it from her salesman dad. It’s like overnight she lost that “babyness” and I’m seeing shades of the more grown up girl to come.
Of all the years so far, I must say that this “threenage” year has been the weirdest one. On one hand, it has felt neverending and at times I wondered if I would survive it with my sanity in tact. Wine helps. Running does too, but wine helps more. On the other hand, it’s like time went from super slow to fast forward in a blink the closer we get to four. So much change in such a short time.
The nuclear meltdowns are fewer (thank God) and there are times she (gasp) will actually concede without staging a rebellion of epic proportion. She engages in a conversation, asks good questions, and (sometimes to my detriment) seems to remember everything. Also, she hears everything, even when you swear she’s not paying attention. Gotta watch that. Note to self.
This Fall my daughter will enter her final year of preschool and next Spring she will graduate from the place I first brought her to as a five-month-old infant. Then, it’s on to kindergarten. I’m not sure I’m ready for this, entirely.
Feeling so mixed about this was not what I expected to feel. Truly, I look forward to her getting older and more independent, seeing who she becomes. However, I kind want to hold onto this sweet, snuggly kid who loves going to the park with me, drags me by the hand to her playroom to play dolls, and helps in the kitchen (willingly), just a little bit longer at least. I still get to hear what I want on the radio and we can come to an understanding on the clothes and accessories – most of the time.
As we enter the final months of the threenage year, here are the top three things I am looking most forward to-- you moms of older kids don’t burst my bubble, let me live in my naïve visions of life after three:
3. Fewer spontaneous meltdowns over minutia, such as not being able to bring 12 Barbies into the bath with you. I’ll chalk that one up to being tired – this time.
2. Gradually getting better at sharing and fewer spontaneous meltdowns over things like, oh, when your friend next door wants to borrow your Merida doll overnight. The doll you didn’t care about until they wanted it. It’s not like you don’t know where they live. Yeah, that kind of thing.
1. Being able to go more places and do more things with less, let’s say, stress—or spontaneous meltdowns. Such as going to the grocery store without chasing her around half the store, getting flustered because I just wanted to pick up two things (why are there all these things in my cart??) and ultimately either leaving or leaving with only part (or WAY more) of what I came for because I just needed to get out. Things like that. Don’t even get me started on the zoo. That’s hit or miss.
So, yes, like any age, there’s good with the bad. There are definitely things I am happy we’ve moved past, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t also things I won’t miss. Good riddance to it. But the sweet stuff, like saying things in funny ways, unfiltered observations and questions, the stories that I embarrass her with later in life. That stuff I will miss more.