If you have recently acquired a three-year-old, congratulations, they are great fun to be around. This year will bring about a lot of change in terms of social, physical, and emotional development, and there will be times when your three-year-old seems to change overnight.
As you mourn the loss of your little baby, here are some things worth celebrating about your child turning three. These are 10 of the absolute best things about three-year-olds:
#1: They Are Masters Of Imagination
You probably think you have a pretty good imagination, after all you can improvise a trip to the pretend shop pretty well, and don’t struggle to come up with stories off the top of your head. Now that you have a resident three-year-old, however, you’ll realize just how decrepit and uninspired your imagination is. Three-year-olds are the best at improv, they excell at imagination play, and come up with the most inspired and bizarre nonsense imaginable. Just wait until you hear the reasons they have for their injuries when you play doctors, and the inventive excuses they have for any bad behavior. You need to invest in a notepad so you can jot down all of the wonderful and weird things your three-year-old imagines throughout each day.
#2: They Love To Chat
Language and speech development continues this year, allowing your three-year-old to engage you in some deep and meaningful conversations. She is picking up new words and phrases all the time, and sounding more and more grown-up with every passing week. And with this comes curiosity. She now has the vocabulary to find out more about the world around her, so expect some pretty tricky questions about death, science, and current affairs. Your three-year-old is busy making sense of the world around her, and she needs your help to connect the dots.
#3: They Freak Out Less Often
Hopefully, at least. Remember the terrible twos, so called because they were truly terrifying and you spent every tantrum thinking you were a terrible parent? For most parents, the terrible twos are a thing of the past by the time the third birthday rolls around. It’s important to note, however, that some kids do not hit the tantrum phase until they are three, so you might be unlucky. As three-year-olds are better able to communicate their needs and make sense of the world around them, you may find they freak out less often. They will still freak out sometimes, of course, especially over important things like the wrong colored plate or hearing a song they don’t like, but it should now be easier to calm them down.
#4: They Love Their Friends
Finally, all your hard work of ‘doing lunch’ and ‘having coffee’ with other parents is paying off, because your child now really likes their children. A social circle is born! Your child now not only looks forward to seeing these other children, but now gets stuck in to roleplay games, chase, and chatting with the other kids. You can sit down and enjoy a chat with your friends as the kids run around the park happily playing, just like you’d always dreamed.
#5: They Make More Sense
When you can’t communicate your needs, it’s very hard to make people understand what you want. With two-year-olds, you spend a large proportion of each day trying to figure out exactly what it is your child needs, and what will stop the crying. With a three-year-old, they can tell you most of the time. And even when they can’t, it’s a bit easier to figure out what went wrong. Perhaps it’s because you have more experience, or your increased confidence, or simply because you know them a little better now, but these days you can usually work out the problem and help solve it with minimum fuss.
#6: They Have No Social Boundaries
With their newfound communication skills comes a whole world of humiliation for you. Three-year-olds will happily chat about penises, poop, and trumping the whole way through a three-course meal in a fancy restaurant. They will also loudly ask you questions about your period, vagina, and bowel movements in every public bathroom you visit. Quite simply put, three-year-olds excel at parental public humiliation.
#7: They Entertain Themselves
Finally, you can stop feeling guilty about the Pinterest board of sensory play and craft ideas you never actually do. Your three-year-old is now more than happy playing by herself, and can spend hours lost in an imaginary world of her own creation, leaving you free to drink hot tea, read a book or, if you must, sort out some laundry. Those newborn days where you didn’t even have time to notice you hadn’t showered yet are well and truly a thing of the past.
#8: They Still Need You
Don’t feel abandoned though, she might be happy playing independently now, but she still very much needs you. You are still her favorite person in the whole world, and the person she runs to whenever she is upset. Three-year-olds are very affectionate, always stopping what they’re doing to tell you just how much you love them. Three-year-olds love kisses and cuddles, and still love to snuggle up on your knee for a story.
#9: They Have A Life Of Their Own
As your child becomes more independent, there will be times when you don’t know what she is doing. She might be at preschool or nursery, or simply hanging out with grandparents or other family members, but you won’t be there. As she gains independence, so do you, and suddenly you are free to immerse yourself, even if only for a few hours, in the hobbies and activities you enjoyed before you became a mother. And when your three-year-old returns from her adventures, she will be able to tell you all about them.
#10: They Are Sassy
They don’t call them threenagers for nothing. Three-year-olds are wise-talking, back-chatting mean-mobiles able to sass you with minimal effort. Sure, they look cute, but three-year-olds are evil geniuses when it comes to put downs. Your three-year-old will repeat everything she has ever heard you say, and tell you exactly where to go if she doesn’t like your attitude. If you blur your eyes, you can almost see her as a 15-year-old arguing with you about her curfew.