Wednesday, 4 November 2015

10 reasons why three year olds are brilliant


The other day I was walking down the street when I heard this from a complete stranger: 'Aren't you beautiful?' Before I could blush and smile at the compliment, I realised that it wasn't meant for me. It was directed at my three year old, bounding along beside me. And it wasn't a random occurrence,  this kid gets compliments from strangers all the time. Looking at her, I can see why she attracts the attention. She's a typical threenager. She has the charisma of a popstar and the confidence to go with it. With a wardrobe full of glitter and tulle, and all the accessories a little fairy needs, this girl can pull off any look she wants, with charm and cuteness in bucket loads. 

It made me think. They might be hard work but geez, there's a lot to admire about them. What is it about three year olds that makes them so brilliant?

1. They rock their wardrobe. Three year olds aren't afraid to wear anything and everything at once. Mismatched patterns and clashing colours, over-the-top accessorizing -  nothing is off limits. Gumboots? They go with anything. Dress-ups - why not every day? There's no rules. Except for this one: if it looks like clothing, put it on. Don't let  a little thing like size or purpose of the attire get in the way of a good outfit. Mine has been known to wear a pink swimming rashie over a layered outfit and can sport a newborn dress as a skirt quite successfully. She just makes it work.  

2. They're charismatic. Three year olds light up the room when they enter it. They're full of stories, have big, wide eyes and exude innocence. They're excitable and prone to burst into song and dance in a public place at any time. Now if we were to do that, there'd be some strange looks indeed - but for the three year old, it's appreciative smiles all round.

3. They're easily pleased. I don't know about yours, but mine gets excited about doing the grocery shopping with me. I love that their happiness comes from the simplest things. Off to the cafe for mummy's coffee? Beside herself.  Simple bus trips and wilted flowers on the footpath? Ecstasy.

4.  They're full of talk. Don't you love it? We waited all this time for their first sentences and now they're never-ending. And then there are the questions - which are getting a bit abstract, I might add. I'm not even sure how to answer them half the time. For example: 'What happens when you get a bracelet in your eye?' or 'What happens when you have no throat?' She's cute, but she's weird.

5. They're super cute. Three year olds might dish out the attitude of a bratty teen, but they've still got all the cuteness hanging around from their toddler years. From their pudgy cheeks to their big, baby eyes, right down to the words they still get wrong in the cutest way possible. Mine continues to say 'someping' instead of 'something', and I'm just not ready to correct her. Would it be weird if I never did?

6. They love a cuddle. They might be wanting to do a lot of things on their own these days, but three year olds still love a cuddle now and then. In fact, mine would prefer an afternoon snuggled up on the couch with me and a pile of books over anything else. Although she would probably prefer me to be Elsa.

7. They're stubborn. Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of the daily, emotional debates about why she needs to wear a jumper when it's freezing cold, but I can't help but admire her dedication to the cause. She will resist every argument I make, including outright bribery. She knows her mind, this one. It's impressive, albeit painful.

8. They're imaginative. I love watching my three year old engaged in play with ordinary household things. The other day I watched her play 'birthday party' with a pile of plastic drink bottles as guests and an empty box for a cake. Three year olds might be swayed by all the Disney merchandise, but when it comes to real play, all they need is crap lying about the house and that fantastic imagination.

9. They sleep like babies. There's something a bit magical about how a three year old sleeps. Watching mine snooze so peacefully and perfectly makes me forget about the day's tears and challenges. Instead of remembering the times I wanted to hide in a small cupboard, looking at her sleeping makes me want to wake her up for a cuddle. Only I don't, of course. It took me two freaking hours to get her to sleep - what am I, crazy?

10. They need us. And nothing proves this more than when you try to sit down for a minute. You think you've got them occupied long enough for you to drink your tea while it's hot. But, no. Be it a sore knee, a sudden urge for the toilet, a need for a cuddle or a book that wants reading. Annoying? A bit. But at the end of the day, I kind of like knowing that my little person still needs me close-by. It tells me that she's still a baby at heart, and that's a huge relief because I worry endlessly that she's growing up too quickly. There'll be plenty of time for hot tea in the future. 

*Originally published on Kidspot

Have you got a three year old? What's brilliant about yours? And, go on - what's not so great? They can be challenging little folk...

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