I've been struggling lately with keeping a positive attitude while interacting with S. So, in the spirit of changing my thinking in order to change my mood and my reactions, this post is going to describe some of the things that are good and fun about having a 3 year old.
They like stating the obvious. Most of the funniest statements I have ever heard came out of the mouths of 3 year olds. Today, she told me that "We go to bed every night."
They really do want to help you. When S offers to help me carry the groceries in or sort the laundry or scrub the floor...she means it. It may actually make the job harder when she tries to "help", but she doesn't know that and she really, truly wants to do something for me. I need to remember to judge her on her intention, not the result.
They have rapid mood swings. That may sound like a bad thing, but it really isn't. One minute, it's the end of the world; the next, everything is rainbows and sunshine. The emotional lows of tantrums and crying are more than offset by the emotional hugs of giant hugs and big grins and infectious giggling.
They like repetition. My 12-year-old may complain that I "always say that", but I will never hear that from a 3 year old. Well, I might, but it would be something the 3 year old is happy about!
They can take delight in little things. S loves to go places, so if I announce that we're going to run some errands, she literally squeals with delight. Sometimes she even jumps for joy at the idea of going to the bank. It used to make O's day when I would pull over so he could to watch a train go by. Three year olds can be just as pleased the hundredth time you drive past the pasture full of horses as they were the first.
They are terrible liars. Really. I don't think I've ever been taken in by the story a 3 year old was spinning.
They can turn anything into a toy. The cliche of the preschooler tossing a toy in order to play with the box is a cliche because it's true! Papers, leafs, rocks, laundry baskets, blankets, pillows, empty water bottles....everything can be a tool for active little imaginations.