I’m not sure what to say about you being three.
It’s ever so slightly better than two?
Sometimes, once in awhile, every third blue moon or so, you are agreeable or obedient or helpful. Whereas this time last year asking you to put your shoes on was an elaborate drama necessitating proper lighting and a full crew, not to mention five days of filming.
Today, you put your shoes on without throwing them across the room. At my head.
You can help set the table. You can operate the television. You can also get water on your own, picking out a cup and its matching top, pushing a stool up to the in-fridge water dispenser. You can put pants on by yourself. And change your own wet diaper (but the eternal question: why can’t you use the potty?)
You can communicate well—a little too well. You often tell me that I’m “sninky” and need to take a “show-ler.” You’re as clear as you have always been about your dislike for something. You spit or harumph or hit (still).
I try to give you words to use instead of your body and boy do you take to those phrases too!
At least once a day you tell me that you don’t like me or your sister or something else. You have been known to say while playing by yourself or pooping in your Pull-Up, “leave me alone! I need privacy!”
I try to remind myself that the traits that make you seem so difficult now will serve you well as an adult—your determination and unmovable concentration, your certainty, your “managerial” skills, your willingness to express yourself in good times and in bad, your passionate desire to stand up for yourself or for something you want, your ease with and ability to read and react to people (otherwise known as manipulation).
I’ve always said that evolution is on your side; that you are lucky you are cute or Else. I dare not say what Else.
The same is true for our new puppy that arrived to us about a week ago and with whom you’ve held a contentious relationship. The two of you take turns being jealous of one another depending on who I’m cuddling, feeding or taking to the potty. And when I’m cooking dinner or doing the dishes you both act up.
I’ve joked that as with children, I can reassure myself that the dog won’t be doing X, Y or Z when he’s two or three years old. Except with you the time frame is elongated. You won’t be spitting, whining, yelling, throwing things, pulling your sister’s hair and pooping in your pants when you’re eighteen. At least, I hope not. #TBD
In a blink of an eye you will be eighteen or so I’ve been told. So, for now I’ll savor your sweet with your sour. Your obstinacy whether applied to putting your shirt on yourself or to your urgent demand to be picked up. Your desire to cuddle at convenient and inconvenient times. Your jokes about underwear and your flirtatious sense of humor, your silly turns of phrase or unique, entertaining logic that wrap adults around your little finger. Your sing-songs that keep your sister up at night and that fill your playtime as I watch you roll trains over couch cushions or comfort your Minnie Mouse lovey. Your taste in music and song requests in the car for “Never Been” (Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble”) or “I Need You Heart” (“I Need Your Love” by Calvin Harris, feat. Ellie Goulding) or a perennial favorite entitled: “NOT THIS SONG, MOMMY! 'NOTHER ONE!”
For every feeling of frustration, impatience or, even, hurt and scorn that you illicit in me in a day (or an hour!), there are, at least, a dozen moments where you make me laugh, feel joy and pride, help me think or see something differently, make me feel loved like only you can.
Danjo, I love you no matter what.