My youngest daughter just turned three. So, in honour of that occasion, I give you three things I know about three-year-olds.
1. They want what they want - Whether it's wearing a full-on princess outfit (tiara and all) to go grocery shopping with you or using the blue cup instead of the red one at dinnertime, they know their own minds, and there's no persuading them otherwise. For mine, that currently means wearing the same gold dress every day. It doesn't matter that the dress is more appropriate for an evening party than for daycare. It doesn't matter if it's 15 degrees outside or 35. Or that the dress definitely needs to be washed at some point (because three-year-olds are not exactly known for their cleanliness and fastidiousness about their clothes). She. Wants. To. Wear. That. Dress.
Okay, then. It's a pick-your-battles thing. Which leads me to No. 2...
2. They are 100% correct about everything, at all times - Or so they think, anyway. There is no one—and I mean, no one—more imperious than a three-year-old. Three-year-olds should run boardrooms, they're so confident about the validity of their position. And if that position happens to completely defy logic, or the laws of nature or physics, then so what?
That toy, which is twice as big as the one she's trying to shove it into, just doesn't fit in there? Doesn't matter. IT GOES IN THERE. And that's that. Failure to understand this will undoubtedly lead to a meltdown of epic proportions.
3. They are really, really cute - There's something magical about that time of transition between toddler-hood and school age. Three-year-olds try so hard to keep up with the big kids, yet they still want to be snuggled and carried in your arms. They can express their needs and desires—loudly and clearly—but their language doesn't always keep up with their thoughts and imagination.
For example, my three-year-old still calls polka dots "poke-a-bots". I think this is totally adorable and am trying hard not to correct her.
I find it helpful to remember that, however tiring and exasperating they may be sometimes, three-year-olds are also hilarious and adorable. I try to keep that in mind when mine is freaking out over my egregious error of giving her the wrong colour socks or refusing to go to bed unless I play with her stuffed animals and sing her songs for 10 minutes.
(And guess what? She can't tell time yet. So that's one I can win...for now.)