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Friday, April 27, 2012

Parenting a Three Year Old

The joys of a three year old are endless. They are so curious...about everything.

We may not always see the sweet wonders. When they are pitching a fit over wanting blue candy instead of green, getting up for the 5th time after you've put them to bed, splashing water out of the bathtub or asking a million questions. 

Sometimes, I seriously think my daughter believes that her only response to anything I say should be one of the following: What, when, why, how, who, or where.

At times, it doesn't even make sense. She just wants to know everything.

Ariana: Do baby sharks have teeth?
Me: Yes.
Ariana: Why?
Me: So they can chew up their food like you chew up your food when you eat.
Ariana: How?

I'm going to admit that somedays the endless questions can make you feel like you're going insane and can't get a second to think. But, those questions are so full of wonder, a willingness to learn, and full of childhood innocence. They really make me stop and look at her.

I like to think of myself as a very involved parent. Until she turned 3 this past November, she spent every second of every day with me. Playing, learning, creating. Now, that she's a little bit older, she's started going to preschool 3 mornings a week. It's only 9 hours a week. We still do crafts together, play outside, go on play dates, and find new places and things to explore. We spend a lot of time together, even if it's just teaching her to fold socks together (her new favorite thing to help with).

But, don't get me wrong, somedays, it's easy to be distracted when trying to make dinner, run errands, clean house, whatever the case may be to brush her off and say "in a minute". But those minutes to add up, and it's easy for me to quickly let those moments slip away. But not today.

More and more lately I catch myself in those moments and stop whatever I'm doing (if I can) and talk to her or help her or play some part in her made up game. These moments won't last forever. There will be a time when she's not going to want me to play with her or ask me questions. There will be a time when I'm not as cool as I am now and don't know all the answers. When she won't want me to rock her before bed, or snuggle on the couch.

I get choked up thinking about how fast I feel like that time is approaching, when she'll be "all grown up". Today, it feels like just yesterday she was learning to crawl. And tomorrow feels I'll be talking about that time she went on her first school dance. (Which hopefully won't be until middle school. Am I right?)

So, for now I'm going to cherish these 3 year old moments with her. She'll be 4 in only 6 months.

I ask myself:
What will our life be like then? 
How will her games have changed?
What will her questions be like? 
Will she be as dramatic?
Will she still have the same favorite animal?
Still love singing the same songs?

But, those are my adult questions. 

And right now, I'm focusing on her 3 year old questions.

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  1. Gorgeous gorgeous pics. I'm completely with you. My two year old is nearly three, and time seems to be slipping by far too fast.