My days of being able to write a post titled “G at Three” are numbered! I first started drafting this post almost a year ago, with a collection of cute words and phrases from my little guy:
- “I not mind about it” (wishing this attitude hung around for a little longer, though it may be making a bit of a resurgence)
- “Maybe yes, maybe no”
- “Mommy Teapot, wake uuuuuuupppp” (his morning greeting, which he still uses; ideally we do not hear it until after 6am!)
- Bo-nanas (for “banana;” also pronouncing the name of one of his teachers as Mo-donna, instead of Madonna)
There is no doubt that Gabriel is no longer a baby, nor a toddler, but a little boy. A little boy with a mind of his own. Lately, he likes telling us all about his “plans,” and heaven help us if his plan is not actually what is going to happen!
While there were challenging moments, we made it through the “terrible two’s” without much of the terrible. The first few months of the three’s were similar, and then the bottom dropped out. My easy-going little guy turned into a completely irrational creature who would melt-down and be inconsolable over THE most ridiculous things:
- I used the wrong knife to put the peanut butter in his oatmeal
- I gave him a spoon when there was already a spoon on the table
I’m sure there are many other examples, but those were two that happened with some frequency.
A friend suggested Susan Stiffelman’s Parenting Without Power Struggles. It was a useful book — I took a lot from it, and will likely revisit it. One of the main themes was “coming alongside your child,” rather than fighting them, by acknowledging their emotions, and while it makes sense in theory, finding the patience to empathize with Gabriel feeling really sad that his favorite knife wasn’t clean (for the hundredth time) was challenging.
I often thought, and sometimes said, “That isn’t even a thing. Who cares what knife I used for the peanut butter? You cannot be upset about that because it isn’t even a thing. Be thankful that you have peanut butter!”
The good news is that, after several trying months (Tyrannical Threes?) things do seem to be getting better in the ridiculous breakdown department. And, looking back, even at its worst, these were only moments within days that were mostly good.
In the last few months, we’ve moved into the “why” stage. For some reason, I was thinking that happened earlier, and we just got lucky and missed it, but no. Sometimes it is fun explaining, but it can get old quickly. This too shall pass!
Other highlights of three:
- G loved his Montessori preschool (and who wouldn’t, with Grandma as a teacher?)
- He continued to received speech therapy, and make good progress
- He loves his “green bike” (the Burley Piccolo tag-a-long), and we’re going for longer rides
- He does not like riding Lightning (his two-wheeled bike with training wheels), much to my dismay and frustration
- He’s continued to be quite the little foodie, and he’s a pretty good kitchen helper
- When he’s in the mood, he’s also a good helper at the garden
- He tells these amazing stories, often centered on his toy cats (Mama Emily, Little Emily, Meow, Watermelon, Flower Hiding, and Knocking Crane (a stuffed tiger cub, who is the latest addition to the crew))
- He’s also very into art projects and loves making things for people
- He loves books, but is not reading yet (I know it’s technically early, but I have friends whose kids were reading by four, and while I enjoy reading to/with him, I’m looking forward to this sometimes being an independent activity).
- He also likes dressing up; favorites include his tiger and Peter Pan costumes, and, most recently, “Super Cape,” a made-up costume using a beautiful scarf made by Matthew’s great aunt
Gabriel loves parties and celebrations, and I’m looking forward to celebrating with him on the upcoming fourth anniversary of his birth and to seeing what this next year will bring!
Just to give you perspective, both of my boys didn’t really start reading until almost 6 (Matthew is on the verge I think, with 3 months to go before 6) . There are some kids who start earlier, but that’s the exception. And lots of friends took quite a bit longer to really be reading independently. Don’t compare or you are likely to be disappointed.
Thanks, good to get that perspective. I do know that comparing (on any measure, not just reading) is not a good idea, but it can be hard to avoid!
The wrong spoon for the peanut butter. I feel your pain.
Adorable, lucky boy.