Here’s the thing about Three. Three is big. Three is a great big, independent whole human with more than just the likes/dislikes/personality traits that zero, one, and two had. Three has the means to explain them. Carry them out. Demand their acknowledgment. Three is very different than two. And this I know after just a few days.
The Who is now Three — an age that commands capitalization. He says things like, “I didn’t choose that,” and “I’m not comfortable like that.” He is aware of nuance and points them out: “I want a love, Mama, not just a hug. A love.” He can bargain: “How about five minutes, Mama?” He understands the concept of honesty: “Well, maaaaaybe I am telling you a story and not the truth.” He is starting to make sense of time and its passage: “Why I won’t ever be two ever again?” He asks so many questions, I swear he must be done, but he never is. He is terrifically insatiable.
Three has brought with it a stunning admiration for trains and their tracks. The Who has always been a vehicle-lover (there has never been a shortage of fire trucks and diggers among his toy and book collection) but trains now hold a brand new allure. Magnetic connecting coaches, train whistles, “Top’n Hat” and the mastery of the crayon-drawn track are all present and accounted for here in Three.
The Who is a curious, clever, and often cheeky little monkey. The closer we get to naptime and bedtime, the more impish his grin becomes. He laughs easily in Three (but that is nothing new) and has become quite sociable. I’ve been referring to him as The Mayor lately, as he greets strangers with a cheerful “hello” and a waggle of his fingers. He is a likable and friendly playmate. He does seem to understand the ground rules of Three, though, and does his part to adhere to them: snatching puzzle pieces from his pals, elbowing a fellow playground-player out of his way on the slide, and demanding a turn with the toy he just tossed aside as soon as a classmate picks it up.
Watching him straddle the state line from Toddler to Preschooler has reminded me of the adage I have heard a thousand times before: the days are long, but the years are short. Never was there a truer statement. I’m looking forward to the rest of Three — savoring each day, even the tough ones — because as The Who and I both now understand, he will never be this age ever again.
Happy Birthday, Who. I can’t wait to see what happens during the rest of your days in Three.