For those of you with teenagers reading this, I am sure that you will think, "This poor lady has no idea what's coming!" True enough! But for me, an experienced (ha!) mother of almost six years, age 3 is by far the hardest. I have survived it twice, and the third is fast approaching her 3rd birthday. This milestone year has arrived in typical mind-numbing fashion :).
This morning my adorable (God made them cute to remind you that they are the same sweet babies of yesterday) almost 3-year-old daughter made the morning much longer and more stressful than it needed to be. The morning is always a mad rush trying to get out to school (or today, summer camp). But, this morning was especially trying.
"What cereal would you like, sweetheart?," I asked...even though I was longingly staring at my cup of coffee yet to be touched! She quickly replied that she must have the one with marshmellows. She even remembered that it must be mixed with a healthier cereal and that she must "eat them both." She sat down so happy. Until...bigger brother and sister came in and chose another cereal. Suddenly colorful marshmellows were not joyful. Bring on tantrum!
"What outfit would you like to wear, sweetheart? Your sundress or your skirt and shirt (she's a very girly girl)?" The skirt and shirt...no hesitation. I got to work ironing the pile of clothes for everyone to wear this day. Yes, I realize that this is self-imposed stress...especially for summer camp and hanging out at home...the two main activities of the day :). I hand the freshly pressed skirt and shirt to said almost-preschooler and expected (well, sort of) a "Thank you!" Instead...tears for the wrinkled dress that will have to wait for another day.
More examples could follow, but I think the point has been made!
I get the older kids to camp and head to "Summer Fun Time", a summer class just for 2-3 years old on Tuesday mornings. My daughter absolutely loves it because she gets to be a big girl! She happily runs into the room, pig tails bouncing and skirt/shirt looking sharp. A huge smile and wave for me and her younger siblings.
Two hours later, fresh from coffee with a friend and a quick errand, I pick up a tired but happy child. The first thing she told me was that, "America's (mispronouced) birthday is coming!" The next thing, "Does America eat cake and how old is America?" This morning's frustrations forgotten. I get that "I am SO blessed feeling" that wells up bringing me more joy than I have ever known. I ask her what she thinks. She pauses, "I think America eats vanilla cake and that America is going to be 3." I smile...what a great year it will be then!