Tales of a Three Year Old – Blue is the Color of the Sky, and…

kids color
Photo by Pixabay

Ever since my daughter could hold a crayon, she loved to color and draw. Not only did she love it, she was pretty dang good at it. Out of both my children, I consider her my artistic, creative child (my mini-me). When she got older, the coloring had turned into writing and illustrating, and she continues to inspire me.

As early as two and three years old, my daughter started to find her creative side and I never wanted to limit this creativity. I always wanted her to  feel she could express herself in that way so I never put a ton of boundaries on her imagination when it came to her “projects”.  If she didn’t stay in the lines, or wanted to paint the sky pink I celebrated the uniqueness instead of correcting or boxing in her ideas. I did, however, have rules as to what she could draw on, and she always abided by that rule. (Except maybe one time at my parents’ when she had a little party with a black marker. In my opinion, she was protesting the wallpaper, and I couldn’t argue with her on that point). Besides that one instance, I never worried about my walls being covered in crayon rainbow murals or wood table sketched with pencil stick figures. I did find out however, that being specific regarding the details of this rule is quite necessary to a three year old.

It was a quiet even, nothing out of the ordinary, and I had tucked my daughter into bed, sang her favorite song and kissed her goodnight. Later, before I called it an evening, I went to check in on her. I could see from the doorway how adorable she was, breathing softly, curled up on her side, looking like an angel. I walked closer to make sure she was covered up and noticed something on her hand. Curious, I flipped on the hallway light to not wake her, and went back to reexamine things more thoroughly. To my surprise her hand was colored completely blue. I immediately check the walls and they were untouched, but as I looked closer at my sweet blonde princess, I realized that by allowing my three year old to express herself with no boundaries had backfired. Not only were both her hand graced with her artistic skills, but her arms, legs, cheeks, nose and forehead were an ocean blue. She looked like one of the Smurfs. I was in awe and wanted to be upset, but she so looked so ridiculous I couldn’t help but laugh and went to get the camera.

My three year old obeyed my rule of what not to draw on, so how could I be upset, I just never imagined that I would need to be much more specific on the proper use of a marker. I was taught another valuable lesson that night, and could do nothing but shake my head and chalk it up as one of those three year old moments.

Much Love,

Lisa J.

blue
The one time we did let her paint the wall 🙂 Blue seemed to be her color!

Tales of a Three-Year-Old – Let’s Eat Out They Said, It’ll Be Fun, They Said

 

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Innocent right?! Ha 🙂

Isn’t it so very entertaining how there is no one who can turn such a proud moment into such an embarrassing one quite like your three-year-old? Going out in public was like playing Russian roulette, it could go smooth and easy, or you could be shooting yourself in the foot. You just never knew, which made for a rollercoaster of emotion that could lead to walking out of a restaurant with your head held high or slinking out the emergency exit praying nobody saw your face.

One morning while on vacation, we decided to eat breakfast at the hotel buffet. As the waitress seated us, we all were drooling over the spread filled with eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, fruit, pie and donuts. It was a breakfast lover’s dream, and being drawn in by the smells, it never occurred to me that being seated directly next to the food may constitute some worry. Fortunately, my three-year-old snapped me out of my trance and I would never make that mistake twice.

As we were sitting in our booth discussing how it is inappropriate to play with the ice in your water glass, and after the third or fourth time I requested that my son sit in his seat, and stop sliding under the table, he jumped up into a standing position, his eyes wide as saucers, his arms out and stiff as statues and without moving an inch due to what I can only explain as panic, announced to the entire restaurant, including the people in line at the buffet….

I HAVE TO POOP!!

It was like the whole restaurant went silent and all eyes were fix on the four of us. I was horrified and felt the sudden urge to get in line and pretend this was not my family. However, my son made it quite clear he knew who I was as he jumped up and down on bench, suddenly not so paralyzed and directing his focus in my direction, as he continued to repeat himself over and over again until I had no choice but to snatch him up and carry him to the nearest restroom, shushing him and praising him under my breath for telling me, as he laughed all the way there.

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So lucky he was cute 🙂

Tales of a Three-Year Old – Are You Smarter Than a Three Year Old

kid with candy
Photo by Pixabay

Before my son was born I knew he was bound to be a handful. My pregnancy was not exactly glowing and, due to his impatience, I was ordered on bedrest for three very long months. Needless to say, it was not a surprise when he came into the world full of energy, with vocal cords that put lead singers in heavy metal bands to shame with the same ability to party all night without sleep.

As difficult as the first two years were, it was still bittersweet when my son turned three. He was finally out of the all-night cry fests, and I was adjusting quite well to sleeping for more than a few hours at a time. On the other hand, my little bald-headed, baby-faced toddler with big blue eyes was slowly growing into a little man. Instead of wobbling while he walked, and falling down out of clumsiness, he was running full throttle, and literally crashing himself into whatever was in his way.

In this transition, potty training had begun, or at least the attempt to potty train. The concept did not completely sink in with my son until a couple months after his third birthday. It took a lot of patience and constant reinforcement, but when he finally got it, it stuck. Especially once he learned that he earned candy after each successful trip to the bathroom.

While this is one of many stories that have taught me to never underestimate the intelligence of a child, it was one of the first that made me question my own intelligence. It was the holiday season, and my kids and I were visiting with friends. After they had consumed a package of Pez each, and a few pieces of chocolate, I advised them that there would be no more candy. My son, being the sugar fiend he is, was displeased with my decision to cut him off. When the puppy dog eyes didn’t work, he resorted to attempting to break my friend, however, she, of course, backed me up. After an extended period of begging and pleading, his eyes suddenly got wide as saucers, and his face brightened, as if a light bulb went off in his head.

My friend and I stood waiting to see what would happen next and how far he would go to obtain his sugar fix. He rushed to the bathroom, and after he finished his business, he stood at my feet and as I looked down, he smiled and said, in his sweet, innocent but conniving voice, “Can I have candy now peez, I went potty”?

He used our very hard work against me, and I was outsmarted by a three-year old. He got his candy that day, not just for using the potty, but also for leaving two adults rendered speechless with no viable defense.

Ty
This one is actually my son, running as fast as he could in the opposite direction he needed to be. We were fools to think he would retrieve the ball on the other side of the fence without incident. He was three and he was sure entertaining 🙂 

Tales of a Three-Year Old – A Day at the Park

girl on swing
Photo by Pixabay
My next Tale of a Three Year Old…once again my daughter loudly testing my ability to not turn red in embarrassment.

It was yet another moment when my daughter was stubbornly putting her foot down and was determined to let everyone in a mile wide radius know what she had to say. Although this time, instead of refusing to get out of the car seat, she refused to get in it.

We had taken my sweet, blonde, pig-tailed daughter to the park after work one afternoon and treated her to some nuggets and French fries. After eating, she played on the jungle gym until the sun was beginning to fade in the distance. Baffled by the way her tiny legs continued to go, go, go, and tired just watching her, I decided it was time to leave for home. In my naivety, I thought it may help to soften the blow to explain the reasons behind my decision slightly ahead of time. In my mind, I was preparing her for the inevitable, not realizing I was setting myself up for the inevitable…a massive fit.

After the initial outburst we attempted to head back to the car without drawing attention to ourselves. I quickly realized my explanations did nothing but upset her earlier than anticipated, and her resistance was so persistent that I had to pick her up, carry her to the car, and place her in her seat. As I was trying to secure the seat belt, and ignore the crying, kicking and arm thrashing, she yelled out, again, VERY loudly…

“WHHHHY ARE YOOOOUUOU DOOOOING THIS TO MMMME?!!!”

Mmmhmmm, it was beautiful a scene, and all eyes were now in our direction!! Thank goodness it was an understanding crowd, probably parents of three year olds 🙂

Much Love,

Lisa J

 

Once Upon a Decade + Eight

Eight years ago I wrote the original version of this post. Today, with a few tweaks, bittersweet feelings and a heart overfull with love, I post it again to my strong, sweet, creative, amazing daughter on her 18th birthday. Legally, you are an adult, but you will always be my  little girl.

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Once Upon a Decade (+Eight) an Angel was born…

How time flies – from the moment you entered my life, the world that I knew was rocked to the core.  I had been blessed with the most beautiful rose, hands so small and eyes so big.  Never did I think I could love so much, never did I believe this tiny little person would change my ways, my heart and my path, and continue to do so years later.  From first words to first grade, first crush to first car, everything you have done, and will do, is extraordinarily out of this universe.

My life was forever altered, and I am eternally grateful.  Although I knew from the beginning I could never give you the world (as much as I want to) and I could never promise perfection, today I give you what’s in my heart.

As we celebrate your EIGH(TE)ENTH birthday, I make to you the same promises that I made the day you born, and every day since…

I promise…

To always be there, whether you want me or not, big or small. I may not be able to solve whatever comes your way, and I may not always understand, but you will never need to question my presence, either by your side or in your heart;

I promise…

To be that mom. Your biggest cheerleader for all that you dream of, work toward and accomplish. I will also be the quiet shoulder for the times you feel unsteady or shaken with words of comfort and encouragement;

I promise…

To allow you space to make your life choices, whether it be school, career, friends or relationships, this time is yours to find your tribe, your path and your passion;

I promise…

To never lose faith in who you are or what you can do. You have shown me every moment on this planet that you are capable of more than anyone will ever know, and I will never doubt your abilities, your intelligence or your heart;

I promise…

To listen, discuss, debate, agree and agree to disagree with you, but no matter how heated or how controversial, I will always end the conversation with a hug;

I promise…

To be your mom. Yes, you still need a mom, and wherever life may take you that is one fact that will never change;

I promise…

To let go, step back, and watch you grow up into the incredible woman you were born to be, and stand in amazement as you awe the world with the light that you bring; and

I promise…

To love you unconditionally with every piece of my heart, forever and always…

I Promise.

Happy 18th Birthday my Sweet Ms. Rose, follow your heart toward all your dreams, and may this next chapter of your life bring you more joy than you can imagine, love that fills your soul, happiness beyond measure and so much fun and laughter you never forget how amazing it and you are!!

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I love you!

Mom

Tales of a Three-Year Old – A Quote to Live By

This first tale as comes from my beautiful, sweet, strong-willed, independent daughter….I Have choices

I begin with a story I hold dear to my heart. Not only did this moment stick with me as a story I have repeated a million times for laughs, but as I grew as a mother, and a woman, the meaning became so much deeper.

It was winter, and my daughter and I were at my best friend’s house encouraging her to put up the Christmas tree. After removing the decorations from the boxes, we realized that we were in need of more lights, and decided to hit the nearest store. Upon arriving, my daughter ha made up her mind that she really didn’t need, or want, to go shopping. After a few minutes of her stubborn refusal to exit the car, my patience was beginning to wear thin. The back door was open, it was freezing outside, and following repeated attempts of reasoning with her, I firmly stated that she did not have a choice in the matter. It only took a second, but her priceless response (for the entire parking lot to hear) was that of a VERY loud and VERY indignant three year old….

IIIIII HAAAAAVVEE CHOICCEEESSS!!

I was stunned to silence, and for a moment did know whether I should get upset or commend her for her determination to stand up for herself. I believe I may have laughed, but soon realized that I was the adult in the situation, and removed her from her car seat.

Rock on little girl! She is now turning 18 and truly has not changed one bit!

You have a three year old story? I’d love to hear it! When we share, we realize we are not alone in fighting battles that we can’t seem to ever win 🙂 Stay tuned for more Tales of a Three-Year-Old.

Much Love,

Lisa

 

 

Tales of a Three-Year-Old – Introduction

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You may have read in my latest post that I was rummaging around in some old boxes and came across pages of notes and writings that I started years ago. This was at a time when my path toward writing just began to appear for me. I was dabbling in different genres attempting to figure out my purpose or my why, and one of my first attempts at something significant was a book of stories about my kids, my three-year-old kids. While my kids have not been three in such a long time, I thought it would be fun to reminisce.  So, every so often I plan to post a part of the book or one of the stories (original and unedited) under the title “Tales of a Three-Year-Old”.  I hope you enjoy! Also, I would love to hear your stories (I’m sure there are many), so please share, I know anyone who’s lived it would love to know they weren’t alone in their adventures with a Three-Year-Old!

And we Begin….

Dedication

I dedicate this book to my children, for without them, these tales would not exist. And to all the parents of three-year-olds, because without you, there would be nobody for them to embarrass, torment and entertain.

Introduction

I honestly don’t know who coined the phrase “terrible two’s,” but in my experience, and opinion, I believe it was a statement made a tad premature. If only they had been a little more patient, the term may have been saved for the ever-so-joyous threes.

I have two children, one girl and one boy. Not only are they both very different due to their gender, but their personalities and their reactions to situations seem to be on opposite spectrums. I feel blessed to have been given the chance to experience both, and have found even though they are truly opposite, there is one characteristic that every child has that deems them identical at the age of three…

The superior talent of embarrassing you, infuriating you, making you laugh, and having you question your intelligence, all at the same time.

The following stories are prime examples of this talent, and I’m fairly positive that every parent has experienced some, or most, of the same entertaining “good times”. I can only imagine how many moms and dads can relate to the tears, anger, joy and laughter that come out of each moment.

Telling these tales always puts a smile on my face, and even though the stories themselves touch the emotions that every parent feels, it cannot compare to the flashbacks of the facial expressions and inflections in your little one’s voice as you recount the memory.

I hope you enjoy the tales of my three-year-olds, and that you can relive your own, keeping in mind that when your children paint the walls, or themselves, you should stop and admire the color they have brought into your life.

Much Love,

Lisa