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things I wasn’t expecting | from a three year old

As each month goes by, with your first child, new things develop, don’t they? There are so many things I wasn’t expecting. Not that I was expecting much, you understand. Articles you read about three year olds focus on obtuse and demanding behaviour and talk about being a ‘threenager’. I’ve added threenager to the list of words I can’t say out loud because I dislike them so much. Babycinno is also on that list.

Anyway, I digress. Here’s some wonderful, positive things about the three year old I live with. I hope, if you’re facing difficult behaviour, it makes you think about the great things you weren’t expecting, alongside the harder stuff.

I wasn’t expecting her to have true relationships 

Outside of her parents and close family, I totally underestimated my daughter’s capacity to love and to form relationships. There are people she just adores without question. People she misses, people she asks about, people she remembers. Other children and peers, and adults – her godfather, the older daughter of a good friend, our neighbour. It’s such a pleasure to watch and be part of.

I wasn’t expecting her to love animals as much as she does

It’s no secret that I love dogs and horses in particular, and I’m so pleased that Tibbs is so relaxed around animals. This presents its own challenges – preventing her from approaching every dog, for example. However, it’s also produced an interest in all creatures, from snails to birds, to the badgers and deer in our garden, and the guinea pigs we read about in our books. I’d so much rather explain nature than human nature – so long may it continue!

I wasn’t expecting her to love singing

But even more surprising is her memory for songs! If I sing something to her I sang to her as a very small baby, she stops and looks at me – that look you get from newborns, as if they’ve known you before, you know? She joins in with songs we sing at choir, even though she doesn’t join in at choir. She sings radio jingles (embarrassingly Simon Mayo ones, but, you know, I am over 30, what to do you expect?). Feeble as it is, I could listen to her sing forever.

I wasn’t expecting her to remember good times

In the car, especially on the way to nursery, she recounts ‘the good times’. Things we did on holiday. Plays or shows we’ve recently been to. Visits from her cousins and grandparents. Trips to London to see her friend. She’s retaining memories. I love being able to be nostalgic with a three year old.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy spending time with her

I know. What an awful thing to admit. But I just didn’t see it coming, that when it’s just me and her, doing something we both find fun, that I’d actually personally enjoy it, not just enjoy it because she is having fun.

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What did you not expect from your three year old? Tell me!

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13 Comments

  1. This is so sweet. My niece is 5 today and I’m always amazed at how emotionally advanced she is. It’s hard to imagine we were once like that! x

  2. Laney Laney

    Ivy always amazes me with knowledge that she’s learnt from elsewhere. For example while reading The Three Billy Goats Gruff the other day, for the first tIme, we got to the bit where the towns people brought the Billy goats cream cheese, amongst other things, to say thanks (In the version we are reading anyway) To which Ivy piped up “That’s silly, goats don’t eat cheese!” How does she know this???HOW?!

    • I think we’ve produced a pair of listeners, haven’t we? They just don’t listen to US very much 🙂

  3. I think my most important parenting moment was when I realised I looked forward to spending time with my children because I genuinely enjoyed their company, rather than looking forward to spending time with my children because I was their mother and I was supposed to look forward to spending time with them!

    Great post – these kind of things are so lovely to look back on as they grow older x

    • Exactly, Alice, it’s a very important flip, isn’t it?

  4. This is so lovely! I know what you mean though, it’s the age where they go from being almost like an extension of you, to really having personalities of their own, and it’s very sweet 🙂

    • Thanks Jo, maybe I’m mourning the demise of the ‘me extension’?

  5. Oh this is so lovely and what brilliant things to capture! I was nodding along it really takes me back. So lovely to remember the lovely things rather than the incredible ability to resist being put to bed.

    • I’m a big fan of how many questions of varied levels of weird that a child can ask before they go to bed!

  6. 3yr olds I find are full of surprises and its a really fun and interesting age as they start to become really aware. So nice to hear she loves animals

    Laura x

  7. 3 is such a wonderful age, my girls all at that age really had such fab personalities and you could see the just soaking up the world

  8. It’s a wonderful thing when your child also becomes one of your best buddies isn’t it. I remember that happening with both my girls especially and I have created little cafe hoppers out of both of them!!!

    • I love that she loves cafes as much as me….it’s a thing, right?

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