Three is a tough age: big feelings, small vocabulary, big ideas, inability to adequately put ideas into words, big enough to not be a baby, not big enough to be a big kid. Big attitude in a little package.
Three has its rewards, though. I love the way three year olds see the world. I love how they speak with their hands to back up the words they can’t quite pronounce. I love how they will use 20 words to describe something when they can’t remember the 1 word for it.
I love the gems they drop in your lap, unexpected, out of the blue — accidentally profound, unintentionally hilarious. Gems like:
“Mama, kisses come from da heart. You kiss someone and den da kiss goes into deyr heart and den into deyr bewwy and makes dem happy. Happiness lives in deyr bewwy. And den dey get happy and dey kiss you and give da happy to you in your bewwy, too!”
“I just miss my fwends. I sad. Dey went away and broked my feewings. Dey broked my HAPPY feewings..”
“Mama milk comes from da boobies. Mama milk tastes like happy.”
“Mama? Dohes are my bawls. I call dem my Honey Nut Cheerioes.”
(What can I say? He has two older brother and testicles have become a daily topic of conversation over the last few years.)
I can’t possibly put into words the hilarity that ensued when he tried to describe “prairie dogging” to me during a potty-training day. Let’s just say that it was the sort of thing that was funny enough I wanted to share on Facebook, but didn’t because I wasn’t sure my kid-free friends would appreciate a three year old’s explanation of poop mechanics.
My favourites, though, are the accidentally profound — the ones that make me stop and think, and nod my head in agreement. The ones that give me a glimpse of the world in a way I probably haven’t seen it since I was little, too. Looking up and out at the world from down low gives three year olds a sense of perspective that we don’t stop often enough to appreciate.
Stoop low and listen well. You might learn something.