Nina turned three in January. And three is. kicking. my. ass. The terrible twos are a crock compared to three.

I am living with a “three-nager.” Nothing, absolutely nothing, gets done without a fight. Bedtime stinks. But potty-training is catching on like gangbusters. Sometimes she tries to put her coat on backwards and I laugh because some nights I think both of us need straight-jackets. Not only is she developing some very specific preferences, but she will tell me (ad nauseam) what is wrong with the bad things. My cooking (“not tasty”), bedtime (“not fun for me”), hair-washing (“I want to be dirty!”)…She has a little BFF, who will be going to school in September. I’m dreading it already.

And yet there is a scary level of emotional intelligence and sensitivity. A desire to be a “good girl,” for me to be happy, and to share how she feels at varying decibels. Last week as I was snuggling her in bed, she turned to me for the very first time ever, exclaimed “guess what?”

I was giddy with excitement as I cried “what?”

It turns out that “what” was that her friend fell on her bum, and then got up. But with those two words I was rocketed forward, to a time when we will converge at home after school and work and talk about our days. When the “what” will be something bigger and more grown-up. Maybe a problem at school, trouble with bullies, or a fight with a friend. And I realize that the wonderful thing about three is that I still have a little more time when the biggest news will be about someone falling on their bum. And where she will snuggle up to me after sharing her news, still believing that Mummy can fix any problem, still little enough that a kiss cures all things.

Guess what? I think I can handle three a little longer.


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