As my oldest nears his 4th birthday (TOMORROW!), I thought I would write down some of the wonders and joys of his 3rd year.
*First and foremost, he can (and does) communicate a LOT better! Even when you're not sure what he's saying or where he picked something up from, he can reference it. For example, when he yells "Sym-mu-muh!" and I wonder what he's talking about, I can ask "where is that from?" and he'll say "Sym-mu-muh, is from Sym-mu-muh apples!" - Ah, Cinnamon! Got it. This is great when he's quoting one of a hundred movies he loves. Or when he's telling me something so matter-of-factly and I ask "Where'd you hear that?" and he tells you "The Beast taught me". Yes, of course!
*His imagination is fantastic! The story-telling, the play acting, the dramas that unfold in my home these days are a marvel! I've talked about it before and it never gets old. I love seeing the world through his magical eyes!
*The conversations we have are second to none! I love the details he remembers and the photographic memory he has (he certainly didn't get that from ME!). He remembers what store we bought the ketchup at and what I was wearing the day we spilled a drink at the mall. He recites slogans from commercials I don't even know. He even knows the words to songs he's only heard a couple times. And he's definitely NOT directionally challenged (like ME!) - he knows what direction to turn out of the driveway if we're headed to Target vs. Grandma and Grandpa's house. If you take a different route to school he knows and "yells" at you for going the wrong way! The kid kills me! It's amazing, really!
*I love the cooperation that comes with his being three. Granted, it's not consistent or all that reliable, but it's there. I can reason with him more know and explain things to him and that often heads off a lot of the problems and tantrums. (Now, the sass and attitude are totally different!! Man, where did that come from!?!?)
*Three brings a maturity that surprised me at his age. Like the chicken and the egg, I'm not sure which came first (his maturity because of age or his maturity as a result of his newer "big brother" status) but it's obvious! He's such a little man suddenly! It's as if being three made him suddenly more trustworthy or less impulsive. I don't worry about him darting into the street because he "knows better". I don't worry about his behavior at other people's house (as much) because he's "trained" (for lack of a better word, I guess!) to know what he can and can't get away with. Does he do things he's not supposed to do?!? Of course, but I know the signs. Maybe it's less about maturity and more about experience as a parent to him but I rather like the peace it brings.
I'm sure there are hundreds more wonderful things that have come about with this age but these are some highlights that come readily to mind. I am sad to see this wonderful age go but am excited to see what "four" brings.