When Claire was in the throes of the terrible two's, I had a very thoughtful friend say to me, "Just wait until she's three. Three is so much worse." Hearing that the worst was yet to come was not exactly what I needed to hear at the time, but now that I have a three and a half year old, I see what she meant. It's not that Claire's behavior is so much worse than it was a year ago, it's just that she's a year older, and, well, she should know better.
We've been having a bit of a tough time here lately, behavior-wise, and frankly, yesterday I was worn out from it. How many times can a grown-up be expected to say "I can't understand you when you're screaming at me. When you're ready to talk, I'm ready to listen."? At least twenty, apparently, because that's about how many times I said those very words yesterday.
We were on our way to soccer last night when Claire started asking questions about when she was a baby. Did I sleep in a baby crib? Yes, in the same one Arden sleeps in now. Was I so cute? Oh, you were soooo cute! Did I cry sometimes? Sometimes, but not too much.
Then she said, "I used to be a baby, but now I'm a big kid." I smiled and said, "Yes, you were a baby just like Arden but now you're a big girl."
She thought for a minute and then said, "First I was a baby then after five minutes I was a big kid."
I sat there for a minute and thought about how right she was. It does seem like just five minutes ago I was holding a swaddled bundle of precious baby and now I have a big girl who wants to do everything by herself. I started to get kind of emotional, marveling at how the time has flown and how wise my three year old is sometimes.
"Mom?" Claire said from the backseat.
"Yes, sweetie?" I asked, wondering what profound statement she would come up with this time.
"Arden has a poo-poo cup!" She said, bursting into giggles.
Looks like I don't have to worry about her growing up too fast, after all.