There are things that I want to remember, like the way my 3-year-old son uses the adjective "favorite" to describe everything from the shirt I pull out of the drawer for him to wear that morning to his "favorite" Daddy to his "favorite" house he lives in. I love it, that zeal for life that only those who are three can have.
I love the way he calls his siblings his friends. Lately he's been asking as I carry him up to bed, "Why are my friends not going to bed?" And I answer, "Oh, because you are three." Which really is code for, "Because you have completely worn me out."
And how he climbs in bed with me every day in the pre-dawn morning hours. He flings the covers back, climbs in and covers himself back up. I always put my arm around him and we snuggle. If we are lucky we both fall back asleep for a couple of hours.
Three years old is an age of contradictions. Three years old wants to be carried, unless he doesn't. Three years old wants to walk by himself, unless your hands are full. Three years old wants to do it himself, unless you want him to do it himself, in which case he would rather die a slow painful death than to do it himself. Three years old loves to go places, but then acts like a complete depraved lunatic once you arrive at your destination.
Three years old wants to eat the same thing for lunch every single day. And he wants the sandwich cut in half, except if you don't ask him first. Then he doesn't want it cut in half. In fact, how dare you put that hideous sandwich in front of him.
Three years old talks constantly. And LOUDLY. The volume control does not yet function properly and neither does three years old have any sort of censor stopping what he says. Luckily three years old doesn't enunciate well enough for strangers to understand that he has just asked why they are wearing funny clothes or where their hair or teeth went.
Three years old prefers to wear underwear backwards so he can see the pictures. And pants backward too, just because he likes it that way. Three years old can not yet wipe his own butt, but will pull ream after ream of toilet paper off the roll into a pile on the floor. And then pull up his pants and run out of the bathroom declaring he does not need to be wiped.
Given his reaction, three years old thinks that having water poured over his head during bath time is the same as being doused with boiling oil. he is still afraid of the drain and prefers to watch the water leave the bath from the outside of the tub.
There are days when I think three years old can not leave my house quickly enough. And then he will go and grab my cheeks in his chubby baby hands, plant a kiss on my lips, and say, "I love you, my favorite Mommy."
I love you too, my favorite three years old.