My twins have recently turned three, and I have to say — I love this age.
Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t much cuter than a toddling two year old, but something magic happens when they turn three that makes them even more delicious. They’ve still got all the toddler goodness, so there’s plenty of cute factor… but they also seem to move closer to Little Person, which I reckon makes them even more fun to be around.
And the really great news? The milestones that come with this age mean very good things for the parental workload! As they grow more independent, and you begin to leave some of the baby stuff behind — like naps, nappies and one-sided conversations — you can really begin to enjoy the Little Person you’ve raised, without some of the maintenance tasks that come with babies and younger toddlers.
Here are eight reasons why I love having three-year-olds:
1. Toilet Training Is Pretty Much Complete
Phew! We are pretty much in the sweet spot when it comes to toilet training, which is a big relief, because for a while there the three of us were homebound while we figured out what to do with number ones and twos. I could barely get them up the road to day care without one of them having an accident. Now that they’re three, we’ve got this department covered. I no longer fret if I forget to pack the spare clothes, and I don’t live in fear of supermarket accidents.
2. Strollers Are Negotiable
While I loved being able to plug my twins into their stroller and know that they’re safe (and by that I mean contained), I can no longer deny the fact that they are too big for the thing now — pushing them up the hill is testament to that. But while having them roam free with me in the street makes my heart race a little, the convenience of not lugging a stroller in and out of the car just to go grab some milk totally outweighs this.
3. Little Person Clothes
Somehow, when kids turn three they suddenly look even cuter in their attire. Maybe it’s the little kid styles out there, which are so different to the baby-esque options for toddlers, or maybe it’s just that they’re taller and therefore look better in their outfits. Three-year-olds also tend to be more proactive in choosing what they wear, which makes them strut their stuff with a swagger I can only dream about having myself.
When my toddlers turned three, I noticed their speech suddenly jump ahead in leaps and bounds. Finally we got to have two-way conversations, instead of just trying to figure out what each other was saying. I love hearing them test out phrases on me, that they’ve heard from their siblings or on TV. ‘Good job, Mum — high-five!’ one of them said to me the other night after we read a bedtime story.
5. Options For Outings
Now that they’re a little older, it’s easier to take them out and about because they can appreciate interesting places more — plus, I don’t have to worry about their behaviour so much. This means we can explore the zoo, the beach and cafes without me breaking into a cold sweat along the way.
6. Less Risky Behaviour
Further to the above, I can more or less rely on my three-year-olds to behave a certain way, although this one is definitely a work in progress. For example, I’m confident they will no longer eat the contents of any rogue hand cream tubes around the house, which is a great result, but relying on them NOT to shove tiny objects up their nose? It’s a big question mark.
7. Nap Time Isn’t Essential
We are no longer bound by ‘nap time’, as these ones gave up their day sleep months ago. While I miss the midday break, the good thing about this means we can be more flexible with outings, so there’s no rushing home from playdates to get their day sleep in. There’s also no more emotional battles to convince them to have said day sleep. The best thing of all here is that it means evening bedtime goes a LOT smoother.
8. The Funny Stuff
Three-year-olds are hilarious. From their repetitive questions to their tall stories, to the little personality quirks that start appearing around this time… it can be a laugh a minute. They also give you plenty of fodder for making video memories, and most of them seem to like to put on a show. I have ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You’ by KISS performed by one of my three-year-olds on video, that I will keep forever more…