Having been the easiest two year-old in the world, this threenager sure is throwing us a curve ball. We’re dealing with daily tantrums, whining, incessant chatter… the whole nine yards. I’ve heard that three is sometimes even rougher than the “terrible twos,” but good grief! Ames Emmanuel is lucky he’s cute! His big brothers are ridiculously patient with him, which serves as a great example for his parents. Being that this is a huge season of transition for him, I’ve tried a few different approaches lately to help the days run more smoothly.
I’ve found that if I heap responsibility onto this little boy’s shoulders, he responds with the utmost enthusiasm. We’ve developed a little game where I call out, “Big brother, big ___” and Ames yells “HELPER!” Except it comes out sounding like HEPPUH and I melt a little bit inside from the cuteness. Anyway, he’ll come running and help me with whatever I’m doing at the moment. I haven’t had to put away a folded dish rag in weeks, and he is all too excited to pile those jokers up in the basket under the sink.
Ames also appreciates small moments. He has a wicked sharp memory and enjoys reflecting back on events throughout the last day. Or week. Or month. Last night I gave him a bath by himself, so we could get a little time together away from the sisters. We were in the middle of chatting about something when he grabbed my face said, “Wait, Momma. Thank for those muffins.” The Ames Emmanuel version sounded like CANKOO FUH DOZE MUFFINS, which of course nearly brought me to tears. He was referring to the special patriotic breakfast I’d set up for the kids before I left for work the day prior. For being such a rowdy tot, the boy sure has a grateful heart.
Before we know it, this kid will grow out of his toddler years – the ugly tantrums and the cute mispronunciations included. For now, though, we’ll make the most of this threenager and soak his little sweaty self up. Because nothing smells as close to heaven as a boy who’s put up a good fight, and then succumbed to a good nap.