Our granddaughter was three on Tuesday and along with a growth spurt is also the language spurt as in a greater ability to have an actual conversation. Not that high level discourse is around the corner, but there can now be a greater exchange where everyone at least understands what words are being said. The telephone call we were all finally able to squeeze in between hectic schedules included an update on having cupcakes and taking pictures with Mommy.
These are the leaps for parents when you suddenly wonder how did three years go by and you aren’t quite yet aware there will be no slowing down the process. Oh sure, there will still be the times when you aren’t completely communicating because articulating certain emotions/feelings are complex. Back when I was working on the book, A Parent’s Guide To Business Travel I was startled when teenage son let me in on some concerns he’d had as a child when I would leave for trips. We always discussed my travel, about how I would miss him, when I would be coming back, etc. It never occurred to me he would think my travel was somehow a factor of wanting a break from him. When I expressed my surprise, his response was essentially, “Hey when you’re a little kid, you think about stuff like that. You don’t understand it until later.”
Age three is also when you really have the chance to build the concepts of sharing and respecting other people. That does take a while, but laying the foundation is important. And then of course, there is likely to be the moment when words you wish didn’t pop out of little mouths do because they hear, “Oh sh—, or whatever when you think they aren’t listening. If you’re lucky, having that first conversations about “bad words” will take place in private and not in the presence of strangers.