Now that I’m a Grandmom, a GiGi actually, I have clear insight into the brain of a 3-year old. When my kids were three, I was too exhausted to figure out dinner, let alone child psychology. This letter explains everything you need to know for a happy life at this stage.
Dear Mommy and Daddy,
I’m only three, but I know what will make us all happy. I hope you and Daddy will like my ideas.
Stop yelling, “Slow down,” when I am running. That’s why I run…to go fast! I am a good runner and if I slow down, I won’t be a good runner. I’ll be a walker. I don’t want to be a walker.
I want to pick out my own clothes. I don’t know if they match, like you like, but I know how they feel. If I match a giraffe shirt and striped shorts, I feel like I’m at the zoo.
I don’t want to go on the potty every day. I know it makes you happy, but it scares me to push the poop out. I don’t like the splash it makes. Let’s just leave it inside, okay?
Who says I must share my toys? That is not a good idea. They are my toys. I am not sharing unless I want to.
I don’t need naps anymore. I’m growing up now. Just because I fall asleep reading my book in bed after lunch, doesn’t mean I need to nap in the afternoon.
When we go grocery shopping, just let me pick out what I want. Grandma lets me do that. I don’t have to throw myself on the floor and scream like a 2-year-old when I shop with her.
Tantrums are stressful for me, you know. I get all worked up and if you’d just listen to me, I could stop. Things that might help me stop are: Rolos, ice cream pops, cheddar cheese Pringles and a toy.
I like some time by myself. That’s why I play with my toys and stuffed animals. We need to talk about things. You don’t need to listen to us from the doorway. It’s private.
I can’t hurry up. I have little legs. You have big, long legs. Just slow down and walk with me.
If I say I don’t want you to brush my hair, don’t brush my hair. I am serious! I saw you spit on your finger. That is not hair spray.
When you wake me up and lay in my bed and we talk about things that I like, it makes me happy. You really don’t have to be on time for work, do you?
I’m practicing becoming my own little person. It’s not easy. Some days I’m nice, other days I’m not. I don’t know why. I’m just trying to figure it all out.
I do not like spinach. You can have mine. I can eat something else that’s green, like Skittles and M&Ms. We will all be happy at dinner.
I really do think there is a monster in my room. It hides when it hears your footsteps coming. If you can tip toe to my room, maybe you and Daddy can catch it. Bring a big flashlight and candy. I’m pretty sure he likes candy. I can hold the candy while you search for the monster. I think he’s green with big eyes.
Can we please go out in the rain? You can have my umbrella, if you want. I just want to splash and feel the raindrops on my tongue. Maybe we’ll see a rainbow. You like them.
I don’t like when you’re upset with me. I’m just a kid. I spill things on the carpet. I write on walls. I get excited and scream loud. When I’m six I won’t do that anymore. Be patient with me.
I love you. I really do. Take a few minutes and sit with me. Just hug me and smooch me. Remember, I’m growing up fast and I won’t be three much longer.
If you can’t agree to my list, I’m moving to Grandma and Grandpop’s house.
— Anne Bardsley
Anne Bardsley lives in St Petersburg, Florida, with her “wrinkle maker” of a husband and two spoiled cockatoos. She’s still recovering from raising five children. She is so happy she didn’t strangle them as teenagers as they’ve given her beautiful grandchildren. She is the author of How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood and Menopause and Angel Bumps. She blogs at www.annebardsley.com.