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20th January 2013

So then, three

The Small Person turns three on Monday, and while in the grand scheme of things three is still pretty new, from the perspective of this parent, three is an amazingly big kid.

Almost-three has been counting down the number of sleeps until his birthday party, in a way almost-two did not. Almost-two asked for two cupcakes for his birthday because he understood that birthdays mean cupcakes. Almost-three understands that birthdays mean parties. Almost-three anticipates things. On the way home from school on Friday he asked to call Papa. "Where are you?" Almost-three demanded, and when Papa admitted he was in the living room, Almost-three sounded disappointed "Oh, I expected you to be upstairs.".

Almost-two was confident that if we would just let him out of the house alone he could do anything he wanted, including ride the subway to go shopping. Almost-three can tell you exactly what streetcar to take to what subway station and where to get off the subway to make his shopping dreams a reality. He'll ask for money and TTC tickets too. Almost-three considers it one of the greatest indignities of our time that he is still not allowed out unaccompanied.

Almost-three is absolutely certain that his opinions matter. He'll tell you what he wants and where to go. Almost-three has plans, and like the adults he will build these plans all by himself without need of consultation or input. Almost-three does not like it when we are not able to follow through on his plans - "Abba, you broke my plan." he bemoans. Almost-three is a committed backseat driver - but only because we won't let him drive. He's sure that would be fine. "Hey, stop the car - you were suppose to go over there." Almost three calls out.  Almost-three remembers where restaurants are, where his school is, the names of streets and other landmarks in the city. He gives guided tours from the backseat. Almost-three's favorite restaurant is Guu, his favorite treat location is Menchie's and he loves the special dinosaur exhibit at the ROM. He'd like to eat out in a restaurant most nights, and always has an opinion. Almost-three likes the zoo, and the art gallery, and does not understand why we only get to do such things on weekends. Almost-three would like there to be fewer week days and more weekends, more time to do things together, less time for school.

Almost-three's favorite food is a salmon and avocado handroll, his favorite texture is squishy, his favorite toy at school is Moon Sand. Almost-three remains committed to purple, and says his very favorite place is his old school. Almost-three loves snuggles and reading, and has a fondness of sea creatures. Almost-three likes jumping, making noise, trains and whatever the big people have. Almost-three loves cooking and wants to measure, chop and stir. He's careful about heat and is proud of his accomplishments.

Almost-three speaks in paragraphs, and tells stories both real and imaginary. Almost-three can add and subtract with great confidence and accuracy under five, and great confidence and less accuracy under nine. Almost-three can tell the difference between letters and numbers, and is figuring out more and more of the letters all the time. "Why does the alphabet in my room have an octopus and an O on it? There isn't an O in my name." Almost-three can really carry on a telephone conversation now, although he would prefer to Skype or facetime. Almost-three is just learning what our culture believes a girl should look like and what a boy should look like, although he is still not sure of this gender business. Almost-three talks about "a money" less now, and "money" more and is learning that different bills and coins have their own names.

Almost-three is a champion negotiator, willing to throw in prior precedent, stated laws, his own desires, examples from other people and future possibilities. Almost-three will win you over with his charm, even if you are not a kid person. Almost-three is almost never scared, unless the toilet is too loud, and if peeing out of the house will often require the grown person to investigate how loud the toilet is in advance and report back.

Almost-three has the sleep schedule of a university student. He'd like to be up until at least eleven at night, and then sleep in until at least nine the next morning. Almost-three is not interested in your schedule, or your need to be somewhere at a particular time. Almost-three likes rocks and sticks and prefers to have one on his person at all time. Almost-three has boundless energy, and wants to swing, swim, ride his bike, and run until the cows come home and then some.

Almost-three will ask you, "Abba, can we snuggle?" at the end of the day as he climbs into your lap. Almost-three loves books almost more than is reasonable and probably spends almost an hour a day being read to. Almost three likes Shaun the Sheep on television. On Youtube he's likely to ask for Ivor the Engine, and if there are videos, he would like it to be The Muppet's.

Almost-three is whatever the minimum age requirement is. If you need to be four to climb the play structure he'll tell you he's four, which is believable. When he wants to drive he's sixteen, when he wants to drink in Ontario he's 19, and in the U.S. 21. He is absolutely ready to have a pet rat. Almost-three wants to help. No matter what happened, no matter who you are, almost-three would like to be of assistance, and he's probably right.

Almost-three considers tomorrow to be one of the greatest mysteries of our time: "When will it be tomorrow?".

Almost-three is not tired, does not need to sleep, never naps, and does not need to rest - right up until the moment he falls asleep. Almost-three was a newborn who hated and resisted the swaddle, and then a baby who would cry if covered with a blanket, Almost-three still thinks blankets are cruel and unusual punishment and would prefer warm pajamas and socks on his hands and feet.

Almost-three has no idea how little he is, and he's certainly not going to let anyone tell him.

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