It's all coming back to me now: how annoying I find 3 year olds. It has been a few years since I've had one of those, and I had forgotten. I will take a 2 year old over a 3 year old any day.
I feel as though we've gone back 2 years to that new-toddler stage: unrolled paper towels, unrolled toilet paper, water everywhere, laundry scattered, food as toys and/or "art," only we've added a new element of independence and defiance. Can't tell her what to do, no ma'am.
And she's decided that if she loudly screams, people will want to pacify her and give her what she wants.
She's starting to learn that being diaperless means less padding for the swats to the backside that mom is now doling out on a regular basis. I rarely spank a 1 year old (safety issues mainly). But it seems so necessary to the 3 year old who knows better, but is just checking to see if you're serious.
Girl, I am serious.
The only thing that keeps them alive at this age, I'm convinced, is their love of imitation and their improved communication skills. It's hard to stay angry at a child who lisps out, "I sorry Momma," and then begins to sing "Clean up, clean up," as she attempts to right her wrong. And when you look up from your dinner plate and see little hands that, only moments before, had been folded reverently in prayer now thickly covered with mashed potatoes, can you help but be a little impressed when she points out the roast beef and carrots and thick onion slices arranged in the form of a face and says, "It's for my Gwam-ma!"
And of course, there are the frequent moments when she gazes adoringly up into your eyes, smiles broadly, and says, "I wuv you!"
I wuv you, too, little girl. But STOP making messes.