the best part of three

It’s easy to come here and talk about the hard days because I have to “write them out”…it’s a therapy of sorts.

Eddie and I have had a lot of hard days over the past almost four years.  There has been many, many times that we have butted heads only to end up in our separate corners crying.

But those days are really few and far between.

Yes, we still have our standoffs, we battle with Eddie knowing and practicing kindness, we grapple with teaching him that words can hurt.

He doesn’t want his picture taken as much, which means he gets left off the Project 365 posts that I do each week.  This breaks my heart a bit because I want to remember him as he is right now too.  In our every day daily days.

Yesterday was not anything monumental.  It was a pretty ordinary day as far as days home with my kids go, but it was extraordinary in that I realized that Eddie has grown up a lot since the last time I had a break from school.

He started the day by climbing into bed with me and asking if he could watch TV snuggled with me instead of on the couch.  I can’t say no to that, so he watched TV while I snored dozed beside him.  Until Charlie woke up.

We all had breakfast and watched some TV and played.  We had plans to leave the house that morning to meet a friend and her kids at the local Crazy Bounce (you know, one of those places with a million inflatable bounce houses and slides?  So much fun for the kiddos).  I needed to shower, so I asked Eddie to watch his brother.

He did.  He even made sure to stop watching TV to play with Charlie to keep him from being sad or grumpy.

He also got his clothes on…socks and all (which he always complains he can’t do)…by himself.

He was responsible while we were at Crazy Bounce and didn’t throw too much of a fit when it was time to go.  He sat nicely by his brother in the busy shoe area while I navigated finding their shoes and coats and the diaper bag.  He protected his brother from all the people walking around them and patiently waited while I got all of our shoes and coats on.

He held my hand in the parking lot without a fuss.

He was quiet when we went through the McDonald’s drive thru (his reward for being so helpful and kind).

He ate all his lunch and joked and made Charlie laugh while I got Charlie’s food ready.

He played nicely by himself while I did a bit of work.

When it was time to lie down for a nap, he requested to nap in my bed…with me.  I couldn’t turn that down, so we rested for an hour together.  When the hour was up, he sat up and  very matter-of-factly said, “So. Mom.  You want to get up now?”

He asked me if he could help me clean up.

We made pizzas together for dinner.

There were no tantrums, no timeouts, no crying.

We chatted about garbage trucks and cats and God and babies and flowers.  He’s so smart.

The day was busy, but it was peaceful.

It’s hard to see this kind, caring, responsible boy in the humdrum of daycare drop off and pick up and shuffling him around on a schedule.  It’s easy for him to get over-tired and under-appreciated when we are wrapped up in the Must Do’s of daily life.

It’s easy to roll my eyes when he has a fit or is unkind and write it off as three-years-old being a tough age.

It is a tough age.  It has many MANY ups and downs.

But yesterday reminded me that I don’t just have a tantrumy moody difficult three-year old.

I have a buddy.

And that is the BEST part of having a three-year-old.

"Look mom, I'm a teacher just like you!"

“Look mom, I’m a teacher just like you!”

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