Whoops, forgot to write this last night after we got back from the Myer Christmas windows and dinner in Chinatown…. so this week’s top five is a little late, much like me at this time of year really. Anyway, the topic this week is the funny things three years olds (or at least my three year old) do. I’ve discovered as a mother eaves-dropping is an invaluable skill for both personal amusement and for settling squabbles when neither side is willing to budge. I used to write regularly about the funny things two year olds say (and I’m looking forward to Miss One reaching that wonderful stage of development), but three year olds are equally amusing in a slightly different way. Rather than the funny things being a consequence of learning language and getting words slightly wrong or mixed up, three year olds are balls of imagination and creativity and can come up with some quite elaborate and often very funny ideas. Here are some that have made me smile as I quietly eavesdrop on Miss Three’s games or conversations.
1. Role Playing
Having spoken to several other mums it seems role playing is a fairly common practice among three year olds and once they’re in character they can stay that way for a surprisingly long time, whole days even. For Miss One she has made up two characters, one called Ella and one called Molly Molly. Both of them are ten years old and go to school. When she’s in character she has to wear certain dresses (they each have distinct costumes), hats and beads. She packs a bag for school with all the things she thinks you would need at school, food, water, teddy, toys, books, mobile phone, map book in case you get lost. She trots to the end of the hallway singing to herself and sets up her school. She then plays at coming and going to school, having dinner and going to bed over and over again. What I find most amusing in all this is the type of school she chooses to go to, again it varies depending on whether she is Ella or Molly Molly, one goes to dancing school and the other goes to…. wait for it…. whistling school – the two things she would most like to be able to do. If she’s in a role playing mood she tells me in the morning who she is and how old she is and from then on I get into trouble if I call her anything other than her character’s name. She even introduces herself as the character to strangers and tells them she’s ten and goes to either dancing or whistling school. Mostly they just nod and give me a strange look.
2. Naming her toys
For a long time all of Miss Three’s toys were given very obvious names like Big Baby and Little Baby, Cow, Green Puppy etc. There was no doubting what the toy was based purely on its name. I think this is a development thing, they only get the concept of giving real names when they reach a certain stage. Well, Miss Three reached this point earlier in the year and now names everything (including her role play characters obviously). Other things, like the dolls house people and the people of her felt picture board have different names each time she plays with them as she makes up a new story as she goes along. I love hearing the names she decides on, my personal favourites are two boys called Gonna (as in ‘he’s gonna do it’) and Gutsa (as in ‘he’s come a gutsa’ (fallen over), that ones from her father) and a girl called Shirley, not sure where Shirley came from.
3. She’s already a backseat driver
We can’t go anywhere in the car without her pulling out the map book, opening it onto her lap and thereafter directing me where I should be going. It’s usually go straight ahead Mum, then turn round the corner, go over the hill and on and on and on in a constant stream. But it doesn’t stop at giving directions, she tells me to go slower or faster and when I should go at the traffic lights, getting increasingly frustrated if I don’t go when she thinks it was “the perfect time.”
4. The parroting
All kids parrot what they hear and start doing it from basically when they start talking, but I’ve found as she gotten older she parrots not just the words, but also the gestures and mannerisms. It’s all hands on hips and waggling her finger when she’s telling her sister or father off for some minor injustice. The declares suddenly “I’m sick of all this mess” and then pretends to pack up…. hmmm I wonder who she’s copied that from. And worst of all her favourite adjective is ‘bloody’. When we drive into a car park she instantly declares “Oh we can’t find a bloody carpark”, when she can’t find something it’s “Where the bloody hell is it” and so it goes on. I obviously say this word more often than I realised and despite taking care not to use it any more and explaining that it’s not really a very nice word it has stuck. So far it’s mostly at home, but there have been a few embarrassing moments. I know it’s not as bad as other words but coming out of her mouth and with the gesticulations it’s just wrong…. but also very funny.
5. The questioning
Again this starts early, but gets increasingly sophisticated as they grow and develop a better understanding of the world. While the constant stream of questions, especially the why questions, can be frustrating and exhausting, I am always amused by what she is thinking about. Recent examples include why are some fingers smaller than others (my answer, because you can’t have big fingers without having little ones, she was satisfied with that), why don’t boys like kisses (because they think they’re yucky) and why is the sky blue (which I was prepared for and gave her the actual scientific explanation, left her looking a little stunned and impressed Mr Good no end). She also likes the what if questions, what if I could hear with my nose, what if the sun never went down, what if I only had one leg. To these I usually answer I don’t know, what do you think? Her answers are always long, involved and incredibly amusing.
We only have a few more months of this three year old stage before she turns four. It’s been quite the roller coaster, but mostly enlightening, funny (if you don’t laugh you’ll cry right?) and with plenty of affection. She still loves a cuddle and kiss and tells me many times a day “Love ya, Mum.” I’m sure that won’t last but I’ll take it while it does.
And if you haven’t already checked out Liz’s Top Five, she has a summer seed sowing guide for you.