Tuesday 22 April 2014

Three. It's the magic number.

Three year olds will teach you more about life than any professor or intellectual ever could. Okay, so they may not not baffle you with their knowledge about the universe but there's something about their look on life that is almost like magic as you enter into their world. Their innocence is a breath of fresh air, reminding us what life is really all about. Here are some of the things I'm learning from my three year old:

He tells me when to stop.
Although the drone of 'mummy will you play with me' all day long may seem slightly trying, I have learnt that, although not always practical, doing the unproductive task of pretending to be a shop keeper will always be more rewarding than hoovering up. Sometimes I try the sneaky 'let's watch a film' option so that he is distracted enough to let me get on with other things. Instead he looks at me and says "sit down mummy" and when I perch on the edge of the sofa he says "not there, next to me." You see, something magical happens when you stop trying so hard to complete things and you just let life kind of 'happen'. I feel the warmth of his little chubby cheeks next to mine and snuggle into his soft, fine hair and I feel more alive than I have done since, well, the last time I hung out with a three year old. Or maybe not just any three year old, but mine.

He gives me an amazing sense of freedom.
Before I had a child I was warned that they take away your freedom, but I put to you that I actually have more - It just depends on what you consider being truly free to be. I learn that dancing in the street is okay and singing on the bus is perfectly acceptable when you have a three year old as your ally. You can practically get away with anything. I am enjoying being able to talk about silly things in inappropriate places and snigger as he innocently comments at everything with his quirky view on life. I'm allowed to laugh out loud because I'm with a three year old.

He tells me to look at the world differently.
I remember driving and seeing some horrible council flats in the distance. Suddenly a little voice piped up from the back seat 'mummy, look at those beautiful castles!' Wow. I'm not sure I will every see those flats as beautiful castles, but imagine being that content with life, that optimistic? Imagine seeing your everyday dull things as new and exciting? I for one want to hang around with people like that. Their zest for life is infectious.

He speaks his mind.
No skirting around the issue, no tact. If a three year old wants something they'll make it pretty damn clear they do. No pleasantries or social awareness, they are happy to speak their little minds. When they say no, they mean no, when they say yes, they mean yes. Imagine if you were that honest? Imagine if you stopped trying to please everyone and you did what you really wanted? Obviously this needs to be curbed in some way or the world would be full of selfish little brats but you get the gist. Three year olds are true to themselves and we have a lot to learn from that.

His trust is like no other.
There's quite a responsibility when someone trusts you so much. How do you live up to that? Do you know how it feels to have someone trust you explicitly, to believe in you so much that they inevitably will hold on to your words for quite some time? It's quite scary at times because we all know we are far from perfect and make mistakes, but that doesn't stop them from relying on you as their guide. It's made me want to trust other people more, to believe in them and learn from them, it's made me want to give people a chance. It would be great if we sought to see the good in everyone instead of being so sceptical all the time.

He's hilarious.
Funny people make you feel good, there's something medicinal about laughter. There's something even funnier about a three year old's sense of humour, whether that's doing daft dance moves or telling naf made-up jokes or saying adult phrases in their tiny voices, they're bound to put a smile on your face. Their laughter is infectious, it has no limitations, no self consciousness - just sheer and utter joy.

Of course there are plenty more things that I'm learning from my three year old, probably too many to mention. The fact is, life with a three year old is not easy, along with the perks are the trying times: the battles at tea time, the tantrums at bedtime. But since I've begun to let him teach me about life through his eyes, life has got a little easier for me. I don't care so much if my house is a mess, or if I'm behind with my piles of washing, because I treasure the limited time I have with my little man. I'm slowly beginning to see how life could be very different if I were even just a little bit more like him. Three. It's the magic number.

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