When Your Baby Turns “3″

When your baby turns 3, you…

…Think about selling the exersaucer. It’s been sitting in your attic for 2.5 years and regardless of what the future holds, someone else could be putting it to good use right now!

…Sleep through the night on a fairly consistent basis. On the nights when you need to wake up with a child who is sick or has a bad dream, you feel like a zombie the next morning and wonder how you ever woke up several times a night with an infant.

…Can sit around the dinner table and have a family conversation. On the nights when I’m eating dinner alone with the kids, which is most nights during the week, I’ve started asking everyone to share their favorite and least favorite parts of the day. The kids are eager to share, and this also helps us to practice listening when others are speaking without interrupting.

…Do a lot of crazy dancing.

…Can’t believe that it’s already been 3 years since you brought your sweet little bundle home from the hospital. It seems like just yesterday and everyone, including the older kids, gets a little bit sentimental when they remember the excitement of having a new baby in the house.

…Wish that you could slow down time and enjoy your kids, just as they are right now, for a little while longer. They grow up so quickly, and although those first few years of life can be physically and emotionally exhausting, there is a certain simplicity that comes with early childhood. As children get older, problems become more complicated and the stakes are higher all around.

…Think of all of the mistakes that you’ve made, and thank God that she probably won’t remember most of them.

…Relish the mommy-and-me story times and gymnastics classes in a whole new way. It won’t be much longer that you get to romp around like a fool with your child, and you’re going to enjoy every silly second until you are permanently sequestered to the parents’ waiting area.

…Start to really listen to what your baby is saying. She’s not just cute and goofy anymore, she’s actually trying to express meaningful thoughts and ideas, and she wants you to listen and respond.

…Are eternally grateful to God for blessing you with this sweet little person, who gives great hugs, loves to sing “Happy Birthday,” and still wants to drink her milk out of the same Ikea froggy sippy cup that someone gave you 8 years ago for your oldest. That’s okay, because she’s your baby and you’re in no hurry for her to grow up just yet.

  • Kathleen

    This is so sweet! Our baby is a bit shy of three and I love everything you wrote! The sleeping through the night, the relishing story time, the meals! But like you I don’t know if we should shed our baby clothes and bouncy seats etc. A another baby hasn’t come for us and I can’t help thinking that there might be someone who could really use these things.

  • Kellie “Red”

    Happy Birthday to C! I love her cake and I hope she liked it too!

  • Kathy

    Happy Birthday to C! We have a C at our house too. Very sweet thoughts. Even though our children range in age from 12 – 6 crazy dancing still continues. Most of the time for family fun, sometimes just to drive the middle schooler crazy. :-) Enjoy!

  • Katrina

    Kathleen, I figure that we can always borrow baby items when we need them in the future… For now, someone else could be using what we have!

  • Juris Mater

    Katrina, this is precious, and you are precious. My #3 turned three years old two days before #4 was born, and I thought it was such a great time, having everyone beyond age 2.5 for a while there. But also sentimental, for sure!!! I am going to go enjoy my 2 year old much more today after reading your reflection here on the joys of being a mom of a toddler.

  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com Mary Alice

    Congratulations on this milestone! I also loved getting to that point, with everyone ages 3 and over.

    I would let go of the baby stuff. What I have learned, with a 3 year gap, is that even if you get pregnant tomorrow, you will find that you want/need mostly newer things, and that they are readily available as pass alongs from friends who have had babies more recently. We lost almost all of our baby stuff in our flood, but replaced all of it (high chair, bouncy seat, exersaucer) for free out of someone else’s basement when we were expecting Teddy. In the meantime, someone else will use it, and maybe you can convert a little consignment store cash into new duds for your big girl! At the moment, I am jealous of toddler girls in sparkly ugg boots, but maybe that is not the style in TX?

  • Saoirse

    Happy Birthday to your little girl! When our littlest marked his 3rd birthday last year we “celebrated” by decommissioning the stair gate – and for weeks after felt as though we might fall down the stairs as it was not there. I also started giving away some items. I realized with horror that our baby seat expired (who knew?) and it had sat idle for a few years. I felt so badly that it just sat in storage. I also found that many consignment shops wouldn’t take gear with a date of origin past 5 years. Well, that ruled out consigning much -so to family and friends it went.

    Now we find ourselves looking forward to our first little girl (after 3 boys) – and honestly I am kind of glad a lot of the stuff is gone – so I can get some new or newer more feminine items. My husband has been stressing a bit over cost – because those things new are expensive. I told an acquaintance after Mass on Sunday we were expecting a girl – and she told me she had girly pink everything – give her a call and come look and take what I want – no cost – just pay if forward when I am done with them. How awesome is that! My husband is not a demonstrative man – he does not hug people he doesn’t know – and God Bless him he put his arms around her and hugged her. He told me after that it was like an immediate answer to his prayers. :-)

    • Kathy

      Congratulations on the impending birth of your baby girl. Thank you for sharing the story about the baby items – reaffirms to us all that if we trust in God and leave ourselves open, that all will work out. Feel well Saiorse!

  • KC

    Oh, Kat, I have been praying for you and thinking of your babies in Heaven. I hope you can trust in God’s will, whatever it may be, and yet I pray that your heart and home may yet be full of the love and joys of wee one.


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