I try not to complain about Quinns toddler-esk behaviour as I know she’s actually a pretty mild mannered kid. She doesn’t hit or bite, or throw herself to the floor kicking and screaming like the horror stories I’ve heard from my friends. She doesn’t fit the mould of the troublesome toddler, and for that, I am so grateful.
But she’s smart. Too smart. She knows exactly how to get under my skin the way no one else ever has. She’s mastered the innocent, puppy dog look, and can tilt her head in just the right way while producing a look that resembles that of a dewy eyed baby deer. She knows that she has just enough time to slip into the pantry and open all of the cracker boxes while I take her little sister to her room for a change. And she’s a master impersonator who can respond to me with the exact tone and mannerisms I had just used when I told her “no.”
The thing about life with a three year old is that there’s also a great deal of guilt that goes along with it. Guilt for yelling and being too strict. Guilt for letting her get away with too much. Guilt for wishing I could put her in daycare to give myself a break. Then guilt for sending her away when we do have childcare. It’s like having your best friend and your worst enemy in one person and you never know who you’re going to get that day. She makes me smile more than anyone I’ve ever known while also aggravating me on a daily basis.
Yet, everynight after she goes to bed, I edit the photos on my phone that I’ve taken that day and find myself smiling at her sass and quirks. Because the thing is, that three year old was a baby about 5 seconds ago. And the next time I blink, she’ll be 16, and won’t feel the need to follow me around throughout the day. I won’t be woken up at 6am because “it’s sunny out” and she needs some cheerios. And she won’t insist on sharing her snacks with me by shoving her whole hand into my mouth. So I’m going to attempt to enjoy her while I can and embrace the chaos that is this sassy little threenager I call my Quinnie.