Welcome back to the Sunday Parenting Party, I hope you all had a great time over the Christmas period. Please link up any parenting posts you have - anecdotes, experiences, lessons, advice, posts seeking advice. Please don't link kids activity posts, they can be linked to Kids Co-op.
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Goblin turned three in October. Friends had said that there are big changes that happen in the last few months of being two. For us these changes seem to have come a bit later. But over the last month or so I have noticed things that I consider significant. There are definitely things about being three that are different to being two. I thought I'd share my observations with you.
Most of the changes I've noticed in Goblin relate to his developing sense of self. The most obvious is the increased stubbornness and insistance that things are done his way. While this is totally annoying when I'm trying to get things done, it is also quite exciting if I take a step back and look at it objectively He is getting a strong little personality and confidence in his own desires and that is awesome - even if the way it manifests itself is anything but awesome.
He is starting to consider himself as a being - what makes him himself and others themselves. He asks about his gender and the gender of his friends. I'm sure a lot of kids have the boy/girl, he/she thing down by now but as most people call Goblin "she" and describe him to his face as a "pretty girl", you can understand why he might be a bit confused.
He is more aware of his comparative size. A couple of our relatives came-a-cropper with this one over the Christmas holidays saying "Aren't you a big boy" to which Goblin replied firmly "NO I am a 'likkle' boy, but I am getting bigger".
He has also recently become aware that adults, as well as children, have names. Occasionally he'll call me or Hublet by our first names. I have to admit I didn't think he'd stop calling me mum at the age of three, at the moment it is just experimental. I know some people strongly defend their title of Mummy or Mom, but I don't feel strongly about it, so I'll leave it to Goblin to decide what wants to call us. It will be interesting to see what he finally settles on - name or title.
His imagination is flourishing. He started to do pretend play scenarios before he turned three but recently they have become more elaborate and broader in scope. And I don't have to set up small world scenarios as a prompt. He will lead the way, say "I am cooking the dinner" or "There is a fire, we need to put it out". He makes pizzas and has tea parties; carries out emergency rescues and puts on shows.
He hasn't moved to playing with super hero models or dinosaurs or dressing up yet. But I'm sure those are stages in development that he will reach in his own time.
However, recently he has started to put people in his vehicles. That sounds inconsequential but previously he would get very annoyed if Hublet or I put a Lego man in a Lego car or the Playmobile character in the fire engine. Whereas recently he's made a point of it, and he likes us to act out scenarios with the characters moving around (yesterday the Playmobile man parachuted in to rescue someone using a play silk).
The shift to more pretend play has meant he's less independent. Rather than sitting for hours digging in his rainbow rice, he wants me to join him in playing out scenarios. He's started to say "Mummy will you play" - something he never previously asked. This does give me easy opportunities to connect and have great one on one time with my son, but its quite ironic that getting older has reduced his ability to play independently.
For Goblin, along with self awareness has come greater anxiety. As a toddler Goblin was hugely confident. He'd happily run off to play in new situations without so much as a backward glance. But the older he gets the more aware he has become of two categories; 'things he knows and is familiar with'; and 'things that are new and scary'. Anything new currently holds fear for him whether its a new person, a new situation or activity, or even new clothes. Trying to get him to try his new t-shirts and pyjamas he got for Christmas has been quite a drama.
And then there's the nightmares - No-one told me when I had a baby that the sleepless nights would disappear, and then reappear around the age of three. Goblin started sleeping through the night pretty early (we were lucky) but recently he seems to wake about every other night in floods of tears. His imagination is in overdrive and his dreams are scaring him. He has made us take all his soft toys out of his room and even sometimes gets us to change his duvet for one without a picture on it. Some days he only needs a ten minute cuddle and he'll happily go back to sleep but other nights he is distraught and will need to sit with us for hours or sleep in our bed. Who'd have thought I'd do more co-sleeping with a three year old than a baby.
But all his developments are exciting to me even if they make life a little more challenging. I've never been one to look back on his baby years with sadness that they are gone. There is too much new stuff coming round the corner with every new day. And being around Goblin seems to get more and more interesting as he gets older. Every child is unique and I'm relishing watching where my little one is going.
I'd love to hear any observations you have on changes in your child.