The Fun Ages And Differences Of 2 And 3

From terrible twos to the grownup days of a three-year-old, one mother gets caught under the spell of her very own Golden Princess.
Angela L. Krout

Never met a stranger
My daughter, an entrepreneur of social skills and graces, would be terrified of strangers if, in fact, she had ever met one. It came to my attention very early on that she has never met a person, young or old, that she couldn't communicate with in some way. Even as an infant she worked the crowd with her coos and her smiles.

From the elderly to the babies in the church nursery, my Emily is a true diplomat. She bestows her trademark smiles to all who come in contact with her. She's a people magnet. On a recent outing to Food Lion, an elderly lady was brought into Emily's world by a simple smile. She had entered the Emily Zone. Emily waved. The woman waved. Emily smiled. The woman smiled. As the woman pushed her buggy toward ours, she commented, "You're a baby doll." Emily looked up at her and answered, "I'm not a baby doll, I'm an Emily." That explained it all!

I'm Emily, Golden Princess
The mall is another case altogether. She sees a man walking past and she reaches for him. Just because she likes men. Young, old, red, yellow, black or white - they are precious in her sight! Many of those taken under her spell ask her name. Her reply rarely changes. "I'm Emily, Golden Princess, and I'm three years old," she says holding up three small fingers tipped with the pink nail polish she insisted on the night before.

Emily is my only girl child. I have two other, older, boy children. They are as amused by her as I am. She can recall an incident that happened weeks ago and bring it up when she wants to stir up some excitement.

Like recently when she said, "Mom, Caleb broke my Barbie's leg." "Yes darling I know, that happened two weeks ago. It's over." I remind her. With a shrug and a "humph" she marches off. Caleb and I exchange smiles because we know it's not her fault. It's the fact that she's female and has a right to be like she is. She knows it. We know it. She uses it. We let her.

It's my responsibility as her mother to know that when she says she just HAS to have this new bowling Barbie outfit, that in truth her friend Emma has just gotten the outfit. Emily may or may not actually "want" the outfit, but she already knows, at three, that she has a responsibility to keep up with her best friend. It's a girl thing.

Caught in her spell
It's her prerogative to want chicken nuggets at the McDonald's drive through only to change her mind once we pull up to the window. Let's not forget the lip. The lip gets me every time.

When she's done something wrong she starts with the sad puppy dog eyes. Then her bottom lip begins to quiver. It works. It gets me. Deep down in my stomach it gets to me. I'm weak. I'm lost under her spell. I've accepted the fact that I have not only a daughter, but a genuine Golden Princess. That's okay. I can live with

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