But he can also be challenging, stubborn, demanding, dangerously inquisitive and... challenging. He finds the limits and pushes them every day. I realize this is normal behavior for his age, but daily boundary pushing is not a fun lifestyle choice.
He's also just so INTO everything. I can't leave him alone in the kitchen for 2 minutes before he's got the sink going and all the dish washing liquid everywhere. It's like that all day long. There is no babyproofing with Charlie. He will FIND A WAY. Consider yourself on duty.
I find this stage he's in to be the hardest so far, from a parenting perspective. My goal each day with Charlie is to remain patient. I fail more often than I care to admit and frequently wish I could do better, because he really deserves it. He is a good kid. And he is reaching the age where he knows what my reactions mean and he apologizes and is just SO SWEET. Which makes me apologize and promise to do better. It's hard. I know all of us toddler mommies go through that.
I've decided that three year old boys are just a special breed. It's a crazy mix of being extremely active, curious and relentless. It is all out, all the time. Not that three year old girls aren't curious or active, I just see them deliver these traits in different ways. But I'm going to stop with the gender stereotyping because my little boy loves to throw on a good pair of princess shoes as much as the next child.
Overall, I would probably use the word active to describe Charlie. He can't spend enough time outdoors. That is, unless we're near a sporting goods store and then he wants to go through each section, checking out all of the equipment, like the place is a museum. His Aunt Megan was like that as a child, but mostly with the home gym equipment. Ha.
There really isn't a sport he doesn't show interest in. He loves to kick the soccer ball, he and Brad just started throwing a little baseball we got him (they make gloves for 3 year olds), swing a tennis racket or golf club (also made for his age group), jump in the pool, throw a basketball through the hoop, etc. I even found a little lacrosse set for him. It's fun to watch him be so enthusiastic about all of it.
Now that Charlie isn't napping every day, we are about to sign up for lessons and classes for the afternoon after preschool. Some days I am pretty sure he will never tire out, but that doesn't mean I can't try! Right now he is napping about every other day for a solid 2-3 hours. On days he naps he goes to bed later, like 8:30. On days he doesn't nap, it is crucial to my sanity that he is down around 7.
Charlie has always been a big talker, but now he can really tell us what is going on and a lot of the time, it's really funny! He definitely lets us know when we're in trouble with him and need to go to time out. If Brad has his arm around me and Charlie wants us to get up and play with him, he tells us Mommy, Daddy, no snuggle right now. Get up! Stuff like that. He's so adorably bossy.
It may be that we are all living in the same town 7 days a week now, but Charlie is in a MAJOR daddy mode right now. He is ALL about daddy and wants to do exactly what he's doing. The other morning, Brad was standing in the kitchen eating cereal and I kept hearing him tell Charlie to sit down to eat his breakfast! I couldn't help myself - had to point out the irony of that one to Brad. :)
Those two also love all the same foods, but unfortunately Charlie hates most vegetables like Brad does. They both have a major sweet tooth and find peanut butter and chocolate to be the ultimate. And meat. Dinner can consist of nothing but meat sometimes. For both of them. It really leaves a lot of leftover salad for me.
Our other obsession around here are planes, trains and automobiles. Fire trucks, dump trucks, diggers, cranes, tractors, helicopters. If we see one, we must stop and obsess. Charlie's favorite books are all on the topic. I can no identify more construction equipment and airplanes than I ever thought I'd be able to! Fortunately, there's lots of construction to go see in London.
We are slowly working on the potty training, but I'm not pushing it. He tells me most times when we are home and he has to go. Wakes up in the morning and after nap dry most of the time. I think over the 2 week school break coming up we are going to move from pull ups to underwear and see if being wet and uncomfortable moves him forward at all.
As much as I wanted to avoid using food as a reward, we are using Cadbury chocolate chunks to potty train. Chocolate just resonates well with him. Especially the chocolate they have in this country - yum!
We are also slowly moving from 2T to 3T clothes, but only because of the length - Charlie's a bit tall and 2T stuff is getting too short. But we can barely keep any pants from falling down now that he's wearing pull ups. Brad likes to point out Charlie's "plumber butt" when we're at the playground. I'm not sure what is going to hold those pants up when we move to big boy underwear. I have those adjustable waistbands as tight as they'll go!
This child looooves to watch TV. I have to be careful to not let him watch too much. Though who are we kidding, he probably already does. His favorite shows have changed since we left the states, where we were on a steady diet of the Wiggles, Caillou and Fireman Sam. Now he is all about Peppa Pig and... yes, finally Dora. I knew it was coming eventually. I'm just glad he doesn't yell back at the TV when she tells them to.
Between preschool and the tv shows, I am hearing a bit of a British accent from Charlie. Whenever he says Sorry! all I hear is British Child. And the way he says Mommy (more like mummy) and Daddy both have that inflection on the words that you hear here. It will be funny to see what else he picks up.
I'm trying to think what else. I guess this post is pretty long and I should stop, huh? It's hard to stop when I get started on my favorite topic. Anyways, that's what Charlie is like at 3 years! Years from now I can look back and remember. Love you kiddo!