My Small Girl is Three Years Old Today

Today, my Small Girl, the Duchess von Wigglestein, my little pumpkin, turns three.

Apparently the “Terrible twos” are a load of bunk. For this child, anyway. She’s been an angel all year; she smiles, laughs, plays, loves to be tickled. She goes to bed well and sleeps all night. She’s come a very long way in potty training and effortlessly gets through the day with no accidents, although she still wears a diaper at night. She dances, runs, sings, plays with friends, loved to be read to, climbs anything that can be climbed, torments the cats, but does it all with a sunny disposition. To Maddy, every stranger’s a friend she hasn’t met yet. She remembers every relative she has and runs to them for hugs at first sight.

For me, the best time of the day, and in fact the best time of my life, is between 5:30 and 8:30 PM every weekday when I get home and am with the Small One. We put on her favourite show and watch that, and then after dinner we play. Sometimes Daddy is a horsey or an elephant, which she rides from room to room. Other times, for whatever reason her strange inner logic demands, we must hide under blankets with a flashlight. Or perhaps we needs to build a block tower, or it is necessary for me to chase her and tickle her. Whatever the activity, it never gets a second too old.

It can’t get too old, because it goes by so fast. How can she be THREE YEARS OLD? She was born two weeks ago. Just a few days ago she was so small I could hold her in one hand. She couldn’t walk, or even crawl, or even roll over. She was this tiny creature I would ever-so-carefully wrap in a few of the thousand or so baby blankets we had distributed throughout the house, wrap her up and put her in her removable car seat and carry her with one hand. That was just Tuesday, wasn’t it, that she was just barely able to take a few steps? When did she learn to jump and run and dance?

People say that kids take all your money and time. Do I miss any of that? Let me tell you this: two weeks ago we were watching her show and started clowning with each other. She made a little telescope with her hand and peered at me and I made one with mine and peered at her, and stuck my tongue out. She smiled, looked back at the TV, and said, “Daddy. I love you, Daddy.” It’s the first time she has ever said “I love you” without being told it first. It was the best moment of my entire life, possibly never to be matched, and that’s fine with me because I cannot imagine how a human being could be happier.

What else could bring out such emotions in a person more than this sweet little girl? I cannot imagine that anything you could do could deliver so much joy, exhilaration, fear, worry, satisfaction and wonder. And even though having her elicits from me more feeling, more meaning, more motivation, more action than I ever thought it possible for me to have, the sense of peace and, for want of a better word, rightness is what makes my life as good as it is. When I am with the Small Girl, I am precisely where I am meant to be. Nothing is better, to me, than the modest luxury of my wife and I sitting in our living room, playing with our Small Girl.

I hear stories of how children feel their parents are disappointed in them. I cannot even begin to fathom how I could be disappointed with my Small One. I am terrified that she might someday be disappointed with me (not including the usual 14-year-old, oh-my-God-Dad-you’re-embarassing-me phase, which I will gleefully exploit for laughs) because I wasn’t a good enough Dad. So I’m working hard, really hard, to be the best Dad I can be.

Here is my goal, the goal towards which everything else I am doing moves me towards; someday, many years from now, when I am near my end, and my Small Girl (because no matter how tall and smart she gets, she will always be my Small Girl) is grown up and has babies of her own, I want her to turn to me and say, “Daddy. I love you, Daddy.”

I love you too, Madeline.

I remember when she was born! But I did not realize we shared a birthday, so that makes it even more exciting!

Happy Birthday Madeline! On behalf of Libra daughters with awesome dads, I can say it sounds like you’re doing an amazing job and she will be proud to have you as her dad (once she’s outgrown the teenage years, no doubt).

The same way that my Small One, two days ago, turned seventeen - one day at a time.

One priceless, precious, irreplaceable day at a time.


Enjoy!! My little girls are now 23 and 25.

I don’t usually participate in kid threads, but after our experience with our nephew on Monday, I thought I’d warn you. At four, it appears that he has developed a lovely habit of yelling orders at people. Maybe if your Small Girl skipped the Terrible Twos, she’ll develop the Fearsome Fours. :slight_smile:

Ahhh. What a beautiful thread. Well done.

My little girl is almost 17. My little boy’s 18 1/2. There weren’t any Terrible Two’s. It’s a myth. The enTHralling Three’s were something to behold. Temper tantrums. Biting. ( She is an easy mark with this, always will be. " Be nice. I’m a Biter. " :smiley: )

Every year brings something special. All of those clichés hold true, sadly. The time is elastic. Take photos. Take videos. ( Just make sure you keep storing them on the new media of the day, or they’re lost to you ! ). Write stories about what she does.

Being their dad is just about the best thing about being on the planet. :slight_smile:


That’s how it was with my daughter (now 5) … the Threes were quite a bit tougher than the Twos. :smiley:

Aww…I cried a little reading this. That being said, she IS my niece.

And Rickjay is right – she is far and above the sweetest little one I have ever seen in my life.

One day, Rickjay brought Madeline over to my condo to have a visit and a swim with her Auntie Carly. I was making her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and she and her daddy were watching TV, and she cried out, “I love you Carly.”

One of the very happiest moments of my life.

I simply can’t believe she’s three. I remember babysitting her when she was tiny. She couldn’t talk, and she hated being stationary – she needed to be moving all the time. So I would hold her and walk and bounce with her around the house, and she would burble and giggle her little baby laugh and it was the most wonderful thing in the world. And I never thought I could love her more than I did then. But now she’s three, and she’s full of personality and life and joy and I simply can’t understand where all the time went.

I love you, Maddy-poo.

If she were my daughter, I’d head down to the Home Depot. Before you know it, she’ll hits the teen years and teenaged boys start sniffing around. Let’s see, plans and supplies for: 1) sniper’s nest on the roof, 2) razor wire around the perimeter, 3) land mines, 4) surveillance cameras and motion detectors…:smiley:

Many happy returns, Madeleine!

My Little One is 18 next month and I have no idea how he got there.

I thought the ages of two and three were the best! Their personalities really emerge then. The happiest time of my life.

Belated happy birthday to your Little One!

Great, now I’m going to have to go see the dentist. I hate dentists.


This thread is worthless without pics. Well, worth slightly less, not nothing.

Beautifully put, RickJay…gotta love this ride, dont’cha?

I’m right there with you – The Littlest Briston turns three in just over a month, and I can’t fathom where the time went. I look back through her pictures, and I think “wait…she was never that little, was she??”.

Moving thread from IMHO to MPSIMS.

How beautiful! Our son skipped the “terrible twos” entirely: our daughter started at age 1. :smiley:

My little boy turns 2 on Monday. I would blame you for stealing my thunder… as I’ve been thinking the same kind of things, (I mean, seriously, he was JUST BORN YESTERDAY. I swear it!) But damn that was touching.

Happy Birthday to your little girl!

(PS: I am embracing for the terrible two’s. My boy is a whirlwind… so I suspect I’m going to get a handful of it.)

Sniff. There’s something in my eye.

That little girl is lucky to have you. You should print this off and give it to her when she is older.

Even though my kids are 13 and 19 now, I remember the days when they were small ones well. My husband and I agreed that I would work part-time as much as possible so that I could stay at home with them, and that’s just what we did. I took a low paying job in a daycare for several years becuase it was for a school district and I had summers and school holidays off. There were times when I got some of their Christmas gifts from a local consignment shop, and we sure did know how to pinch pennies!

It was worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat. My favorite part was bedtime. They would each have a bath and then we would have storytime. Our daughter would come into her little brother’s room and listen to me tell stories when he was two, three, and four, and she was eight, nine, and ten. As she got older sometimes she would tell him the stories. I will never see anything more precious to me in my life as watching my daughter with her little brother in her lap, rocking him in the rocking chair and reading ‘Ten Minutes to Bedtime’, ‘Goodnight Gorilla’, and ‘Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel’. Especially after a frustrating day when she would tease him and he would hit her and they would fight and tell me things like “He’s stupid” and “She’s mean” and “Why couldn’t I be an only child” and “Stay out of my room you retard” and “I hate you”…

You get the idea.

As much money and time and heartache as they cause, I receive so much more back from those kids. Loving them so completely has added dimension to my life that isn’t possible to describe.

My daughter has kept the books. I look forward to reading them to my grandchildren one day.

Your post reads like a love letter to your sweet girl. It is just how I feel about my son. I wish I could express it so eloquently.
My son was born on 10/16/03. So I am feeling the same way as you, and then some. He is growing so fast. He is in school 2 full days a week now, and becoming more and more independant all the time. I love it, and am sad at the same time.

He ran up to me at school on Thursday, when I brought in his birthday snack, and hugged me hard, and was so happy to see me. I stayed in his class for an hour and he kept sneaking over to me to say, “I love you Mom”. There is nothing better! By the way does your daughter still call you Daddy? Wait till the day you become Dad. My son just switched from calling me Mama, to Mom a few months ago. It came as a bit of a shock to me.

He has also been such a good boy, or “easy” child, so far. knocking wood. No terrible 2’s, 3’s or 4s for us. He isn’t perfect by all means. But he is perfect for me.

Happy belated birthday to Madeline…and to Orion.

My daughter will be 11 next month. Time goes by quickly. I can’t be a “horsey or an elephant” anymore. She’d rather IM friends than spend time with Daddy.

But she is still my little girl. And through words unspoken, she still loves me. I’m still amazed that the little princess that I used to play “tea party” with at 5:00 A.M. is now starting to put on make-up and care about her appearance for reasons that don’t include her mother or me. She has her own books. She has her own iPod. She gets paid for babysitting neighbour’s animals.

Just yesterday, it seems, I was superman. Now I am merely mortal.

Enjoy Rick. Time will pass and you too will shortly be wondering if you should give in and purchase her a cell phone. “Because all my friends have one!”

RickJay, your post moved me to tears of joy yesterday. There are too few such texts of fatherly love around. It’s beautiful and moving.

Please print a copy of your post so that you can explain things to her without words when the day comes that she’s a teen who doesn’t understand one of your decisions.