3 Cheers! - 'Hap Happy Birthday'

"For ages 3 and over", nearly sums the sudden shift a toddler undergoes on turning three. It is more like a coming-of-age for the little ones, who seem to achieve a breakthrough in their mental and emotional capabilities at the turn of the year.

The significant and visible metamorphosis is hard to miss. Suddenly, their speech has exploded and they communicate ceaselessly. They can argue, appease, trick and even crack a joke! Not technically a toddler anymore, they come out of their shelves into more sociable, confident and explorative personalities. They are always on the go, ditching the afternoon nap for good. And of course, they really develop a mind and will of their own.

Previously reserved for the big boys and girls, the whole world of fantastic toys becomes accessible to them. They graduate from 'Lego Duplo' to 'Lego Junior'. A sudden heap of puzzles, board games, construction and role play toys appears surmountable. A plethora of things-to-do while our little bunnies still love to cling on to us!

It is a pleasure to see your baby grow into a more independent individual. But it is also a bittersweet reminder that you cannot hold onto their little selves anymore. After all, looking back, it is the beautiful moments that flash across the mind more than that of worry and trouble.

I reflected on the activities, favourites and relationships of my toddler-graduated son, who turned three recently. I thought it might be a good idea to recount his yesteryear personality and remember it. So, Here it is my as I look back and cherish the memories…

3 Cheers! – ‘Hap Happy Birthday’

Another year passed again, leaving prints of toddle-toes
A telltale of tantrums and mood swings of yesses and noes
The lush of your coiffure, and the milky sniff under your neck
Wrapped in a cosy hug, how we rocked plenty- front and back

A feisty and angry young man, chippy at the slightest trick
Those little fists could slam the table, and roars of cries could tear a brick
The pretend plays are ever so noisy – stomping, pounding, bashing, et al.
A quasi monster often comes alive, post bath time in a nighty growl

Your list of favourites is rather short, the beloved names unchanged all year
Super Spiderman tops the call, the fiery T-Rex absolutely most dear
Climbing, jumping and talking aliens, the colour ‘orange’ and number ‘3’
Surprise egg toys and the humble ice cream, all time precious choices be

Words by the mouthfuls, songs for all animals, All, O hear! hear!
That breezy tickle of tiny lips, as you whisper sweet nothings in my ear
“Why? When? What? Because….” The “Alright” and the toilet talk
Quick retorts and smarty-pants answers, the “follow me” of your neat walk

Serious squabbles with your big brother, smashed up piles of his laboured Lego
You copy all his favourite games. Wherever he is, well, there you go!
Called him a baby and laughed it away, a mean streak every now and then
Oh ‘big boy’, as you like to be known, why bother him with how and when?

“Me want you, me love you, you are beautiful”, how unfeigned is thy flattery
Your version of the Sheeran song, “I’m in love with the shape of you, mummy”
Dad is for piggyback rides, a super sidekick and the best ball boy
You pounce and poke his daddy-tummy, and tickle his ribs, dear fountain of joy

Rolling over to a new year, of bigger age and grown-up ways
My bubbly baby, a tireless toddler, a bittersweet adieu to the carefree days
Every moment, a cherished treasure, strung up on the memory tree
Countless happy days be upon you, our dearest darling, as you turn 3!

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