3 Things I Learned From My Toddler

My youngest daughter, Khloe, turned 3 a few months ago, and she embodies all things “I am three” in her adorable pint-sized form. Multiple times a day she reminds me of how fiercely independent she is as she repeatedly chants, “I can do it!” She is confident. She is sassy. She is persistent. And I’ve learned a few things from her.

1) Remove the limits

For Khloe, the rules and societal norms do not apply. It matters not that her preschool-aged peers wear typical school attire for she dons a tutu and princess crown to school almost every day. She wants to be Wonder Woman, Rapunzel, and Princess Elsa simultaneously as she sees no need to choose just one powerful female character. If you say she “can’t”, she believes otherwise and makes it her business to show you that she indeed “can.” The limits her daddy and I impose are suggestions at best in my 3-year-old’s mind.

Khloe life lesson #1 – It always seems impossible until it’s done. So dream big, do the work, and turn those dreams into reality.

2) Embrace your inner princess

First Khloe demands, “Mommy, let me see myself,” moving the step stool from the closet to the bathroom. Then, she places the stool squarely in front of the mirror, gazes adoringly at her beautiful reflection, and proudly announces, “I’m a pretty princess, mommy. I look so pretty.”

She is proud. She is bold. She is fierce, sure of her identity and unapologetic. And I’m enamored with her.

Khloe life lesson #2 – Confidence is beautiful. Cultivate your identity, determine your purpose, and share your gift with the world. In the immortal words of William Shakespeare from A Midsummer’s Night Dream, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

3) Persistence pays off

Children will wear you down like no one else. Armed with repeated name calling and an endless barrage of demands, my defense strategies weaken to the point of defeat. I mean who can resist a fresh faced, chubby cheeked cutie singing, “mommy, mommy, mommy” as she asks for milk or yogurt or my assistance during a search and rescue mission for a lost toy. Khloe will not stop asking until I give in to her requests or offer a suitable alternative.

Khloe life lesson #3 – Don’t give up. Don’t stop striving. Keep asking, keep pushing, and keep grinding until you get what you want!

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