Life as a three-year-old

Strangers mistake the curly-topped blondes as twins. Caroline, 5, will always be petite; average sized Daisy, 3, shares her clothes, watches her big sister and follows her lead, including being the puppy on the leash when Caroline found a string and needed a pretend pet.

In December Daisy did not know as many words to the holiday songs as Caroline did, but she sang enthusiastically anyway as the ‘Twins’ sang repetitive choruses from “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and “Joy to the World.”

With her big brother Eli, 8, Daisy “wrestles and gives him a run for his money. He likes to rough house. She happily romps with him. He doesn’t wallop her like he would one of his peers, but he does flip her around, to her glee. She pulls his shirt and teases him. He chases her around and startles her,” my daughter said in a recent email.

“Her two older siblings definitely give her a generous amount of attention. They also convince her to say plenty of naughty things. Almost every breakfast, when mom and dad are not nearby with their watchful eye, the older two get Daisy to say things like, ‘so-and-so is a poop-head.’ The disdainful looks from the parents make Eli and Caroline squeal with delight over Daisy’s naughtiness,” her mom reports.

She describes Daisy as “the poor, ignored third child. She was born just before we moved, and for the late nights and long days of settling into our new home, she was content to nurse, sleep and swing. Of all my kids, she is the cuddliest and ‘most sensible.’ When it’s time to eat, she has always made it clear someone should feed her. When it’s time to sleep, she (generally) sleeps.

“Yesterday I tried moving her nap time back a couple of hours, but she fell asleep in the car before I had driven five minutes to Kroger. She slept in the buggy for an hour while I piled groceries around her. Good thing she woke up when she did, I had to get frozen goods; that would have been a rude awakening.”

Daisy was quite awake and mischievous before a recent bedtime – testing her mom with a toy that lights up and sings when a button is pushed. On Facebook, her mom reported the following.

Daisy wiggles into bed and pushes the buttons four or five times to make her toy light up and sing.

Mom: “That’s enough. It’s time for bed. Hand me that toy so you can sleep.”

Daisy: “No, I’m just going to keep playing and pushing the buttons until you spank me.”

Mom: “That’s not your best choice.”

Daisy pushes the button, gets a spanking.

Mom: “Now, goodnight.”

Daisy: “Goodnight.”

Her mom concluded, “She’s an honest little booger! Blatant disobedience. I can actually handle it a lot better than sneakiness.”

I’m not sure how Mom handled this pre-schooler’s unfiltered observation when she asked, “Mom, why do you have such BIG panties?”

Mom answered, “Well, I guess I’m a big lady.”

Daisy was not satisfied, “Yeah, but why does your booty jiggle like this?”

Momma had no response for that.

Recently Daisy had a reality check.

Her mom wrote, “We had a family game night after only 60 minutes total media time today. With the TV off we had time for a family run, baking, cooking, reading, going to the library, doing office work, cleaning, building forts. It was just about perfect. Then Daisy hit the wall and screamed her head off because Candy Land ‘is just not fair!’ So, she went to bed.”

Momma took Daisy up to bed and listened to the others finish the game as she soothed her three-year-old to sleep. Tomorrow would be another day.

(Joan Hershberger is a staff writer at the News-Times. Email her at