When you spend a lot of time with a three-year-old, you learn a few things. Mainly, you learn what is really important.
For instance, when you get up in the morning, there should always be someone there to hug you. I practically incite a revolt any morning I don't get to my son's bedside quite soon enough.
I've also discovered wardrobe decisions should be based on one thing and one thing only: comfort. My son has no qualms whatsoever in wearing the same outfit every single day, even if it is a Spiderman t-shirt and shorts in the middle of January.
Eating a meal should always be regarded as a social event, perhaps even sliding into the realm of being a spectator sport. If I can make you laugh at how I eat a noodle, then the meal is a grand success.
Since we're on the topic of food, if I lived like a 3-yr-old, I would inhale a bag of potato chips believing it equates to numerous servings of nutrient-rich vegetables.
Never resist a compliment. Instead, agree wholeheartedly. Whenever I tell my son, "You did a great job!" it typically evokes an “I know! I'm amazing!” Where does that healthy self-esteem go when we hit the junior high years?
Speaking of self-esteem, every mirror should be an invitation to strike a pose, make a silly face or simply just stare at yourself for a solid minute or two. In no way should this appear self-indulgent.
Let's not forget the abundance of creativity oozing from this pint-sized person. Based on this fact, nothing should be off limits as a canvas when you have a crayon, marker or other writing utensil in hand. Give your home some character.
Consider the joy of sticky treats. A sucker, popsicle or gum should be all you need to lift your spirits in an instant. Just think of the weight we'd lose if we reached for one of these instead of that soda or latte? Go ahead - walk into the conference room tomorrow with a popsicle for every attendee. You'll be the office hero, I guarantee it.
Or at least my three-year-old will guarantee it...
with his popsicle-smeared grin.
Which reminds me of the final lesson today from three years of endless wisdom:
Smiles should be as automatic as breathing.
If they're not, you need to find yourself a three-year-old to hang out with.