My Grateful 3-Year-Old

Like most parents at this time of year, I found myself sitting with my 3-year-old, attempting to write a Christmas Wish List to send to Santa. My toddler rarely goes inside a grocery store, and if so, it’s primarily to the actual grocery section. Truthfully, I’m not even sure she knows toys are sold in stores. And the majority of our TV watching is done on Prime Video (Dora, Pete the Cat, and Clifford) or Disney Plus as part of winddown time before bed, so she sees virtually no commercials to have any idea of what the latest and greatest toys currently are. Maybe she’s sheltered, but in this, I’ve also found she’s incredibly grateful and content with exactly what she has.

Last year for Christmas, I bought a 20 pack of playdoh and have been carefully giving her one color at a time to play with until it dries out. I suggested some new playdoh, but she told me no, she already has 1 tub of playdoh.

She owns 1 Ragin Cajun t-shirt that she has worn to the tailgating games bought at a thrift store for $1. At just 3 years of age, she is a big Cajuns fan, loves to shout “GO UL” and makes the sign with her hand. She was asked if she wants a new Cajun shirt, but she said no, she already has a Ragin Cajuns shirt.

After 3 years, I figured it’s absolutely time to get stockings to hang on the mantel. I wanted those cute knit stockings from target with the letters on them for each person in our family. But one letter was out of stock. To at least have something, we got the super basic red stockings with white trim. But, I wasn’t really satisfied with those and a few days later we took a trip to Hobby Lobby. I showed her all kinds of cute stockings but she kept telling me “But we already have stockings at home, Mama”. So we walked out of Hobby Lobby empty-handed.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized that my 3-year-old is incredibly grateful and satisfied with exactly everything she has. Yes, I realize this is also a place of privilege as other children might be lacking the things she has. That isn’t lost on me, and certainly not on her. She says thank you for the simplest of things – like thank you for fixing her food, or making a craft with her. She’s immensely appreciative and content; she doesn’t need a fancy stocking, or 100 tubs of playdoh to choose from. I’ve been in such awe of her and her thoughts this holiday season. So we’re getting less for Christmas and enjoying everything that much more.

Emily Miller
Emily is a dual citizen, residing in Lafayette, Louisiana, yet a temporary visitor in her other residency of Germany. She is a wife of four years and full time working mother to two kids: a 2.5 year old girl (C) and 5 month old boy (H). Having graduated from LSU with her bachelors, she continued her education by getting her Masters in Business Administration from UL. Working in management in retail, her schedule frequently varies and consists of unusual hours, but she embraces that as extra time with her children. While off the clock, Emily pours herself a cup of decaf coffee, plays in a room filled with toddler toys, teaches her children German, and attempts to be a scrunchy Montessori inspired mama with goals of raising independent children.