I Don’t Want to Be Three!
September 2000

“I Don’t Want to Be Three!” Friend, Sept. 2000, 28

I Don’t Want to Be Three!

Ev’ry star is different,
And so is ev’ry child. …
Ev’ry one is needed
For just what he can do.
(Children’s Songbook, page 142.)

“I want to go to school like Christopher does,” grumbled Sarah as she watched the school bus pull away from the curb.

“You can go to school when you are five,” her mom assured her. “Come on, let’s go inside.”

“Carry me,” Sarah demanded.

“I can’t, I’m carrying Adam,” Mom answered. “I’m not strong enough to carry both of you. I can hold your hand if you’d like.”

Sarah took hold of the hand that Mother offered her. “But I wanted you to carry me,” she complained as they walked back into the house.

Sarah climbed up onto the couch. “It’s no fun being three,” she muttered. “Three-year-olds don’t get to do anything.”

Adam had fallen asleep, so Mom carefully placed him in the playpen. Then she sat next to Sarah, lifting the unhappy girl onto her lap. “Christopher goes to kindergarten—that’s what five-year-olds do,” Mom said. “Adam’s taking a nap—that’s what babies do. Let’s think of some things that three-year-olds do.”

“Like what?” Sarah demanded.

“Well, you can play with your modeling clay, or you can have a doll party, or I can push you in the swing, or you can do something else that you choose. What do you think?”

Sarah’s face brightened. “I want to paint, then have a fun party for my dolls, and then make cookies.”

Mom smiled, glad to see Sarah returning to her happy self. “All right,” Mom said, “let’s get you started.” She stood up and lifted Sarah high in the air before putting her down.

Sarah giggled. “And then I want to build a house out of my building blocks. Then I want to swing. Then I want to play with my clay. Then—”

“Slow down!” Mom laughed. “There are a lot of things that three-year-olds can do, but I don’t think that you can do them all today.”

“Maybe not, but I can try!”

Mom got out paper and paints and filled a cup with water for Sarah to dip her paintbrush into. “I know one more thing that three-year-olds get to do,” Mom said as she helped Sarah into her booster seat.

“What?” Sarah asked.

“When we go to church, you go to the nursery. But in January, all the children in the nursery who have turned three will go to Primary.”

“And I’ll go to class with Christopher?”

“Well, you’ll be in different classes, but you’ll go to Sharing Time together,” Mom explained. “And I think that you’ll enjoy Primary. It’s one of the best things about being three.”

Sarah carefully dabbed eyelashes on the big happy face that she had painted. “This is how I’m going to look when I go to Primary,” she said. “I love being three.”

Illustrated by Elise N. Black