One-Liner Wednesday: A Mantra Courtesy Of A Three Year Old Girl

I was in Costco on Friday afternoon.  I ducked into the women’s restroom and while in there saw a cute little girl, about three years old, with her mother.

The little girl was wearing black leggings, a bright blue t-shirt, sturdy white sneakers embellished with cartoon characters, and a sparkly pink tutu.  She was a vision of free-spirited sartorial confidence that made me smile.

Oh, to be so sure of yourself!

The duo was standing by the sink in the restroom and the mother was starting to turn on the water at the sink in order for the little girl to wash her hands.  However, as we all know, toddlers like to do for themselves that which they believe they are capable of doing by themselves.

And they are often loud and dramatic in the process.

This little girl was no different than her independently-minded peers, thus she said for all to hear the following phrase that I think, as an example of positive self-talk, might be the perfect succinct mantra for anyone who momentarily loses their confidence while negotiating the ups and downs of life:

“I. CAN. ME.”

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This is the brainchild of Linda G. Hill. Click on the badge to learn more & to connect with other bloggers who are doing #1LinerWeds this week.

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Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Pleasantly crazy. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Wordy.

162 thoughts on “One-Liner Wednesday: A Mantra Courtesy Of A Three Year Old Girl”

  1. I had a bit of a hover-mother, long before the phrase ‘helicopter parent’ entered the lexicon. She wanted so badly to help, with everything, and my childhood echoed with the phrase, “Mother! I want to do it myself!”

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    1. shoreacres, that’s a good line and one that rings true today. I also like “hover-mother” because it suggests exactly what can be going on within the mother/kid relationship. Nice turn of phrase

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    1. When I add a badge to a post I put the image into the post [like I would a photo], then I add the link to the image using the Link To: Custom URL box on the Image Details page of the picture you’re trying to add to your post. Does that help?

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    1. nance, her mom seemed like a kind soul. When the little girl announced she’d be washing her hands by herself, her mother smiled and said: “Ok, show me.” And little cute stuff did.

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  2. Oh that is just so perfect! I love the sounds of her confident fashion style too.
    I have a granddaughter who’s the same. I’m rather proud of both her & my daughter 😀

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    1. deb, I adored this little girl before she said a thing. That outfit screamed “I can me” before she opened her mouth. I can understand why you’re proud of your daughter and granddaughter. A bit of spunk is a great thing

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  3. That age is so funny! I’m trying to write in my journal the things our 3 year old grandson says so that I don’t forget. I hope he keeps his stubborn and determined personality!

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  4. Well, if THIS doesn’t perfectly sum up being a girl sometimes. Even in my grownup world where men seem just fine with “but what you REALLY mean is…” Now I’m set with I. CAN. ME.
    Gotta love that Costco wisdom. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jean, thank you. You’re too kind. I wanted to laugh out loud when I heard this little girl, but I didn’t want to harsh her determination so I waited until later when I got a good long chuckle out it.

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        1. That’s a fascinating observation. I’m sure that being time with a headstrong child is taxing, but kids at that age have no filters so you really know what they’re thinking about. And how which makes them, like you said, interesting.

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  5. Having a granddaughter who is 3, I have a very clear picture of this little gal in her sparkles! What have I learned from that 3 year old independent toddler? Many, many things but right now I would say patience! Love this Ally, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Janis, I hadn’t thought of the hashtag possibilities with this mantra. You’re right about the clothes we wore as kids, nothing as fun as what this little girl was wearing. We missed that entirely

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  6. My younger daughter used to say “Me do yat.” I think that’s one of the things that change as we age; we become more and more willing to accept help, especially for tasks that we don’t want to do. 🙂

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    1. Margaret, if I don’t want to do something and someone else is willing to do it for me, often being paid in the process, I’m all about it. “Me NOT do yat” might be my adult version of your daughter’s phrase.

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  7. Ah, I miss the days when I could pull off wearing a tutu and sneakers. Oh, well. I don’t spend much (if any) time around kids (I think I have a force field around me), but one thing I like about three-year-olds is how they seem just on the cusp of adulthood until they turn four and then start acting like, well, four-year-olds.

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  8. How absolutely sweet! Thank you for sharing this wonderful moment that you happened to randomly catch. Remember the show, “kids say the darndest things”!
    I used to watch that and howl with laughter.

    Susan Grace

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  9. It’s good to be an assertive female, no matter what age you are. 🙂 After reading this post, I have to mention that, coincidentally, this morning I heard on “This Day in History” (a regular feature on my radio station), that on October 23, 1850, the first National Women’s Rights Convention began in Worcester, Massachusetts. Perhaps those suffragettes’ childhood personas were also “I. CAN. ME.”

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    1. linda, what a perfect tie-in with this post! I’d love to say I wrote this knowing what day it was, but that’d be a lie. I do like your idea that the suffragettes knew this mantra and because of it got the ball rolling re: women’s vote.

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      1. I enjoy that “This Day in History” feature, so I wanted to track that stat down to ensure I got my facts and figures right. Who knows about those little girls back then, but I know the little girls today are much different than me at that age. Girls rule!!

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          1. I agree with you – it was “please” and “thank you” and even curtsying to elders (I grew up in Canada). I know you were an only child too. I grew up that children were seen and not heard.

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      1. I am thinking about retiring early but the thought of what I want to do next has put my pensive 🤔 uncertain self in the foreground. I need to send out a search party for the badass as she’s totally needed right now, Ally. 🌝🤓

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  10. I .Can.Me should be the new mantra all little girls and boys are taught as soon as they can listen. I .Can.Me could raise a country of “can do” people who change all the stuff that shouldn’t be done that we’re experiencing now. So when we teach I.Can.Me, let’s teach kindness, compassion, and love with those words too.

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    1. Pam, I like your take on this mantra. I was totally charmed by this little girl who clearly had it going on. I’d love to see kids encouraged to have a “can do” attitude based on kindness and compassion and [dare I add?] facts! 🤓

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    1. Shelley, you are right. I’ll try to find a sparkly pink tutu that fits me so that the next time I go to water the plants I can wear it. I. Can. Me. taken to a new crazy old lady level!

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    1. L. Marie, you said it. That little girl was her own person and made my day with her determined spirit. Looking forward to seeing a pic of you in your similar outfit

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    1. Betsy, yes if I were faced with toddlerhood 24/7 I might not have found this statement to be so endearing. But as someone who accidentally overheard this conversation, it’s delightful.

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    1. Erica/Erika, I hope you’re right about all of us having a three-year-old deep inside who knows what is what & has the gumption to say it. Some days I feel like I could use more of that essence…

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  11. It really is inspiring, kids say the darndest things and from the mouths of babes etc etc. Thank you for sharing it so that I may reincorporate her baby girl strength into my woman worn down life.
    Also, I really did read this Wednesday morning, but my phone didn’t know I was me and wouldn’t let me DO things on WP, so I think you should know that my comment then was much more clever and witty, but I no longer recall as it was replaced by tech fury.

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    1. joey, thank you for wanting to comment earlier and trying your best to do so. I sometimes feel that my tombstone will read: she died of complications associated with tech fury. And yes, this little girl is inspiration to us all, no matter what our ages might be. And how irritated we become with the gadgets that let us communicate with each other.

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