June 2016, Longwood Gardens
I have a three year old.
What. the. heck?
It seemed to happen overnight, but also take 30 years, at the same time. Time starts to work in this weird way when you are the parent of a three-nager, I assume. Yes, B can be as sweet as pie in one moment, telling me “Mommy, I missed you while you was gone” and making me wish I could stop time from speeding by. And, in the next instant, she’ll be mad at me for something and I’m getting a glimpse of what it will be like when she is a teenager; she heads for the front door and proclaims “I’m leaving, Mama!” while I warn her not to let the door hit her in the backside on the way out.
It’s so interesting to see the aspects of her personality that have remained consistent since she was an infant. Although she is getting better with adjusting to new people and situations, I think she’ll always be a cautious, somewhat introverted gal (just like her mama). I’m sure that once she starts school, part-time in just a couple of weeks, she’ll make even more progress. Of course, she says she is excited to play with the other little kids, but I am prepared for major meltdowns for at least the first few weeks. I hope it won’t be too traumatic for her (or me!).
B has entered an inquisitive phase, but instead of the classic “Why?” her favorite question to ask at the moment, is “Where we got this?” She wants to know where every toy, article of clothing, piece of food and furniture in our house came from. If I say a store other than Target, Toys R’ Us or Shop Rite, she tells me it came from there anyway, since those are her among her favorite places to go. The first time she asked me where Alice came from, I stalled for time (so not ready to have that conversation), and said to her “I don’t know, where do you think she came from?” B replied, “We got her from the hospital” and went on her way. Saved, for now.
Related to her love of shopping, she also enjoys most of the commercials she sees on television and can tell you all about the products that are advertised. When she sees a Lysol commercial, for example, she’ll say “Nee-Nee has that. She sprays it when I pee on the potty!” When she sees a Walmart truck, she’ll immediately break into a rendition of their current jingle. The other day she asked me, very seriously, “Mommy, do you have an Amopei (that pedicure file)?” and seemed genuinely disappointed when I said no. And, of course, every toy she sees, she wants. The list for Santa is miles long already. Our girl is a marketer’s dream.
I have been so proud of the way that B has adjusted to life as a big sister. She and Alice love each other so much and B encourages Alice as she learns new things and explores the world around her. Sure, there are times when jealousy flares. But, for the most part, B is a patient and understanding sibling and does a pretty good job of sharing the grown-ups (and toys) with Alice, when needed. I try to carve out time for things that just B and I can do together, whether it’s a baking project in the kitchen or a quick trip to Starbucks for a cake pop. I’m looking forward to doing more of that as she gets older.
From Alice’s three month photo shoot. B always has to show her how it’s done.
B’s love for building with blocks has become even more intense–we might be raising an architect! She has become more imaginative with them in the past few months, and manages to incorporate all of her current favorite things into her creations. She can spend hours choosing just the right combination of pieces to build a zoo for her stuffed animals, a playground for her Paw Patrol pups or a Clubhouse for her Mickey Mouse characters. She also loves painting/coloring, decorating with stickers and magnets and playing games on her Leap Frog tablet or my mom’s Nook. Recently, she fell in love with bath tub squirting toys and mini character figurines and has amassed quite the collection of the Bubble Guppy and Paw Patrol variety, which all must sleep in bed with her. Between those and the stuffed animals, it’s hard to find B herself in there!
B’s dislikes at the moment include bugs of any kind, sitting at the dinner table in the evenings (between that and her general picky eating habits, it’s often a battle at our house) and even the mere mention of going to the doctor. No kid likes the latter, of course, but I think her fear was probably heightened when we all got the flu in April. It was the first time that she was legitimately sick and had to take medicine, which was a traumatic experience for all involved. On the plus side, if I need to leave the house or take a work conference call in the evening, we’ll just tell B that I have to go to or talk to the doctor and she lets me go with minimal fuss. When I come back, she’ll ask me “Mommy, do you feel better? Did you get a bandage?” So, for now, our white lie is working.
B is pretty much potty trained at this point, and is even doing pretty well with keeping her pants dry at night. Earlier this year, the transition from her little training potty to the real thing seemed like it would be a battle. But, one day, I just made up a story about the potty fairy, who takes the potties that big kids don’t need anymore and gives them to babies. B easily agreed to give hers up, so we put the potties into hiding and she never looked for them again. If I knew it would have been so easy, I would have made up the potty fairy months earlier! The only thing that is still a bit challenging is getting B to use a public restroom with minimal fuss (again, she’s a pretty cautious kid), but she is slowly getting much better in that regard, which makes our outings much easier.
At Smith Playground, June 2016
B’s favorite place to go, aside from the retail establishments mentioned earlier, is the park. She still loves her swings, but also has become a pro at navigating the slides and other equipment. So, it was only fitting that we had her birthday party at Starr Garden, one of her favorite local playgrounds. She hid behind a tree when everyone was singing Happy Birthday to her, but otherwise had a grand time blowing bubbles, dancing and swinging away for most of the afternoon.
Chicken dancing like a pro
My little B: You drive me crazy and make me laugh everyday–sometimes at the same time. I wouldn’t trade you for the world. I’m so glad you chose me to be your Mama and can’t wait to see what you do next!