So far, I agree with my previous assessment that three is a difficult age. It’s all mood swings and testing. Sonja has decided that she “hates being dressed.” (She’s always liked being naked, but she has never declared it in such pointed words before.) It is nearly impossible to keep her at the dinner table, and if we start the bedtime routine two minutes too late, it can be a total tantrum
But fun times are not in short supply. She is so excited about Christmas. She gets it this year, even though she doesn’t understand how to count down the days. We’ve been watching all the classic Christmas specials and she’s been telling me all about what Santa is going to bring to her on Christmas morning. We also took her to see Santa this year. MAN, was she excited about this. When it was finally her turn, she threw up her arms and ran to him, and he gave her a big hug. (As my sister-in-law said, he must’ve been thinking, “Finally! A kid that’s not going to cry!”) She told him she wanted a kitchen for Christmas. Afterwards, when we were waiting in line (again) to buy the picture, she had the requisite Santa meltdown because she forgot to tell him she also wanted a dinosaur.
I enrolled her in a new co-op preschool this year. This one is a bigger facility than the last with more activities, but I had to put her in the 2-3 year old class instead of the 3-4 year old class because of her late birthday. Her class is a variety of ages and stages and it’s twice the size of last year’s (about 12 kids), so it’s pretty chaotic. Plus, I have only been able to attend with her twice because of work. Mostly Grandma takes her, though I accompanied her on the field trip to the pumpkin patch and observed one other day.
We also took her trick or treating this year. It took nearly the entire month of October to get her to decide on a costume, but she finally settled on (surprise!) Woody from Toy Story. This year’s outing was slightly more successful than last year’s, in that she was really interested in saying, “trick or treat” and getting candy, but if the house didn’t have M&Ms, she looked completely forlorn and turned down whatever else was offered. When we got to the house with the popcorn balls, she had an epic fit. Needless to say, trick or treating did not last long. However, my parents’ neighbors gave her a full-size bag of M&Ms from a variety pack that they clearly got at Costco, so big thanks to them.
No major developmental milestones since the last update. She still takes the stairs one at a time. She still has the binky because Mom can’t bear to take it away, and as this is the last vestige of babyhood, leave me alone, we’ll get to it when we get to it! Her palate is still limited, but when she decides to try something new, she gets a big grin on her face and says, “Okay, I’m gonna try it!” because she knows we’ll be proud. Her current weight is 25 pounds.
She loves playing with her cousin J.J. and her best friend Susie-Rose. She and Susie can actually play together in an adjoining room for a while, leaving the adults free to talk. And so it was that I discovered the joys of the playdate.
Speaking of talking, she is getting really good at recounting her day and she loves to make up stories and songs. She comes up with elaborate plans for what we’re going to do when we play together, and lately, they often involve a helicopter. Pretending to go to school or trick or treating is popular as well. She is good at memorizing the lyrics to short kids’ songs, though she doesn’t always understand what’s being said. Repeated attempts to explain to her that the last line of London Bridge is “my fair lady” have all failed. She also is getting into a fairy princess stage, which doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. The “why” phase is much more annoying. “Mom, why do you have a shower in your bathroom?” “Mom, why do you want to finish your dinner?” “Mom, why do you want to get dressed?”
The milestones may be fewer and further between, but we did have one major “first” this quarter: First movie at the theater. I figured we’d try taking her to a movie theater somewhere between age three and four. The plan came about much earlier than I expected when Sonja fell in love with Baymax, the giant, inflatable robot from Disney’s Big Hero 6, after she saw the trailer. It probably helped that Shaun and I were laughing at the scene where Baymax tries to retrieve a ball and repeatedly kicks it farther away – a scene that wasn’t even in the movie, by the way.
I digress. Dad wanted to see the movie for his birthday, and she was so enamored with “the white thing” that we decided to make it a family affair. I was apprehensive though. She can sit through the entirety of Toy Story, but a new movie that she didn’t know by heart might have a harder time capturing her attention or might scare her. I made certain we went to a mall theater, in case I needed to take her out halfway through and let her run free. All my fears proved completely unfounded as she sat through the entire movie and barely made a peep. The look on her face as she sat in the giant seat – her legs at an incline because she wasn’t heavy enough to keep the seat level, her hands clasped together in anticipation – was absolutely priceless. The most noise she made was during the very cute short that played before the film. A dog doesn’t get the food he wants and looks sad. “Oh that poor dog,” she said.
So it seems that even though this is a hard age, I have the cutest, best-behaved three-year-old on the planet. How did that happen?