My Three-and-a-Half Year Old

With a whopping three of them already behind me, I think of the -and-a-half  updates as the slowest time of the year, what with the last three months being the dead of winter. And yet, as always, a lot of stuff happened this quarter.

Long shadows on a short winter day.

Long shadows on a short winter day.

First of all, she loved Christmas. Santa brought her everything she wanted and watching her come downstairs on Christmas morning was the best. We are working on how to count the days of the week and the time before the next event, but she doesn’t get it yet. She will periodically ask if it’s going to be Christmas again. I tell her no, that summer is coming up and summer will be fun, to which she replies, “yay, it’s summer!”

I make her pose with her gifts every year.

I make her pose with her gifts every year.

Being silly.

Being silly.

Sonja and her new kitchen.

Sonja and her new kitchen.

Speaking of warmer weather, Sonja is not quite as obsessed with being naked as she has been for the last year-and-a-half. However, she has decided that despite having a closet chock full of long-sleeve shirts, she only wants to wear short-sleeve shirts. At least we don’t live in Boston. She still calls the short-sleeve shirts long-sleeve shirts. I’ve tried to explain that sleeves that end just below the shoulder are short-sleeve shirts. I point just below my shoulder. She then points just below her shoulder and tells me she wants to wear the long-sleeve shirt that goes to her shoulder. She also hates socks and refuses to wear them one second longer than she has to.

Bouncing in the neighbor's bouncy house with short sleeves. This was actually a very warm day.

Bouncing in the neighbor’s bouncy house with short sleeves. This was actually a very warm day.

Folks, this is the big update/milestone you have been waiting for. Well, that I have been waiting for. We are officially a binky-free household. After saying I was going to take it away at Thanksgiving, and then again after Christmas, I finally did it several weeks ago, in mid-January. I had been telling her it was coming, and Shaun and I had been telling her that she was too old for a binky. I had a date in mind, but one night, before bed, when I was telling her it was going to go away soon, she simply said, “I’ll miss it.” It was far less resistance than I had been getting, so I decided that was my signal. I took it away and laid down with her to get her to sleep. She woke up screaming in the middle of the night, just as other parents told me would happen. I sat with her for an hour to get her back to sleep. I was prepared to do this for three-or-four nights, because according to other parents that’s how long it takes. But no, I only had to do it for one night. It seemed to take longer to get her to go to sleep for the next couple of weeks, as if she were missing that cue, but it has all worked itself out. She doesn’t need it, want it or miss it, and as a courtesy, we don’t talk about it. If I tell the story to other parents, I always spell b-i-n-k-y. Just in case.

She has been enjoying her co-op preschool. Now that I am able to take her, I have discovered the freedom of leaving her at school for a couple of hours. Sometimes I am a working parent in the classroom, but sometimes I can leave. It was a very strange feeling at first, just saying goodbye and going grocery shopping. I worried the first couple of times, but as is always the case with my resilient little ball of sunshine, there was nothing to it. She has a tendency to get upset when people offer her food she does not want, thus snack time does not always go down well. But it turns out when I’m not there, she does just fine controlling herself. She doesn’t always eat, but she’s learned not to throw a tantrum.

As soon as we get there, she always goes straight for the art project.

As soon as we get there, she always goes straight for the art project.

Fun at preschool.

Fun at preschool.

We also had our first parent-teacher conference a few weeks ago. I thought that was kind of strange, as I am mostly with her at school and I figured there would be little to tell. Still, it was nice to hear that her fine motor skills are excellent, and she can hold a pen/crayon/paintbrush correctly, and better than some of the 5-year-olds. Her portraiting skills are also advanced.  A couple of months ago, we hit the underrated milestone of her drawings actually resembling something, and the teacher said this is also ahead of schedule. She can spell her name, out loud and using magnetic letters. She is starting to write letters, and makes a very nice “w” and “o.”

Self-Portrait, Age 3

Self-Portrait, Age 3

She still has some of that age three attitude, but telling her that the bad attitude is going to get her nowhere seems to help. When I scold her, half the time she tries to reason with me. “Well, I was just…” And half the time she stares at me for a few seconds, then changes the subject completely. I can almost hear her inner monologue… “Hmm…Mom’s obviously got some weird hang up about this, let’s see if I can distract her by changing the subject.”

Mother/Daughter frozen yogurt day. I'm thinking of instituting these on a more regular basis.Because frozen yogurt.

Mother/Daughter frozen yogurt day. I’m thinking of instituting these on a more regular basis. Because frozen yogurt.

Her current favorite movie is Big Hero 6, which you may recall we took her to see at the theater last November. It’s out on DVD now and she loves Baymax and Honey Lemon. She has made her own purse with a heart (sticker) on it, and puts balls in it to throw just like Honey Lemon. She’s also taken a liking to Wall-E and The Muppets, the 2011 reboot with Jason Segel. Because I understandably get a little bored of the kid stuff, I let her watch The Middle with me, which she likes. I also let her watch 30 Rock with me one day when I was sick, and she loved that even more. Then, she noticed that Jack McBrayer, who plays Kenneth on 30 Rock, also shows up on The Middle. “Hey, it’s the guy from the other show!” she exclaimed. You do me proud, kiddo.

Drawin'

Drawing

She loves to make up stories and songs and games. My favorite game must be Who made that noise? in which she makes a noise, then I have to say, “who made that noise?” and she says, “me!” She adores playing with her cousin J.J. at Grandma’s house on Sundays, and makes friends easily. My little social butterfly.

Sonja and two of her preschool friends at a birthday party. Nothin' but trouble here.

Sonja and two of her preschool friends at a birthday party. Nothin’ but trouble here.

We had one other “first” this quarter, or at least a first since she was an infant. That was when, two days ago, I was awakened in the middle of the night to the sound of her puking. She was drenched (photo not available), and as I took her to the bathroom to clean her up, she was crying. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realized she was probably crying because my face was frozen in absolute, abject horror (photo not available.) I know this is going to happen many, many times over the next several years, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it. I hate puking, and I spent the next day Lysol-ing things and doing loads of laundry. I woke up the next night drenched in sweat, thinking for sure I was going to be sick too. I think the only way to cure myself of this insanity is to get sick a lot and realize it just is what it is, and I’ll survive. Still, I’ll keep that Lysol handy,

 

Helping Dad make pizza.

Helping Dad make pizza.

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About suitejen

Writer. Video Editor. Mama.
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