Three-and-three quarters. I’ll transition from saying she’s three-and-a-half to saying she’s nearly four. I am somewhat impatient for four to come along. Three has been an endless roundtable of questions (why? why? why?) and illogical tantrums, set off by nothing and often unintelligible. It is not the fact that these things happen but the frequency that leaves one exhausted and gasping for air. There is, of course, no guarantee that magically at age four all of the previous troubles will disappear, but one can hope. (And yes, I know, new ones will take their place so perhaps it is six of one tantrum…)
Sonja has also been going through a very clingy phase, and though it is probably totes normal, I can’t help but think I traumatized her. I went back to work in late March for a short, six-week project, but it was a 40+ hour work week with a long commute on either side, and Tuesday and Wednesday nights I went to night classes. So that left two whole days where I left before she woke up and returned after she was asleep. Though I heard from everyone around that she behaved great all day and even went to bed peacefully for Dad, the fit throwing the rest of the week for me was epic. Since I have been back home some of that has settled, but she has started hesitating and sometimes bawling when I leave her, even if she is going to Grandma’s, which is one of her favorite places.
But leave her I can. For the first time, we had to employ the services of a sitter, and found a nice woman near my parents to take the job. I was very nervous for everyone involved, but everything turned out fine. One Friday night after work, I was telling Sonja I would be home for the weekend and we could do lots of fun things together like build castles with legos. I asked her what else she wanted to do, and she said I could take her to Debbie’s (babysitter) and they could play princesses. So I guess maybe she wasn’t that traumatized.
Speaking of princess, that dreaded phase has arrived with fury. She still likes Big Hero 6, her movie obsession from the last update, but her favorite things du jour are Frozen and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She had seen Frozen but was not particularly enamored with it until she went to a friend’s Frozen-themed birthday party. Now it’s all the rage. With all the vitriol I have towards princess culture, one would think that I would be happy she’s mixing things up by also loving the Turtles. And I am glad we are not a one-hit wonder household. (Those Frozen songs really get stuck in your head!) But I’m not super excited by this interest in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There are infinite variations, incarnations, movies and TV shows featuring these characters and not one has half the intelligence and wit of Frozen. In addition to being #TeamElsa, Sonja is #TeamMichelangelo. Elsa is obvious, she’s got the powers (though I don’t care what you say about the impressive vocal range of Idina Menzel, I prefer the pleasantness of Kristen Bell’s (Anna) singing voice), but it appear she likes “Mikey” because he is silly.
I was so relieved as we headed in to warmer weather, and Sonja could ditch the socks she never wears anyway in favor of flip-flops, and I could stop fighting with her over the weather-appropriateness of short-sleeves. But all she ever wants to wear now is her long-sleeve, polyester Frozen dress, and gloves that help control her power. (Obviously.) Try explaining to a stranger why your kid is wearing gloves in 85 degree weather, especially one that has not seen Frozen. Oh, and she’s finally decided that she should sleep under a blanket, so good timing for that when her room is 80 degrees at 10 o’clock at night.
In other happenings this quarter, we bought Sonja a scooter, for unknown reasons. I guess I didn’t think she was ready for a bike but thought she might have some fun with the scooter. For the record, she has a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle scooter, Frozen knee and elbow pads, and a psychedelic kitty helmet.
I took her to the Children’s Museum in Tacoma one day after my job ended, a special outing, and I lost her when she ducked under a treehouse and never came out the other side, that I saw. She was playing at the other end of the museum, but panic, thy name is a missing child. On the way back from the museum, we stopped at the UWT bookstore, and I caved and bought her a stuffed husky she liked. She decided that she was going to name him Ketovey (Keh-toe-vee) and I so loved the originality of this that I reinforced it, as well as the idea that this latest stuffed animal was her favorite. (Wouldn’t want my money spent in vain…) It worked until I bought her a Michelangelo action figure, and that seems to be her new best toy.
She finished up the year in preschool and towards the end, made a new friend named David when they started birdwatching together. He’s the same age and nearly twice her size so it’s an interesting pairing.
And looking for something to do over the summer, I signed her up for ballet, which she adores. She glommed on to a girl who was wearing a nearly identical outfit, and wouldn’t let go of her hand. I asked her what her new friend’s name was; she didn’t know. I asked her what she liked about her new friend; she said she had a pretty, flat ponytail. If only we could make friends like this as adults.
She’s getting better at taking the stairs with alternating feet. She makes up her own games all the time, and sometimes they are completely original and totally non-sensical, and sometimes they derive from movie scenes. She is constantly singing, usually made up songs about whatever is happening at that moment. It’s super cute. She also sings along with Frozen and other songs, and she can remember the lyrics and sing in tune. She has her own opinions and is not afraid to voice them, nor is she shy. She’ll talk to anyone who will listen. She has always been stubbornly independent, but she’s getting a little better at doing things herself. She loves to feed the dog, which she can do all by herself so long as it’s the kibble. After reading what is now my favorite tip ever on Pinterest, I put all of her cups in a basket on a shelf down low, and when she wants water she can get it herself, instead of yelling at me that I picked the wrong cup.
Even though the fits and tantrums are exhausting, I can tell she is transitioning into kid-dom. There are negotiations and pleas, some won and some lost. The exciting things (holidays, trips) are the most exciting things ever, and the boring days are very, very boring. There aren’t many gross motor milestones left. I have a little kid on my hands who looks and acts and talks like a little kid, and when did that happen?