You are three years old! You will tell anyone that asks that you are “this many” and hold up three fingers, and that your birthday is “March Twenty-Free”. Since you are a March baby, you got to take cake to school with you this week. I am a summer kid, so I was not really all that familiar with exactly how to do that, and the kid in your class with the peanut allergy really threw me. I think I was more excited than you.
So, you at three can be both really fun and really difficult. Recently, you were so challenging that I actually missed newborn Rosalind. That was a first. I have never once missed the first three months of your life. I can’t even remember what you did that drove me to miss squalling, spitting, newborn Rolo, but it must have been bad.
You are a little repeating machine, which is funny because you are pretty well spoken, so I don’t know why the sudden interest in repeating everything you hear. I think it’s because you vaguely understand the meaning behind some of the phrases and want to gauge our reactions. I told your daddy tonight that he had to stop exuding pride when you pop out with these things. Some of the things we have heard lately that make us feel pretty terrible about ourselves and/or the television we watch:
“What the hell are you?”
“Oh, for God’s sake!”
“Momma, you are not a retard.” (She did not get this from us, we don’t use that word)
“I’m gonna go see the losers.”
The F word and the S word.
Oh, and this is beside the point but it made me laugh. We went on a little hike the other day and when we started out we pointed out a woodpecker pecking at a tree to you. As we went down the lane a bit you picked up a stick , walked up to your dad and poked him in the groin with it repeatedly while saying, “pecker, pecker, pecker.” This caused your father to jump about a mile and me to crumple to the ground laughing. In case it isn’t clear, let me assure you that the location she hit her father was pure chance, but such a perfectly funny coincidence while mimicking a woodpecker. That’s just a good one to remember for the day you bring a boy home and we would like to scare him away.
You have grown up so much in the last year. You are all little girl now. You went through a long period where you wanted us to treat you like a baby and be the baby, but now you are all grown up and “I can do it by MYSELF.” You are still very tall, and your hair is a nightmare. Let’s talk about your hair. People like it. I like it. It’s curly. I made my students teach me how to french braid instead of learning economics. But. You HATE to have your hair messed with. You barely tolerate a brush, and never let me play. We have even given up on pigtails or even simple barrettes. The point is, one day when you wonder why you don’t know how to do your hair and it is just a mushroom of curls, don’t blame me. It’s your own fault.
Let’s talk about food. Your food tastes say a lot about humans in general, I think. You gave up on all things green about a year ago. Even green candy is last in line to be eaten. You love bacon. You love almost all proteins. Basically, you eat like you are competing for world’s youngest heart attack victim.
You like school but get tired of going about wednesday of every week. You love numbers more than letters so far. You are advanced on all of your goals at school but often get stuck at a level because of how stubborn you are. Your teachers tell us all the time that you have mastered a task but refuse to do it on command and so can’t progress. You know several continents (contiments) and the major landmarks in each. You are OCD when it comes to your socks. We always have to adjust the toes twice before you are willing to put your shoes on. We are working with you on understanding that you can’t do something bad and say sorry at the same time. It doesn’t work that way. You are learning that when someone calls you “bathroom words” you can just walk away without calling them bathroom words back. You are not shy and you are assertive. These are not personality traits that I am familiar with and so find myself in awkward situations sometimes. You’ll stand up for yourself in situations I would have avoided or given in on. You walk right up to people you find interesting and tell them your full name (about an inch from their face), you see your classmates in public and squeal across the room that “IT’S JAAACOOOBBB!”
When we give you something you will answer with the word, “kinks.” It’s one of the few remaining mistaken pronunciations you say on a regular basis. I will destroy the person that changes this, so I regularly answer perfect strangers with “kinks” instead of thanks as well.
I could probably do this for several thousand more words, but I guess I’ll stop there. Or maybe I’ll think of more later and add another post tomorrow. The point of all this is that you are pretty awesome and super fun and we like you more and more with each passing milestone, which seems impossible because it always seems like we are at capacity as it is. Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl.
Mama and Daddy