Maeve: Three years
You. Are. Three. This blows my mind because you’re my baaaaaabyyyyyyyyy and I was just nursing you in the glider a few minutes ago and you were so tiny and perfect and all of a sudden — boom — you’re tall and beautiful and funny and opinionated. How on earth are you three?
This past year has been a whirlwind of change. You started it out in diapers and ended it fully potty-trained. Well, Pull-ups at night for pee, but who’s counting? You started it at home with me every day and you ended it in preschool three mornings a week. You started it with no ear tubes and ended it with your very own set to match your sister’s. And you started it barely able to speak coherently and ended it with a vocabulary that astonishes me. Just today you said, “Mommy, you go to yoga? You take a shower? You get dressed? Why you wearing jeans? Look we have the same boots! We are twins!” As I said, a year of change.
The biggest change by far is in your relationship with Jack and Emmie. You have gone from someone who mostly got in the way and played with baby toys to a legitimate playmate who likes to play Barbies and dolls and Legos and trains. You and Emmie spend hours hiding under your crib, pretending it’s a fort, giggling and playing with the 437 stuffed animals and dolls you both drag under there with you. Jack loves to chase you around the house, the two of you screaming and laughing and then switching roles. We have finally achieved the time where the three of you disappear into the basement and play nicely together. Well, until somebody pulls somebody’s hair or punches somebody in the back or kicks somebody in the face.
And oh my word do you have a stubborn streak. If you don’t like what we’re doing, you just flat-out refuse to participate. You’ll sit down on the asphalt in the middle of parking lots, throw yourself on the grass at the park and refuse to get dressed. More than once this fall, you’ve left the house without shoes because you refused to put them on. Not to mention the time you were so mad at me that we had to go pick the kids up from school that you took off all your clothes in the stroller and we sauntered up to the playground wearing only a pair of Hello Kitty underpants. Emmie and Jack were horrified; you could not have cared less. We try to cajole you and you will have none of it. Yesterday you were displeased it was bedtime and when I asked you what your favorite part was, you yelled, “Nuffing!” and crossed your arms over your chest. All righty then.
But then you turn on a dime and you are the sweetest girl I’ve ever met. You have genuine empathy when someone is crying and you give the best hugs and kisses. Your day always always always begins with a sippy cup of milk enjoyed in the warmth of our bed. We bring you in from your crib and you just chill out for 15-20 minutes, happy to hang out until you hear the big kids are awake and then you bolt downstairs to watch one of your three obsessions: The Wiggles, Dora and Yo Gabba Gabba. There is no other TV in the world that captivates you like these three shows. But those things pale in comparison to Hello Kitty. Oh my God, the Hello Kitty. It exploded in our house this year and you can’t get enough. Shirts, underpants, boots, blankets, slippers, lunchboxes and toys. We might have to take you to Japan to see her birthplace. It’s a little out of hand.
Lucky for us, you would be a great traveling companion. This year you got to go to Jamaica, Texas, Hawaii and Disneyworld and you pretty much went with the flow. The jetlag wasn’t a huge issue in Hawaii and you had a blast on the waterslide in the pool and at the beach. Of course you loved the beach because you eat sand, so it was like the Old County Buffet with a view of the sunset. I tried everything I knew and finally mentioned it to your doctor this summer. He promptly tested you for iron deficiency and guess what — you were anemic. Even after working on getting the levels up, you continued shoveling handfuls of dirt, rocks and sand in whenever you had the chance so we decided to bribe you. Funny, the promise of a Hello Kitty airplane after not eating sand for a month got ‘er done. Win-win for everyone.
You father remarked the other day that he couldn’t believe we don’t have a baby anymore — you’re a big girl (as you remind us at every opportunity). I was a little sad when he said that, but I was so glad we’ll never have another go-round with the Terrible Twos! Although as every parent of a three-year-old can tell you, three is far, FAR worse than two. So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.
But it’s also going to be an amazing year filled with so many more firsts and changes. You already know most of your letters and all of your numbers. You can count to 30 and sing your ABCs with gusto. You love Foster the People and their song, “Don’t Stop” is your favorite, although you know the words to tons of other songs on the alternative station here. You like cherry tomatoes, turkey-and-cheese sandwiches, raspberries eaten off the tips of your fingers and chicken noodle soup. You finally eat spinach salads like your siblings, but you refuse to let a drop of salad dressing within a fifty-foot radius of your bowl. But forget about too many other vegetables — again with the stubborn streak.
You’re a ballerina and a soccer protege and you’re convinced you can take the court with Jack and Emmie at basketball. You love to swing at the park and go on the slide and chase your friends. You love to read books and make up your own words if no one can sit down and read to you. You adore wearing jeans and would live in jammies if we let you. You sleep with your Baby Ola, Dora, a stuffed pig, a small Hello Kitty and a large Hello Kitty, your “banket” and two others for covering your body. Some nights we can barely find you amongst all the stuff. You love to brush your teeth and never complain when I brush your gorgeous blonde curls. You love to play with the iPad and the iTouch and you play a mean Dance Central on the Kinect. You like to cuddle and snuggle. You are perfect. You are three.