Gosh, I’m looking at the date on my last post and I can hardly believe it. September? Really? Where have I been? What have I been doing?
Well, soon after that last post we went to Charleston to see my aunt. That was a really fun trip, in spite of Sparkle Girl finding herself on the business end of a couple of yellow jackets. Stings to the head and face aren’t fun but she recovered (thanks to Benedryl). October was just busy with a quick trip to the Coast and so was November. Thanksgiving with the Grandparents. December saw a visit from Sparkle Granny who got to have an exclusive overnight with the girlie while we went to the office party. A fun time at the party and then a romantic dinner at the top of the Space Needle was a much-needed break for the Sparkle Parents. The next morning we returned home to Granny and Sparkle and a fun visit. The Christmas season was a blur–a visit to Santa at the mall, a fun ride on a holiday train, drive through Christmas lights at the PIR, an evening with friends from our co-op preschool to watch the Christmas Ships, and a trip back up to the Grandparents for Christmas festivities. Sparkle Girl discovered Snoopy and it was so fun to see her reciting all the dialog and singing all the songs. January was spent recovering from all the holiday business and I think we had another trip to the Coast somewhere in there too. We ventured down to the Chinese Gardens to welcome in the New Year by rolling oranges and coins across the threshold and watching Lion Dancers.
Now it’s February and she’ll be 3 years old in two weeks. Astonishing. It really does go so very fast. I remember seeing 3 year olds and wondering what my girl would be like at that age. Now I know. She’s funny, emotional, polite, smiley, strong willed and creative.
A polite toddler seems to be an impossibility in our culture. It seems that people go out of their way to excuse really rude and tyrannical behavior from these small humans as par for the course. Sparky and I have worked hard to create a culture of politeness in our home. We say “please,” “thank you”, “bless you,” “excuse me”. We say it to each other and more importantly to our girl. I think too many parents expect their kids to say please and thank you without modeling that behavior. They tell their toddlers to say “thank you” to the lady at the coffee shop when they themselves bark their latte order without using the magic word. Parents order their children do this or that but don’t ask nicely or say thank you. They talk to each other in the same way. But somehow these kids are supposed to figure out how to use this language when they never, ever see it in action. We’ve had a number of strangers comment on the politeness of our daughter. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. Manners are the social lubricant of our society and we intend for this kid to be well-oiled.
She’s got an absurdist sense of humor with a penchant for slapstick. She asks for things she knows she can’t have, giggling the whole time. “Have it mouth”–when she asks if she can have my mouth. “Have it cookie”. She’ll do this over and over. Because in toddler-world if something’s funny once, it’s funnier 400 times. She likes getting under a blanket and whispering. She likes to pretend she’s sleeping. She likes to put things on my head and watch them fall off.
She loves crayons, “my draws”, and will spend a fair amount of time sorting them and laying them out and drawing with them. She has started to draw faces and they are hilarious. Very elongated with little scribbles for eyes, ears, nose, mouth, chin all on a linear plane. She often pretends she is drumming. Everything becomes a drumstick and everything is fair game to become a drum. She really enjoys dancing–her favorite is the Duck Polka (otherwise known as the chicken dance). We’ve been taking advantage of the toddler time at the local roller rink. Clomping around in the plastic over the shoe skates is epic fun. She loses her mind when the park mascot, Chipper, makes his appearance. She LOVES Chipper. She would rather “read” me stories than be read to. I smile broadly when she slams the book shut with an emphatic “The End!”.
She’s obsessed with treats like cupcakes, ice cream cones, cake, cookies, lollipops, chocolate… She rarely gets to experience the real thing, but many items become fantasy treats with lots of giggles and pretend slurps. She still grabs her hat and bag on the way out the door and has continued her love affair with anything Hello Kitty.
She’s also exhibiting the typical 3 year old fickleness and resistance to transitions. One of her favorite phrases is “No, I want to stay right here” as she points to her lap. She says she wants one thing and then changes her mind yelling “Don’t want ___.” She won’t wear a coat outside. Luckily we live in a part of the country where it’s in the upper 40’s much of the winter. She’ll eat something one day with a big YUM and then never want to touch it again. She wants to drag everything out–the more pieces the better–and strew it all over the living room. When you live in a condo with less than 850 square feet (including the deck!) this gets crazy really fast. She also couldn’t care less about the potty.
This year for her birthday we’ll do cupcakes and a small get together–probably at the roller rink.
So this is 3. My floppy little new born is now a preschooler with a definite personality and giant smile. I’m loving getting to know this little person that joined our family. She’s awesome and going to achieve amazing things in her life. This is just the beginning.