Age 3 was probably the most fun but hardest year for me to parent thus far (the newborn stage was super hard but didn't last a whole year). To be honest, I felt like I was a really good mom until age 3 showed up. Not sure if it was the pregnancy/postpartum hormones or just a really hard age (or a combination of both), but I found myself yelling at times and then wondering who the heck I had become. There was lots of boundary testing and pushing back and sassy comments. Sad to say I acted like a toddler myself sometimes, taking her behavior personally and not knowing how to deal with it. Not trying to be a downer, because age 3 was really really fun, too! Here are just a few things I want to remember about Rooney at age 3, because 4 arrives tomorrow and will leave just as quickly...
- Became a big sister
- Potty trained
- Can get dressed on your own (except those days when you want mommy to dress you)
- Can peel your own clementines (as long as mommy starts it)
- Changing outfits mid-day because you decide you want to wear a dress instead
- Knowing all your letters
- Can write your name, Finch's name, and MOM and DAD
- Going to preschool two days a week
- First Christmas programs (preschool and church - daddy and I cried watching you!)
- Telling me I'm not your mommy anymore
- Three-minute timeouts
- No more naps
- Needing daddy to lay with you at night until you fall asleep
- No more paci
- Coming into mommy and daddy's bed in the middle of the night most nights
- Being brave and riding the Tilt-a-Whirl and The Scrambler at Arnold's Park
- Playing board games (we love Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Zingo and Yahtzee)
- Not knowing how to blow your nose
- Wanting a hot dog for most meals
- Throwing your dirty clothes into the washing machine and putting away your clean clothes
- Choosing Pez, donuts or ice cream after filling up your ball jar
- A bobbed haircut
- Shouting "Watch me!" before you run and jump on the couch
- Building snowmen with the neighbor kids (Myra has become a good friend)
- Having the attention span to watch an entire movie (favorites are Inside Out, Tangled and Cinderella)
- Chewing gum
- Being afraid of hand blow dryers in public bathrooms
- Cleaning up your own spills
- Loving lemonade
- Disliking pop
- Being Ariel for Halloween
- Memorizing most of The Biggest, Best Snowman book
- Playing hopscotch
- Finally liking peanut butter toast
- Eating full slices of pizza (without the pepperonis, of course)
- Wearing temporary tattoos
- Locking us in our bedroom while you surprise us by cleaning up the living room
- Knowing your address
- Still asking us to kiss your owies
- No longer crying if you get water in your eyes or ears in the bathtub
- Taking baths with mommy
- Asking us to pray for you
- Saying "I love you" out of the blue and then the next minute telling me "I'm gonna break your arm off and bonk it on your head!"
- Praying aloud - my absolute favorite
I just tucked you into bed for the last time as a 3-year-old, and I couldn't stop staring at your face and kissing you. Four years ago, you fit in my belly and needed us to do everything for you. You have changed so much. I think you are the sweetest, smartest and most beautiful 3-year-old to ever have existed. You have such a kind heart and are fun to be around. You are an introvert - quiet around strangers (I'm not even sure you've spoken many words to your preschool teachers in the past six months) but very chatty at home and with those you feel comfortable.
You love school - especially art projects. You love to color and concentrate so hard and can stay in the lines. Your preschool teachers pulled me in to your classroom the other day to show me the scarf you made out of construction paper and how you were the only one who knew how to make a pattern. You also love baking muffins, cupcakes and banana bread. I can't wait to see how these interests stay with you and evolve as you grow.
You lay out your clothes in a certain way each morning and get upset if I do it incorrectly. You like to know what we are going to do tomorrow and after school and in the morning, but you also love spontaneity and will run to get your shoes on at the mention of ice cream or a walk to the park.
You love your daddy. You think he is way funnier than mommy. You also really love your brother. You like to pretend that you're his mom, and you think you should be able to carry him around even though he weighs more than half as much as you. You told me last night that you want to be a mommy so you can pump the gas in the van. I think you'll be a great mommy some day.
One of my favorite things about you is your faith in God and how you know he cares about you and can do anything! You pray boldly and believe that he will help you. I pray you continue to let him be your friend.
And I pray you feel safe with me. There's nothing you could do to lose my love.