My baby is turning three tomorrow. Three! Through age two, it’s definitely still acceptable to think of your kid as a “baby”, but three seems so much more kid-like than two. And she is so much more kid-like. We talk about things now. She makes known her opinions, thoughts, and observations non-stop. I finally have a true glimpse into her inner world as she describes it. She shows affection, she empathizes, she argues, she plays pranks, she understands jokes. She’s a little human being (unlike at age one and two when she seemed half uncontrollable wild beast).
I barely remember having a little baby, at this point. I have to watch the videos I took or look at photos. M wants to be held and carried all the time now, which is less comfortable by far than it was a year ago as she weighs as much as her four and five-year-old classmates and is almost as tall. I try to oblige her but she is quickly getting too large for me to carry her any length of time.
I love her adventurous spirit. I love that she engages fully with her world, eager to dive into new experiences and meet new people. She makes friends of all ages quickly, and she adjusts to new environments and situations easily (although not without an initial period of observation from the safety of my lap). She’ll happily hop on a train, a boat, a plane, a rocket ship. She has no sense that she is limited to being a child. She knows she can do anything anyone else can do.
Like most children, she wants to be outdoors all the time. She spent the age of two observing the moon, but now it’s all about the sun. “Where is the sun, mommy?” she asks on an overcast day. “Look, mommy look! The sun is going down!” she’ll exclaim. She never gets tired of talking about the sun. She talks about how the leaves fell out of the trees, the snow fell from the sky, the wind is blowing us over, the ice forming on the lake… and I can’t wait to see spring through her fresh eyes, as she observes new buds, new flowers, large puddles, melting ice, warmer breezes, and lovely setting suns.
Like me, I think Halloween will be her favorite holiday. She loves ghosts, boogie men, witches, dragons, monsters… you get the gist, anything scary or spooky! She will probably like horror movies. She is fascinated with blood and gruesomeness. Don’t get me wrong, she does get scared and hesitant when she truly suspects that a ghost is lurking in the dark or when a spider is crawling across the floor… but it fascinates and captures her mind long after the actual fear is gone. She is also one for thrilling rides, once she ascertains that they are safe. If she can observe that other people are safely coming off, then she’s all for it. She will wait and let someone else test it first, though.
M has a bit of trouble with boundaries and personal space. She tends to get into people’s “bubbles” a little too frequently and aggressively. We have started discussing it a lot. Today at gymnastics a much older boy pushed her, and she turned to him and declared, “Hey! Stop pushing me! You’re in my space! MY SPACE! That’s MY space.” She has NO problem telling both children and adults to back off. She doesn’t seem very affected by the opinions of others (unless she knows them well and loves them). It is a big relief to me that she seems so inclined to stand her ground and stick up for herself!
I’ve always been a wee bit disappointed that M doesn’t like to sit and read stories more. So I’m thrilled that she likes to do jigsaw puzzles over and over! I hope we will do lots of them together from now on. I will do them with her as much as she wants! She has also started singing a lot to herself, obsessing over alphabet letters, and drawing meaningful pictures (ghosts, mainly, and shapes). She says over and over that she’s “writing my name”. Her interest in writing and the alphabet will naturally lend itself to reading, so I’ve stopped worrying about that!
Whatever the age of three may hold for my favorite person, I’m sure it will hold lots of physical activity (gymnastics, soccer, swimming), travels and explorations, marveling at nature, and many new discoveries that will bring my clever, enthusiastic girl much wonder!
*All photos taken by my sister!