Jun 11, 2013

An Open Letter to London for her 3rd Birthday

Dear London,

Just saying you are 3 sounds so much older than 2. And looking back on the last year, you have grown by leaps and bounds. You look like a little girl more than chubby-cheeked toddler. Your ability to communicate and understand has grown by leaps and bounds. You still have some improvement to be made in the annunciation & sentence structure department, as you say "otay" rather than "okay", "have fun run?" " I happy" but all this makes you more adorable. And you can speak more than well enough to communicate with us, most of the time. You do call a spoon a poon which took us a while to understand until you grabbed your own spoon, because you're tall enough to reach into the utensil drawer!

You've stopped calling Tulley "woof woof" and now call her Tulley or Tulley Dog. Jake is even Jakey sometimes, not just bubbas. You two have a love/hate  relationship as you want to sleep with him and he loves your bed, but when we leave the two of you alone, you bug him until he bops you on the head - luckily he uses very little in terms of claws and has not left a good scratch on you since Thanksgiving 2011. And you recognize and sometimes refer to Kelsey as Kelsey over just lulus. You remember our dear Mel Mels and that she is sleeping. Just on Saturday, our new puppy, Gibson, came home, and you love to have him chase after you. Wait until he's 90 lbs and then let's see how much you love that. You've been calling him Gibbs since you learned we were getting him.You even came home from school yesterday asking "Where Gibbs?".

Many people comment on how polite you are with please, thank you, no thank you. We've worked hard on your manners over the last year as you became pretty demanding sounding for a while. And at home we do have to remind you quite often to say your please and thank yous. You also hate to be told No and will melt into the ground crying and whining when you are tired and really want something. I'm not a fan of these spoiled child tantrums. Guess they come with the age as I hear it often from other parents too.

You are often tired, even over tired at the end of each day as you play hard. Letting you sit and watch one or two of your favorite TV shows at the end of the day actually helps calm you down and prepare you for bed. Your favorite shows are Micky Mouse Clubhouse and Bubble Guppies, though you have recently discovered My Little Pony and you enjoy the occasional Chuggingtons.

This past year has brought some big girl milestones. You moved into your new room and big girl bed at the end of September. The transition went so much more smoothly than I could have ever anticipated. The only bump along the way is your fear of the dark that developed a few months later - solved with an all-night night light. We started you out with a bedside mesh gate to ensure you didn't roll out of bed at night, but we recently removed that. Not even your lovies - a stuffed tulley dog, lion, musical seahorse or waves-sounding Lamb fall out. You don't move much unless you are throwing a fit because you don't want to go to bed, so the fear of you rolling out while sleeping is small. You actually don't get out of bed at all until you see your dad or I open the door after you wake up - usually whining. This is onlt the case on weekend - I always have to wake you up on weekdays. Why is it you could sleep all day on a weekday but on weekends you are up shortly after the time I wake you up or even before? Not sure why the whining has developed - I'd prefer you to wake up and just call for us. I miss the babbles. Maybe by the time you are 4. 

Another milestone - you mastered the tricycle and have almost grown out of it. We had to take the basket off to prevent your knees from hitting it. Daddy and I really don't have to push it much any more, though steering is another story - you need to work on paying attention to where you are going - on and off of it. You've had a lot of "owies" and "boo boos" lately - even saying you need to see a doctor when there isn't even a scrape. Good thing kisses go a long way with you too. Hopefully you don't become a hypochondriac. You did get this propensity of bumping and bruising yourself from me. I'm a pro at it : )

The other big milestone is the fact that you are potty trained! This is a very recent development and we are so proud of you. You gave my quite a stress-filled weekend back in February that was unsuccessful in the milestone attempt, but last month you slipped into underwear and have never looked back. We don't even worry about road trips anymore, as you were great telling us on a 5-hour drive when you needed to go and you were even able to hold it until we could pull over.You still wear a pull up at bed and nap time but I know the day will come when you don't even need that.

You also became a big sister this year and have embraced the role and your little sister Sydney. "My Sydney" or "My Baby Sydney" as you would say. You are quite gentle with her and attentive, making sure she has toys in front of her to entertain her. When she cries you quickly tell her that you are right there and that its alright.  I think once she is old enough to play with interactively, you will be in heaven. You've tried a few times, even dragging her across the floor, which has gotten you in trouble. We understand you don't quite get that she is still fragile and we are working with you to teach you how to be around her. Sydney adores you, lighting up with a giant smile when she sees you. 

You managed to stay at the same day care all year! Last week you transitioned from the Twos class to Preschool. I can't wait to see how much you learn and how quickly in this new class. You've already learned the days of the week and are starting to understand what that means too. The only sad part is you no longer have Miss Betty as a teacher, which was rough on you, as you love her dearly - we love her too. The school makes sure you get your visits in during the transition. Your new teacher Miss Rebekah seems nice and we hope you soon bond with her. Most of your friends from the old class are gone any how - even Evan moved to a different school when he had a change in address and city. We still try to see him often and he is still your best friend.

We celebrated your birthday on Sunday at Fairytale Town. You had a blast running around with your cousins and friends. This worked out perfectly as when the time arrived to eat lunch and cake inside King Arthur's Castle, you were ready to sit down and settle down some. Just before lunch, you were even able to sit still to get your face painted with a dragonfly - my favorite. I'm told you picked it out and you knew the difference between it and a butterfly. You also survived the ride home and made it to your nap, where you crashed hard! It was so fun to see you so happy and truly enjoy your birthday, even understanding the day was about you. Fairytale Town did a very good job, providing you with a crown and key to the town! 

You're still a good, adventurous eater. Just this last week while your grandma stayed with me while Daddy was out of town on business, you tried Thai and Indian foods. You've also developed a vulture habit. You will eat, say you are finished and leave your plate half full with food. But if your dad and I sit down to eat our dinner, you are on us like glue and have to try what we are having - even if it was what you just had and dismissed! Most days you are hungry before we can make a meal for all of us, so you eat separate from Daddy and me most of the time. Between that and your vulture-like abilities, Daddy and I have been eating after you and Sydney go to bed just so we can have some peace. My hope is that in the next year you can wait for dinner to be ready and have more healthy meals at the table with Daddy and I.

We hope you continue to be interested in trying new things and keep your spirit and zest for life. While you can be stubborn and opinionated and drive us batty, we know these characteristics will take you far in life. Bring it on year 4!

Love, 
Mommy

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