3 under 3

10 things about Molly, aged 3.

Posted on: September 26, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Molly! You are growing up so fast.

1. I love, love, love, that you are now toilet-trained!! I love only having to buy one set of nappies each shop, and I love only having to deal with one stinky nappy each morning!! You were pretty easy to train, too. Not too many dramas. For two weeks, we had days when I though, “Aha, she’s got it!” and other days when I wondered why on Earth we were doing this at all. But then you really did get it, and it is wonderful. Thank you, you clever thing! Hopefully your poo-smearing days are over.

2. I love how expressive you are getting as you add more and more words to your vocabulary. On the morning of your birthday, you told us you were “Soooooooooo happy!” with your new oven. “Quick, I’d better get some groceries!” you added, before running off to find the play food. At the park recently, you were on the swing and the wind blew your hat off. You laughed and said, “I’ve got flippy floppy hair now!” You’ve also picked up a lot of phrases that I use (and some of Dad’s), and you’re very good at using them in context. The other day, Neave was pointing and whingeing for a balloon, but I was trying to dress her so didn’t respond. You eventually got sick of it, so you picked it up, marched over to her and thrust it into her hands, saying, “For goodness snakes!” Some other cute sayings of yours: “Peter Butter” for peanut butter; and “Aunty Cake” for Aunty Kate (which is extra cute, because your Aunty Kate used to call herself, and everyone else, ‘Cake’ too!)

3. I love how you like to pretend to be somebody different – usually Dora, but sometimes Dorothy the Dinosaur or a Fairy – and you won’t respond to your own name when you are in character. You say, “No, I’m Dora!” You also help me to remember who you are by speaking in narrative. You’ll say, “‘I’m going shopping’, said Dora… ‘I want a biscuit’, said Dora!”

4. You love sharing your bedroom with your big brother, and both have you have been pretty good at going to sleep despite each other’s presence. Pretty good, not perfect! We sometimes have to do some juggling around, with one of you going into the spare room to play quietly while the other sleeps or just rests quietly. But the whole experience has not been as awful as I imagined.

5. You often come into bed with us at night. Sometimes Tiernan is already there, sometimes you beat him to it. I quite like waking up with your little body next to mine, even if you do take up all of the room.

6. You are getting better and better at dressing yourself, particularly underpants and trackpants or skirts. You still need help with socks and shirts, but you can put your shoes on by yourself. It lightens my workload significantly!

7. You are still very cuddly and affectionate, and I love snuggling with you on the couch, when we have time. (Tiernan took this photo, by the way!)

8. We have been discussing body parts, particularly private body parts, a lot lately – you are fascinated. You’ve got the names down pat, but you like to remind us, and yourself, over and over. It’s going to get annoying soon, but at the moment I enjoy hearing your confidence as you tell me about your ‘bulva’ and ‘gina’, and how only you can touch them.

9. Ooh, I am itching to get you into dancing classes! You can certainly bust a move, and you love it so much. A little while ago, we went to the Rowing Club for dinner, and there were some people doing line dancing. You didn’t notice at first, but Tiernan did, and he edged over to the dance floor to have a look. Every now and then he would copy a little move, just quietly to himself. He wanted to join in but wanted to make sure he had it ‘right’ before he did. Then you saw what was going on. You marched straight into the middle of the dance floor, and joined right in. When you couldn’t do the moves exactly right, you just made up your own. Then you started dancing up and down the floor, (think Will Ferrell in Blades of Glory), huge grin on your face, just getting totally into it. Your Dad and I couldn’t breathe because we were laughing so much. People watching from other tables were laughing too, because you were so cute and just having a great time. Your confidence spurred Tiernan on, too, and he also joined in, although his moves weren’t quite so bold as yours. After the dance was over, you were keen for another, but we were asked to remove you from the dance floor. It was pretty disappointing, as you were having so much fun, and weren’t getting in the way. But I suppose the dancers were worried about tripping over you. So we had to tell you no. But, I’m hoping that next year we might be able to take you, and Tiernan if he wants, to dancing. I’ve held off for this long because it’s expensive, but also because I don’t want to overload you with too many activities from too young an age. But I think you’ll have a blast, so hopefully we’ll be able to get you into a nice, fun dancing class before too long.

10. I love listening to you and Tiernan play together (when it doesn’t dissolve into a screaming match). Your imagination is blooming as well as your vocab, and you are now able to contribute as much of the content of your games as he does. I also love that you’re just as into dinosaurs as he is. You’ve finally overcome your fear of his ‘roaring’ dinosaur toys, so you can join in with the action without having to run away whenever they emerge.

Not so fun:

1. Tantrums. Still. And probably for quite some time yet. I have to remind you to breathe sometimes.

2. Screaming. We are making some progress with getting you to say “No!” and talking calmly when Tiernan or Neave do something you don’t like, but it only lasts so long. Then you resort to screaming again.

3. You are such an early riser. That wouldn’t be such an issue if you were actually happy when you woke up at 5:30am, but you seem to be an early riser who doesn’t like being up early. Because you sulk and have tantrums and insist on a particular side of the bed, or make demands for weet-bix at ungodly hours. If you don’t want to be up, don’t get up!!!

4. The way you refuse to take any part in your bedtime routine (milk, story, brush teeth, toilet, bed, kisses, cuddles), unless I’m the one who carries out each step with you. If your Dad tries, a huge tantrum will ensue, and it will carry on until I give in, half an hour later. Then I have to be very patient and coax you, with false gaiety, through each step, lest the tantrum return. As we stand in the bathroom, arguing over who gets to hold your toothbrush, both of us are emotional wrecks, balancing precariously on the wobbly knife-edge between holding it together, and disintegrating into a mushy, wailing puddle. You: because you’re three and you’ve only just come out of such a state, anyway; and me: because I’m really, really crabby at having to do all this stuff when it’s most definitely your father’s turn and I’ve been dealing with this crap all effing day.

5. We are about to start some expensive speech therapy with you. It’s not your fault, but that doesn’t mean it’s not so great. You have a very big underbite, and it means you mispronounce lots of words. You’re also only three, which also means you mispronounce a lot of words, but the Speech Pathologist thinks it might be worthwhile seeing how you go with some sessions every now and then. Particularly with the ‘f’ sound, which is almost impossible for you to say, with your protruding tongue and bottom jaw. Instead, you say ‘st’. You count to 10 thus: “One, two, swee, store, stive, stix, steven, eight, nine, ten!” People don’t understand you when you talk about eating your ‘stish’ with your ‘stork’. Which you find very ‘stwustwating!’

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