Wednesday, March 2, 2011

To Magnolia, at three years

Birthday Queen
 Dear Magnolia,

You made it to three!  The count down to your self-ordained day for bed-time-panty-wearing is finally over.

You woke up from a nap with this on.
The red on your legs is a shirt.
In a recent email Grandma Rush described you as "sweetness personified." I couldn't agree more. Oh, you have your crabby moments and do your fair share of whining, but overall you are a pleasant, helpful kid. Lately, when those crabby moments occur you will announce to the family "I need some alone time." Off you go to your room to read books on your bed. Ten minutes later, a happy little girl emerges.  I know plenty of adults that don't have the self-awareness or maturity to do that!

Before I became your Mama I had no idea how elaborate pretend play could be. About 6 months ago your friend Dora (who is connected to the cartoon celebrity only by name) appeared. Since then the troupe has grown to include several regulars: Dora's Mama, Laag, Shoosh, Baby Louie (who is a girl by the way), Baby Jesus and Baby Jesus's Mama. We also interact regularly with your baby, Chica, and your favorite animal friends: Mona, Owl, Penguin, and Zebra. In fact, one of my friends commented recently how they love to see what animal you bring with you each time you visit. Sometimes you are a baby penguin, others you are a tiger. You go to school to do your papers and you put your friends in timeout. Soccer games in the evening are a regular, hilarious occurance that consists of running around in circles and occasionally kicking with sound effects. If I ever show the slightest objection to your plan to go outside or to the store, you patiently inform me that it is the 'tend outside.

Your imagination has definitely enriched our lives, but it also has given us the biggest parenting challenge yet. "THE BUGS ARE GETTING ME!" You started shouting this phrase at what seemed random times, although most often during our bed time routine. At first we thought your dry skin was itchy so we tried treating your "bugs" with lotion. It worked for awhile. We tried denying their existance. That just made it worse. For awhile we could carefully pick them off of you and feed them to Trudy or throw them out the window, but it was up to you whether we got them all. It was exasperating! Finally, we had a conversation about how birds and monkeys love to eat bugs, and luckily you had two birds -- Owl and Penguin-- and one monkey -- Mona -- that slept with you and they would eat your bugs for you. So specially positioning your night time protectors has mostly kept the bugs at bay for several weeks now. (Fingers crossed!)

"Let's count." You are starting to get the counting pattern, just needing prompting for the next name as each group of ten is completed. You love to type on the computer and ask us what number you wrote or what you spelled. Teeth brushing, hand washing, and eating go much smoother when counting is involved.

You are a girl of routine. You always wear your purple sparkle dress on Tuesdays after dance class. Bedtime consists of two books, three songs, and three questions, though the songs are getting replaced by requests to make up our own stories and the questions sometimes turn into general requests to talk about something you are processing.  "Let's talk about the snow part in the monster movie."

You informed us that your dinosaur is a boy.
You love to draw, stamp, do puzzles and read. You tend to do the same thing over and over and over for a little while and then put it away. For example, I've read D.W. the Picky Eater and The Spooky Old Tree so many times I barely look at the words when I am reading it, which came in handy when a page got torn out and you still wanted the entire story. It's harder when you want me to read the "Frunch" part in your Vancouver Olympics book. When I insist I don't know how to read French, you insist that Papa told me how so I must read the "Frunch."

Lately, you've become more affectionate with all of us, telling us you love us or want a hug or a kiss. You love your sister and like most older siblings your actions are a combination of helping, advocating for, and bossing. You call Kaleia "sweaty" and "honey." You are sure to inform us or reprimand her when she is doing something she shouldn't and you can absolutely fall apart when she inadvertently messes up an integral part of your make-believe. Kaleia is invited to play in most of your games and you are learning to share, because you want Kaleia to share with you. Your sister recently moved into your room, and every night you excitedly ask if Kaleia gets to sleep in your room with you.

Thank you for being you, for helping me learn about myself, and for making my life more full. I can't wait to see what is next in store for you.

In many ways, it feels like you've been three for a while.  Don't rush to four TOO quickly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome letter to your "sweaty"

-Auntie Alli