This girl, she is a character. Honestly, I'm not sure quite what to make of her. Jen says she is 1/2 completely me, and half my total opposite. We're also learning how she is such a different person from The Bean and figuring out what her needs and personality are versus her older brother.
She is such a silly kid. Her sense of humour continues to blossom. She loves making people laugh. Still faces, nonsensical rhymes, crazy dancing... Often times it's quite clear she is trying to get a reaction, but it's the times that she's not trying that I realize how funny she really is. Quirky in the most endearing of ways.
She is sweet. She will gently place a hand on your cheek and cock her head to the side, asking "Are you okay?" if she thinks something is wrong. She gives the best squeeze hugs ever and sweet little kisses. She likes holding hands and is super-snuggly. She definitely is a person uses touch and looks for physical closeness from those she loves.
Leading up to her birthday we talked a lot about how how three is big, and how three year olds don't need to nurse. She said when she was three that she would stop nursing. I was hopeful, but didn't really expect it to be that easy. Of course, she hasn't stopped. I have made the decision to eliminate her morning nursing session though. Things have been crazy with Christmas and traveling and our schedule being totally off, so maybe it's been a little easier... she isn't pleased about the situation, but I also think she realizes that fussing about it isn't going to make a difference. (Though it does make my heart ache and make me want to give in, just a little, when she seems sad.) We have replaced the nursing session with cuddling before getting out of bed.
She can be incredibly stubborn. I know all toddlers are stubborn, but she just digs in her heels and doesn't budge. The Bean was much more compliant, so figuring out how to navigate this stubborn streak has been a parenting challenge.
She can be a bit defiant and as typical of siblings, will tease her brother from time to time... most often when she gets the coveted pink spoon at mealtimes. For a long time this consisted of her taunting, "I have the pink spoon! Too bad, Bean." One day when Jen and I were out my cousin who had been watching the kids reported back that she had been asking to nurse, and when he told her she couldn't because I was out, she said to herself, "Too bad, Sprout." That made me chuckle.
She has started to occasionally push or hit when she's not getting her way. This is always dealt with by a short time out, followed up by a brief discussion about why she pushed/hit and how that hurts and is not acceptable behaviour. She knows it's not allowed and isn't ever very forceful, but we'd still like to nip it in the bud.
Sleep continues to be a bit of a struggle. If she doesn't nap in the afternoon she is an emotional mess by 4pm and crashes early. If she does nap, she really fights going to bed and will often be awake until close to 9pm. She usually falls asleep easily at nap time, but when she doesn't it's not worth trying to get her to. Fortunately she's pretty good about doing quiet time and will look at books for about a half hour or an hour before saying she's ready to come out of her room. She had started to get into an elaborate bedtime routine of asking for water... and pillows beside her bed... and to use the washroom... and to have a gargoyle to protect her, etc. before we left for the holidays. Hopefully it does not resume when we get back home.
She loves books and LOVES being read to. She doesn't have any strong and true favourites. She likes fairy tales and other princess stories, but also enjoys funny books, adventure stories... anything really. She will sit and listen to stories being read for over an hour... I almost always am done before she is. She also really takes in what is being read and what the pictures show and asks a lot of questions about what words mean or what a character is doing.
Her favourite game is to pretend she is a baby. She and her brother can be quite creative in their play and often will play for a long time together... babies, but camping, Christmas, knights and princesses and Jack and Annie (from the Magic Tree House series of books) have been other recent themes. Her alter ego is still a ballerina princess. She loves to wear her "princess dress."
She loves playing with her babies and toy animals. Her only request for Christmas was a cradle for her babies. Santa did not disappoint. (On a side note: she was SO excited about Christmas. We let the kids pick out gifts for each other and she promptly told The Bean what she got him. She just couldn't wait!)
She was in three programs/classes during the fall. An art program, a dance program and an outdoor education program. The outdoor education one was fantastic and a nice way to get outdoors and explore, as well as meet some new people. The art and dance classes were at the local library and we attended with my cousin's son who is becoming one of Sprout's best friends. They weren't stellar from an instructional standpoint, but she enjoyed them none the less. We have a music class and a program at a city farm lined up for the winter.
Her language skills continue to develop. She is a chatterbox, but can still be a bit hard to understand at times. When she's excited her voice goes up about three octaves and I joke that she's turned into a cartoon character. Some of our favourite of her misspoken words are "Absowootwe" "Vampirate" and "Snissors." We rarely correct her one these ones just because we love them so much. Other words/phrases that she uses regularly are "Perhaps", "I'm exhausted!", "I'm all puffeled up" (meaning she is full), and "Big thumbs up!" with her forefingers held in the air. She still mixes up pronouns and will say "What is her doing?" rather than "What is she doing?"
If she's not chattering away she will be singing. It could be a nursery rhyme, or Christmas carol or sometimes a little song that she has made up.
She has good manners, and will usually say "thank you" when you do something for her or give her something. Her appreciation was so sincere over Christmas. It was so sweet and made me feel quite proud.
She can count reasonably well and can hold up the correct number of fingers on one hand. She even will alter the ways she holds up three fingers.
She loves to run and jump and climb and skip. She is a little bit clumsy and will often call out "Just me!" when she falls. She's become much more bold recently, letting us toss and flip her around more and will often request that we "Please do that again?"
She's a bit fussy over clothes and also very observant over what others are wearing. If I grab Jen's socks or sweatshirt she always notices and calls me out on it. Funnily, when she wears clothing with pockets, she will put her hands into them and proclaim, "Me mama!" (She also loves pockets to carry money in. She goes nuts over coins. If you drop change she will literally run out from whatever room she is in, in the hopes that you will give her some.)
She's grown! She continues to be a big kid. We have her three year check up early in the new year, so I'll get her official stats then. She's now mostly in 3t clothing, though some smaller things still fit. Shoe size is holding steady at 7. She weighs somewhere in the low 30lbs range. She's definitely stretching out and though she has a nice round belly, she's lost most of her chubby baby rolls. People often comment on her hair, which despite a recent trim, is getting quite long. It's such a gorgeous colour. She doesn't like having it combed, but will tolerate it if I put a video on my phone for her. If she starts to fuss too much about it, I'll insist that it get cut shorter, but so far she does okay. She wants to have "Rapunzel hair".
Eating continues to be fine. She doesn't eat a huge variety of foods, but eats a reasonable number of things from each food group, so it's manageable. She loves dairy products and sweets. A recent favourite is croissants, which she calls "poissants".
Her favouite people still mostly consist of family members (me, Grandma, and my cousin, though Jen and Grandpa are in there too, whether she will admit it or not). Her best friends are The Bean, my cousin's son, and Teagan and Quinn. She will regularly say she is going to any one or several of these people. She also named her new doll Quinny. <3 p="">
She uses the potty/toilet consistently, but still needs reminders as she will wait until the very last second to go. She wears a diaper at naps and bedtime. Naps are hit or miss on whether she'll wake up dry, but she is always wet overnight. I feel like it's going to be a while before she's able to go through the night.
It's a wonder to see the many ways she has grown and changed over the past year(s), but also to see how she has stayed the same. She brings us such joy and we love her more than we could have ever imagined! 3>