Three Years

Dear Zoe,

Right now you are sleeping and I'm enjoying the stillness of the house. When you're awake, you are a bubbly, loud, high-pitched ball of fun...most of the time. I enjoy that part too. You have just entered your third year of life. Year two was a very big year for you.

Shortly after you turned two you became a big sister. You had a really hard time adjusting to sharing attention. Especially at the beginning when Paige needed so much of mine. It was an adjustment for me too. I missed being able to play with you almost any time you wanted. Getting just the two of us ready and out of the house. Going on walks together to the park or the library. Being able to just focus on you.

Paige came and all of that changed. Not because I love her more, just because adding someone else to the family is both difficult and wonderful. Also, babies are hard. They are cute and snugly and you love them and kiss their cheeks, but they don't let you sleep and they cry and want to eat all the time. I think we're finally starting to get the hang of it. Mom is learning how to divide her time between the two of you. And you are starting to play with your sister a bit more.

Curiously, you have a difficult time being "gentle" with her. I'm certain you just want to play with her, but it's hard for Mom to get you to understand that she's little. You're getting better though. You are sweet. You are constantly watching out for her and letting us know if she needs something or is doing something dangerous. You love her so much. Every morning you come in and ask me, "Can we go get Paige?"

For a long time you would run into her room and shout, "Hip-pottomas!" Paige would grin and you would giggle. Now you just yell, "Good Morning!" You often share with her (though sometimes you don't) and you are my little helper. Always getting her toys to play with and even trying to feed her. Your favorite thing to do for Paige is make her laugh.

A couple months later, Dad moved out for a while and we ended up getting divorced and you learned to split households. This was hard on you. You asked Mom a lot of questions I didn't have answers for. You cried and were upset easily. You started coming into my room at night. You couldn't understand why Daddy wasn't home anymore.

You're too little to understand what happened. And part of you is still trying to feel secure now that things have mended. Still, I'm so proud of you for how your young self handled this. I get teary-eyed thinking of times I cried and you would come hand me bunny to make me feel better. You were so worried about me and I tried to put on a brave face for you, but failed so many times.

All you need to know for now is that Mom and Dad forgot how to love and trust each other. We forgot to be kind and forgiving. Now we know how grateful we are for each other. When you are older we will have a lot to teach you about love and commitment. For now, we promise we will be a forever family just like it was supposed to be.

This year you really came out of your shell. Where you were shy around most people before, you are now open and talkative. You wave and smile easily. You will talk to anyone who will listen. You love to sing and will sing anything from Twinkle to Michael Jackson to Adele. Music moves you. You enjoy dancing to a good beat and playing the piano.

You want to do everything "by myself, Mom". You are interested in the things I do and always want to help me cook or clean. You are becoming more and more independent every day. Sometimes I miss you needing me more. Occasionally you will still ask me to do things for you that I know you can do on your own. Or ask me to carry you. I'm grateful for these moments you give me to "baby" you. I know they will not go on for much longer.

You are beautiful and smart. You still love to read and you love to tell your own little stories. Often they start with, "When I was a Mommy" or "When I was 15" or "When I was a dog". I love to listen to your imagination being put to words. Or when you "read" and talk about what you picked up from books...or read them all the way through from memory. Your vocabulary amazes me. Often, people are surprised you are so young because you converse so well.

Sometimes, because of this, Mom forgets you are still young and tries to treat you like an adult. You put me in my place fairly quickly. We have a lot of "battles" thoughout the day. Your emotions are so big for such a little girl. We are working on putting names to how you're feeling and finding better ways to deal with them. Mom is working on holding her temper back.

June 2011 001

See, even Moms and Dads make mistakes. We try hard to recognize them, apologize and correct them. I hope this teaches you that it's ok to make mistakes sometimes. As long as you learn from them and do what you can to fix any damage you caused.

Potty training was a good lesson in this. When you're a Mom, you will understand why Mom lost her temper a few times during this part of year two. Potty training is frustrating. For everyone. But you pulled through and Mom learned to keep her cool and now you are officially potty trained! Even at night. Mom and Dad are SO proud of you for learning this important skill!

June 2011 080
You talked about your birthday for months before it ever happened. You are obsessed with Pink and wanted Grandma to make you a pink cake. And you never let her forget it. You were certain from the day I asked, and every time I checked after that, that you wanted Barbies, books, clothes and a fish that you wanted to name "Fish Food." (You got them.)

You LOVED your birthday this year. I loved seeing your face light up over your presents and all the people who came to celebrate with you. You are certain you are a princess and I'm inclined to agree. Princesses are all the rage in our house now.

June 2011 006 June 2011 053

Other things you love and have discovered this year are Elmo (still), Dora (ugh), everything princesses, sidewalk chalk, pedaling your bike, hopping, jumping, skipping, Tangled (the first Disney movie you fell in love with), picking out clothes and dressing yourself, going to the dentist (you keep asking to go back), pulling weeds (playing in the dirt), dress-up, your play-kitchen, barbies, books, music and your friends.

March 2011 026
It's often hard for me to watch you grow up. I frequently ask you if you could stay little forever. Always the sweet one, you tell me "yes". I know that I can't keep you here forever though. So I write these letters to you to tell you how much I love you and to remember the moments when you were small and adorable (most of the time). Maybe someday you will read them and understand the blessing you are in my life. I hope you always know how much I LOVE to be your Mom. It is the best job ever!



June 2011 073

No comments:

Post a Comment

What a kind person you are to leave me a note!