to my daughter on her third birthday
Holden, Holden, Holden, Holden. Where do I begin? In this past year you have blossomed into quite the spirited, creative, silly, fiercely independent little girl. No two days are ever the same with you and absolutely no days are boring.
You started attending daycare ("school") three days a week this year because we thought a little structure and socialization would be good for you (and for our sanity).
You enjoy school and have made some good friends, like Rylee, Daphne and Liam. You've learned your ABC's and count 1-2-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 (we'll work on that). You like to do art and take part in creative play. Lately, however, you have been getting notes about having trouble following rules, having meltdowns and hitting your friends. I'll be honest: your behavior has become a bit of a struggle for us recently, but we're working through it. Most issues arise because you are THE most stubborn and independent person I know. You want to do everything yourself. I've seen you throw a 30-minute tantrum because I flushed the poop down the toilet before you could. That tantrum actually ended up with you in Urgent Care, in a story I will share over and over again in your teenage years to embarrass you.
#brute #weefees #terribletwos #onlyslightexaggeration A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on
We try to work your independence to our advantage, and enlist your help around the house. You've been picking out all your own clothes this year, which has led to the Instagram hashtag #whatholdywore, because oh boy, there have been some doozies worth sharing.
Your latest trend has been wearing pants over shorts. I can't wait to use these photos for future embarrassment opportunities. I'm willing to admit I've resorted to reverse psychology to get you to do what I want sometimes:
A video posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on
Child, you do not eat. For the longest time, all you would eat was pancakes. And sometimes sushi. It has gotten to the point that your birthday party is actually a pancake party because that is your lone dietary staple.
You have a very active imagination and you've really started to embrace creative play as of late. Most of your scenarios involve a dinosaur or someone needing help and calling for their mommy (which makes me feel good). You also like to play "Miss Amanda" (your former daycare teacher) and boss your stuffed animals around.
Packed house and only one server at this #rwyork establishment. And she's mean to boot. #weefees A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on
One time I heard you/ "Miss Amanda" say, "Fine, if you're not going to listen to me, I'm just going to leave." I figured, if I were teaching toddlers, I'd probably say the same thing. Speaking of the darndest things you say, other sayings that have cracked me up:
- "I can't BELIEVE this right now." (complete with hands on head)
- "What's that face about?"
- "Don't let the bed bugs bite." (your standard goodbye greeting, regardless of time of day)
You also always follow up telling me you love me with, "but I might get mad at you sometimes." (Thanks, kid). You like to make up your own song lyrics:
spettacolo serale da #weefees #latergram #ohbotherblog A video posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on
You've started making some amazingly silly faces, with this one being my favorite:
Farm Show Carousel #latergram #ohbotherblog A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on
You usually bust that one out when you're being scolded and it's really hard for me not to laugh.
We've identified this as your "lying face":
(That's you promising not to hit anymore. Liar.)
You are whip-smart. You are sassy.
Werk it. #whatholdywore #ootd #ohbotherblog A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on
And you are oh-so destructive.
But you are also a sweetheart. You are a very protective and attentive big sister to GB. You stuff his Nuk in his mouth when he's upset (when you aren't sneaking a suck or two on it yourself), and you literally smother him with hugs. And you always offer him an inferior toy before you just snatch one away from him. He follows you everywhere and you're remarkably tolerant of it (except for when you're in the bathroom).
Easy like Sunday evening. #ohbotherblog A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on
You always ask for "a kiss and a hug" when someone leaves. You give out a ton of compliments: "I like your hair." "I like your toenails." You ask me to "hold you" when I tuck you in at night. You tell me I'm your best friend (I've also heard you say that to your Duke and to GB, but I'll let that slide).
You like to read books, sometimes making up your own stories to go with the pictures. Sometimes you "read" to me, and by "read to me," I mean you point at the picture and say, "Tell me what's this. Now tell me what's this."
You like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Doc McStuffins, Yo Gabba Gabba and Daniel Tiger.
You started gymnastics this year at Skyline. You expertly perform headstands and forward rolls and sit like a butterfly.
Get right outta town with this. #weefees #ohbotherblog A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on
You are pretty much potty trained at this point, after a very trying potty training boot camp weekend in the fall. We still have our accidents and you do wear Pull-Ups to bed, but I'm very proud of you for being such a big girl.
I reread last year's letter to see what changes we've made since your last birthday. Back then I acknowledged that you had entered your Terrible Two's early, that you were an overly aggressive hugger with an impressive vocabulary, who loved her dog and her brother. It's funny to see how your personality has been solidified from such a young age.
I'm happy to share that you're developing into a very special, smart, creative, funny, unique sweet little girl. I've heard you described as "someone who lives life out loud," and I think that's pretty accurate.
"I might get mad at you sometimes," but that's just because I'm still trying to figure out how to raise such an independent little woman.
You're three going on 13, the toughest challenge I've ever faced... and the most rewarding. I love you very much, Punk. Happy Third Birthday.