Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Letter to Lucia: 38 Months

Dear Little One,

You are full of surprises these days. You show a remarkable maturity sometimes, and I find myself simply trusting you to do as I say when it comes to not running away from me in a parking lot, not touching my hot coffee, etc. It’s easy to forget that you are three, until you do something seemingly out of character—like draw on your bureau with crayons during Quiet Time. It was just a little scribble, and I could tell that you knew what you’d done was wrong, and frankly I didn’t even really care that much even though of course it was nonwashable crayon—it was my fault, after all, for giving you nonwashable crayons.

But it doesn’t matter, really. None of it does, for this letter, because for all your three-year-old foibles—the occasional screaming tantrums (very rare these days), the mind-boggling stubbornness, the now-and-then moods that have you grabbing anything and everything out of Greta’s hands—you are a precious, beloved little one. You’re too little to understand why Daddy and I are squeezing you and Greta so much these days, and that’s okay. Today at preschool you left me with a jaunty “Bye, Mama!”, while I was the one having a hard time walking out the door.

You love doing I Spy right now, and today we did your I Spy book for so long I felt myself nodding off and going into a kind of I Spy trance. “Green on a plate,” I heard myself say, and then came to. “A green Christmas tree on a plate,” I clarified, and you pointed it out, and on we went. And on and on and on.

You are, so far, doing splendidly at Quiet Time, though by the time Quiet Time is over, your room is a veritable ocean of tiny toys that I then must clean up during bath time. (Getting you to clean up after yourself during Quiet Time is, of course, an ultimate goal…but I don’t want to push it right now.)

You continue to love preschool. You continue to love your Dolly. You are still extremely attached to your Bibi—but lately you’ve been saying that it’s Dolly’s Bibi, and sometimes you put Dolly down for a nap in her crib and leave your Bibi with her for long stretches. There are, on the other hand, days when you lament Bibi before we’re even out of the driveway. “Bye bye, Bibi…I want my Bibi…Biiibiiii…”

Your relationship with Greta fluctuates on a minute/hourly/daily basis. Sometimes you play together, rolling and running and scream-laughing. Sometimes you co-exist peacefully with blocks. Sometimes everything Greta holds or touches or looks at becomes explosive and you wail angrily, “Nooo, Grets…..” (If I happen to be in another room, fixing a snack or, God forbid, trying to go to the bathroom, this is my Bat signal to hurry back—it’s usually followed by a furious howl from Greta.) You like trying to “teach” things to Greta, especially words. “Can you say Dada?” I’ll say sometimes when we’re having lunch or dinner. You then join in, looking around the room for inspiration: “Can you say…pumpkin? Can you say…nesting doll?”

You’ve been coming up with your own nicknames for Greta, riffing on what you hear Daddy and I call her. When you and I went in to get her after her nap this week, you burst into her room with a jovial, “Hi, Banana-Pie! Hi, Banana-Bunny!” You also call her Honey and Sweetie.

You are making rudimentary attempts--hilarious, really--at spelling. Sometimes you say, "I'm going to write my name," and you'll arrange the ABC magnets on the fridge into a long, twenty-letter "word." Small steps...

Every day is a wild ride. You are an amazing creature, little one.

Favorite books: Charlie and Lola books, Morris’s Disappearing Bag (Rosemary Wells), Where’s Prancer? (Syd Hoff), The Night Before Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Little Quack, The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, Duck & Goose It's Time for Christmas

Favorite activities: listening to Christmas music, making elaborate structures with blocks, arranging various things in a “setup” on your Bibi, sorting things, reading books, I Spy, arranging your Squinkies into a circle, glitter/glue crafts, watching Ruby & Max, watching Dora, going to the duck pond, sitting in the “big” part of the cart when grocery/Target shopping

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