Monday, February 28, 2011

Life @ 3

You finally went in for your scheduled three-year well child visit. Your popular pediatrician was 10 weeks out when I called! You were lucky enough to not have to visit the clinic too often in the last 12 months, and you hadn't seen Dr. H since your two-year. You happily climbed in the car when I told you where we were headed; and you asked if you had to get any shots and I mistakenly told you no.

Oh, the Mama guilt.

You sailed through your appointment. We discussed your habits, and you shyly answered a few questions about you: are you a boy or a girl? Where's your knee? Can you stand on one foot? Do you know where you live? It's amazing what you've acquired and developed in the past 12 months. We participated in a seeing and hearing screening ... that was a riot. You did smashing with the beep-beep-beeeeeeeeep hearing test, but the vision was another story. You had to identify specific shapes on each sized line. The aide pointed to the heart. You told her it was a valentine. She pointed to the house and you told her it was a barn. I couldn't hide my laughter- you've always been a contrite, little spitfire. I am so proud of your individuality!

You weigh 32 pounds.
You are 39 inches tall
You wear a 4T in shirts.
A 3T in pants.
You are tall and thin.
You wear a size 8 shoe.
You must know 1,000 words.
You know all your colors.
Your memory is iron-clad.
You drink 1% milk, and suddenly, a lot of it.
You don't love brushing your teeth.
But you love baths.
You hate sticky, dirty hands.
You prefer wearing just a t-shirt.
And no socks.
You don't care for soda, jam, jelly, or chocolate milk.
You confuse sour with spicy.
You love daycare and routine.
You request someone play with you most the time.
You still get rocked when we read bedtime stories.
You go to bed at 8pm nightly.
Monday through Friday, you're up by 7:15.
And, begrudgingly.
You sleep until 9am or later on the weekends.
You like staying home like your Dad does.
You eat like a bird.
I try not to let it make me crazy.
We still encourage you to be self-sufficient with life's dailies.
But old habits die hard.
For three years I've dressed you.
And wiped your butt.
And trailed behind you picking up your stuff.
I like doing things for you.
But, I am trying not to so much.
You're very sensitive.
And beginning to show your flair for the dramatic.
You tell me to talk nice when I scold you.
You keep me on my toes.
You do things at your own pace.
Once, it took you 30 minutes to eat three separate cheese tortellinis.
You love music by Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Sugarland, Beyonce, and Glee cast members.
You want your hair blow-dryed before you go to bed.
You don't like it when I tuck it behind your ears.
Your favorite cartoon is still Scooby Doo.
You sleep with NaNa, Curious George, GloWorm, brown bear, and lil' Beagle still. You have since you were six months old.
You went to the dentist already and did just fine.
You don't like playing outside when it's cold.
You told me yesterday, unprompted, that Kevin Love was on the bench when I asked where he was.
On. The. Bench.
You've already made your birthday and Christmas lists.
You think naked is the funniest word in the universe.
You ask about all of your grandparents daily.
You had your first friend sleepover.
You slept in.
Your favorite color is pink.
You're my favorite, favorite.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It Only Gets Harder

There are moments when my world clashes with the one in which I was raised. Moments that I can see with such clarity what it was like for my Dad and Mom to parent me. It's definitely that full-circle phenomenon you understand only when you become a Mama.

Yesterday, when I got home from work, Daddy told me that you had something to tell me. You wouldn't look at me. I scooped you up and sat you on my lap and gave you time. You melted into me. I just sat and rubbed your back. "Tell me what happened," I kept whispering. "It's OK whatever it is. You have to tell Mama."

Don't be mad at me, you pleaded. Please don't spank me. Your voice barely audible. Please don't be mad at me.

I knew what you had to tell me, that you had wet your pants at daycare and didn't ask for help until a little pointed out your pants were wet. I knew what you had to tell me wasn't the end of the world. It probably wasn't a big deal. Accidents happen, of course, but still, we choose to go down this path by encouraging you to own up to what you did.

As I sat rocking you and fortifying your decision to tell me what happened, my mind flashed to all the instances I could remember where I was in your shoes. Sitting on my Mama's lap, or standing in the kitchen, back against the cupboards, as I tried to find the courage to tell my Dad what I did or was part of.

And it was hard to be the Mama. Trust me. I believe what my Dad always said to me: this is going to be harder on me than it is on you. That has never been truer. You kept saying, please don't be mad at me.

And I kept thinking," how could I ever be?"

Minutes and minutes passed. In a gush you said, Sorry Mama I peed my pants in an accident and I said sorry to you don't be mad at me, and I turned my head because my eyes welled up at the relief and sadness I felt in that moment. We made it through something monumental. Trivial in the grand scheme of things? Absolutely, but monumental nonetheless.

It only gets harder ... being a parent. The bigger you get, the bigger the issues that plague and present in the world you live. I promise you- I will always, always encourage the truth from you. I will push you to face your fears, to admit to wrongdoing, to mend fences, and to be responsible for your own life.

Even if it's harder on me than it is on you.

Mama loves.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Disney World:: Day 3

Friday morning we woke up to dark skies again and your snoring. Seriously, so loud for a small child. Once we were fully awake, we realized this is why you were snoring. When I untangled you from the confines of your bed, you asked me if you were in a tent. Yeah, something like that!

We headed for a full day at Magic Kingdom. You were still excited about the shuttle bus, and you ate your banana as we moved. As we entered the park, we saw Snow White! We quickly met her before the line was too long. You were shy, but she was so sweet. She even liked Lil' Beagle.

Daddy knew how much you wanted to meet Jessie on our trip, so asked around all of yesterday to determine her whereabouts. Some kind Disney employee told us our best bet was the very early morning in Frontierland. We hightailed it there right after Snow White ... and spotted Jessie right away! You were shell-shocked.

Woody was also with Jessie, so you were lucky enough to meet him twice. He joked around with you, teasing you about Lil' Beagle and trying to take him!

While still in Frontierland, we spotted Donald Duck. He had a huge ego! He even signed his autograph as "#1, Donald Duck!" It must be hard to be in the Mouse's shadow.

Mama was positively giddy when we got in line to ride the Teacups. Seriously, it's every little girl's dream to ride the Teacups at Disney. Daddy, not a huge fan of rides, let us girls venture it alone. The memory I have of that ride is priceless. You squealed and belly-laughed the entire length of the ride. I've never been happier.

We went on a tour of Minnie Mouse's house. All of her decorations were pink and purple and floral; and she had, like, 100 pictures of Mickey all over her house! You liked her refrigerator and popping popcorn in her microwave.

Just down the sidewalk from Minnie's house was Mickey Mouse's house. His house was much, much messier! He did have a huge garden, including Mickey-shaped pumpkins and sky-high sunflowers.

We spotted a little play area in the same neighborhood and let you run for a bit. It was good to let your legs run and lungs fill up.

Without knowing it, we stumbled across a gazebo with both Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen! Since you were proudly wearing your Princess and the Frog shirt, you were excited to meet them both! The characters were hands-down, the sweetest of the entire week. They took so much time with you, learning your name and calling you gorgeous. I was impressed.

We had lunch next, at Pinocchio's crowded restaurant. We had chicken nuggets, french fries, and Caesar salads. You were in heaven. Until, I threw away your ranch dressing before you were done with it. You cried your face off ... and made Daddy and I remark how that was the first time you'd cried the entire trip. Over ranch dressing.
Next, we boarded a boat and headed under the earth for "It's a Small World". It was whimsical and vintage.

We joined the crowd in front of the castle for the characters singing and dancing. These two were the stars of the show.

We spent nearly an hour in line to meet your favorite princess of all time: Princess Aurora, aka Sleeping Beauty. In line, you befriended a little girl from North Carolina and you two marveled at each other's princess dresses and held hands. It's like you felt the magic all around you.

Sleeping Beauty's friend Cinderella was also in the princess tent. She told you how pretty you looked and how much she secretly liked the color pink!

We lingered into the darkness of Tomorrowland to hunt down Buzz Lightyear since he gave us the slip yesterday at Hollywood Studios. We laughed when he whipped out his stamp bearing his signature. Apparently, he can't sign autographs with his galactic space suit on!

At this point, we had been at Magic Kingdom for 10 hours, and knew the fireworks would be starting soon. We took you to the furthest point from the castle, nearest the entrance, for the show. We hoisted you onto Daddy's shoulders and you watched most the show without incident.

On the bus to the resort, as we spied the last of the fireworks, you told us how much you loved fireworks.


Magic we'll test in July.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Scene- kitchen countertop.
Props- 3 year old, Mama, a shared apple, and tiny tub of caramel dipping sauce. Pajamas, sunlight, and laughter.

Sticky, sticky sweetness.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Peoples

You couldn't go to sleep tonight until you lined up Your Peoples at the head of your bed in a uniform row.

Have I mentioned how much I love your OCD-tendencies?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Disney World:: Day 2

We woke up Thursday morning to dark skies and rain. You woke up in your big bed and got used to your surroundings. When we urged you to get your booty moving so we could go back to Disney ... you could not believe we got to go BACK. We had breakfast in the resort's cafe where you picked out Frosted Flakes. You hated them.

We took the bus to Hollywood Studios, the home of Pixar. I knew Daddy was so excited!
At first I made fun of Daddy for keeping his stocking hat in the backpack. Turns out his Boy Scout instincts were right on. You wore it most the day.

When it started to rain, we headed for the Muppets 3D show. You insisted wearing your 'sunglasses' before the film even started. You're such a diva. Watching you encounter 3D was priceless. You reached out to catch every character that came at us! It was hilarious. We experienced wind, rain, and startling effects. You loved it.

Two Syracuse hats in Florida. Daddy met a few fans, and even some employees hailing from 'Cuse.

We could hear Lightening and Mater revving it up before we could see them. They were larger than life and you were a bit apprehensive. Then, in true lil' dude form, you wanted to drive them both.

We headed for Pixar Studios and Toy Story Arcade. It was jam-packed, and the line for Woody was 45 minutes long.

It was worth it.

You had on your Jessie shirt, and Woody kept motioning that she was his heart, his love. It was so sweet.

Daddy spied these two monsters around a secluded corner and were able to meet them instantly. Their 'handler' informed us they weren't available for autographs ... that was so Hollywood!

Even though Lotso is a menace in Toy Story 3, he was so lovable in real life. His entire sitting area smelled like strawberries too. Seriously, the folks at Disney think of everything and make everything legit.

Next, it was time to save the world with some superheroes. We just missed Elasta-Girl. Her butt looked fantastic.

You finally broke out your genuine smile when Chip and Dale marauded and loved on you. Furry woodland creatures have that effect on people.

I don't think this photo will make any Disney marketing or promotional materials. It's the only picture you had with Mickey all week and this was your reaction. Daddy and I laughed so hard. You would. You would.

It was time for lunch at this iconic place! It was full of aliens and crane arcade games, just like the movies. You only ate the crust of your pizza; your Mama ate the gooey center. We're the world's best pizza-eating team.

And ... the Pixar parade commenced at 3pm. We secured a seat right on the edge of the sidewalk just as the music started up. You were sad when you met Woody that neither Jessie nor Bullseye were present. I had to restrain you when you saw the horse. You wanted to give him the biggest Bullseye hug ever.

She was my favorite part of the parade. Of the day. Of Hollywood Studios. And, of Disney World altogether. I have always loved Boo. I had to be restrained when I saw Boo. I wanted to give her the biggest Boo hug ever.

And steal her.

Mr. Frederickson getting his parade on. You could even see his hearing aids and tennis balls on the bottom of his walker. Don't worry; the old man was tethered to the float in case some balloons accidentally took flight.

We were so excited. The parade didn't even throw candy and we didn't even care.

Both Daddy and I remarked that we hadn't held you so much in such a long time. It felt good to have your arms wrap around our necks again. You fell asleep on the bus on the way back to the resort. We gave you a quick bath, shut off all the lights, and laid in the dark until you finally fell asleep. Once the sawing of the logs had resumed, we turned the TV and lights back on as you slumbered on. We had figured out cohabitation with a three year old on her schedule!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Walt Disney World:: Day 1

We woke up bright and early Wednesday morning- Daddy and Mama just past 5, you just past 6. Daddy made sure to weigh our suitcase because I am notorious for overpacking and bringing more than I need. A girl needs options! I couldn't imagine bringing just one outfit per day and two pairs of shoes. Could. Not. Imagine. But, since I had to share my suitcase with Daddy, I did my best. You're lucky your outfits are so tiny- I packed you many wardrobe options.

You slept a little on the trip to the airport, getting excited when you spied a package in my carry-on intended for you- a bunch of Disney goodies to prepare you for your big adventure! You were the cutest thing wearing your own backpack and carrying Minnie Mouse through security.

You and I grabbed beverages at Caribou while Daddy got an Egg McMuffin- his standard early-morning airport fare. You were an angel on the flight, getting wings from the attendants and getting comments on how dang cute you were! We were on a larger jet, and we were seated in the middle, five-seat section, versus the two, two-seated window sections. You had a hard time understanding why you couldn't have the window, but a Pluto Pez Dispenser helped intervene.

We got to Orlando just past 2pm and we immediately donned our stunner shades and breathed in the warm Florida sun. We took a quick shuttle to our resort, and you kept asking, Are we at Disney yet? making the bus laugh with you.

I made sure our travel agent placed us at the Disney All-Star Movies Resort once we heard there was an entire Toy Story wing. We were lucky enough to be roomed not far from this three-story Buzz!

We quickly dumped our luggage and boarded another bus bound for Magic Kingdom! You kept asking Daddy all sorts of relevant questions ... your excitement and intensity was unparalleled.

We were finally at Disney! Magic Kingdom! All three of us had crazy-big smiles on our face as we took in the sights. It was just past 4pm. We thought we finally needed lunch, too, and asked you what you wanted and you said, hotdogs. Shocker.

The first official Disney character you met was Pluto ... it was fabulous to watch you learn he was as tall as Daddy and standing on two legs versus four. You were naturally a little apprehensive. He was patient and encouraging for you to hug him and say hello!

You proven your adventurous side to us over and over, and wanted immediately to go on rides. We looked for Jasmine near the Magic Carpet ride, but figured she must have already been getting her beauty rest. You were so good waiting in line.

I'll admit, I was like, well, a little kid at Disney World when we got close to the Castle. Since this was my first trip too, I guess the little girl in me had a dream come true, too.

We went on Flying Dumbo as it got darker.

And we rode Prince Charming's carousel horses more than once. There were five horses in each row, the outside horse being the largest, the most inside the smallest. Somehow, you managed the beast on the outside, while your poor Daddy clung to the miniature one on the inside. It was so funny.

We knew the palace show and fireworks would start after 8pm, and after your experience with fireworks last July 4th, we thought it best to head for the resort so you wouldn't get terrified or overwhelmed, or worse yet, scared of Magic Kingdom for the rest of the trip. You talked your tiny face off on the bus ... not yet ready to pass out. We were all in bed in the blissful dark by 10pm. The fun was just beginning!