Sunday, January 5, 2014

Our Third Three-Year-Old

At the end of the day, Laura pronounced these balloons as her favorite thing about the day.
Laura is definitely different from the other two. Then again, I doubt many parents find their children are just like each other - and it's not like we don't often discuss how different Danny is from Clare. Our memories are probably a bit short, too (stand-offs with Clare? Really?). But sometimes, Laura makes us feel as though we are back to the first day of parenting, and we often wonder what makes her tick.

She is willful, persistent, physical. She can also be charming, sweet, and loving. She whines a lot, and cries a lot, but she also sings and laughs a lot. (Occasionally at 3 a.m.) She has fully embraced the princess infatuation, but eagerly plays swords and battles with Danny. Her favorite game with Tim right now is the "Ariel game," where he plays King Triton to her Ariel, forbidding her to go see the humans. Which means she runs off with great delight to see the humans. Did I mention she can be defiant?

Lately she loves to paint, and continues to love to help me cook. I like to think she is starting to take more pleasure in creating than destroying. I also like to think that I am beginning to get a handle on what makes her tick. At least, I scored a victory with her birthday balloons.

I never had any intention of holding a party for her, nor do I think she wanted one. She simply wanted a celebration, and mentioned balloons more than once. So while picking up the groceries for her birthday dinner, I made sure I picked up three princess balloons, which I secreted away until the morning of her "birthday" (full disclosure: we celebrated it three days late, because that's when the family's schedule worked best to make it her day - and also because she's young enough that we could get away with it). I hung up a birthday banner, set the balloons atop the fireplace, and then woke her up. Which, by the way, was adorable: she smiled and asked at least twice, "Is it my birthday?" and gave me an enormous smile when I assured her that it was. When she emerged from her room and looked over the railing down at the balloon, she was delighted. She proceeded to play with them for a solid 30 minutes, singing "I love balloons" to the tune of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (thank you, Little Einsteins) over and over again and in between pronouncing, "I love my birthday!" We snuggled on the couch with the balloons while reading stories, and eventually she and I left the house to pick up some Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, to which she brought the Cinderella balloon, prompting many birthday well wishes from the DD workers.

All three kids enjoying the dollhouse Larry made - detailed post about it coming soon.

A princess movie while playing with your balloons. What more can a girl ask for?
After breakfast she opened her presents, delighting in them all and passing a leisurely morning playing with them, watching TV, and having the kind of day a three-year-old loves. After her nap we watched a princess movie and ate popcorn, and then after her steak dinner it was time for her purple Ariel cake. The cake she requested for weeks, and was very excited to see. When asked what part of the cake she would like, she immediately responded, "The eyes!" which put the rest of us in gales of laughter. Not long after, though, Tim and I were shaking our heads and again wondering where she comes from, because she did not take a single bite of her cake. She ate her ice cream and promptly excused herself.
The eyes ARE sort of...mesmerizing...

Maybe we don't quite have her figured out after all...but we'll enjoy the continued attempt!

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