If there was one word to describe you it would be happy. So short and simple but it encapsulates you perfectly. You genuinely are just a happy little 3-year-old. You love to smile, laugh and be silly. Most mornings you tip toe downstairs and your big eyes and golden hair radiate to give you this angelic glow as you jump into my arms with pure joy. You’ll snuggle in and just rest in contentment before you start your day.
This past year with you has been a joy. You have grown so much, and laughed your way through the many many changes life threw at you and adapted as if nothing in the world had changed.
Between transitioning out of a crib and into a big girl bed, to being the only kid at home 3 days a week while William was at school, to no scheduled naps, to Mommy working from home everyday, to Lexi and William doing distance learning—I would say that is a lot of change for a 3-year-old to adapt to.
Throughout all of this change, there has been no shortage of sharing your expressive and animated nature. When you are excited, your eyes get huge and twinkle with elation as you tell us a story. Whenever I walk in the door, whether I have been gone for 10 minutes or 10 hours—you drop what you are doing, yell, ‘Maammaa’ and run and jump into my arms for a big bear hug. On the contrary, if you don’t get what you want; you hit or push your siblings, yell, tattle or will hold each of my cheeks with your palms and swivel me head to look you in the eye and get my attention. Although you are the baby, you demand to be heard and not be stomped on and refuse to let anyone think that you are the youngest. You yell and demand things with such confidence, sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m the one in charge.
As devious as you can be to Lexi and William—you have a very special bond with each of them. You and Lexi tend to have more hot and cold moments, which is probably because you often like to play with the same toys and their is a bigger gap in maturity. You can be a really big stinker to her for no reason. Just the other day, Lexi came downstairs in the morning and wanted to give you a good morning hug and you pushed her away and said, ‘no I don’t want to hug you.’ But, then you go over and give William a big hug. And other days, you give her a hug so big she falls down. Whenever you do or create something, Lexi is one of the first people you want to show or tell. If you get a new toy or pick out a treat at the grocery store—you parade into the house and share the news with Lexi. You also regularly tell me (and her) that Lexi is your best friend. One thing that never comes up cold is wearing matching outfits. Both of you LOVE to match. You have several matching pajamas and I’m working on getting you more clothes that match since you love it so much—and now that you both are in little girls clothes, it makes it easier.
You and William are the best of buds. Your bond really grew while Lexi was at school. The two of you would play toys together, wrestle, snuggle and really go together like pancakes and syrup. He is gentle and patient with you, watches out for you and often volunteers to share or give things to you because he knows it will make you happy. You love to play dinosaurs with him, or build magnetite creations, play trains or watch shows together. You almost never call him ‘William’ and always call him Badger, Badgie, Oatsie or Oatsie the goatsie—or my personal favorite when you are upset with him—Badger Sampson.
Over the last 3 months or so as you grew in maturity and Covid forced all of us to spend every waking second together—you three have really learned to play together. You don’t wreak their creations as often and can play and integrate into their little stories. It has been so fun to watch the relationships build across all three of you but then with each of you individually as well.
Given that you have been home with Daddy your entire life, the two of you have a very special bond. You love to be by his side, help him with things and ask a million questions. He is equally as obsessed with you as you are with him. You two loved to visit Great Grandma, watch trains, wrestle and be silly together. When the big kids first started going to school, you whined about going to pick them up, but soon got into a good rhythm and when Daddy’s alarm went off to go get them, you would just stop what you were doing and say time to go get Oatsie and Lexi. Kate, you lite up your Daddy’s world and you make him laugh everyday. He often says, ‘I just love Kate. She is the best’.
With that said, Mama is still number 1 in your book for the time being. If both of us are around, you come to Mama for snacks, potty help, playing, owies, tattling on others, reading stores, putting you to bed, getting dressed, and snuggles. Anytime I am sitting down, you like to be on top of me and climbing on my arms, shoulders, flipping upside down or requesting ‘criss-cross applesauce’ on your back. You love to be carried around but are particular about where my arm can hold you—usually around your belly. If my hand is on your legs or your butt, you move it to the place you want it. You give my unprompted daily hugs and kisses 5+ times a day and love to snuggle into my neck and whisper, I love you mama.
Adapting to change:
The first real change was transitioning out of your crib and into a big girl bed. This happened pretty easily. We already had a big girl bed set up in your room so instead of putting you to bed in the crib, we just put you there. You got out of bed a few times, but overall, you liked your new independence. Then right around the end of August, beginning of September, you moved to the bottom bunk and started sharing a room with Lexi. I re-decorated the room to be a rainbow unicorn. For the first time ever, I bought what I really wanted and liked for bedding (Pottery Barn) verses what was the cheapest. I need to do a bit more in there from a decor standpoint to finish it off, but overall, I get happy every time I go in there.
You like sharing a room with Lexi, but I think you would be just as happy with William or by yourself. You often go to bed before they do and rarely need anyone to snuggle with you. You would often tell me, ‘Please leave.’ And would roll over and go right to sleep. However, as the year progressed, you started to get a bit more particular—you liked to have lights on and the door open. You love to have your back rubbed and sing songs—Twinkle Twinkle, Row-Row-Row your boat and the badger specialty; Nonee Nonee Hop Hop Hop. The biggest thing I’ve figured out is you need to give me a kiss and a hug and say GoodNight Mama for you to really go to bed. If you don’t do those things and I leave—you’ll for sure be up.
Around the middle of the fall, Daddy stopped putting you down for a formal nap in your bed. You would throw a fit it like crazy and the bigger issue was if you did actually fall asleep, you would fall into a deep sleep and then go to bed until 10:30 or 11:00 at night, which was just not working. With that said, you fell asleep in the van on the way to get Lexi and William almost everyday. For the most part, Daddy would wake you when you got home to avoid the 11:00 bed times, but you would get about a 30 min nap most days. What is crazy about that is, school is 5 min away and you would often fall into a deep sleep in that 5 min—so deep that in the middle of the winter when it was very cold outside, Daddy would open the van door, unbuckle you, walk into school while holding you, wait for William to get out, walk back out into the cold, buckle you back up in your car seat without you waking up.
Then, in March we were all ruffled with a big change—Covid. I started working from home and Lexi and William were home from school for the rest of the year. This was a big and hard transition for all of us. Although you had playmates and mom home, you also lacked the 1:1 attention you had been getting, which I’m sure wasn’t easy. Whether an outcome of this change or just the fact that you were almost 3, you started to throw some EPIC tantrums. These usually happen when you are over-tired and you are not getting your way. The stomping and crying and yelling come out and can’t be controlled. NOTHING will make you happy—which usually results you being sent to your room, which almost always makes the situation worse. You will scream and get so worked up that you will sweat through your shirt. Sometimes, the only thing that will calm you down is having whoever didn’t put you in timeout talk to you.
These past few months have been a gift (albeit challenging gift) but a TRUE gift to have all this extra time home with you. I love seeing you throughout the day, being there to put ponies in your hair in the morning, make you lunch, the 30 extra hugs I get, you falling asleep on my shoulder during a meeting, watching you interact with my co-workers during video meetings or even the fact of you watching me work each day and being a role model for you to pursue your dreams are things that I am so grateful to have.
However, one of the hardest things for me with this transition was the lack of understanding you had about everything that was going around you. You didn’t understand that I couldn’t come play with you at any moment in the day, or that you needed to be quiet when I was on a call or that you couldn’t come barging in to tattle that William pinched you. Although you understood that I was working, you didn’t understand that meant I couldn’t be there for you at any moment. When I would say, I’ll be there in 3 minutes or come back later—that didn’t mean anything to you. You wanted and needed me now and couldn’t understand why you couldn’t have me now. Things have gotten better and the warm weather has been such a blessing as you play outside a lot more, but it was a hard thing to try and teach you.
Facts about Kate at age 3:
39 inches tall & weigh 41 lbs—98%
Nicknames: Kate, Katers, Taters, Tator-tot, Kate the Great, Katie<
Wear size 5T clothes and some XS or size 6 (which is the same size as William)
You had your first haircut (which you call a shortcut) a few days ago. You had these beautiful curls and I avoided getting your hair cut for a long time because I didn’t think they would go away, but the longer they grew, the more I thought they were going to stay around so we did a quick cut in the garage. You have these ringlets in the back of your hair and on your sides, but the hair growing out of the top of your head is STICK straight—no volume or curl to it at all. So that will be interesting as time goes on, but for now, I cut that straight hair shorter so your sweet curls show off more.
Fears: laying on back in the water, going fast, being up high, swinging
Loves: Frozen, Frozen II, Repunzel, Bunnies, Books, Purple, the stroller, snuggles, fruit, candy, chips, cheese, nuts (cashews), milk, running errands with mom,
Dislikes: the shower, sitting still, being quiet, meat,
Lovie or Pal is your grey bunny, which you have named Nonee and have also adopted a purple bunny to be pal number 2, which you call Rabby. You love to sleep and snuggle with them and request them when you are upset
Obsessed with the color purple. You want everything to be purple—your cups, your plates, blankets, clothes, shoes, crayons, paper, legos—everything is ‘pupule’ as you like to call it
You talk VERY clearly and in full sentences constantly. Rarely is there a moment of silence with you.
We haven’t worked on identifying any letters or numbers yet, but can sing the ABCs and count to 10. Lots of scribbles when you color.
Have hearing like a wolf. You could be two floors away and hear someone open a bag of chips or candy and be down at your side in seconds to have your share.
If we ask you a question and you don’t know the answer you say ‘You call it’
As happy as you are, you also have a stubborn streak in you. When you set your mind to something, you don’t budge. You refused to lie down in the bathtub the other day to wash your hair, so you sat in there for over 30 minutes in cold water—but refused to lay down for me. Then Daddy came up to say goodnight and you would suddenly lay down for him.
In February, we went to Disney. You got the flu 3 days before we left (the last one in our family to get it) and although you were fever free—you still didn’t feel great and were pretty crabby and moody for the first 2 days. You had moments of joy in meeting some characters and swimming—but were pretty clingy to mommy and didn’t get to truly experience the magic. Following Disney, we spent a week visiting with Grammy and Papa in PCB and you loved playing in the sand, splashing in the water and just having a good time with Grammy and Papa.
Kate, you are one-of-a-kind and I pray your determination, stubbornness, ability to command, laughter and kindness will take you far in this world. Please never stop whispering in my ear that you love me.