My sweet Lexi,
I’m not even sure where to start this letter. So much has happened in the past year and you have grown and changed an incredible amount. I had every intention of writing a 2.5 year letter, but that time also coincided with me going back to work after William was born, daddy starting a new job and you going to daycare for the first time and life just got away from me.
So let’s start out with how much I absolutely adore being your mom. It is without a doubt my favorite thing I’ve ever done in my 30 years of life. You bring me so much joy and I genuinely look forward to seeing and being with you every moment I can. I love watching you grow, develop personality, and experience challenge and joy. I can honestly say I never look back on past days and wish we were still in a different ‘phase’ because each new phase you graduate to is a favorite to me. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and I need to stop and remind myself what a remarkable life we have and how blessed we are. Life is pretty great!
Let’s chat a little about your development. At 3 years old, you are a great counter and can count to 20 (with an occasional hung up between 14 and 17) and can easily identify the numbers 1-10. You know almost all of your ABC’s and are starting to learn the sounds that they make. You have been spelling your name for over 4 months now and regularly point out letters on store signs when we drive by. ‘Hey, Mom, there’s an ‘A’, that’s me!) You do a pretty good job of dressing yourself but do still ask for a little bit of help. You like to have a say in what you wear most mornings and like your underwear to match your outfit. You’ve learned the flip trick for putting on jackets/sweaters and insist on doing it every time and refuse to put it on any other way. You’re also learning to zip up your jacket yourself. You need a little help getting it started but can finish yourself. You do a pretty good job of putting your shoes on the right feet and match the curves of the shoes up to your feet. You love to sing songs and know the words to most nursery rhymes. I love listening to you play independently and hearing you sing songs to yourself or your babies. We were at Grandma B’s house and you were playing with the bus and the school house and were singing the Wheels on the Bus as you were playing by yourself. It was just a sweet moment to listen you play. You love to color, play with stickers and do art projects. You regularly ask me, if I want to color with you–in which you proceed to boss me around in telling me where I can color and what color I can use. The conversation usually goes like this:
Lexi: Mama, want to color with me?
Lexi: Ok, come sit here mama. Ok, what color would you like to color with?
Me: Hmm, how about Blue.
Lexi: Ummmm,,, how about purple. That’s a good idea, isn’t it mama? You like purple.
Me: Ok ( I proceed to start to color)
Lexi: No, not there. You can color here. O-K?
With your coloring, you like to scribble and make dots and circles. You hold the pencil/marker/crayon correctly and are starting to ask about writing letters. You attempt to write you’re name. It isn’t quite decipherable yet, but you are working on the motions of writing letters and are getting better at them! You know all of your colors and shapes. You can tell stories and easily identify emotions. You are incredibly articulate and have a wide vocabulary. When you’re upset or angry, you’re able to identify that emotion and use your words to explain how you’re feeling. ‘Mom, that makes me angry when you take that away from me’ or ‘That startled me, will you give me a hug’ ‘Mama, I’m feeling sad, can you help me stop crying’ or my favorite is when we’re in the car on the way to or from school and you ask ‘Mama, can you make me laugh?’ You regularly tell us how much you love us. You’ll come and snuggle in next to us and say ‘I love you mama’ completely unprompted. You also love to tell me how much you love your brother. ‘I love Buddy mama’ or ‘We love our brother, don’t we mama?’ Since you’ve started school, you’ve became much more confident in some of your physical abilities. You’ve always been very capable, just timid. But now, you love to jump off curbs and some of the benches at school without me holding your hands. You can open doors and get yourself inside and out as well as unlock and lock doors, which is slightly terrifying. You can open the car door, climb into your car seat and have buckled yourself in on occasion. You love to dance and have some sassy little moves, you love to play catch, run outside, SWING, go down slides and LOVE LOVE LOVE the hippity hop at school!! You play on this everyday and when we ask you about it, your face lights up with excitement. You’ve made some good friends at school. You and Emma are best buds and you also really like to play with Jude, Estella, Mason and Elena. Girffee is still number one in your book. Whenever you are sad or get an owie, you ask to hug Giraffee. You love to talk to him and make him dance and snuggle with him. However, in the past 6 months or so, you’ve stopped carrying him around the house and into every room you go into and you’ll leave him in bed or in your locker at school. You do love him to have his own blanket and want him tucked in bed with you.
Bedtime can be a hit or miss event. You definitely prefer mama to put you to bed and if Daddy puts you to bed, you need mama to come in after and ‘really put you to bed’. You love to read a book in your pink chair and then another in bed, and then look at your day from Daily Connect. You insist on brushing your teeth yourself. Once it is actually time for bed, you come up with every excuse to prolong saying goodnight. ‘I need water, I don’t feel good, I need a footrest, I’m hot, I’m cold, I need one more hug, I forgot to tell you…, can you sing me a song, etc…. The past couple nights I’ve been putting you to bed, I’ll be walking out the door and you ask, can you sing twinkle twinkle to me and rub my back. I’m not sure what it is about it, but it makes me tear up every time. I think it is such a sweet and gentle request and reminds me that although you sometimes act like you’re 7, you are only three and still need a lot of that gentle love and tenderness that a 3 year-old needs and I need to relax a little and not always be in such a rush. Most nights you’re sleeping by 9 pm and wake up between 6:30 and 7 am. On stay at home days, you nap for about 3 hours. At school, you nap for about 1.5-2 hours. Recently, you’ve even started to put yourself to sleep for nap time. I have yet to experience this phenomenon, but Daddy says it has happened several times.
Personality wise, it is so fun to watch you develop who you are and even look back at last year or further and see how those characteristics were fluid then, but now are more defined. Overall, you are full of sweetness and innocence. You’re actions are so pure and honest and full of kindness. You’re oblivious to society and judgement and act and behave from the pureness of your heart without influences from others. And this just deepens my love for you and I hope you never loose this innocence. It is such a rare thing to see and I pray that you can always be this true to yourself. This is not a strength of mine and try to learn to behave more like this each day. I even find myself trying to influence you in the types of clothes you wear to be more ‘put together’ with little jean jackets and cardigans or cute boots and you just don’t like them and I need to accept that and follow that advice for myself too. You are also very shy and timid. You don’t like a lot of attention on you and are a little more introverted. Just yesterday at your birthday party, we sat down to open presents and you kept saying, I’ll just stand behind you mama. You didn’t want to open the present with everyone watching you. I remember this being the same case at your first birthday party when everyone sang happy birthday to you. You were terrified as everyone was staring at you waiting for you to dig into your cake. That fear overwhelmed you and made you not want to dig into your cake at all. With that said, once you’ve warmed up to new people and a new environment you do just fine. When I drop you off at school in the morning, you rarely get sad and instead excitedly run into your classroom, find your friends and wave good-bye. However, going back to your shyness, you don’t like to look at people when you talk to them. We work on finding other’s eyes and looking at them when we speak. It is a hard thing for you to do. Again, I need to remind myself that this is just who you are. I want you to feel confident and be a leader, but need to accept that you can have those skills, but they don’t need to appear in the way that they do for me.
With all that sweetness, you do have a little sass in you. You are testing your boundaries and trying to gain independence. Most things are ‘I do it’ and if we’re running late or you’re taking an extremely long time, I’ll step in and help out. Half of the time, you’re satisfied with this, the other half results in an epic melt down. You’ll often extend your arm out at me and put your hand up like a stop sign and say ‘Don’t touch me’ and yell ‘leave me alone’. You will also repeat phrases I’ve said like ‘I’ve asked you 3 times and I’m not going to ask you again, or ‘Did you hear my words?’. We often talk about being a good listener.
You also have what I’m sure is a very normal relationship for a 3-year-old and a 9-month old sibling. You love to make him laugh and the two of you will have giggle fits over nothing. Overall, you really do love the little tyke and I often find you randomly hugging him, which is almost always too hard and irritates William. But you really despise him getting in your stuff or in your way or taking mine or Daddy’s attention away from you. I’ll secretly be watching you and you will just push him over or lay on top of him and smother him. You’ll pull his hair or kick him if he has pulled himself up on the table and is too close to you. You usually have one or two time outs each day as a result of your misbehavior. Those time outs are hit or miss on our behalf. Sometimes you’ll get very upset that you’re going to a timeout and will start hitting and shoving me while I’m taking you there and other times you’re just like ‘whatever’ I don’t care that you’re sending me there (time out is the bathroom). Regardless, when we sit down and talk about why you went to a timeout you always know how you misbehaved.
You’re also somewhat of a lollygagger. Nothing ever feels fast with you. You’re constantly chatting about something or getting distracted by something else. You love to put stuff in bags (ziplocks are you favorite) but also shopping bags and insist on grabbing anything in sight to bring with you to school each morning. Random papers, toys, cars, books, stuffed animals, PJs etc…) It is kind of funny to watch this each morning as you scramble to get your stuff. I’ll yell, come on Lexi, we have to go, and you’ll respond ‘I’m coming, I’ll be right there!’ 3 going on 16! You have since grown out of this, but around 2.5 you were very terrified of Bees, thunder, an old man (from it’s raining its pouring nursery rhyme) and every time we put you to bed, you would ask us to repeat, ‘Mama, say ‘no old man, no thunder, no bees’ and we probably had to say it 3-4 times. Not sure where this exactly came from but, I believe, you watched Winnie the Pooh and the bees were chasing him which frightened you and Thunder just startles you and you didn’t like the picture of the old man with a bug bump on his head in a nursery rhyme book. Random random random!
Books: Search and find and princess books Food: Any treat! Especially Circus Peanuts. You’ll often ask, can we go to ‘Benards’ and get some Circus Peanuts? You and Daddy love to go to Taco Bell together. You also really like cereal and greek yogurt, doughnuts and superman ice cream!
Song: All nursery rhymes and Honey I’m good by Andy Grammer. (you’ll say, ‘Mom, can we listen to na, na, honey I’m good?’ Movies/TV shows: Dumbo, Despicable Me, Frozen, Curious George, Mickey Mouse, Little Mermaid, Thomas the Train. As of late, you’re super into watching YouTube videos of nursery rhymes or someone opening plastic Easter Eggs.
Activities/toys: Swinging, chalk, kicking a ball outside, playing princess castle or dollhouse, legos with daddy, coloring, stickers, Tag with William, boating, the cabin, sing
Sleep: Go to bed around 8:30-9:00ish and wake up around 6:30-7:00ish. On school days you nap for 1.5-2 hours and on stay home days you nap for about 3.
Clothes: Mostly size 4T. Pants are a little big in the waist on you but 3Ts are too short. 4T for shirts, but I’m even feeling like those are kind of snug and short on you. Size 9 shoe (but you’ve been wearing the same size since last March, so maybe you’ll had just finished a growth spurt and will stable out a little?
Notes: You’re starting to grow out of your peanut allergy. We went to the allergist and had some blood work down and you passed that, but didn’t pass your skin test. Essentially, your body isn’t producing the things in the blood to make you allergic to peanuts anymore, but those things are still in your skin. Hopefully, we’ll go do another test in a year or so and you’ll pass the skin test and we can go on to do a food test! Stats: Weight: height: I’ve you’ve made it this far, high-five to not getting bored in learning about all things you at age 3! There is so much more that I could say and stories that could be shared, as it is impossible to truly capture Lexi at age 3 or express how much I love you. You are the light of mine and Daddy’s world. We love the way you make us smile, laugh and boil our blood. You are sweet, sassy and everything that a 3-year-old should be and we can’t wait to see how much you grow and learn in the next year.