Your fourth Christmas has come and gone and as sad as I am for the holidays to be over, there is also a sense of relief to finally get you back on some kind of schedule. There was a brief time when you would wake up and the first thing you would ask is, “Where am I opening presents today?” It’s true you cried hysterically when it was announced the last gift was being opened and at that moment, I vowed you would volunteer somehow at a future Christmas to learn how much you have and what little others don’t. Christmas quickly becomes all about the presents and it’s not your fault you think this. I know many adults who still center the holiday around the idea of presents but I really did try this year to make the month of December more about being with family. The advent calender proved to be quite successful and your Father would hate to admit it but he actually enjoyed Christmas this year. I was quite ambitious with one of our outings when I decided the entire family would go ice skating. I’m never really sure how you’re going to react to new things so we approached it carefully and tried our best not to scare you in our explanation. I haven’t ice skated in over a decade and your Dad has never so it would be a learning experience for us as well. We took turns gingerly shuffling around the rink keeping you in a firm grasp in front of us and you loved it. You weren’t scared at all and you even demanded we let go of your hands so you could hold on to the edge yourself. I think I was more terrified than I originally thought because when I stepped off the ice and relaxed, I realized I had been clenching my butt cheeks for a solid thirty minutes.
As I mentioned earlier, I can never be certain how you’re going to react to something. This year for Christmas, I wanted to buy you your first big girl bike. You’ve been doing so awesome with your balance bike and you always make the observation that other kids have pedals on their bikes and you do not. I took this as the sure tell sign that you were ready. I found the perfect little bike complete with handle bar streamers and a little bag to keep all your rocks and trash you pick up along the way. I was certain you were going to love it. I saved it as your last gift and you opened it with little reaction. You quickly pushed it aside and continued to play with some blocks on the floor. I was slightly perplexed at your reaction because come on, what kid doesn’t like a bike! I made you go outside to try it out and all the while, you’re not saying very much. I place you on the bike while exclaiming what an awesome bike it is. Obviously, I’m trying to sell this bike to someone who is clearly not interested. You start crying that it’s too big and you want off. In all honesty, your feet can’t quite touch the ground but you’re the kid who just took to ice skates. In my eyes, ice skating is far more terrifying – my ass can speak to that. Anyways, you made your proclamation that you do not like the bike so in the garage this pretty little bike sits awaiting for the day you get over your fears. I bring it out every time we’re outside to see if you have had a change of heart but you remind me that that bike is not for you.
You’re still loving preschool and sometimes I get a thorough explanation of your day i.e. songs you sang, crafts you did, kids you played with and I usually hear the same four or five names of children you seem to play with on a regular basis. There is one child in particular who I hear a lot about. Bella. When I drop you off in the classroom, I hear her name being bellowed from your teachers followed by a firm ‘no thank you.’ At school events, I hear her name from her parents trying to coerce her in to the classroom. When I pick you up from school, she is typically the defiant child who has to be pulled from the slides when she refuses for the umpteenth time not to come in to class. So it was really no surprise when I learned a fellow classmate horribly scratched you across the cheek at snack time. The teachers are not allowed to divulge the information as to who the evil little devil was but lucky for me, you’re going through a bit of a taddle phase. I’m a protective parent so naturally I want to take revenge on a three year old demonic child who lays a hand on my child. I can’t give specifics of what I’ve been fantasizing about but it may involve wedgies and some slight hair pulling.
I have started a little habit of laying with you in your bed for five minutes or so when you go to bed at night. It’s not one of those parenting things where I have to lay with you until you fall asleep and you know I only do it when you’re good. You ask me several times throughout the day if I will lay with you that night. I started doing it as a way to have a few minutes of one-on-one undisturbed time with you where you could tell me anything you want. These are usually the times I hear the lovely stories of Bella but I hear a little bit about everything that encompasses a three year old’s life. You tell me what you enjoyed most about the day, what you want to do the following day, things that made you sad, happy and so on. When our few minutes are up, you take my face in your little hands and give me an Eskimo kiss. Occasionally as I leave the room, I hear your little voice say, “Momma, thank you for laying with me.” AAAAH! That’s not even fair! And I quickly realize that I will be easily manipulated by your words if you choose the right words correctly. It’s ok, I’m a sucker for mushy moments, especially with you.