Today marks your third birthday, my beautiful girl. Three. A little girl. Not a baby or a toddler but a real little girl.
I'm not going to lie, this week leading up to your birthday has been fraught with tension between you and I. You have been having tantrums of EPIC proportions. Sometimes you wake out of a sleep and come to wake me out of my sleep so that you can scream at the top of your lungs for the next hour. I feel confused and helpless in the face of all of this rage. I just wish I knew how to help you when you are feeling so very out of control.
Of course, I remind myself, just like the good phases, the bad ones pass quickly, too. It all goes by in the blink of an eye.
My three year old girl, you are so smart and kind. You are almost always willing to share with friends without any prompting. You love your dogs and cats. You love your grandparents and your aunties. You love all of your cousins and your dear friends.
The time between two and three has given you so much courage and independence. You now climb confidently to the top of the tower in the play areas, bravely sliding down and scrabbling across the equipment with the other children. You don't want help with anything if you think you can do it alone (and heaven help the person who tries to help you when it's not needed).
Your imagination has exploded. You play with imaginary friends most of the time when we are at home. Mom and Dad have to make sure to hold open doors for them to come with us when we go places. You are so much more independent with play and can happily go for hours into the play room and keep yourself entertained. Favorite things right now include: painting, coloring, drawing and playing games. You are just discovering board games and LOVE them.
Your motor skills are getting so refined. You can draw specific pictures now and stay so on target with coloring things, a major progression from the random scribbles of just a few months back. You love to help with most any task including cooking and cleaning and laundry.
You know all of your letters and sounds, you know upper case letters from lower case letters and are just beginning to be able to write some letters. You love learning and frequently ask to watch your "Elmo Counting" video. You can count like a champ and love your numbers book, too.
This past year has brought your first trip to Disney, a trip to New Hampshire, potty training, the big girl bed and so much more. No wonder you are struggling lately with all of this growing up you've done!
I love you, my daughter. I still rock you to sleep every night and when I look at your sleeping face, I see that baby I gave birth to three years ago today. My love just grows each year and I am so blessed to have you in my life, to watch your personality unfold before me, to share in your giggles and smiles and joys and, yes, even your tears. I look forward to all we have to learn together in this coming year.