(I’ve finally reconstructed the lost 38 months post! Now I just have to get the 39 months one written.)
Well, Owlet is very firmly in the midst of Being Three. Her use of language is fun; she confuses terms and ideas less often than she used to, but it’s adorable when it happens. “I just have to check my pounds,” she says, pulling the bathroom scale out. She stands on it, watching the needle and the dial settle. “Yup, I’m three years old!” she announces. (Thanks for confirming that, apparently magical bathroom scale.)
It can be frustrating, too, though. I think at this age kids are learning how to construct narratives, and they mix stuff with which they have actual experience together with imagined things. It can be hard to sift through which is which. Owlet tells us every couple of days that “Jacob pinched me” or “Ryder pulled my hair,” or her favourite, “Solstice bit me!” I’m fairly certain none of those things happened on that particular day; she’s dredged up an event that happened a month ago or more, brought to mind by something similar. Maybe she bumped her arm where Jacob pinched her ages ago, or she got her hair caught on a button, or her finger got squeezed by a toy where the rabbit nipped her five months ago. I think the sense of time is very fluid in toddlers and preschoolers as well, which can also muddy things. It makes for some frustrating conversations sometimes.
Being Three is also manifesting in sudden dislikes and about-faces regarding previously acceptable foods. It doesn’t help that she has a poor appetite from suffering colds, but she’s also rejecting things she’s always loved. She’s going through an odd no-meat phase as well, so her dinner plate is often one-third frozen peas (still frozen — it’s one of her favourite things, and no, I have no idea why, but whatever), one-third cherry tomatoes, and one-third now-cold meat shoved to the side so it doesn’t touch her precious veggies. Ah, the ongoing challenge of how to feed a three-year-old….
Her favourite book is currently Neil Gaiman’s The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish (which was originally Sparky’s, but he never read it because the illustrations disturbed him. Dave McKean does that to some people, kid; you’re not alone.) She is firmly in a Miyazaki phase, as her favourite movies are now Castle in the Sky and Spirited Away. She is very into playing with beads right now, too, stringing them on pipe cleaners and silky cords with long aiglets.
We’ve started putting her hair up in various ways more often. She often asks for her hair in ponytails, and one day I offered to put her hair in two braids. “Like Anna,” I explained. “No,” she said, “I want a braid like Elsa.” Well, I kind of walked into that one, so I gave it my best shot. Considering it was the first time I’d ever French braided her hair, I think it came out okay, despite all her head-tossing activity while I did it. (I’m surprised she was as still as she managed to be, to be honest.)
Then she had to dig out her play silks, get me to tie one around her like a skirt/cape, find her crown, and stand soulfully at her window like Elsa does while I cued up that verse in “For the First Time in Forever” on the CD at her instruction. She went to preschool with her hair like that, and I was almost kidnapped to braid everyone else’s hair that way, too.
She’s been sick for about a month now. She’s not usually sick enough to stay home, although she has once or twice, but it’s a constant sniffing and coughing. Every time she starts getting better, another cold goes through daycare. Her educator has muttered dark things about people keeping kids home, but every time I check she assures me that Owlet is fine to come into school; it’s others who should be staying home. Poor Owlet seems to get sicker than the other kids; it’s just not fair. Well, she’ll have a brilliant immune system by the time she hits grade school, that’s all I can say.
By far the worst thing to happen this past month was Owlet falling down the six concrete steps at daycare one morning. Full-out, head over heels tumbling. She stood up at the bottom, dazed, but seemed fine. She was a bit sore later, what with all the limbs bending in weird ways and whacking concrete, but otherwise okay: everything moved properly, there was no pain or blood, so I was thankful.
It was a split-second confluence of events. She had her umbrella, and the handrail was wet, so I said she could hold my hand on the way down. She went down the first step together, but then her umbrella started to slip, and as we started to move to the next step she let go of my hand to grab her umbrella, and just pitched forward. The daycare has inch-thick rubber slabs on the stairs, and that plus how she was bringing her arm across her body as she fell so that she landed on her shoulder as she rolled are the only things that saved this from being a disaster, I think. I was supermum at the time, calm and cool for her, but an hour later at home it all sank in and I had a quiet freak-out.
For Halloween, Owlet has declared that she wants to be Toothless, the black dragon from How to Train Your Dragon. October 1 is our cut-off date for changing one’s mind, but I’m still expecting her to have a meltdown in about two weeks and tell me, “No, I wanted to be Elsa!” (She’d make a better Anna, but hey.)
And perhaps most exciting of all this past month, Owlet pointed at a sticker today and said, “This says ‘wow.'” Possibly her first recognition of a word on sight. Pretty awesome.