I got a notice from a parenting newsletter that my “39 month Growing Child” was available for me to read today. I stopped counting months over a year ago, but I still know them thanks to this publication (which is worth a look, in spite of its relatively heterocentric narratives).

Three and a quarter is an interesting age. So big and so tiny all at the same time. Seemingly small things can be the cause for deep and lasting upset (a children’s television show being on while Darwin could hear it in the other room), while others that I would think might be big and hard are easily triumphed, ignored, or heartily enjoyed (a book about the death of a tree called Bertolt, which is now definitely on the top five best hits).

Sometime around 3 + 1 or 2 months, Darwin fully weaned, with little fanfare. She also began sleeping through the night, identifying letters and numbers, and doing simple arithmetic (“we need three of those and I have one so I need two more!”), entirely unprompted. She can use a knife and fork, and a spoon with little effort, though she’d still prefer her hands. And to my utter delight, she has, in the last week, aquiesed and even requested that MamaLee be the one to put her to bed. It is glorious.

Preschool continues to go well. According to her teachers Darwin is an observer and likes things to be done right. So far we know she likes to do puzzles and wash dishes, and is currently working with the button board. A couple of weeks ago she came home keen to show off and practice her new skill of doing up and undoing buttons. The last major hurdles with clothes are learning how to do snaps and how to tie shoes.

Darwin is a sweet big sister (and adamant that we should have more children in our family – no news on that front currently though). She helps Linnea put on her socks and shoes, gets her things like her water bottle or coat, and delights in hugging her goodnight when Linnea deems it acceptable.

Yesterday we took the kids to a local carousel and both were enamored. They road three or four times and we got to see the workshop where the animals are carved and painted. Darwin fell apart when we had to leave. We were able to give her time and space to be sad though, and she was able to make the choice to get into her carseat on her own. 3 months ago it would have been a real struggle.

Life with this kid is good.


17 months of the Bee

This was a big month (aren’t they all at this age?) So many new words and ideas. ‘This one’, ‘why?’, and ‘mine!’ were at the top of the list. Yesterday she and Darwin were on the couch together and Linnea was taunting her sister with a pillow, then hugging it and yelling “mine!” The Bee is getting big.

This kid loves to lounge. As MamaLee said today, she is “the lougiest kid I’ve ever known.” The position seen above is a common sight. Linnea is comfortable in her body and revels in her strength and ability to do things now (like working on hopping), as well as her ability to laze around and look at books, or snuggle on the couch (for a few minutes at least).

Everything is named, over and over now. She’ll go around the room naming things, and will not stop saying each item/person’s name until you repeat it back to you. At which point she moves on to the next thing. The best part is that she just started identifying *herself* in this process too! “Neeeeeh!” Is the current form, probably because we call her “Nea” or “NeaBee” most of the time. It’s sweet because she is clearly very proud of herself and her growing ability to communicate her thoughts on the world.

Bedtime (with me) has been ups and downs, but overall, this kid likes to sleep. She willingly goes back to the bedroom (a trick Darwin still barely knows), willingly and enthusiastically brushes her teeth and has a story, and (mostly) willingly will be put in her pack’n’play by me. She protests vigorously if MamaLee is in sight when I take her to bed, but calms quickly now. I ask her if she wants me to put her down in bed, and she’ll say “yes”, same answer to “do you want a blanket now?” and “do you want a song?” With me she’s usually asleep within 5 minutes. Tonight it was ten. With Leah it can be 10 minutes, but it is usually more in the vicinity of 1+ hours. But tonight, tonight Linnea quieted down very quickly and I thought she was about asleep, so I slipped out. About five minutes later, we hear a little voice calling for “MamaRaaaae!” This melted my heart. It’s the first time she’s ever asked for *me* at bedtime. I went back and sang to her, and she went right to sleep. Kid pulls my heartstrings.

We got our winter tree (solstice tree, yule tree, whatever). The family that sells them down the road is just lovely, and even took our photo (in other news, I need a new camera phone…). I don’t know what I would do if I lived in a place that didn’t have live trees available, having grown up in Maine, then moved here. The house smells like solstice. Doug-fir needles, thumbprint cookies, all sorts of goodness. Linnea is old enough this year to be fully enamored with the lights and the ornaments, and I wish I didn’t work full time and could just play with her and Darwin all day long every day. There’s no time like this time of year to make me feel like that. Yay for making it to 17 months!