Saturday, July 20, 2013

Where did our toddler go?

Kendall turned 3 this week! WHAT? Three sounds very old to me and so it's a little hard to grasp. Our baby is truly a big girl now (especially in contrast to Kyler). She is quickly shedding her toddlerness and growing in to her preschooler self. And oh boy, as she's approached 3 she's really been keeping us on our toes!  She's inquisitive, she's willful, she's imaginative, she's sneaky, she's delightful, she's clever, she's funny, she's whiny, she's helpful, she's fickle, she's energetic, she's sensitive, she's creative, she's spunky, she's encouraging, she's a singer, she's a big sister. She is Kendall.  We love ALL of who she is right now, and who she is becoming in this new year.  
(Continue reading at your own's a long one!)

As you've probably noticed in previous posts, starting in April, Kendall has helped us kick our parenting into high gear. Our once fairly compliant and usually sweet, obedient 2 year old is pushing some boundaries with her sass and sneakiness at age 3. Her opinions are strong and she is less often swayed by us in her decision making (in fact, she usually goes with the opposite of whatever our ideas are). 

One place we see this is in her style. She'd wear her pajamas 24/7 if we let her (and some days we do, because you have to pick your battles, right?). If the PJ's do come off then she'd prefer to be naked forever! When we convince her to get dressed it takes half of the day (she CAN do it quickly but chooses not to, in fact, she is rarely in a hurry!). It's getting better though. I often pick 2 outfits and allow her to jump off her bed on to the one she wants to wear (because normally jumping off the bed isn't allowed so she's pretty motivated to get dressed with this incentive). She is perfectly capable of dressing herself and often insists on doing so---once again, on her own time, but recently needs a lot of assistance. I think it has to do with a certain little boy who joined our family a few months ago and Kendall is trying to reclaim some one-on-one time. She's also trying to reclaim that time with dramatic potty scares. She's only had a few real accidents (oddly enough they occur only while I'm nursing Kyler), but daily she reaches the point of emergency and "needs" our help to make it in time. She's smart, and knows that we react fast when it comes to potty.

Kendall loves to be "tricky." She'll hide in curtains or under blankets, and runs to hide if she hears someone coming. Occasionally when hiding she'll find things to get into like, you know, SCISSORS. I thought we were done baby proofing! Oops! She does magic tricks, too, like "which hand is it in?", or making food disappear--sometimes to her tummy, but sometimes in random parts of the house to later be discovered. She's also tricky with her words by saying normal things in funny voices or she'll make up new words by rhyming. Most of her trickery is pretty innocent, but we have had a few swear words pop up as a result of the rhyming. And then one showed up all on it's own! One day (in context) she said "Damn it!" I tried, unsuccessfully, to stifle my shock, but she caught on that this term ruffled my feathers. I said it's a word we don't use in our family. So a few days later she says it again, but this time it's "Bamn it" so I once again explain that there are other words we can say when we feel frustrated (which she says "fa-wust-a-waited"), but in our family we don't use that phrase. "But Mommy, I'm not saying "Damn it", I'm saying "Bamn it." OHHHHH, in that case, go right ahead sweetie! Oh my word!

Another time she gets "tricky" is at bedtime. This has been our battle for the entire year of age 2. We were hoping that the kinks of bedtime would work themselves out by age 3---not so much. They just morph into new issues. It went from going to bed perfectly fine to getting nervous and needing us to sit on the floor for a bit, then we moved to the hall to do our "dreches" (aka stretches), the door needed (needs) to be "a little bit slower" (aka: open), then she was calling us back for various "needs," and now she requests that we come back to check on her a certain number of times. The start of bedtime is 8pm, but her actual sleeping starts anywhere from 8 to 10:30! We put her music player in her room because the songs seem to keep her company. She still loves to sing and read as she calms down from the day. I think her mind is still busy making connections and so it takes a while to settle in to sleep. I can relate. And apparently both Keith and I were TERRIBLE about going to bed, so this is just payback I suppose.  We've debated dropping the nap to help bedtime go quickly, but then we have a nightmare child from about 3-7pm. The naps are good for everyone so they will stay for the time being.

There are also many areas where she is super independent in ways that are great and so helpful! She's started to play more independently and really using her imagination. She still plays a lot of "babies" and now a lot of doctor (should have bought stock in bandaids; ask her how owies "heal off"), and monster (the nice kind, of course). She LOVES to paint and that time is my best bet at getting to do something without "my shadow." She can whip out several masterpieces in a short time and as she paints she tells me who they are all for, but generally decides they are all her favorites and wants to keep them. She still gets caught up in a good book from time to time, and has been getting her very own magazine in the mail which is pretty exciting. She has really been enjoying some outdoor exploration, including going on (slow) walks, using a squirt bottle to spray rocks and things to see how/if they change colors, and ant collecting. She also likes to run just beyond the sprinkler (but NOT through it, oh no!). But on smaller scales she loves to play with water, pouring, squirting, testing out things that can float or's a wet mess, but it's clean. When she is in the right mood she likes to help get things for Kyler and will sweetly keep him entertained. But I still have to keep a close watch since play time can change drastically in a split second. Lately Kendall has become a much better eater, it still takes a LONG time, but she's been interested in a variety of veggies, and moving beyond only wanting bagels. She likes to dip food into  hummus, and spread her own butter, she rolls her own turkey roll ups, and gets things in and out of the fridge all by herself. When she is finished she even takes her own plate to the sink (sometimes!).

The biggest change recently is the question "WHY?", which is asked nearly 2 billion times a day! Our conversations usually go something like this sample from today:
K-Can I have some water?
M-Sorry honey, I don't have any right now.
K-Why don't you have water?
M-Well, we are driving in the car and I don't have a water bottle.
K-Why don't you have a water bottle?
M-I left it at Trish's house today.
K-Why at Trish's?
M-I set it on her counter and forgot to grab it.
K-Why did you forgot?
M-It was an accident, I meant to get it but didn't.
K-But, why did you forgot?
M-Well, honey, I don't really know it just worked out that way.
K-Mommy, I'm fursty and want some water now.
M-We'll get some water at home in just a few minutes.
K-But I waaaannnnntttt some.
M-Yeah, I know.
K-Why do you know that?
M-Becuase you've asked me a few times now.
K-Why is the water at Trish's?
M-I was there to go for a walk, and left it there.
K-We need to go there now.
M-We can just get some water when we are at home. I'll get my water bottle back another day. 
K-Why will you get it another day?
M-Because we have to get home for lunch now.
K-Why were you walking?
M-For exercise.
K-Why did you go to Trish's and forgot your water bottle for exercise?
and so on and so forth for 20 minutes....
Once we arrive home the "Why" conversations shift to the contents of her lunch and/or ways to avoid a nap.

Gone are the days where our first answer can satisfy her! But usually these are fun conversations and bring with them a lot of learning and connections for her. They also cause us to pause and look at life from a new perspective and sometimes even question our own reasons for doing things a certain way. 

With so many big girl changes it's nice to know that the core of who Kendall is has remained the same. We enjoy her after nap time snuggles, her sweet singing, her infectious giggle, her thoughtful "I love you's", her tentative nature around new things or people, and her creative mind.

Happy 3rd birthday, Kendall. You are one amazing girl with a heart of gold! We are very blessed that you are our daughter and we are excited to see what age 3 has in store for all of us.

**Stats to come later, her 3 year well child visit isn't until the end of August so I could get both kids in at the same time. But she is, according to our measurements, almost 3ft tall and starting to wear 3T shirts and dresses, but her tiny bottom still fits in 18month shorts and skirts from last summer.

Updated 8/29
Height: 35.5in 20th%
Weight: 26lbs 10th%
BMI: 13.8 3rd%
20/30 vision
Healthy and happy! :)


Bethany said...

Oh man! I love this post and can relate to it on so many levels! I think the 3's are going to be way more challenging than the "terrible 2's!" Glad to know we're not the only ones having bedtime issues! Still so funny to me how alike Ella and Kendall are - although Ella fights me to wear dresses everyday instead of PJ's :). So wish we lived closer to each other, I have no doubt these girls would be best friends! At least they have college to look forward to! Happy Birthday Kendall!

The Hoogland Family said...

She is so smart! Her cognitive reasoning is amazing! I loved this post, what a great record of her little self at that age!

Emilie said...

Bamn it! I love everything about her!!