Isabella at 3 years, 1 Month

Oh, where to begin with the Isabella update for this past month...

Let's go completely counter to my personality and start with the good.

Since turning three, Isabella is becoming more and more independent (which can, of course, be both a positive and a negative...more on this later), but for the most part, I'm really liking this emerging trait. She wants to do everything by herself, and frankly, with two other little time-suckers in my house, I say, "Have at it, kid!"

So, in the morning, she now shuts off her own sound machine, grabs a new pair of underwear from her drawer, goes potty, and heads downstairs where I am already up with the twins, all by herself. I lay out her clothes, and with minimal assistance from me, she dresses herself. She's been attempting to pick out her own clothes, but I haven't been brave enough to let her leave the house in some of her ensembles yet, although I realize I am stifling her creativity and squashing her inner artiste and all that.

Isabella's letter and number recognition have gotten much more consistent over the past month, thanks in part to this awesome toy, the Leapfrog Fridge Words Magnetic Word Builder. She can now spell some easy three-letter words with ease (mom, dad, dog) and her phonetics are improving too. I also bought her this easel for her birthday, and we've been working on her letters and words using it as well.

So far, she is still loving preschool. Of course, she's only gone twice as of this writing, but both times it was an easy transition for her, sans drama, tears, and histrionics. I've said this before, but I am so incredibly proud of her for this. Of course, I wouldn't have faulted her in the least if she was having a hard time. Two of her closest friends are, and Isabella has told me about "boys crying for their mommy" in her class. That kind of reaction is completely normal. But the fact that she isn't, and is rolling with it, makes me think she's capable of handling a lot more than I thought she was.

Isabella is still in love with her baby brother and sister, and is often super-sweet with Luci and Nicholas. If they're screaming, she will run and get them a toy to try to get them to stop, all on her own. She wants to share her breakfast, lunch, and dinner with them, and always rips off little pieces of her food to give to them, with the message, "Tell Luci (or Nicholas) this is from her big sister Isabella." And often, the last thing she says to me when I put her in her room for her "nap," is "Tell the babies I said hello."

That said, this past month has been the debut of some rough behavior with the twins. She seems hell-bent on steam-rolling them. She will lay down on her back on the floor and roll (I think she is mimicking them) into them and over them, and of course, they get upset and cry. She is also attempting to pick them up, sit them up or lay them down, all with disastrous results. I spend half my day telling her to be gentle with the babies, but it doesn't seem to be working. I don't think she's being aggressive or rough on purpose, but on the other hand, I don't understand where this behavior is coming from either.

I am a mystery wrapped inside an enigma.

I am attributing a lot of her spazoid behavior to the death of her afternoon nap, which happened right around her 3rd birthday a month ago. One day, she didn't nap, which wasn't that big a deal, as it had happened before. But when she didn't nap the day after that, or the following day, or for weeks on end, I figured it was ending for good. I've since switched to quiet time, where she stays in her room from 1 -3pm, supposedly reading books, but actually spending her time much more destructively, rearranging her bedroom furniture, stripping her bed, and dropping objects on the hardwood floor, sending noise reverberating throughout the house and waking up the babies. She also began busting through her childproof doorknob cover and walking downstairs.

Not so fast, little missy.

Once that started happening, I had to break out the big guns and start telling her that she was not to leave her room for anything other than a trip to the bathroom, and that if she did, she wouldn't get to watch her half hour of tv after dinner. I have also been invoking the name of her dentist, whom Isabella has so far visited just once, but who has become akin to the Almighty in Isabella's book of importance and significance. Isabella often asks me, "Does Dr. Kelly like it when I eat carrots/draw pictures/take a bath, etc.?" So, I have begun telling her that Dr. Kelly does not like it when she leaves her room during her nap. That one's been working out nicely.

And of course, there are the temper tantrums, never-ending whines, and back-talk that have come to dominate the behavior of my "spirited" child. I'm glad so many of you commented on this post to tell me that three is so much more difficult than two. You're not kidding! It's as if the demon-spawn switch was flipped on August 22nd, because there are some days when I fully expect to see Isabella's head spin around 360 degrees while she spews green vomit over everything in her path. She is argumentative and whiny ("I want it Noooooowwwww!"), explosive and often negative, ("I don't WANT to go on a walk/to the store/to a friend's house"), and contrary and sassy, ("I TOLD you I wanted apples for lunch, NOT pears!"). There are many, many days when I feel all I do is argue with her and put her in time-out, which makes both of us feel awful.

(But then she starts to cry and grabs the mirror to watch herself, and suddenly awfulness turns into hilarity.)

But, I will confess to liking three. So far, it's been very difficult, but it's also pretty awesome too. Isabella is so funny, so smart, and so charming when she wants to be. Yes, her behavior is bat-shit crazy at times, but I think I'll keep her.

Likes: Collecting acorns, leaves, and rocks during walks

Dislikes: Maintaining a single personality

Not-So-Easy Rider

I have totally stolen my change in title format for these monthly updates from Sasha, since my math abilities are about on par with a 4th grader, and I can't for the life of me remember how many months there are in anything past age three.

9 Responses to “Isabella at 3 years, 1 Month”

  1. # Blogger

    3 is pretty awesome, isn't it?

    I love that she says hello to the babies like that. So sweet. And the mirror thing is making me laugh!  

  2. # Anonymous Ness @ Drovers Run

    Thank you for making me laugh out loud :)

    She's a sweetheart. My oldest boy used to cry and then go and look at himself in the mirror too.

    I had a VERY hard time keeping a straight face about that. I had visions of acting school flashing before my eyes.  

  3. # Blogger The New Girl

    The mirror while crying thing is hilarious. I can't believe how big she's getting. My bets are on a future career as a dentist or actress.  

  4. # Blogger Mom24

    So, so funny! I wish I had these updates for my kidlets. Somehow it just doesn't seem like the thing to do when they're my kid's ages.

    You'll love looking back at these one day. She sounds like an absolutely perfect 3 year old!  

  5. # Blogger Heather

    Oh, that mirror bit is good stuff. too funny. Charlotte is awful with the back talk too. Everything is "mean and BORING". I swear, she sounds like she is 13 half the time. Three is fun though. The stuff that comes out of her mouth is hilarious.  

  6. # Blogger My Wombinations

    She and Sam should really hang. They are cut from the same cloth. They may kill eachother, but the balance would be good for both:) I have always noticed that Sam starts acting like the next age up (in this case, 3) when she hits the six month mark in her current age. So if her behavior is any indication, three IS hard.  

  7. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    That's so funny about the mirror! Sometimes when Little Elvis is pitching a fit, we can get him to stop by bringing out the camera. Two and a half has been pretty rough for us, so I'm definitely not looking forward to three!  

  8. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    I got so many laughs from this post, mainly from Isabella watching herself cry in the mirror. Bridget does the same thing. Drama Queens, eh?

    I love that she tears little pieces of her food for Luci and Nicholas. So sweet!

    And she actually stays in her room from 1-3?????  

  9. # Blogger Sunny

    I'm sure it's not fun being in the moment sometimes, but she sounds wonderful to me! :) I love the "Dr. Kelly" thing. Way to capitalize on an opportunity when it presents itself!  

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