Isabella at 3 Years, 7 Months

So, so late. Hi? Did you know I have twins? Lots of freelance work? Three geriatric cats whose vomit needs wiping up, and a house that refuses to clean itself? You did? Okay, moving on.

In the past month, Isabella has developed an almost obsessive attachment to her best stuffed animal friend, Charlie. This stuffed dog (bear?) has been in her crib with her since she was born (along with a duck named Janice who somehow got herself banished to the bookshelf this past year). She has always needed Charlie for naptime and bedtime (for awhile, she slept with him draped over her head), but she left him in her bed when she got up in the morning. Now? She takes him everywhere-downstairs in the morning, to the table for her meals, outside to play, etc. She holds him and plays with him all day long. It's cute, but also a little obsessive. And I live in fear of the day that Charlie gets lost or damaged because I have no idea where to get another "Charlie."

Charlie also acts as a good bouncer between the twins in the stroller, and prevents them from scratching each other's eyes out.

Isabella has inherited her mother's Starbucks worship, which is highly amusing. I received a bunch of gift cards for Christmas, and have been going there on my way to pick up Isabella from preschool, and each and every time she sees my cup in the cupholder, she menacingly asks me: "Hey! Did you go to Starbucks?" When I tell her that yes, mommy did go to Starbucks because she needs a constant drip of caffeine in order to keep from crawling under her bed and staying there until she and her siblings are aged seven and five, respectively, she says, "I wanted to go to Starbucks with you!" (I promise, the only thing she's ever drank there is hot chocolate and Horizons milk. She knows not the addictive power of their coffee.)

Her artwork has really evolved over the past few months as well. She's moved beyond scribbles (although she does still draw them sometimes) to figures that actually look recognizable as people, animals, etc. Drawing and painting on the easel is one of her favorite things about preschool and she always brings home at least half a dozen examples of her work every Tuesday and Thursday.

I've been able to do some one-on-one activities with her lately, which is so important for both of us. We went to my friend's annual St. Patrick's Day parade pre-party, and then to the parade afterward, which was a lot of (rainy) fun. We've also met friends at the children's museum, played outside together in some of the awesome weather we've had in recent weeks, went to Sesame Street Live, and of course, we've made a couple trips to Starbucks.

Isabella is not your "typical" three-year-old girl. She eschews dress-up, has never seen a Disney Princess movie, and her favorite color is red, as opposed to pink or purple. She prefers dinosaurs and Berenstain Bears to Barbie and Cinderella.

However, out of nowhere one day, she clomps into the room wearing my black, high-heeled boots. "I love these!" she said. "When I get bigger, can I have them?" Um, who are you and what have you done with my daughter? She's put them on several times since then, and it's hilarious every single time because it's just not something I ever would have imagined her doing.

As I mentioned a few months ago, the nap is well and truly dead. She started napping again a few weeks ago, but just one or two days a week, and not consistently. Now it's been over two weeks since she's taken one. I always put her in her room with toys, Color Wonder paper, and other quiet activities, but 30 minutes later she's calling me. I have to quickly run upstairs to get her before she wakes the twins.

I took some of your suggestions and set her up in my office with crayons and coloring books, but they do not occupy her for long because she can't seem to avoid talking to me for longer than three seconds, which I realize is a ridiculous expectation for a three-year-old. So, I am getting very little work done during nap time. I could turn on the tv for her, but I just can't bring myself to do it. This is not something I've ever done for her (turned on the tv at random times during the day, as opposed to the twice a day for 30 minutes each time that's our norm), because I feel like I would be short-changing her. I also don't want her to come to expect it, and therefore refuse to ever take a nap (yes, I am holding out hope that she will start spontaneously napping again). So, it's hard.

She is still a huge help with the twins, but she is having a very difficult time sharing her toys with them, as any kid would. They are out of Baby Jail for a fair amount of the day now, and that means they have access to her things more than they've ever had before. They are not allowed to touch her special toys, or (obviously) her toys with small parts, but other toys are now fair game, and I find myself trying to find that balance between playing referee, and allowing Isabella to have her own space and her own things. How do you mediate toy disputes with small children? Is everything (except unsafe toys) fair game for everyone?

Three-and-a-half is challenging, to be sure. It's been full of Big, Big emotion for Isabella so far. But, at the end of the day, she's a sensitive, funny, insanely verbal, imaginative little girl whose presence sometimes fills me with a sense of calm, as opposed to...well, I won't even go there.

Current Likes: Helping me in the kitchen, chapstick

Current Dislikes: Putting on her own shoes and socks, the preschool morning rush

3 Responses to “Isabella at 3 Years, 7 Months”

  1. # Blogger Mom24

    I love these updates Kristi. They always make me green with envy that I never did this with my own kids. You'll be so thankful for them one day.

    I empathize about Charlie. It was one of the most devastating things I've ever experienced when Jacob lost Harry and he was 8. Try, try, try to find another one. I googled the description, but in the end it was a friend with a twin that saved me.

    Isn't it fun to be able to get out and about with her and have fun with a real little person? The twins will get there too.

    Sorry about the loss of naptime. No advice there, just plenty of sympathy.

    Good luck with the toy sharing, I hate to tell you that never ends. Jason still will complain occasionally about the toys J&J have of his. :)

    Sympathy too on the vomiting cats, Butterscotch vomits daily and it drives me crazy!

    To beat the morning rush, I've just made peace with the fact I can't make things move faster and given up and started 15 minutes earlier. It makes a world of difference for us, although it still drives me crazy that it's necessary.  

  2. # Blogger Heather

    I swear that right now my saving grace is being able to take Charlotte out with me places. She isn't a baby anymore and I don't feel like I am "dragging" her along on errands. It is so nice to have one on one time with her.

    Oh, the loss of nap time. I lost mine with Charlotte before her third birthday, so I feel you.  

  3. # Blogger JM

    Ha, because we all know that you would really love to have an overcaffeinated three year old on your hands :). Skyler is a big fan of starbucks chocolate milk as well, we can't go past one without him requesting a fix.  

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