Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mommy's Coffee

Dear Hazel,
It's been a while, I know. Things got crazy the last couple of months and I've had to make it a point to make a list of topics that I need to write about for you and your sister when I actually have the time to dedicate to it. And since something noteworthy presents itself almost daily, you can imagine what the list looks like.

A lot has happened with you since I last had time to write. You turned 3 (a post which I will write soon enough.  you know, maybe by the time you turn 4), you got a big girl bed for your birthday, and you moved to a new preschool class. HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENTS!

How did that happen so fast? I remember when you were about a month old, I contacted day care to ask if they could take you sooner rather than later because I was fail, fail, FAILING at being a Mommy and was convinced that strangers would do a better job of taking care of you than I would. And for my part, I would go home and catch up on some much needed sleep. I would have gladly paid $500 for a month of naps. They didn't have space yet because you weren't due there for another two months, and we ended up managing just fine, but at the time I couldn't even imagine that either of us would survive to your third birthday. 

And yet, three years later... here we are. You're 3 years old, and Mommy has almost caught up on all the sleep she lost in those first few months of your life. And everyone is happy.  So, I guess we need to talk about what life has been like for you in the past few months.

Your 2's teacher, Miss Katherine, loved having you in class. You had a special connection with Miss Katherine and she told me every day how much she loved having you in class. Even when you acted a bit 2-ish with her. Which, let's be honest... was often. And when I would come to pick you up at the end of the day, you were sometimes in the Comfy (read: naughty) Corner until you could get control of your 2-ishness. Which makes me think... we really need a Comfy Corner at the house.  Like under the table or something.

You love your new teacher, Miss Celeste, and are so excited to meet new friends in class. We put you in a slightly older class mostly upon the recommendation of Miss Katherine (you're a little smartie) and also because it's nice for you to be around kids that are a little closer in size to you. And, I'm a big fan of Miss Theleste (that's how you pronounce her name, so I've found myself doing the same).

But, I digress. Besides being 2-ish, you also have the capacity to be THEE sweetest little girl in the world. You play well with other little kids, and as Miss Katherine told me once, you would give your friends the shirt off your back. You are very empathetic and kind, and I can only hope that you continue these traits as you get older and meet kids that aren't so nice and who like to tease. I hope you never learn to tease. I hope you'll always stand up for those who are being picked on and never lose that selflessness. And I hope that you develop a nice right hook for those kiddos who are mean to others. I am so proud of you when I see you being kind to another little kid, or having no fear of going up to other kids and asking if you can play. It's a beautiful thing.

I also hope you never lose your laugh. Oh my, Hazel. Your laugh can make flowers grow. It can turn rain into sun. It is contagious and it is pure joy. And when you and your sister get to laughing together, I once again ask myself why we waited so long to bring that sound into our lives.

You're getting big, baby girl. You may be three, but you're wearing size 5 and sometimes size 6 with ease. You are growing like a weed and I can't keep up with your clothes and shoe needs. Seriously. All of the hand-me-downs from friends have been great, but now you're growing so fast that you're surpassing the hand-me-downs from friends whose little girls grow at a bit more normal rate. Which means that sooner rather than later, we're going to have to start actually buying your clothes rather than counting on friends who need to get rid of clothes. Today, we had to break down and buy you some snow boots. Do you have any idea how much snow boots cost? Snow boots that won't fit next year? Yea. MAJOR BUMMER.

At your well-child check, your pediatrician confirmed that you were still in the 99th percentile in height and 95th percentile in weight... even though you've only gained 2 pounds this year. How's that for a stat? He said to expect you to be about 5-11 as that's what the growth chart predicts. (Side note: Did you know that the average height for a woman is 5-4? Yea... you'll hit that in a couple of years.) But that at age 11-13, we could likely expect another growth spurt, so not to be surprised if you top out over the 6-foot mark. Which sounds about right.

You have become incredibly self-sufficient. You can pick out your own outfit and for the most part, get dressed on your own. I mean, if I had 25 minutes to spare while you put on your pants, you would be allowed to get dressed on your own every day. But that doesn't happen because, you know... life. You are, however, able to put your shoes on by yourself. And you have very specific feelings as to which shoes you will wear on a given day. Which isn't exasperating at all. Especially because your little sister takes after you on this and I'm all: "Dude, your shoes don't need to match. We're just going to the store! LET'S GO!"

In other news, my lack of fashion awareness and sense has never been more apparent than it is with having two little girls who dress better than I do, and who care about fashion more than I ever have. I still don't know how that happened. And I'm not down with it.

Anyhoo, you usually wake up before the rest of the family. And for a while our little tradition was you climbing in bed with us and then wiggling around for an hour before we finally gave up on extra sleep. But now, you either play in your room quietly until we get up, or you'll go into the kitchen, open the fridge, grab a yogurt and eat breakfast at the table while we're still in bed. SCORE. If I can get you to learn how to do your own laundry, I could check out completely of this parenting gig.

You are in a phase where you ask for permission... on everything. You ask permission to play in your room. You ask permission to play with your toys. You ask permission to use the green crayon.

And then the red crayon.

 And then the orange crayon.

You even ask permission to eat the toast the I JUST PUT IN FRONT OF YOU SO YES.... YOU CAN EAT THE TOAST. What's more, after receiving permission, if Daddy is in the area, you then ask him if you can eat the toast.

 Doesn't get old. At all.

I seriously cannot believe how much I talk in any given day now because of how many questions you ask, or how many clarifications/explanations/permissions I have to give you during the day. I think your Daddy is secretly laughing at this little development. Because word on the street is that I tend to talk his ear off. And this may be a little bit of karma coming back on me. But honestly, it's fun talking to you and hearing about your day. And on days that you take a nap at school, it's really fun. On days that you don't take a nap, you get into the car for the drive home and turn into a mini-Hitler, making demands of everything from the music we listen to, to the questions I ask you, to - and this is true - rain on the windshield.


And those are the days you goes to bed at 6 p.m. Yea... it's for your own good, but cards on the table? It's mostly for our good. I have a low threshhold for BS that could be remedied by something as simple as a nap. Naps will be a part of your life for a looonnnngggg time if I have anything to say about it.

You're developing a new little habit these days... a habit in which you lie your little butt off. For no reason. Most of the lies center around whether or not you've napped that day at school. But some of them are about whether or not you've smacked your sister. Oh yes... you'll all sort of empathetic, but you also have your moments of being a little punk.

We've been having discussions about not lying and have even read Pinoccio with the very real and completely inappropriate hope that I could convince you that if you lied, you nose would grow. You weren't allowed to watch any political ads or any of the debates, so as not to undo all of the hard work we'd done.

Didn't work. So we've been at a loss as to how to fix this little development short of telling you you're getting a puppy, taking you to a pound to adopt one and then say:  "Nope!  We lied! How does THAT feel, huh?"

But, we were saved from going down that road the other day when I asked if you'd taken a nap, you answered honestly "No." HUGE!  Because for the entire week you had lied about taking a nap. I think you're getting the message that you won't get in trouble if you don't take a nap, but there will be "big, bad, naughty trouble" if you don't take a nap and then LIE about it. Lying will not be tolerated unless it's a lie that directly benefits Mommy. Such as: "Mommy, that asparagus and spinach casserole was nummy. May I have some more?" 

See, your Daddy learned that early on in our marriage when I made him a vinegar salad. Yes. Vinegar. Salad. Because I was hoping he'd give up on me and take over ALL cooking responsibilities. Jerk ate the whole thing and asked for seconds and told me it was great. A few years later, he admitted that it was awful but didn't want to make me feel bad.

And see... THAT'S the type of guy you marry. This will forever be my advice to you when the time comes. Like when you're 42. Maybe.

 My friends try to make me feel better about the lying by telling me that it's a sign of intelligence. You know... just like your typical serial murderer is off the charts smart. But, I can't deny that you're a sharp kiddo.  The other day I was pulling you and Millie in the wagon up a hill. I hadn't had a chance to crossfit in about a month so I was huffing and puffing pretty hard and said something about how you guys were heavy.

"Why, Mommy?" 
"Why are you heavy?" (mentally kicking myself for giving her a weight complex)
"Because you're so big these days!" (yay!  solid recovery!  you are a good Mommy!!)

And then...

"So I can have coffee now??" 

Sonuva.... see, the thing is, whenever I have something I don't want you to have, I tell you that it's Mommy's Coffee. So wine, chocolate, actual coffee, makeup... these things are all off limits to you. And when you started to ask why you couldn't have coffee, I told you that it was only for big people. And maybe when you got big you could have some. You took this information in and have actually really respected the reasoning behind it.

Which I should have taken as a warning sign.

 I should have realized that when you took it, you rolled it around in your brain and then sat on it until that perfect moment. That moment where Mommy slipped up and told you that you were a big girl.

And then you pounced.

That's my serial killer. 

Love, Mama