Charlotte is really into family relationship terms lately.  She always wants to discuss who Eric is to me, who my brother is to me, who my mother is to me, etc.  “Nonna is my grandma and your mommy.”  “Uncle Nicky is your brother and my uncle.”  Things like that.  She’s pretty good at it and is remembering almost all of them, with the occasional “Daddy is your daddy” which really doesn’t sound right coming out of the mouth of a 3 year old.

The one thing she can’t get out correctly though is that she is my daughter.  Every. single. time.  “You’re my mommy and you’re my daughter.”  I always correct her and tell her how to say it properly.  And she will then start slowly repeating “you’re my mommy and I’m your daughter.”  Lately though, every time she gets it wrong she gets very upset with herself and moans, “I DON’T HAVE THE WORDS!”  And then we go over it slowly until she gets it.  Last night she was on the toilet and we started this routine, and she looked up at me and said “you’re my mommy and you’re my daughter” once again.  I corrected her and she says, “okay.  But I’m the boss.”  And then ran away laughing as urine dripped down her leg because she thinks she knows how to wipe herself.  Oh, kids.

Our Little Gymnast

Charlotte “graduated” gymnastics yesterday.  I use the term graduate loosely, because it was basically just a cute ceremony for the kids to show the parents what they’ve learned over the year, or in our case, to watch our kid cry for 20 minutes.

Charlotte didn’t want to do anything at first.  She kept crying because she wanted Eric inside the class, which is something she never does anymore so that was fun.  Then when she saw they were giving out medals we finally got her to sit with the kids and she actually did her little routine with a smile.  After every little routine she would look up at us and give us the biggest smile.  It was so heart warming to see.  She isn’t great at everything, but she is definitely better than she was a year ago and she can rock her tumble like no one’s business.  She got her medal and it was honestly the cutest thing ever.

And then it was time to take a group picture and she was NOT about that.  She refused, she cried, she screamed.  And then, even though there was still 20 minutes left of class, she didn’t stop.  FULL. BLOWN. MELTDOWN.  It was terrible.  It was one of those moments where you immediately start sweating and thing everyone is judging you.  Someone had the green hula hoop and that set her off even more.  She refused to go back inside the classroom and Eric and I were so embarrassed and disgusted by the whole thing we left.  I wanted to cry myself.  It kind of ruined the entire experience.

But after some time went by I realized she did the part she was there to do.  She smiled, she was happy and we were proud of her, and that was the point, right?  So even though her fit made me crazy and mad and upset, she still made me proud.

And anyway, she is nothing if not consistent with her class pictures.  Can’t wait to see how school goes in September…

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Nighttime Musings

As all of you know by now from my constant discussions of it, Charlotte still sleeps with me and I still have to lay with her until she goes to bed.  This is not what I imagined with a 3 year old, but alas, here we are.  At this point I’m just hoping as she gets older she’ll eventually grow out of it but my plan B is to buy a king sized bed soon.  Anyway, we’ve got this little routine down where she likes to watch a little TV or her iPad, tell me “my stomach is growdaling! I’m so hungry! Why do you want me to be hungry?” and I have to get her a bowl of pretzels, and then we lay in the dark listening to music and chatting.  I’m starting to really love this last part of the day before she drifts off to sleep.  The conversations we have are actual conversations and not just babble.  She talks about what she did that day and what she’d like to do tomorrow.  She asks questions and she sings along with the songs.  Last night she asked if I could go to the store after work and buy her more macaroni and cheese and then made an entire shopping list for me.  She requested macaroni and cheese, apple juice, pretzels and loops loops (fruit loops).  Then she took a minute and said “oh wait, daddy already bought me loop loops! I don’t need those, but maybe some candy.”  Then she asked me “when can we go to the fun place again? The fun place with you and daddy?” And I didn’t know what she meant and she said “you know, the one we went with dominim and anca!” Which is what she calls my friend’s children, Donovan and Bianca, and I remembered the fun place was Adventureland.  “Let’s go there again so I can ride the horses on the carabell (carousel).”  And then she asked me to buy her a real horse and said we could keep it in her room.  I let her watch the Belmont race and I think she’s got horses on the mind a little too much.

I don’t always love having to give up my night time free time to wait for her to go to bed, but these little moments of unwinding and chatting will definitely be something I miss when she gets older.  When she’s done talking she always curls into me and her breathing slows and I just think how lucky I am to have someone to love like I love her.

 

Silence is Never Good

I was cleaning the bathroom this morning when Charlotte told me she was going to play in her room. She shut the door, which isn’t unusual because her stuffed animals hang behind the door. I heard her talking to herself so I thought she was just playing. I figured I’d take advantage of this quiet and prepare some vegetables to roast.

And then I opened the door.

The first thing that hit me was the scent of baby powder. It was overwhelming. It was like someone sprayed a baby powder scented spray right into my face. The second thing I noticed was white, everywhere.

She found a small bottle of powder. I have no idea where she got it, but got it she did. She opened it and poured it all into the sink of her play kitchen and then took turns giving them all a bath. I don’t even know how to clean this up. So you know what I did? I took the bottle of baby powder away and hid it with the others ones and I’m letting her continue to do this. Because she’s quiet and I’m going to have to clean up the mess eventually so why not get some more peace out of this mess, am I right? The only downside is how the bedroom door is open and it reeks of powder everywhere. I mean there’s also the downside of how to clean this up, but I guess I should be happy it was only a travel sized bottle and not regular. Since it’s in the rug I’m just going to act like it’s a deodorizer.

Happy Sunday!

Questions – All. The. Time.

We’re at this stage with Charlotte when she is constantly asking questions about everything and anything.  Sometimes they’re easy questions to answer, like when she asks me, “do I have to wear pants outside?”  Other questions make me laugh, such as, “why do I have to go to bed if the sun is still out?”  But last night this kid stumped me and I found it to be a great moment of learning for me as well as for her.

Before she went to sleep she wanted to listen to a song called “I’ve Been There Buddy.”  It’s off the Muppet Babies soundtrack and the first few times she just sang the words to me, but then she started asking questions about the first two lines of the song.  They are: “Big feelings can fill you up and make you feel real small – I know, I’ve been there buddy.”  First she asked me what Summer (the penguin who sings this song) meant by small.  “Summer gets small?  Is she little?” And I had to explain to her that isn’t exactly what she meant in this part of the song.  Before I could really get to an explanation, she then started asking about the feelings fill you up part.  “Fill you up like milk mommy?  Is it like filling my Mickey ba?”

And that’s when I realized I had no idea how to explain this to her.

So I took a second to try and grasp some concept of the English language to explain what song lyrics in a Muppet Babies song meant.  If she asked me about the meaning to “How To Grow a Rubber Chicken” I would have been all set, but this was harder than I thought.  Try and think of how you would explain what that meant to a 3 year old on the spot.  It’s hard!

I tried my best and she seemed fine since she fell asleep shortly after, but I sat up for a little while realizing I need to be a little better in my explanations of things when she asks questions.

I like it better when she only asks me if she has to wear pants.

 

Last night before Charlotte went to sleep I told her we were going to go shopping today. I asked what she wanted to buy and she responded with lollipops, ice pops and candy. I think she’s on track to be a nutritionist.

She asked where we were going and I said to Target. She turned around and looked at me and said, “that means we’re going to Starbucks too, right?”

My 3 year old equates Target with Starbucks, and I couldn’t be more proud. I’m raising her right, guys. I’m raising her right.

Good Weekends

Hi all!  I hope you guys had a great long weekend.  I was home unexpectedly on Thursday so it was an extra long weekend for me, which was nice because I spent a lot of quality time with Char.  On Thursday I took her to the Queens Zoo, which is possibly the worst zoo in the city, and it was way more crowded than I thought it would be because every school in Queens had a class trip there at the very moment we arrived.  Charlotte said, and I quote, “‘there’s too many people here. I don’t like people.”  And that is when we left.  We had a nice lunch at Chipotle after that, burrito bowl for me, chips for Char, and then spent the afternoon playing in the sun.  It was a good day and we went to bed happy.

On Friday we went to my mom’s friends to go swimming and Charlotte was in HEAVEN.  She was wearing a floatie and although she was scared at first and I couldn’t really leave her side, she got the hang of it and stayed in the freezing cold water as long as she was allowed.  Another good day!

Saturday was the best day of all because Eric and I got a nice night alone and went to see Deadpool 2, which was HILARIOUS.  I got some nice sleep and then on Sunday we went to celebrate my cousin Ayden’s birthday.  Charlotte is so funny when she sees us, even if it’s only been a day.  She gets a huge smile and said to me, “you told me you’d meet me mommy! You told me you’d meet me!”  She is seriously the cutest.

Yesterday we went to Adventureland with our friends and it was SUCH fun day.  Did Charlotte have a psychotic meltdown because she hated her ride wristband?  Of course.  Did Charlotte ask me for chicken fingers and then refuse to eat them?  You betcha.  Did Charlotte freak out when it was time to leave?  Correct!  But all in all, it was a fun fantastic day and we love spending time with our friends.  And Charlotte went to bed at 7:45 so YAY FOR THAT.

I love good weekends.  Even with some stressful moments where I lose my patience, all of the good outweighed the bad.  She is at such a fun age and I find myself laughing a lot more than I’m screaming.  I mean, I’m definitely still screaming.  You can’t parent a 3 year old without some screaming and if you say you can then you’re a liar and I can’t be your friend.

Reasons Why Charlotte Is Crying

  • There was a line in Haagen Daaz and she thought the people in front of us were going to take all of the vanilla ice cream.
  • She can’t pee because she has a pimple on her butt and she would only pee if I covered the pimple with my hand while she went.  This is real life.
  • The pillow hurts her.  Her side of the bed is “not right.”  She needs to switch sides, multiple times.
  • I put her food in the blue bowl when she wanted it in the green bowl.  And then she wouldn’t eat it until I let her put it inside the freezer and then take it out again and put it back into the blue bowl.
  • Her hair was wet and she wanted it dry.  But she didn’t want it dried with a towel or with the hair dryer.  She wanted it dried with sorcery.  I was all out of sorcery this particular night.
  • I told her it was time to brush her teeth.  Instant meltdown.
  • She’s hungry.  But only for ice cream, ice pops or milk.  If anything else is offered to her the hunger magically disappears.
  • She cries every night when she is exhausted but won’t give in to sleep.  She insists she’s sick.  Every. single. night. “I don’t feel well! I’m sick!”  until she eventually passes out.

So many tears, not enough wine.

Mirror, Mirror

Last night after her bath Charlotte was brushing her hair by herself, because God forbid she lets me do it for her.  She spent about 5 minutes combing it out and then ran to the mirror in the bathroom.  She looked at herself and said “oh wow I am so beautiful!”

I cried.  And not only because it was one of those sweet moments with your kid.  But because it showed me how she isn’t yet tainted by the world around her.  When I look into a mirror I am only focusing on the negative.  A pimple here, a wrinkle there.  Gray hairs that won’t stop sprouting.  A double chin.  Love handles, stretch marks, scars.  When Charlotte looked into that mirror last night and said she was beautiful, it reminded me that I when I look into a mirror, I need to see and say these things out loud too.  Because I want her to always look into that mirror and say she’s beautiful.  I don’t want her to see me look at myself and complain about my appearance.  I don’t want to be the one responsible for changing the way she sees herself.

It never ceases to amaze me how sometimes Charlotte teaches me more than I teach her.  Kids are amazing.

On My Own

Last night Charlotte and I were watching Zootopia in bed before she went to sleep.  We have seen this movie no less than 750 times, but it’s her favorite thing to watch right before she goes to sleep.  She was cuddled into me and the part where Judy Hopps leaves her parents to go work in Zootopia came on.  She asked me if her parents were going with her, like she asks me every night, even though she knows the movie so well she recites portions of it, and I told her no.  Judy was going off on her own to start a new job and a new life.  I told her one day she would also leave home and and be on her own and start a life.  And then the dramatics began.

Her bottom lip quivered.  She started leaking tears and proclaiming “no! I don’t want to be by myself! I don’t want to go on my own! I want to stay with you!”  I started to laugh because I didn’t think she would get so upset over it, and of course my laughing set her off even more.  I had to keep reassuring her she can always stay with me, forever and always.  As she drifted off to sleep the last thing she said was “I want to stay with mommy.”  It was all very sweet and just one of those “awww” parenting moments where I realized my kid actually does love me and doesn’t want to leave my side!

One day she is actually going to want to leave me, and I’ll be the one crying my eyes out begging her not to go.  I feel like that day is going to come faster than I want, so I better enjoy this while it lasts.