Kaelin: 3 Years

Filed under: Kaelin,Milestones,Newsletters — Amy @ 9:01 pm

Dear Button Pie,

Today you turn 3 years old.  And I must admit that the thought of trying to summarize all the changes you’ve made over the last year in a single newsletter is rather daunting.

You’re huge.  You’ve grown at least 3 feet in the last 6 months.  You’re tall and lanky and fast and coordinated and I can promise you didn’t get any of that from me.

You still talk 90 miles an hour.  All the time.  Your vocabulary has increased even more over the last year and we now hear you using colloquialisms and phrases common among adults.  Yesterday morning you were getting out of your bath and talking to me about I don’t even know what, but you ended the statement with, “So how d’ya like THAT, Mama?”

Despite your ability to understand concepts seemingly beyond your age, you are completely incapable of grasping the meaning of “Stop talking.”  They need to start making phones that include a “Mute” button for the nearest toddler, because having a phone conversation amid your never ending “urgent” questions can be very difficult. 

Efforts at communicating to you that you need to be quiet have proved futile.  Your response to “Kaelin, shhhhhhhh” is to ignore it.  Your response to “Kaelin, you have to be quiet right now” is to ask the same question louder.  Your response to, “KAELIN.  STOP TALKING” is to tell me how much you like to talk, and then explain to me why you need to talk.  This has become a problem over the past few months because, on occasion, your brother sleeps and when you prance into our room in the morning my only course of action is to jump out of bed, pick you up and carry your babbling self out of the room to keep from waking him up.

Speaking of your brother, you’re becoming a very good Big Sister.  You have Pacifier Duty in the double stroller, which consists of finding the paci he has just spit out and putting it back in his mouth when he’s fussy.  You like to coo at him and coax him into smiling with your “Haaaaaaaaapy Boyyyyyyyyyy” routine.  You look forward to helping me drop him off and pick him up from “school” on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  You love taking baths with him and think he’s hilarious when he kicks and splashes water on you.  You’re not such a fan when he grabs hold of your hair.

You’re really enjoying “school” this year.  You go Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00am to 2:00pm and you LOVE your teachers.  You truly look forward to going each time and don’t cry anymore when I drop you off, which was something we dealt with through most of last year.  You’re also making friends on your own, which I really love to see because for so long you were a little stand-offish to other kids.  But now as we walk through the hallways, you say, “Hey look!  It’s Riley with her dad!  Hi Riley!”  “Hi Kaelin!”  To hear those little exchanges just reminds me how much you’re growing up.  My little girl is very quickly morphing into a Big Girl.  I love it when you introduce me to your friends at school.  “Mama, this is Landry.  Say hi to Landry.”

Apparently you leave quite an impression at school.  All the staff members know your name and they call out their hellos to you when we pass through the doors.  You get high praise on your singing.  In every group of kids, it seems like there is always that one child who stands in the front row and shouts every word of every song at the top of their lungs.  Little One, you are that child.  And I love that about you.

You still love to learn, and that warms my heart.  You’ve known your ABC’s for what seems like eternity, but now you’re becoming interested in how to spell things.  You can read your name and a few other words like Mama and Red.  I often hear you spelling out random words you see and asking, “Mama, what does D-O-O-R spell?”  When I tell you, you then try to relate it to words you know so you can fully grasp the meaning.  And then you very quickly memorize the answer, which I hear repeated back to me every time you see the word thereafter.  “D-O-O-R spells DOOR, like when you open the door or you let Hastings out the door, but NOT like Dora because that’s different.  O-N spells ON like when you turn the TV on or when you sit on something but not like Aunt Iris because that’s AUNT not ON.”

Over the past few weeks, you have certainly turned 3.  You’re testing us daily and showing a lot of attitude that wasn’t part of your repertoire before.  Some of your more memorable gems include, “No, YOU pick it up,” “You don’t get to tell me what to do,” “I can play on the computer if I WANT TO,” and the ever-popular, “NO!” followed by the Total System Meltdown.  Your dad and I have found it very challenging and we constantly debate about whether it’s more effective to ignore your tantrums or tackle them head-on. 

There was a time recently when you were having a melt-down daily and spending a lot of time screaming in your room.  We tried Time Out, incentives, earning/losing privileges, spanking, but ultimately I think it was just something you had to get out of your system.  Over the past week or so, it’s been getting better.  We’re at least going a few days between meltdowns, which is good because being in constant “Enforcer” mode can really put a damper on parenting.  On the bright side, after a screaming fit in solitary confinement, you quickly return to your normal bubbly, sweet self. 

I’m hearing from other parents that we’re not the only ones going through this change in attitude, which is some comfort, because when it starts happening your first thought is to begin questioning your parental skills, followed quickly by, “Please God, don’t put us through an entire year of this WE WON’T LAST.”

But over the past few days, you’ve been making unprompted comments that make it evident that you’re really trying to be good.  Things like, “And TODAY, I’m not EVEN going to throw a FIT!”  “I’m going to mind you every time!”  and “We always say ‘Yes ma’am’ and ‘Yes sir!’”  And the fact that you’re making a conscious effort at improving your behavior makes me so proud of you.  It makes me realize how grown up you are.

Munchkin Pie, I’ve always been so very proud of you and I try to tell you that daily.  I know that I have my shortcomings as a parent and I’m still trying to figure out the secret to balancing myself between 2 kids.  But you’re remarkably adaptable and I can’t wait to see what you’ll conquer over the next year.

Love,
Mama

3 Responses so far.

  1. Debra says:

    Oh my, Happy Birthday Kaelin!  And Amy, the “Enforcer” line made me giggle.  smile  Also, I too find comfort in knowing other children give their parents the same “battle of the wills” challenges and rest assured that your child is normal.  I think it is an age-old battle of trying to figure out, “should we ignore this fit or give them time out until next tuesday, or worse?” that all parents go through and only God knows the answer.  Maybe He will tell us in eternity.  Anyway, have a fun day with your 3-year-old!

  2. Melissa says:

    Happy Birthday Sweet Kaelin!  I can’t believe she is already 3 years old. When did that happen?  smile

  3. Grandpa says:

    Happy Birthday Kaelin !!!!

    Amy –  you are a great mom !!!!!

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Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

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