Lyra turned three and she is so not a toddler anymore, thankyouverymuch. She will correct you if you call her a toddler. Which makes me all sad and why does time go so fast and what have you. Typical parent feelings. It’s always so weird to me when I think about how I am someone’s parent. Actually two someones. And have been doing this parenting thing for three years now. Weird.
So the twos weren’t “terrible” for us. They actually started out pretty flippin awesome. Toddlers are such funny people and it was so great that she was getting independent and helpful and able to express her feelings better. And then two and a half hit and I was like “oh this is what people are talking about” with the dramatics and the tantrums and the HUGE feelings. From all the books and posts I’ve read, Lyra is definitely considered “spirited” which is the twenty-first century term for what they call it when you have a kid that is stubborn and high energy and vocal and very in touch with their emotions. This girl is so precocious and crazy smart. I’m worried that she’s going to be smarter than John and me very soon. And John is the smartest person I know, so it’s a little daunting. But my mother-in-law pointed out that at least we will have the wisdom that comes with age so even if she is smarter than us, we will be wiser. I take comfort in this. I’ll take anything I can get. Because I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t greatly intimidated by what Year Three has in store for us. Prayers and good vibes sent our way, thanks in advance.
Let me say here that I think we got a good one in our little fireball. I keep reminding myself that the qualities she’s exhibiting are ones that I want for her so badly as she becomes a young woman. The self-confidence, the tenacity, the verbal expression. You go girl! The Future is Female! A Woman’s Place is in the House and Senate AND WHITE HOUSE! And all that jazz. You know what I’m saying. But also know that those qualities in a two year old that has normal developmental physical and emotional limitations is, well, challenging. So when we have meltdowns because “I’m trying to do it by myself!” and all that, I just think, you are going to make a great woman someday. You will move mountains. You will change the world. The current political climate isn’t helping women any, but my little Lyra Rose will help herself goddammit! Just watch her pull the step stool out of the bathroom, bring it into the kitchen, and get into the cabinets we thought for sure she’d never get into so were not child-proofed, you watch her grab a dangerous kitchen tool and actually use it correctly and thank all the gods that she didn’t hurt herself while you were wiping her little sister’s butt and didn’t notice how sneaky quiet it got.
Oh how sweet she can be, though. She is a snuggler and a damn fine one at that. She loves herself a good cuddle in a soft blanket and I will eat that up as long as I can. She loves her sister. I often catch her in moments when she doesn’t know I’m watching and find her sniffing Lucy’s hair (yes, girl, I get it – baby smell is intoxicating!) and giving her kisses and hugs. It’s nice to find her doing that when she doesn’t think others are around so I know she’s not performing. She’s quick to help us if we need it and she can tell if we are worried or sad or upset and she will offer comfort. She’s a hugger. She loves to put her arm around friends, hold hands, and hug. We have to remind her a lot that not all kids like this so she needs to not be so aggressively affectionate sometimes. But of all the problems to have, I think this is a good one.
I’ve already said she’s smart and man, she is. Her verbal skills are just through the roof. Her reasoning and logic are pretty astounding. But it’s her imagination that really knocks me off my feet sometimes. Dramatic play is big at the moment. Her ability to create and stay in-character and not break is awesome. When she was dressed up as Princess Anna from Frozen for Halloween, someone asked her about her sister (Lucy) and Lyra immediately spouted off a long and detailed answer to the adult’s question about her sister Elsa because SHE was ANNA, not Lyra. When the woman looked at me quizzically, I told her she was telling her about her fictional sister because since she’s dressed as Anna she IS Anna. Oh, I could eat her up.
Lyra has never met a stranger. She loves playing with kids of all ages. She tends to gravitate toward kids slightly older because I think they are more on her dramatic play level. Whatever playground were are at, whatever event we go to, she makes a friend and just runs off with them and has a grand time. She needs no prompting at any social function to introduce herself and strike up a conversation. I admire her so much. I wish I had that ability now, but I never really had that natural ability, even as a child.
As far as quiet play activities go (things she does sitting at a table) – we have quiet play time during Lucy’s naps – she loves to color and draw and paint and play with play doh/kinetic sand. She’s gotten pretty good at drawing stick people, she’s really good at faces. When she plays with play doh or sand she usually makes them into “people” and then has conversations with them. She loves a good craft, but crafts are not my favorite so we don’t do them as often. I will sit and color with her or mold play doh and act out scenes for a long time, but putting together crafts is not my thing, so it is something I’m challenging myself to do with her more often in 2017. Luckily she has a grandma that loves to craft with her, though!
She loves to play hide-and-seek. It’s currently her favorite game to play. She likes to play frisbee and soccer outside but hide-and-seek is still tops. She really likes pretending to be Ryder from Paw Patrol and performing daring rescues with the pups. She likes to play with her Little People sets and her doll house.
Lyra is still pretty petite. She’s wearing 2t pretty comfortably. A few things that are 2t or 24 months, depending on brand or style, are too short, but most of her things fit okay. 3t items fit well even though a lot are a little big. But they aren’t crazy big so they are wearable. Her well child check isn’t until later this week so I don’t have her stats. I’ll edit when I have them if I remember to do so. I’m guessing she’s around 25 percentile for both height and weight.
I would consider Lyra a good eater. Not a bad one or not a great one. She has picky moments, but we can usually get her to eat something from each food group. She is still going strong with her peanut butter oatmeal for breakfast which is almost always her request in the morning. Which is just oatmeal I pile healthy things into with a good dollop of nut butter (sometimes it’s almond butter but she still thinks it’s peanut butter) and she eats it. If she doesn’t eat it all I roll it into bite size balls and refrigerate or freeze and then give them to her as a snack. She also loves her some mac-n-cheese, which I suppose is a childhood staple. Her favorite candy is still the Annie’s Bunny fruit snacks. So her favorite foods really haven’t changed that much this year.
She loves the movies Finding Dory and Frozen. Her current favorite tv shows are Paw Patrol (still!) and Care Bears – the tv version I watched as a child, it’s on Hulu, so it’s fun for me to see it again. We still haven’t found a need to set limits on screen time as she would almost always rather play something or be outside instead. So she doesn’t actually sit and only watch tv a lot. I hope we are always able to organcially find a good balance without setting hard and fast rules because I think setting hard limits on things can often be more detrimental than beneficial. But like anything in parenting, you have to keep reassessing and finding what works so we’ll see.
Lyra loves books. She loves reading. More and more she will bring longer books to me during the day and ask me to read them to her, books that aren’t just quick little reads. She will sit still for good long stories now. She’s memorized a lot of her favorites so she can “read” them herself. She loves doing different voices for characters too. I think we are so close to being able to start reading longer chapter books at night to her because she’s old enough to just be able to sit and listen to the story without the need for pictures. I’m itching for the day we can start Harry Potter. I think we still have a couple years yet for those. But we will probably be able to start Narnia soon. I’m so stoked for getting into longer stories. Since John and I are both big readers and were voracious readers as children, I think this is most exciting for us. We are looking forward to encouraging a lifetime love of reading in our girls and so far, we are off to a great start.
I’m not positive if we had cut out naps for Lyra when I did her last update, but that’s probably the last thing I wanted to make sure I document. A while ago, not even sure now, we cut out her nap during the day and moved up her bedtime. I’m probably in the minority of parents here, but I LOVE it. I am a morning person 100% so when Lyra was still napping and not going to bed until 8/9, I didn’t have much time at night after she went down to decompress from the day before I collapsed into sleep. Now she goes to bed between 6-6:30 and I have hours to do whatever and I’m actually awake for them. I’m just not a night owl, I cannot be productive after 9PM. She wakes up for the day usually between 6:30 and 7. Every once in a while she’s earlier than that, but lately it’s actually been closer to 7. As a stay-at-home mom the break in the day that napping allows is nice, but Lyra is great at independent play and quiet time play when Lucy is napping, so if I don’t want to be involved in whatever Lyra is into at the moment, I have time to clean or sit and read or play piano. I feel like I still get breaks during the day. Of course there’s the odd day when the girls conspire to kill me, but I’d have those whether they are both napping 5 hours at the same time during the day or not. So it works out for us. Also, selfishly, I like that she isn’t tied down to a napping schedule and I’m actually looking forward to Lu napping less. I know, I know, most people are probably like whaaaaaat? But, I’m happy with our current schedule. After saying that I’m sure it will be my luck that Lu will not cut out naps like Lyra. She seems to be taking after me more in the sleep area (as opposed to Lyra taking after John, he doesn’t like naps), so she will probably nap til she’s in first grade like I did. Whatever, we’ll figure it out! :)
I think I’m going to do a separate post about her actual birthday. Originally I was going to make one massive post, but this is quite long as is, so I think I’ll break them up. I also have a pile of Lyra quotes John and I have been keeping that I will add in one of the upcoming Lyra themed posts. So this is it for now. Lyra at three. My kind, brave, confident, talkative, friendly, energetic, courageous, amazing girl. She loves big and we love her bigger. I’m so so so thankful she made me a mother. What a wonderful adventure we’re on!