3 years (and 36 weeks). It seems too short to have known you. Too short to fully love your quirky selves. Too short to feel your little bodies pressed tightly up against mine. Not enough time to stroke that hay blond hair or chase you as you shriek joy.
Aeralind and Bronwyn, I’m not sure if our lives would be full enough without you. Nearly everyday your daddy and I just bust out laughing at one thing or another and whispering, “It would have been so boring with just one.”
There are moments in each day where you get on such a talking spurt that I can hardly keep up with you. You’ll tell me about rain or about how joeys ride in momma kangaroo’s pouch or how your sister is doing something you don’t think to be right or how you want to do this or that. It’s some of the sweetest time with you, if I sit and listen when you get on a talking spree.
But most of the time, you are quiet. Resolute. Purposeful about doing the thing you have set before you. Like laying out your comforter perfectly as you make your bed. Or reading a full book. Or stacking things just so high.
You struggle mightily with lying. Sometimes in a manipulative way. Sometimes in a “I don’t want to face the consequences” way. Sometimes just because. You’re beginning to grow in that area, but it’s an everyday battle for you.
You laugh with your whole face. You are easily embarrassed or frustrated when you think you should be able to do something the right way. You love to wear mismatched clothing. And tights. But no shoes. You snuggle on your own terms… but they are mighty fierce snuggles when they occur. You’re enjoying learning to sing and are constantly singing little songs about alligators and Zaccheus and Pete the Cat. I hope to enjoy your quirkiness even more over the next year.
You love to create. With stamps or playdoh or imagination or stuffed animals. You will create and imagine little worlds and invite us all to play in them. I really love drawing with you. Or exploring new art with you.
You are a ball of energy. When someone shows up to play at your house, you pretend to be shy while at the same time running crazily about showing off in whatever way you can. You love to be chased (except when you’re scared… you hate to be scared). You love to climb things. To jump. To twirl. To play Simon Says.
You struggle with obeying right away. Not because you don’t want to obey. No, your struggle right now is stopping what you are doing to obey right away. You want to obey… but after you finish a book or after you fold everything just so or after I do… You’re making some improvements. I have to lay out my hands and ask you to put your hands on mine. Once your hands aren’t busy, you hear and obey better.
You wear every emotion on your face. Sometimes I shoot water out of my nose while drinking and watching your crazy expressions. It’s all there. All the time. There is no doubt of how you feel: excited, confused, scared, joyful, apprehensive, sugar high… you have a face for it all. I hope you remain tender and unveiled.
Folks, we have full sentences! And quirky use of language. And oh, the personality of 2.75! I don’t know if I can even really express it to you all. But I’ll give it a try 😉
You have grown into a fiercely independent little girl. At least 20 times a day, I hear you say “I do it, momma!” Whether over your shoes, your pants, getting your fork, or filling your water cup… you just want to do it!
But you’ve also grown in the area of independent play. You’ve sat for an hour just making up a “train track” of blocks in a row. You’ll grab that silly penguin pillow and sit up on top of our block train calling out the animals you see. You’ll rock your doll, nurse her, and tuck her into bed. I love seeing the things your little mind comes up with.
You’ve also grown in the area of selfishness… and I don’t mean this is a good way! We are working daily with you on self-control issues. You shriek when a toy in dispute is not in your hands. You’ll take things right out of my hand. You will do something you want right after I said we weren’t going to do that. It’s been a long couple of weeks and unlike your sister, you do not break as quickly during discipline sessions. Whew!
My sweetest times with you are always while reading books. It’s the only time you snuggle right up. But you’ll sit there and ask questions for hours if I let it go on that long. We went on a date the other night to pick out Pooh Fabric for a dress and you are such a fire cracker! Ha! We had so much fun chatting and struggling through your opinion vs. mine. I loved that special time with you so much.
Oh, Bronwyn, you still thrive on physical touch and lots of praise. Your most recent thing is to ask me to clap for your accomplishments: mundane stuff like finishing the next pasta noodle from your plate. And you clap and say “Yay!” I love it so much!
Your biggest area of growth is in appreciation for the written word. You can recite and sing almost every word in your two favoritePete the Cat books. You nearly loose your mind when a chapter from Winnie the Pooh is finished and we have to put it up.
Obviously waiting is not your thing. Especially in matters of justice. I’m almost always training you once a day in the principle of going to your sister first before coming to me. Teaching you to say, “Sister, it makes me feel sad when you take things from me. Will you please give it back.” Oh, it seems like such an endless task right now!
You had a huge and sweet moment of growth in these last 3 months. We were at the edge of the pool deck and since the water was freezing, you and a few friends were busy chasing lizards on the deck. You suddenly decided that you wanted back in the water. I saw you across the deck head down two steps of the ladder and told you “NO!” You gave me your “Watch me” defiance look and took that third step under. You didn’t know that you weren’t wearing your Puddle Jumper. I dove in and fished you out and the first words uttered from your quivering lips were: “No spank, Momma! I disobeyed!” It was a lightbulb moment for you. Your will has been softened to understand that I ask for obedience because I love and want to protect you.
My sweetest times with you are while you create. You artwork is becoming so wonderful. Little circle heads with squid-like limbs are sprouting up all over your paper. You patiently tell me what each little squiggle is and what they are doing. I love hearing you voice stories in this way.
You two have grown so much in the last 6 months. We have conversations. You can tell me what hurts when you’re sick. You can dance for the shear joy of it. You hold hands and help each other out.
And, oh, how you make mommy and daddy laugh!
You are still as detail oriented as ever. You’ll sit and play with lacing beads or puzzles for hours at a time. You find the the tiniest things in pictures and then exclaim “Wight dere!” with joy.
One of your favorite things of late (thanks to daddy I’m sure), has been sitting outside very still and waiting until you see it. “Wobin!” you exclaim as a bird lands and starts digging up succulent morsels from our yard. “Nother one!” When you spot his buddy. You could watch birds at the feeder all day long. You’ll take my face gently in your hands and point it toward the feeder to show me the Carolina Wren who dips into your handmade orange peel feeder.
So as not to make you both sound like perfect angels, I’ll toss in a paragraph about where your rough spots are. Aerie you’re a whiner and a squealer. If something doesn’t go your way… I know my ears need to be plugged. You sister will antagonize you just to hear you make noise. And when I rebuke you… You fall down flat on your stomach in a silent tantrum which makes me alternatively want to laugh or shake you. But you’re growing. You’ve learned that tantrums are disrespectful. You’re learning about self-control.
You take a long time to walk from place to place. It’s like you’re lost in your own world (kinda like a girl I once knew who would follow her mom around in a store reading a book). The other day I turned around to beckon you to stay closer to me in the YMCA parking lot and I caught you doing the silliest thing. Your were rolling your arms and swaying your hips and walking, just as focused as can be. It cracked me up!
You were being a total cheese ball for these photos. I couldn’t stop laughing at your mouth full of dinosaur sandwich and your goofy antics every time I told you to look at the camera. But these photos are so uniquely you!
You’re a goofy little kid with no fear in new situations and a ridiculous sense of humor. The other day I drew a snake on your doodle pad and then drew a kitty on top. You thought it was the funniest joke ever. “‘Nake! Kitty!” You’d demand for me to draw it any time you saw the doodle pad and then laugh hysterically. I just can’t express how often we bust a gut watching you try to do somersaults or when you’re up in a tree climbing with daddy and just take off.
Bronwyn, your little heart is often a mess. You want things your way and you want them “Wight now!” You’ll do whatever you want until you’re met with a consequence that you don’t like and even then the consequence might have to be repeated a dozen or more times before you get the message. You struggle to come when asked. And you can be antagonistic and rude to your sister. Even Sedryn has been in the way of a well timed hit! Your little heart softens a little in the moments after discipline and, overall, is learning to enjoy the structure and consistency of discipline. I’ve even caught little smiles of relief when you’ve left the discipline area.
One of the advantages of your strong little will is that you always know what you want and you chase after it with gusto! Potty training yourself is one of those areas. Grabbing just the storybook you want is another. Tugging daddy’s hand and asking for him to come is common. I see you softening with each new vocabulary word; although you don’t take no easily, you satisfied to know that we know exactly what you want.
(I figured after 2 it seems a little silly to count in months… so 2 and a quarter it is!)
These last 3 months have flown by in a flurry for mommy with little sleep, a newborn (or hugely pregnant), and you two crazy monkeys. You’re so fun right now, but I’m having a hard time finding time to enjoy you properly. So Daddy is sitting right next to me and we’re going to do a little bullet list of the things we want to remember about you during this time.
First: The crazy things you two have gotten into in the last month while mommy was otherwise occupied.
- Toothpaste. A friend delivered a meal that day and loved how “minty fresh” you two were. Head… to toe
- Make-up. You painted yourself pretty. But I think you looked like football players.
- Baby oil. I’m not sure that’s ever coming out of brother’s carpet (but it smells nice) and it came out of your hair… after a bath… or two…
- Iron. I’m pretty sure Bronwyn held this over Aeralind’s finger. Of course, I’m also pretty sure Aeralind was the one who plugged it in. You now call it “hot!!!!”.
- Gas-X. Mommy’s first (maybe only? doubtful…) call to poison control. Apparently eight 128mg tablets won’t do you any harm.
- Eggs. Cracked them on my kitchen floor. Perfectly cooked… according to you.
- Q-Tips. You like cleaning your own ears out.
- Condiments. Art for the kitchen floor.
- Keyboard+Water after locking daddy out of the house while mommy slept.
- Chocolate Meringue Cookies. Pulled a whole baking sheet off the counter. Devoured half a dozen.
- And the crowning achievement: smearing Vaseline on a “pun’kin” (and the carpet/changing table) after you broke the stem. It was “med’cine” to fix it. You tell me stories about this incident still.
This might be the terrible twos… but from the list above… it’s terribly funny (when I’m not cleaning up the messes).
Here’s a little something about each girl and your unique personalities during this time.
- Your word is “control”. You will do anything to remain in control. You don’t cry (normally) when disciplined. If you think it’s in your best interest to act the angel while Bronwyn climbs the wall, you will. If you want something yourself, you’ll go get it. You hate loosing control to the point that you don’t even throw tantrums, you just sulk.
- You trying to find your Toes’ies when having pants put on.
- You have finally stopped cursing when referring to your shirt and shoes.
- You love to swing.
- Tunnel! You scream this when you want to go outside and play on your playground
- Playing with Rocks.
- ‘Wocking’ in your chair or on your horse.
- You snuck into the kitchen to snitch some brown sugar while everyone else was melting down. You had so much on your face it looked like you’d grown a beard!
- You can swim really well with your Puddle Jumpers on.
- Tags: You’re obsessed with them. And every time you find one your little thumb sneaks right into your mouth.
- You’re the Hair puller
- You like talking on the phone and will demand to call someone.
- Scared of bugs
- Your word is “order”. You believe everything has an inherent order. Mommy must put the vitamins on the right shelf. You must sit in the chairs in Nana’s nursery and eat snack there. You must keep your owl or cupcake jammies on at all costs. It’s no surprise that your favorite sentences all start with “I want…” If something disrupts your order, you will melt down on the floor in an epic temper tantrum.
- You think your socks are “cocks”.
- You won’t do airplanes without your daddy taking his glasses off.
- You mastered the words “I Want”. They maybe your only verb besides push and rock.
- You think you are Sedryn’s mother and have tried to practice nursing on your doll and a 14 month old friend.
- Tunnel!!! One of your favorite places too!
- When we go outside you’d demand that we sit you up in trees.
- You like to eat raw flour.
- Will put your face underwater and swim a couple feet to someone.
- You’re the biter.
- Being chased
- You will roll over brother as if he is a rotisserie chicken.
- Will either pet or kill a bug, depending on its type
- You were terrified of elevators.
I walked into Old Navy yesterday morning intent on letting the girls spend $10 apiece in their birthday money from grandparents and also replacing a pair of borrowed maternity pants that I ripped a hole in accidently last week. They’ve redone the closest Old Navy store so I asked the staff:
Me: “Where do I get a cart?”
Lady: “We don’t have carts anymore, but we do have bags.”
Me: (Pointing at my twins who were petting their fake dog manikin while woofing and squealing loudly.) “I don’t think I can cart around my toddler twins in bags.”
Let’s just say we didn’t spend our money there yesterday….
Why would they do away with carts? It makes no sense to me…