Somehow, you are now three. And three seems oh so much bigger than two. I used to catch glimpses of that sweet placid baby girl every now and then in your chubby little face…but now it seems you are this big kid. You are doing all of these things – you talk, you jump, you dance, you sing, you help. At three years old you are 20kg and 100cm tall, you sleep all night every night without a peep in your big girl bed, I can barely remember you ever waking in the night or being in a cot. It seems so long ago, but yesterday too, that you were our baby girl. Our only baby girl. Now, you are a big sister!
You have taken to being a big sister so well. I am glad that you won’t remember a time that Harriet wasn’t a part of your life. The first six or so months of Harriet’s life you didn’t even really register that she existed?! I think you were just the right age that she slotted in nicely to your little world without too much fuss or fanfare. But then, most things with you are pretty fuss free. You tell me “Hawwiet is my best friend. My bubba girl. I love her.” (And then my heart explodes into a million tiny pieces). Sometimes this is preceeded with a whack to the head with a wooden block or random stuffed animal, such is the life of a big sister/little sister dynamic. Mostly, you are kind and loving to your “bubba girl”, I thought that perhaps Harriet being mobile would rock your world a little bit, but on the contrary it has been since Harriet has crawled that you play with her more, encourage her and pretty much demand that she follow you around the house like a little dog/slave! “Come on Hawwiet! That’s it! Goooood crawling, Hawwiet! You’re a crawling bubba now! This way!” You have taken to playing in your room together, which is so nice. I love hearing your little giggles and shrieks (which are often the precursor to some screaming and someone being hurt!) Most often though you are wary of Harriet destroying your block towers and neat stacks of toys or puzzles, you have to learn to put things up where she can’t reach them, although even that is dangerous now Harriet is pulling herself to standing. She wants to be just like you though, Eleanor!
Imaginative play has exploded in your little world. You love playing in your kitchen, baking me cakes and pizzas and making me coffees now with your new coffee machine Grandi got you for your birthday! You make fruit salads a lot too. Always a little fruit bat. You love dressing up too. You love twirling in your tutu to Emma from The Wiggles, and being a bear or a fox with your masks and playing hide and seek. “I be the friendly bear and you be the scaaaaarweeee FOX!” Sometimes you put on funny voices and an elaborate costume (some Elton John-esque sunglasses, a tutu as a wig, a tea towel as a cape and cowboy boots) and tell me you are “a magniiiiificent magician, Mummy! Here is my spell – poooof!” or sometimes you are a scary witch riding on your broomstick “Here is my black cat, can you see him? He is my BLACK cat!” You still love books too and ‘Room on the Broom’ is a favourite: “and whoosh they were gone!” You can recite ‘Noni the Pony’ word for word, but you are adamant that the neighbours pony who bears a striking resemblance to Noni is very much not Noni. “Noni is just in the book, Mummy. She lives at Waratah Bay…and likes eating apples and carrots and hay!” Although you have a fabulous imagination, you are pretty definite about what is real and what is pretend, a realist at heart. Recently I have discovered you have an imaginary friend who lives in your bedroom, his name is ‘Ruffo’. I love that you have such a vivid imagination! Ruffo only lives in your room though, nowhere else, and “he’s just pretend, Mummy. Just pretend.” You make up little friends often now, sometimes they sit next to you at lunch: “Can you see my friend Roger-Raidor? He’s here for lunch. He’d like a glass of milk please Mummy!”
Talking has become an Olympic sport for you – you do. not. stop. talking! So much talking. Just jabbering away constantly about what you’re doing, what you’re about to be doing, what you have been doing, what are you doing Mummy? And to think you didn’t say much at two years old! You say the funniest things too, everything is always “is that a good idea, mummy? Yes? Or no?” and everything is “actually!” Your favourite colour is pink (of course), “light pink. Actually!” One day you wake up (at 8.30-9am as per usual!) and proclaim that “I’ve got my manners back, Mummy! They were on holidays!” after the day before being in trouble for mysteriously missing please’s and thank-you’s.
On the week of your third birthday we started toilet training, I didn’t think you were quite ready yet, but after a trip to the doctors when we were in Melbourne at Grandi’s…it seems toilet training is our only option. You took to it so well though, lots of lollies have been eaten! You fill up your sticker chart on the bathroom wall…but you also have a lot of accidents. That’s ok. But…so many accidents. Still a month into this toilet train caper and accidents still. Mummy grits her teeth and tries not to get cross. Ai yi ai! Generally though you are getting the idea…slowly. I am so proud of you, despite mummy not thinking you were ready, perhaps you are after all and you just needed a little push in the right direction. Such is the way with you Eleanor, you need gentle guidance and encouragement, but then often surprise and delight us with your cleverness and grown up ways!
You have started doing kinder gymnastics as we haven’t done any activities since Harriet was born (you used to do swimming lessons). At first I wasn’t convinced that “nimnastics” was really teaching you much, but it was a good activity with other kids so we persisted…then by the end of the term you were doing all sorts of things! New skills and such confidence! You tumble and jump and balance and swing. So we’re continuing on with gymnastics, now with your friend Claire as well (and Fynn and Harriet tagging along). Each week you seem to explode with a new skill learnt the week before, which I thought had not made much of an impression at all – silly mummy, you are a little sponge! Determination is not your strong suit though, you give up pretty easily and don’t persevere to learn new things…you’d rather sit back and observe, such is the placid easy going blossom that you are. At gymnastics you literally find a chair and sit right in front of Claire who is jumping and spinning and balancing: “I just sit here and watch Claire, Mummy! Go Claire!” Playing the piano has become a favourite past time, you say “I play the music mummy, you do the beat!” and Harriet dances and bops on the floor – our little band. Feeding Tessa every night is ‘your job’ and you do it diligently and seriously when Tessa gets a bit crazy “she’s hungryyyyy! I need to feed her!”
We go to your kinder open day to show you where you will go to kinder next year, you are as always happy and confidant, outgoing and smiling to see Miss Lisa and all the other children. There will be no issue leaving you at kinder next year I don’t think! You want to go now though, and every time we drive past kinder you ask if it’s open or closed and when you can go. You have never done anything like kinder or daycare, mummy often wonders if perhaps you should…but she also likes keeping you home and snug and safe in our little house all to herself. You make friends and play with other children really well, with our mum’s group friends and all of your cousins. You love your cousins. In school holidays Charlie comes to play, and Violet, Scarlett and Ava from Melbourne, you want them to come over all of the time but they have to go to school. You want to go to school too and go and get your backpack: “Put my pack-pack on! I go to school. I cross the road, hold your hand, then you leave me at school. Go home to look after Hawwiet! I be ok at school Mummy, I’m a big girl!”
Such a big girl. You tell me that you are “growing up and up and up! Look at my hands! Bigger!” You have started to call me ‘Mum’. Just ‘Mum’, often still ‘Mummy’, but it seems like such a big girl thing to say. A big girl with all of these words and feelings, sometimes you get angry and frustrated, mostly when you can’t quite do something or need some help. Generally though you are patient (for a three year old!) especially if mummy might be busy with Harriet. Mummy and Daddy teach you your important manners, to say please and thank you. You have just started to sit at the ‘big persons table’ and not in your highchair. Mummy teaches you that we have rules at the table, you say “thank you mummy!” when you are finished, and then “please may I leave the table?” Then you take your plate/bowl and cup up to the sink. Generally you are a very good well mannered little girl. Sometimes you are a shrieking banshee. You eat most things, although green vegetables can still be a stretch! One day you will eat broccoli though, the next you won’t. Frozen peas and corn in a cup is always a dinner time surety though. Weirdo. Potatoes and carrots and sausages are your favourite. Cheese and ham for lunch please Mum! The sheer volume of food you eat is quite astonishing, not in one sitting, but throughout the day if I hear “I’m huuuuungry” one more time I think I might scream! You inhale snacks like an Olympic sport. I make ‘rainbows’ for you: an array of red strawberries, yellow bananas, green cucumbers, all down the hatch. You are quite obsessed with ‘sprinkle cheese’ (grated cheese).
You are growing like a mushroom before our very eyes (all of those snacks into those hollow legs!) – learning so much at such a rapid speed I can hardly keep up with those fireworks in that gorgeous head most days! We can’t wait to see what three will bring for you, adventures with Harriet as she grows too, much learning and exploring. We love watching how much you grow, but please slow down just a little bit, you don’t seem like such a baby girl anymore…
Keep blooming Blossom,