You are 3 years old. I cannot believe I have a 3 year old. I cannot believe you are so big. You are SUCH a joy, a challenge, a wish come true. You are so loving and kind.
As I sit down to write about what you are up to these days, I can’t help but think about how complex you are. Sometimes, I am sure I have you pinned perfectly and other times I don’t know who you are! I am sure lots of parents of children this age feel this way. Developmentally, here is what you are up to:
Potty trained: I would say, as of today, you are about 95% potty trained. You are in underwear at all times (even naps and through the night), but occasionally you still have accidents here and there at night. You usually wake us up in the middle of the night to go to the potty. Everyday it gets a little better. It took several months to train you.
Big Brother: In the big brother department, you are everything we could have dreamed of. You are SO sweet to your sister. You love her so much and are constantly checking on her, talking to her, and showing her love. You sing to her, tell her stories, and make her belly laugh with your antics. And for such a wild little boy, you really are gentle with her. You understand how fragile she is. You talk baby talk to her, which is hilarious to listen to.
Your Smarts: I don’t want to be one of “those moms” who thinks their child is brilliant, but I’ve had others – namely your teacher and doctor – tell me just how ridiculously smart you are. Your verbal skills are that of a four year old, and according to your teacher “Preston thinks about things much more deeply than most kids his age.” You ask so many thoughtful and insightful questions. We took you for a check up recently, and you recited an entire book (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) word for word in the waiting room. Literally, you did not miss one word. Also, it’s not like we’ve read you the book a thousand times. I don’t even have it memorized. You are also starting to identify some sight words. You know random words in Spanish and Chinese, which is funny to me. You know more songs that I can count and you are always thirsty for knowledge. You’ve been learning your states recently too, and you’re shocking me with your memory recall. You remember things from months ago and bring them up unprompted.
Strong Willed Behavior: Those smarts I mentioned are also what makes you challenging. As smart as you might be, you are still 3. There is a bit of a developmental imbalance there, and my hope is that as you grow older, you level off a bit. We’ve had many email exchanges and discussions with your teacher, meetings with your doctor and countless sleepless nights worrying about your tantrums and emotional outbursts. Unfortunately, you do not “fall for” all the traditional methods of child discipline. We are working hard on it though, and see small shades of progress, but my goodness buddy, you can be a tough one! Our goal is to teach you right from wrong and appropriate from inappropriate. We talk to God a lot regarding this one! Your willpower is limitless! Your dad said this the other night – “If Preston channels his willpower into something he loves when he is older, there is no stopping him.” I couldn’t agree more.
Your Favorites: Anything Toy Story, villains in movies and TV shows, playing outside, swimming, visiting playgrounds and parks, the Zoo, sports, matching games (his favorite is Zingo – you want to play all the time), puzzles, books, and coloring with markers and watercolors. You like “men” – you like for them to fight each other and pretend play a lot with them.
Random Things: You still take a long afternoon nap (1.5 – 3 hours most days). You love to run errands with me and can spot a Target from a mile away. I love to hear you tell me what you did at school and what friends you played with. Your imagination is really growing and you make up stories about things that happen/don’t happen. Sometimes it’s hard to decipher what is your imagination and what is real! There are moments when Brian says you are so HIS child, and moments where I say you are so MY child. You must be a perfect blend! You are still a good eater, not picky at all. You have a definite sweet tooth. You can run really fast – I can’t keep up. It’s strange to take you to the playground and sit on a bench and watch you play. You don’t need any help from me – scaling, sliding, swinging and climbing – it’s those moments where you feel like such a big kid to me. Then, there are the moments at night when you beg for hugs and kisses, curl up with your blankie, and whisper your prayers then “I love you mommy.” that make you seem like my baby.
It brings tears to my eyes to think about all the things you have taught us and the ways you have made us grow as people. You are just amazing to us, all the time. I don’t know if you’ll ever fully understand that, but please know my sweet P, you are the coolest. We couldn’t be more proud.
Love you Pie!
Mom and Dad