The Year of Three

My memory is not as good as it used to be. I actually wonder if I ever had a good memory but I recall being sassy and reciting conversations word for word to people who dared question me. Sounds like magic now. I started keeping a journal for the frog princess when I found out I was pregnant. I’m glad I did because I wouldn't know certain things if I hadn't written them down. Like the exact date that I felt her move. Or the time her dad and I talked about her name and he suggested the magical one she now carries.

The frog princess is 3 (going on 32). I’m thankful for this blog because now my milestones are somewhere in these posts. Potty training, weaning, her first day of school. I’m also thankful for those emails I receive from BabyCenter to help me look back and assess the milestone situation. Emails with titles like:

  • Your 3-Year-Old: Handling Bedwetting
  • Your 3-Year-Old: Your Little Chatterbox
  • Your 3-Year-Old: Manners Matter

And my personal favorite that I obviously have not read and would've saved myself some stress if I had: Your 3-Year-Old: Birds and Bees.

This blog has become a milestone keeper for me. Social media in general, actually. There, you will find pictures of the first day of school, Halloween, her birthday, Christmas.

And of course, pictures of you and your books.

Swimming in Books

Photos are not relegated to an acid-free photo album or envelopes for when we have time to file. I am afraid we will miss these things later on. I remember how mami put together photo albums for me full of pictures of me as a baby (and a 3-year old just like my girl).

But I worry. Worry that I won’t have captured enough. This year has been magical. THREE! My baby girl has been three for months and I still marvel at it. She looks like a kid now, having shot up a few inches recently and losing some of that baby fat. I love that when I’m changing her, she will stand on the bed in front of me wearing her undies and she’ll then wrap those lanky arms and legs around me.

The year of three is when you started hugging me like a big kid.

The year of three has brought back febrile seizures which we thought were gone. I’m waiting for the milestone when I don’t have to write about those anymore.

A Note to the Frog Princess

The year of three is my favorite so far. As with so many milestones, it’s bittersweet. Because I’ve lost my record keeper. The treasurer of my stories who could sit next to me while I told a tale of your latest shenanigans and make connections to my own milestone at that age.

But even without her here, I remember hazily. At three, I was still living in Dominican Republic. I was sassy, very small and extremely close to my mami. It was just the two of us then, as papi lived in the US. I remember school uniforms and throwing a tantrum one day when I did not want to go to school. I also remember all the trouble I got myself into that day. Which reminds me of the tantrums you threw recently while I dropped you off at school. Like my mami, I didn't budge and left you there even though my instincts wanted to scoop you up and hold you.

The year of three.

We sing loudly and you have not yet figured out I am not a good singer so you happily ask me to join in. Except when you have specific parts you want to sing. You've been able to sit through DVD’s of some of my favorite Disney movies (over and over and over and over and over). You like to ask me if we can go buy yogurt at the store and get into gargantuan arguments with me when I tell you that you must get a job so you can pay for your snacks. Here are some of the excuses you’ve given me as to why you cannot:

  1. I’m just a little girl (though most days you argue that you’re a big girl)
  2. I can’t drive the car! (and when I ask you to ride your bike to work…)
  3. I don’t want people to see me on my bicycle (though I have no idea why)

I love those arguments because you are adamant about your stance. Complete with one hand on your hip, the other hand waving in the air and expressive face. I wonder where you get that from.

When I told you about Shot@Life and how some parents were not able to help their children your face formed extreme concern and you asked me “mami, can we help them?”. I’m sure you have no clue why I randomly hug you tight when you say things like that. I’m already proud of the person you are.

We dance a lot at three. We conga to bath time and cha-cha to take naps. Dancing is one of your “fahvite” things. Watching you dance is one of mine.

Four is around the corner. More emails with milestones. More singing, more laughter. More challenges ahead. I promise to do better at documenting your journey if you promise to continue to make this journey as magical as three has been.

Comments matter this month and I would love nothing more than to hear from you about what your “fahvite” part of three is.

Blogust_300x50-b This post is inspired by Shot@Life, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation that educates, connects and empowers the championing of vaccines as one of the most cost effective ways to save the lives of children in the world’s hardest to reach places.

During Shot@Life’s Blogust, 31 bloggers, one each day in August, are writing about moments that matter. For every comment on this post and the 30 other posts, Walgreens will donate a vaccine (up to 50,000 vaccines). A child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease. We can change this reality and help save kids’ lives!

Sign up here for a daily email so you can quickly and easily comment and share every day during Blogust! Stay connected with Shot@Life at www.shotatlife.org, join the campaign on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. And don’t forget to check out Dresden Shumaker over at Creating Motherhood on August 4th as we continue the Blogust journey.

Year of Three