This last weekend the fam had our first visit to Chicago. It was a nice getaway, and our first family trip in quite a while. It was also a reminder that, although the Twin Cities are a "big" city, they are not big in the way that some places are. All in all, while nice to visit, I'm glad to have our small city to come home to.
It was also a weekend in which I started to come to terms with the fact that MJ is becoming a three year old. It started exactly two weeks ago today. At first I attributed it to poor sleeping. While I still think poor sleeping plays a role in some of her poor behavior, I am starting to think this is an age thing. Having never had a three year old before, it took me a while to notice the symptoms. But it took the eloquent words of Dooce to give me the "aha" moment.... A few of the symptoms:
1. Foot stomping when I deny a dinner of ice cream.
2. A default to whiny voice. This is probably the one I have the least patience with.
3. Daily tantrums. Less fulfilling than my word of the day emails.
While visiting Chicago, we went to the aquarium. I used to love aquariums, but I am coming to despise them. I think we've taken MJ to 3 or 4 aquariums in her short life. They always seem like a good kid activity that is also interesting to adults. Win win all around! Only not, because they are always disastrous. I have thought that perhaps it is coincidental, but I am starting to think it is not. It is simply too much to expect this kid to enjoy things that she cannot directly participate in. And aquariums are most definitely not participatory. You are expected to just watch. No running? No hands in the water? No licking the glass? No. No. No.
Her tantrums have become... intense. As everything with this kid has been, I expect "three" will be extreme. I think it is particularly hard because 2 has been such a magical age. It started almost exactly a year ago. She has been sweet, and curious, and joyous and everything I could want in a kid. She is still a great kid, but now she has such strong opinions! About the way things should be! Like the right way to get to the grocery store! "It's not this way mom!" About where Baby should be put for the night!
So that was our weekend. And then I came home to, among other things, a very sad blog roll. It seems there is much tragedy in some of the blogs I have been following. It makes all these concerns seem so petty. And they are. But you know what? We, as humans, are designed to dwell in the petty. You cannot live every day immersed in drama and trauma, on the edge of your seat. It's not good for you. It's okay to feel petty things sometimes, because otherwise we would only be feeling big and important things, and that is simply exhausting. So I'll just appreciate that I get to feel petty things for the time being, and feel lucky I am not feeling important things right now.
But this girl? She is still amazing. And hilarious. My favorite comment of the trip occurred when we reached altitude. I told her we were in the air now, and she looked out the window at all the tiny houses (we weren't very high, it was a short flight). And she looked around on the plane. And then asked "Why isn't everybody flapping their arms?"
She is also at the age where she busts out embarrassing comments and questions at every turn.
"Is that a baby?"
"No Mj, I think he's about your age"
"Then why does he have a nuk? Only babies have nuks. He shouldn't have a nuk."
I'm certain his Mom heard my daughter criticize her parenting.
A favorite is her asking me the name of everyone that walks by our house. Often it is a neighbor, whose name I should know but don't. And so I cowardly pretend I didn't understand her toddler speak, until she yells it so loud that everyone can hear it, certainly most can understand it, and possibly put together the awkwardness that is happening.
Or when she asks me, loudly in public, "Did that woman poop on the potty? She has cake" because we have been so desperate in our attempts to bribe her to poop on the potty that we have even offered cake as an exchange.
This girl is amazing. Here are some pictures of the past month or two to prove it.