I'm so, so sorry that I haven't written you a real letter in nine months! Talk about a slacker mommy! I've kept thinking about how I want to write down all the cute things you're doing these days, and I just kept not doing it. So here I am, better late than never, writing it all down for you.
The past months have been rough, girlie, I won't lie to you. You are a stubborn, strong-willed little girl. You want what you want and do not want anyone to tell you what to do. You will scream and fight and pitch a huge tantrum over the smallest thing. We usually put you on your bed to calm down. In fact, a couple weeks ago I put you on your bed and after you had calmed down and I came to get you, you said, "I just got tired of skweeming." It's almost like you pitch the fit solely for the sake of pitching the fit. You know it won't gain you anything. Anyways, the past months have been full of trying to train you and discipline you and you're slowly getting it. Slowly.
You also are still not sure what you think about having a sister. I watch you have fun with her, but if I ask you if you're glad that you have a sister, you adamantly answer "no." Most of your discipline these days is related to you taking something out of Noel's hands, not sharing with her, pushing her, being too rough with her, being spiteful and mean (hiding a toy from her that you know she wants), and so on. I really, really hope that as you get older, and as Noel gets older and gets disciplined more (and you see that she really does get in trouble, too), that you start to like her more and not see her as such a nuisance.
Let me tell you about all the awesome things you're doing these days. You love to paint. LOVE it, I tell you. You want to paint every day. You want to color, paint, cut, stick stickers, and so on. You love art stuff. You also love to help me cook or bake. You get very upset if I don't let you dump something in the bowl, help stir, and so on. And you get extremely upset if I don't let you lick the beater for some reason or another. You love sugar. It's your love language.
Speaking of sugar, we've recently given you the treat of an ice cream (or something else) if you stay in your bed at bedtime and in the morning until we come to get you. You just didn't seem to care about punishment (a spanking...or ten) for getting out of bed. You needed some motivation to stay in your bed. So, ice cream it is. It's working well for us both. You think you're winning because you get something sweet. I think I'm winning because you'd probably get dessert every day anyways!
Lane, you love to "do school" with me in the afternoons while Noel is napping. We work some activity pages and you love it...tracing, coloring, practicing letters, matching numerals to groups with that many objects, and so on. You also really enjoy being read to, but usually I have to convince you that you want to be read to. You'd rather play, but if I can get you to agree to two or three books, then you'll keep asking for more.
You love for me to snuggle with you at bedtime. We sing a few songs together...these days it's "Sanctuary," "I Love You Lord," "Bless the Lord," "Zaccheus," and the "la la's" (Braham's lullaby, but with no words). You always want me to stay until you fall asleep, but if I do then you wake up all night crying, wondering where I am. It works much better for you to fall asleep on your own. But I love snuggling with you and debriefing your day, asking you what your favorite part was. Of course you always have about five favorite parts. I don't think you understand "favorite" yet.
You love fruit, olives, bread, sweets, yogurt, cheese, nuts, milk, juice, and water. The other day you told me, "Coke is yucky. I like milk, juice, and water. That's what I like." You do not like bell peppers or tomatoes, although I can get you to eat them most of the time if they're cooked. Oh, and onions. You do not like onions and will always pick them out if they're tough at all. Most of the time you're fairly compliant when it comes to food, although you clearly have foods you prefer over others (hello, strawberries!).
Lane, you can write your name without help, count to 29 correctly, are completely potty trained and never have accidents (you've had one in the last six months, and it was at nighttime the day after we moved), You can put your clothes on if we give them to you facing the right direction. You do excellent at tracing letters. You love to color (still with markers, especially), dancing, climbing and swinging and jumping. Currently you love picking dandelions, because, well, there are a gazillion of them around. We've also been having lots of tea parties and picnics, and you like to build a "gate" out of legos to keep all the "fewocious" animals in.
I've thought about it recently, and I love parenting a three-year old. You are so hilarious and sweet, and while you're still selfish and mean and disobedient a lot of the time, at your core you are fun and loving. All the things I don't like about parenting you right now are just the things I don't like about parenthood in general, and most of those are just because I myself am selfish and don't like being inconvenienced. You're a lot of work, sweetie. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love you and am so happy to be your mom.