Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Noel: 3 til 4

Dear Noel,

Wow, girlie, I love you so much. I know you might feel shorted in attention or blog posts or photos or whatever (since you're the middle child and all), but I love you. You are so funny these days. Your most recent hilarity is talking about where all of the food you ate for dinner went: your green beans are in your toes, your noodles are in your elbow, your chicken is *right here* in your tummy, and so on. You call pretzels "kretzels" no matter how many times we correct you. The other day you were so hungry and I told you that you were just going to have to be patient. You looked at me oh so seriously and said, "But my tummy doesn't know how to be patient!" We all bust up laughing at that. And you're just generally silly and funny, which just makes you fun.

You're very sensitive, still, and we're constantly working on teaching you when it's ok to cry. For example, if you answer my question, "Why are you crying?" with "I don't know," then probably, just probably, you are not crying for a good reason. You get very upset when you feel like people aren't listening to you, looking at you when you're talking to them, have hurt your feelings, or have criticized you for something (recently you've gotten very upset when I've told you that your words were not kind and could hurt someone's feelings, even though you were joking). You want so much to be a big girl and to be doing things the right way that you get very upset when frustrated and unable to do something as well as you want.

You, my dear, are so different than Lane in a lot of ways. Lane is incapable of sitting still and being quiet for more than about 30 seconds. You, on the other hand, can lay in your bed quietly for an hour at rest/nap time. The other morning you came out at 6:30 and asked if you could get up and were so disappointed when I told you to go back to bed that I decided to let you lay in the hammock instead. I told you to be quiet and lay down and look for airplanes. And you did. For 45 minutes, without making a sound. On days you don't take a nap you usually fall asleep at bed time within 3-5 minutes, because you actually lay still and close your eyes and then you're just out.

You love to play. You always want to play something and you almost always want to have things in your hands. We have to remind you to put toys down when you're, for example, going to the bathroom or putting on clothes. You are starting to enjoy coloring and drawing and doing "school pages" more these days. You still like puzzles but can end up very frustrated very quickly, so puzzles that are too hard are usually off the table for now. You love to be read to and love to snuggle up and listen to books. You have your favorites, but most any book will do. You know how to write most of your letters, can recognize them all (in capitals), and know most preschool-ish things. I'm exited to officially do preschool with you in the fall when Lane starts kindergarten and to work on some things with you that I just haven't had time to work on.

You are a great sister. You love both Lane and Raye, and frequently give Lane something she wants "just because I love you." This usually does not pertain to toys, but to privileges, like picking the prayer at dinner time or which book to read first. You don't usually want to give up what you're playing with! You love Raye, sometimes a little too much, I think. You get very upset if she doesn't give you "enough" hugs at bedtime, if she doesn't want to play with you, and so on. You want her to want to be thisclose to you any time you decide it's time to play with her. But you are a great helper and are loving and kind to both of your sisters most of the time...you are kind-hearted and like to see others be happy.

You are a much better eater than you were a year ago. The other day you actually ate your three bites of spaghetti with sauce without complaining about them, and while you wanted your other noodles with just butter and cheese, I was so thrilled that you didn't whine over your three bites with sauce! You are generally a good eater (the exception is things with red sauce, but you're much better than you used to be!) and especially love the crunchy things. Your words. Peppers, cucumbers, and anything else that's crunchy is a win in your book. You also love milk and would never drink anything else (except juice, which you don't get very often) if I didn't make you have something else occasionally. You are the messiest ice cream eater I've ever known, and if the ice cream is in a cone and we're on the street, I can guarantee that you cannot finish the ice cream because the bottom half melts and you squish it out of the cone before you can eat it. You don't know how to do it any other way.

Noel, you are such a joy. You're a challenge these days with your emotions, but we're working with you a lot to help you control them and learn when it is appropriate to cry and when it is not. You are usually obedient, although you tend to get very distracted and forget what you were supposed to be doing. You are sweet and love to help and be in on the action, and you love to play with Lane, as long as you can agree on what to play: you do not like being bossed around, but you can also be pretty bossy yourself. I love the dynamic that you add to our family, and I'm so grateful that I've gotten to parent you for these almost-four years, and I pray for many more. I love you.


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