It wasn't my intention to become a once-weekly blogger, but it has seemed in the past few months as though I just get to feeling like my head is finally above water, and something else happens to pull me under and keep me behind again. We have been sick in our house for the past two and a half weeks, and although I know that a cold/flu has been going around in our area - the cough medicines are nearly sold out everywhere we go - I can't help but wonder what we might be doing to bring this on to ourselves.
Anyway, that was just to explain my absence lately...
Audrey's first birthday is this week, and as my youngest is rapidly getting older I keep glancing at my always-changing toddler in near disbelief at how much she is changing as well. There was a moment in her life when I felt as though the time had flown by, but I also felt overwhelmingly that she had always been with us, and I couldn't recall a time before her existence. Now, all I feel is how quickly the last three years have gone. Clara has been my daughter for almost three entire years, and I feel like I've somehow missed it.
In the last six months, you have changed from being completely 'toddler' in my eyes, to being more of a 'preschooler' in many respects. I went looking for age-appropriate crafts for you on Pinterest the other day by searching 'toddler crafts'. I was frustrated by what I found, complaining loudly that these were all 'baby activities!', but then I realized that maybe my search was actually the problem, and after searching again for 'preschool crafts' I was much more successful.
The last few weeks have again been difficult for us - your Great Grandpa Letkeman has been very sick and in the hospital, we have been planning a big renovation in our house, your Daddy just lost his job and has been spending a lot of time searching for a new one, and for almost the entirety of the past two weeks - you, Audrey and I have been sick with a cold or flu of some kind, which means we spend a lot of time in front of the TV.
This is hard for me, because I felt a few months back as though I was just starting to 'get' how to be a good Mom to you, and then life became less easy and predictable and I've again lost my footing.
You are intelligent and stubborn. In the past little while we have softened in our resolve to only allow you to have your gummy (soother/pacifier) for sleeptimes. This happened gradually as you grew out of napping, because we've been encouraging a 'quiet time' and have allowed the gummy during this time. Now that we've all been sick, 'quiet time' looks a lot like many times during the day, when we just spend the afternoon lounging in the living room. We have no informed you that when you turn 3, you will no longer be able to have your gummy - at all. I expect a few horrific days for all of us, but at this point I think cold-turkey will be the best way to go. I'm so sick of fighting with you about it.
Your latest passion has been to sing - as much as possible. Your favourite song is 'Part of Your World' from The Little Mermaid, and you now know almost all of the lyrics for memory. You also love dressing up in your 'princess dresses', as you call all of your dress-up dresses, and I've even caught you dancing around in the living room.
You've gotten pickier about food, and in the last few months our supper-time battle has become almost routine. You have less than two bites of supper, decide you don't want what we're serving and tell us you're 'done' and ask if you can go. We try to make you eat more, but you stone-wall, and even if we can get more food into your mouth, you won't swallow it, so we seem to have no choice. I'm not too worried about how little you eat, since you seem healthy enough, although I do wish I knew how to get you to eat more of the 'healthier' options at the table - like vegetables, which you almost always reject.
In the last few days, you and Audrey have started to really play together - and in part, I think this is because of your willingness to revert to her level. You have started baby-babbling, occasionally, as well as repeating the same sound or motion over and over if it will make your sister laugh. You have also started to become jealous of Audrey and you are frequently taking toys away from her. I want the two of you to learn how to play together, but so far I always tell you to give toys back to Audrey if I catch you taking toys from her.
There is so much I want to teach you, so much I want to do with you, so many experiences I want to share with you - and I already feel like I'm falling so far behind. I hope this week we will all be healthy enough to continue taking you to your gymnastics class, and our lives can continue from there. In the meantime, please forgive me for my failings....