Last year a friend of mine told me I'd see a huge difference in Clare at 3 versus Clare at 2. She was so right. I can't believe how much she's changed. She is no longer a toddler. She is a full-fledged, potty-trained, card-carrying preschooler. Literally, she carries a cardboard credit card around with her. She has to pay for things, after all.
|Clare at 2. She really has changed.|
She is affectionate with her friends, wanting to hold hands and give hugs goodbye. She can be a bit bossy when playing with friends, but always compliments them when she thinks they've come up with a good idea. She is empathetic to a fault - if someone else gets upset, she does too. Sometimes I worry that she is too sensitive and anxious, but once she learns some coping strategies it will be a good quality, I think. (Well, not the anxiety.)
She loves the aquarium, but is still unsure about the zoo. She is scared of dogs, bugs, and most other animals. She hates loud noises. She loves being outdoors. She plays soccer (and can actually dribble the ball), rides her bike, plays catch, and throws the tennis ball onto the roof. (Thanks for teaching her that one, Ben.) She draws with chalk. She plays with her water table. She gets covered in mud. If she could, she would spend all day on the swings, but she likes the slide, too.
She doesn't mind getting dirty outside, but inside she does not stand for sticky hands. She hates finger paint, and if any other paint or food gets on her hand she immediately demands a napkin.
She is so helpful. Most of the time she'll do things for me if I ask her. (Although I hear the word no more often than I would like.) She wants to help do laundry and make dinner. I let her, even though sometimes I want to tell her to go away, because it takes twice as long when she helps.
She would have french fries every night for dinner if we let her, but she inexplicably does not like pizza. She loves every kind of berry, and hates every kind of pepper. Of course she likes dessert.
She sees and hears everything. She forgets nothing. The other day she was reciting my phone number. I couldn't figure out how she knew it, and then I realized she'd heard me leaving my number on a voicemail for someone. More than once I've told her something doesn't work a certain way and she's proven me wrong. Yesterday, there was a beeping noise coming from the refrigerator and I could not figure out what it was. Clare told me she thought it was because I'd pushed a button on the water filter on the door. Yeah, she was right.
She loves her little brother. I still think about how much I underestimated her before he was born - I thought she would have a lot tougher time than she did. She is so good with him. She plays with him and makes him laugh like no one else can. She looks out for him - when they tried to give him water at school she told them he only drinks milk. When another boy took a toy away from him, she got it back. Each morning she goes into his room to talk to him before I get him up. I hear her chattering away, asking him how he's doing and why he's smiling. (He's smiling because she's there, of course.) A few months ago, we took Christopher to the hospital for an ultrasound on his hips (he is fine). When we left, Ben took Christopher in his car, and Clare came with me. As I was pulling out of the parking lot, she became distraught. "Where's Christopher?" she wailed. She thought we'd left him behind. I know they'll fight, but I hope they'll always be friends.
Yes, there are days when she whines and throws fits and generally acts her age. Most of the time, though, she is just her lively, talkative, smart, creative, funny, active self. I wouldn't change a thing about her.
|Riding her bike.|
|At the aquarium at MOA.|
|Playing outside in Evansville.|
|Our first picnic of the year.|
|Enjoying the sun.|
|Going on a ride in a cherry picker. It went pretty high, but I think she liked it.|