Nolan: Three years old #toddlers #preschool #motherhood #parenting

It's your birthday, Nolan and you are three years old!

You are gentle and affectionate, free with your hugs and kisses, empathetic to the point of tears when others are hurting, sensitive to loud noises and cautious not to stray too far from us. If mama walks out of the room you call for her the moment you realize she's gone. You are consistently polite, using "please" when asking for things, "thank you" upon receiving things and "excuse me" when you burp or need to slip past someone in your path. You've never hit another child nor taken a toy from another child and you have only once struggled over a toy taken from you, you typically just run off and find something else to play with.

You are curious about everything in the world around you and eager to learn the words for it all. You point to things and say; "That's a ___" pausing for us to label it, filling in the blanks in your world for you. You also repeat everything we say and in the correct context at a later date. You constantly surprise us with what you know.

You are so sure of yourself, brave even, jumping and tumbling and racing around at the beach, our local playgrounds, and when chasing after your big sister; however, you don't particularly like having your hands dirty. You just got a new two-wheeled Razor scooter and steer it right into every bump and crack in the sidewalks in our neighborhood! You want to do EVERY SINGLE THING all by yourself and have been seen melting into a screeching puddle should anyone get in your way. Recently, you want to be up on a chair to watch us cook, wash dishes, and make espresso. You come running any time we start to do something saying; "Noooo, wait, I see". We are so happy to teach you!

You are dynamite in a rather small package, weighing it at 27lbs and just recently moving into 18-24mos clothes and a size 8 shoe. We have your Pediatric check-up soon and will find out your exact measurements then.

You are a champion sleeper, easy to put down for your daily 2-3 hour nap and bedtime after a diaper change, a lullaby or two, and a few books. You thrive under consistent daily routine and notice immediately if things aren't done, like the time daddy left your window open and we could hear you over the baby monitor asking us to come shut the window. We are loose with the time on the clock but consistent with your daily routine, putting you down for a nap 5 hours after you've gotten up for the day and putting you to bed 13 hours after you've woken up for the day.

You have your favorite books you want read to you daily and go searching for them if you can't find them including:
  • Good-night Construction Site
  • No, no yes, yes
  • The Grouchy Ladybug
  • Stuck in the Muck
  • Splat the Cat Takes the Cake
  • Biscuit (every book in the series)
  • Thomas Gets a Snowplow
You also have your very favorite activities you like to do daily including:
  • Going on a scooter ride around the neighborhood
  • Doing your new shapes puzzles
  • Pushing every little car/truck/motorcycle you own on all the surfaces in this house
  • Playing a game on Emily's old iXL and Leapster handheld
  • Grabbing your basketball and making about 100 baskets
  • Blowing/popping bubbles
  • Watching "Super Why", "Wild Kratts" or "The Chica Show"
  • Jumping on our trampoline
  • Pushing your lawnmower and shopping cart all over the yard
You love eating a donut while we do our grocery shopping, playing with the toys in Target, holding hands as we walk to our favorite restaurants, and singing along to the Music Together CDs we've accumulated over the years in the car.

You also really love going to all our favorite play places where we have memberships including the zoo, The Aquarium of the Bay, Habitot, Studio Grow, and Wee Play. You get positively giddy when we spend an afternoon at the beach and you can barely contain yourself as we walk to one of our local playgrounds. You will sit in a stroller when walking a mile+ but we rarely take a stroller with us when on outings because you are eager to explore on your own and we are okay with that because you don't run off.

You're a bit of a picky eater, following a bit of a Paleo-style diet of raw foods but we know your pallet will develop in time and we hope you'll try more foods as your grow up. You love nuts, seeds, cheeses, all fruits and some vegetables. You also enjoy some crackers, pretzels and popcorn but sparingly. You shy away from most meat. Your favorite meal is blueberry pancakes or french toast with bacon. You love peas, chocolate milk, peanut butter, granola and yogurt!

You seem to be jockeying for position in our family a bit more lately, exclaiming "some, too!!!" any time we are doing anything for or with or to Emily. If I'm washing Emily's face, I have to wash his, too. If I'm putting sunscreen on Emily, I have to put some on him, too. If I am hugging Emily, I have to hug him, too. Does anyone else with more than one child experience this with the younger one?!? We sort of keep things out of view at times to keep the peace.

You are very clear about what you like and what you want, you have even named some of your favorite toys - like the little black car with big, animated eyes, you named Ramone. You are also very clear about what you don't like! You vocalize your feelings when not wanting to dunk your face in the water during swim lessons or don't want to be outside when daddy is using the weed-whacker. You say "No, I don't like that!". It's very helpful!

Nolan, we love you so very much and are looking forward to seeing what this age will bring our family. We are excited to choose and start Preschool, begin the potty-training adventure (did I say excited? Perhaps anxious is more accurate), and look into getting you a big boy bed! We are most excited about our upcoming vacation to see family and friends in Austin, TX because it's been a year since we last traveled with you. Thank you for blessing our lives!


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