Every few months Beatrice tests me to see if I’m still serious about this whole nap business. I know some kids are ready to drop their naps at the age of 3, but Beatrice is not one of them. She has bags under her eyes by noon and ALWAYS sleeps at least two hours.
Today Beatrice had been up for probably 30 minutes before she started telling me that it’s not her nap time yet. She continued to talk about it the rest of the day (isn’t the three year old repetitiveness the WORST? I heard you the first 2,000 times!). The biggest sign that Beatrice is tired is that she starts proclaiming that it’s not nap time.
I conned her into going upstairs at nap time, but she refused to go into her room. I said I would count to 5, and if she wasn’t in her room she wouldn’t get books. Messing up her routine is a HUGE punishment for OCD Beatrice, and books are a vital part of the routine.
Unfortunately, I do a very poor job at the serious-mom act, and started laughing when I got to 2. We were counting UP to 5 - that means I only made it through one number before laughing.
I don’t know why the counting business always cracks me up. I think it’s because I know she’ll wait until the last number and then will sprint off. For some reason this is hilarious to me. Maybe I should start counting to two. Surely I can keep it together for two numbers!
Anyway, I counted to 5, she didn’t move (because she’s testing me) (and also probably because I laughed), so I had to toss her in her room, with no bedtime stories and NO PJS GASP!
Then I went downstairs and listened to what sounded like a herd of horses slamming into her door over and over.
Our children are SUPER well behaved, so even though Beatrice was slamming into her door, she knew better than to cross the line and actually open the door.
Eventually I went back into her room, because really, can we please not wake up the neighborhood/Jovia? What I found was Beatrice with her dress stuck on her head, eyes pulled tight from the fabric, running around like a naked madman with a mane of Lightning McQueen fabric floating behind her.
Naturally, I laughed again. That didn’t help the situation because, you know, she was a little upset about the dress stuck on her head and being put to bed without the routine. She cried harder, which tugged at my heartstrings (even though I was still trying not to laugh), so she ended up with THE WHOLE DARN BEDTIME SPIEL, even though she was supposed to be in trouble. What can I say? I’m a sucker and her whole OCD business kind of freaks me out.
Don’t judge, could YOU say no to this face?
Didn’t think so.
I had an unexpected day off of work so the girls and I packed a picnic and went downtown to the Canal Walk. Beatrice had requested this outing, which made me happy because the canal is one of my favorite places so it’s exciting to see that she likes it as much as me!
We saw ducks right away! We fed them our stale hamburger buns.
Well, Beatrice and I fed the ducks - Jovia just ate the stale bread.
And then Beatrice said “sorry duckies” (literally) and started eating the bread too.
When we passed Fresco, Beatrice asked for some ice cream. We’ve clearly been to the canal a time or ten this summer. She knows the drill.
At our picnic spot Beatrice ran around and Jovia licked everything. Cement, sidewalk, grass, everything.
That mouth. Good grief.
I tried to get a picture of the two of them together. This exchange was the closest I got:
Sorry Jovie. Can’t even play with my nasty shoes without getting them swiped.
During our walk Beatrice asked me to fish a styrofoam cup and pop bottle out of the water. Her words: “littering is not nice”. LITTERING IS NOT NICE. I’ve never been more proud. Seriously, I think I was more excited about today’s anti-littering campaign than when she got potty trained.
The girls had checkups today - 15 months for Jovie and 3 years for Beatrice.
We promised Beatrice that she wasn’t going to be getting a shot, and prepared her by watching the doctor episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and going over what would happen, so she walked into the office with her head held high.
When Beatrice turned two, the nurse wanted her to remove her beloved red sparkly shoes before getting weighed. Obviously, Beatrice became crazy and delirious over this idea, sobbing uncontrollably, and was unable to snap out of it for her entire visit. I had to get on the scale, and then get on the scale while holding her so that they could get her weight.
This year the nurse asked her to remove her shoes, Beatrice looked worried, and the nurse said it was ok, she didn’t have to. Then the nurse saw the red sparkly fanciness on B’s feet and remembered us. Apparently after the sparkly shoe incident of 2013, she no longer requires toddlers to take off their shoes if they don’t want to. So… there ya go.
Beatrice Reynolds: Toddler Rights Activist
Beatrice did a really great job at her appointment, even if she was distracted and spinning circles during her eye test, and at one point smelled her feet and asked what that stinky smell was (the smell of her shoes could make a grown man faint). She was very brave during the appointment and I was impressed. My favorite part was when she was supposed to walk across the room and just… couldn’t… walk… normal… She did tippy toes, skips, spins, and eventually worked up to the naked Beatrice dance.
What can I say, she just gets excited.
Height: 36.25 inches, 30th percentile
Weight: 27.5 lbs, 20th percentile
She’s added a lot of height since last year but only gained 3.5 pounds.
Our normally happy and easygoing kid is not impressed with the doctor. Jovia cried during the head measurement, the height check, being weighed… she is just not a fan.
Take this moment to place your bets on Jovie’s size. Look at those thunder thighs and that belly in the above photo and remember what her favorite thing to do is (eat).
Height: 29 inches, 10th percentile
Weight: 20 pounds, 10th percentile
Head: 47.7 cm, 90th percentile
TENTH PERCENTILE. What. NINTY percent of kids are bigger than her? This is not right. She’s huge!
Apparently I don’t know what huge is.
When it was time for Jovia’s shots, Beatrice was supposed to sit by her head and comfort her. Instead, Beatrice stood up and stared in shock at the needles plunging into Jovia’s legs as Jovie screamed and I pinned her down.
It’s a good thing Beatrice doesn’t have another shot scheduled until she’s five, because what she saw today will probably give her nightmares for a very long time.
Both girls are perfect and healthy! I will never stop being thankful for that!
Beatrice has had a history of disliking people/social situations/being away from her parents/etc – and while I know most all kids have issues with those things, hers seemed worse. John thought preschool was necessary to get her over her fears, while I thought me quitting my job and homeschooling her for the rest of her life was a much better option.
I lost that argument.
Beatrice has grown up a lot since she turned 3 in July, developing a love for other kids and constantly chatting my ear off about who her friends are and where she wants to go with them. She’s been talking about her birthday celebration at the Children’s Museum for 6 weeks now, and that only included a whopping two friends.
I didn’t know what to expect with preschool, but on the classroom orientation day she made friends with a girl who was wearing a princess dress with princess gloves up to her elbows, and a little boy who shared the construction trucks with her. She went to the gym with the other kids without giving me a second glance. After the orientation she told me that on her Leader Day she’s going to bring her donkey as her show and tell, share bananas for a snack, and she’ll get to be the line leader. I’m pretty sure she has no idea what a line leader is, but that didn’t stop her from being excited about it.
Yesterday was the big first day of preschool. She woke up saying she was excited. We packed her backpack. She ate her entire first-day-of-school donut (as if we don’t have donuts every day around here…). She decided to forego the pineapple dress that she bought for the occasion, and put on her trusty flowered frock and red sparkly shoes instead. If it ain’t broke, right?
Do you think her backpack is big enough?
When we got to school we walked down the long hallways and passed multiple crying moms. I thought to myself, “come on ladies, it’s 2 days of 3 hour preschool each week. Get a hold of yourself.” Beatrice found her name outside of her classroom and hung up her backpack while some kid yelled, “LOOK MOM A LIGHTNING MCQUEEN BACKPACK! LOOK MOM! LOOK MOM!”. Beatrice thought this was funny. I took her into her class and she said hello to her teacher and… that’s it. She walked off and didn’t look back. No tears, no nothing. Just a big kid going to preschool.
That’s when I became one of those crying mothers in the hallway.
I tried to fight it. Couldn’t.
WHY IS SHE SO BIG?!
Beatrice: Age 3, First Day of Preschool: 8/19/2014
I feel teary right now just thinking about it. Motherhood has made me terribly soft.
Since I am an overprotective basketcase, I arrived way too early to pick her up from school so I had time to spy on her. There was Beatrice playing duck duck goose, having absolutely the best time of her life. I probably would have cried again if our new nanny hadn’t been with me, and one time of crying in front of her was quite enough. Beatrice looked like the happiest and most enthusiastic kid in the class. They had a story time after the game and she literally skipped to the mat. She spotted me halfway through the story, but just waved and went back to listening.
Who is this child?
After class she hugged Jovia over and over and kept saying, “I missed my sister!” which was the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. She talked nonstop about her new preschool bff, wondering when she can come to her house. I asked John if I should get the girls phone number from B’s teacher and he said no. Apparently that will peg me as a crazy mom.
So I’ll probably wait until, you know, next week to ask.
Beatrice told me about her snack (strawberries, graham crackers, chocolate milk), and about the story they read (Clifford’s First Day of School), and about the tree she painted, and about how some of the kids would fall down in the gym (with a demonstration). Kids falling never cease to amuse her. Later that night we played Duck Duck Goose as a family and she continued to talk about her bff, although her friend’s name morphed into a different name as the night went on. She wanted to know if we’d like to go on the Sheep Farm Field Trip with her (duh, of course we will).
She is going to thrive in preschool. I’m so proud of that little rascal I could cry (again).
Typical Jovie - not caring about anything but the food.
How do you drop your kids off at COLLEGE? I’m going to need sedatives for that one.
Tonight Beatrice got her first haircut- at the age of three years and one month. I snipped it as she colored, which is, uh, interesting.
Her hair looks so much better now. I feel bad for waiting so long to do it!
I am dropping off the face of the earth more and more frequently these days. A lot has happened around here lately. My sister got married. Jovia turned one and Beatrice turned three. Soccer and school are both over, and since I only work 4 days a week, it’s a three day weekend every weekend! This summer is the best and we’re taking advantage of every minute of it.
Around here lately:
- is now one and could care less about walking. She get’s downright angry if you try to make her walk while hanging on to your hands. If she was my first child I’d probably be freaking out, but since she’s the second she get’s a “whatever”, because surely she’ll walk eventually.
- loves, loves, LOVES water. She drinks a ridiculous amount of water and crawls around with a cup hanging out of her mouth. She puts her hand in any cup left unattended. She wants to be playing in the water table/bathtub/sink/etc whenever possible.
- she mimics the noises we make. My favorite is her fake snore.
- before she goes to sleep she needs ample time to flop around on our bed. It’s really weird but it’s probably the best part of her day.
- includes ‘Reynolds’ in our names (Mama Reynolds, Daddy Reynolds, Jovie Reynolds)
- she says the same word twice with an ‘and’ in-between. Examples: yummy and yummy, no and no, stinker and stinker.
- Remember Lambchop? Jovia has a Lambchop puppet, which has become B’s favorite thing of the moment. This means I spend much of my day talking in my Lambchop voice to Shamu, who is Lambchop’s bff. Lambchop even reads the bedtime stories these days.
- as excited she was about her birthday, she still won’t own up to being three. I think this is because she knows three means potty time.
John & I
- We go on bike rides almost every night. This is so fun for me that each time we go I think that maybe we should stop having kids. If we have another baby that means I’ll either be way pregnant or fresh off of childbirth next summer which means no bike rides either way. If you know me well, you know that these bike rides must be really great if they make me not want to have any more babies.
- We’ve been in our house for a year and are FINALLY making it our own by painting and doing other little projects. It’s addicting and exciting.
- We need a nanny asap. If you would like the job, let me know.
We’ve been singing the Brown Squirrel song, and today Beatrice told me that she doesn’t have that movie yet but would like to get it.
Unfortunately for her, the Brown Squirrel song is from my preschool days, circa 1988, and not from a movie. Although I think we have a vhs tape lying around somewhere, with my siblings and I singing our own version of the song (maybe while wearing thanksgiving costumes made out of paper bags? I’m not sure.).
Brown Squirrel, Brown Squirrel, Swish your Bushy Tail.
Brown Squirrel, Brown Squirrel, Swish your Bushy Tail.
Wrinkle up your Little Nose.
Hold a Nut between your Toes.
Brown Squirrel, Brown Squirrel, Swish your Bushy Tail.
Every night looks like this. For some reason their bath always makes them wild, so they run around like little hooligans. As soon as their pajamas are on, they are calm again.
I remember the night before Beatrice’s first birthday like it was yesterday. I didn’t have a smash cake for her and went out late at night to find one. I roamed the aisles of Meijer, having a panic over the fact that the first year was already over. It happened so fast - too fast. I mourned the end of her babyhood, and worried about whether I was missing it all by going to work every day.
When Jovia turned 10 months old those feelings returned. I would find myself staring at her, wondering where the time went. On the nights when she would fall asleep while nursing, I would rock that little girl for as long as I could. I couldn’t talk about her upcoming birthday without getting choked up. I want these girls to be my babies forever.
A friend of mine unexpectedly lost her 2 month old baby this weekend. Suddenly I’m looking at the passing of time differently. Time is precious, and I should be celebrating each moment I’ve had with my girls, not mourning days gone by.
After work today I laid on the floor of Beatrice’s room while she and Jovie played. I watched Beatrice lick her toe, and I laughed. Both of their little heads shot up and they crawled over to me, climbing right on top of my body while giggling. Jovia snatched my glasses off of my face and when I got them back on and my vision returned, there were two little sets of eyes staring at me from 4 inches away.
There’s a quote by Kurt Vonnegut that says, “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things.” Today, Beatrice’s toe-lick, their giggles, and these matching sets of brown eyes were one of those little things that I’ll remember forever.