Okay, I’m really late with this post. Harley turned 3 on the 1st of December, but I’m sure she won’t mind that I’m only writing this now. It’s been a busy period. We did Thanksgiving and her birthday party, all with Dean’s mom visiting us. It was lots of fun, but also super hectic, and when combined with work deadlines, I just haven’t really had a chance to sit down and reflect and write. But now, I’m carving out the time to tell you all about Harley, the amazing 3-year-old.
She is so filled with language and expression, it boggles my mind. Her vocabulary is incredible, but so is her emotional understanding. I went out for drinks with some local friends. When I came home, she and Dean greeted me at the door of the garage and she gave me a big hug, saying, “Mommy! I’m so glad you’re home, I was worried about you.” Like, WHAT?! Or she will tell me that she was sad when I wasn’t there when she woke up, but she had cuddles with daddy and it was okay.
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Be yourself! Unless you can be a unicorn, then be a unicorn! * Her hair is finally coming in, but she won’t let me put it up in a ponytail or use clips. Her teacher is allowed to, but I’m not. This hairband is allowed though, and makes her way too happy. 🦄 * I’ve been finding my own sparkle lately, too. Reclaiming myself, and making big plans for the future. What is making you smile and shine?
I’m so amazed that she can put words to her feelings and express them so well. She’ll tell stories about how she was hurt at school while playing, but that it was an accident (yes, she says that word) and the boy said sorry and gave her a hug. Then she will ask me to put a band-aid on so that it can get all better. Sometimes, she rambles on and on about crazy things that happened at school, but I can ask her if it’s real or pretend and she will confess one way or the other.
Her imagination is so active. She often tells me long stories about dramas in our home, like the “tunnel” (the long hallway from the front of the house, past our offices to the lounge) being filled with crocodiles or Rescue Bots or a jungle. She drags me around the house so we can “go on a family trip”. She often liked to play doctor thanks to watching Doc McStuffins, so my mom got her a doctor’s bag just like in the show for her third birthday, and we all end up getting frequent check-ups and lots of shots – she warns us in advance that the shot WILL hurt.
Dean and I got her a play kitchen for her third birthday. Before then, she often played restaurant or asked us what we wanted to eat and would pretend to make our food in small bowls. Now, it’s even more expansive, especially thanks to the wide range of foods that Dean’s mom bought for her. From pizza to sandwiches, sushi to fruits and vegetables, she loves making us all kinds of food. Plus, it’s made it easier when I’m cooking, because I’ll ask if she wants to cook or clean dishes in her kitchen while I do the same in ours.
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This blurry little Rescue Bot (new Transformers) LOVED #halloween. She was so excited to go trick or treating and had so much fun! *** Amazing the difference a year makes. Now that we know people in the area, Harley was part of a troupe of kids going door to door, and of course I had company with other parents, too. *** Of course it was also exhausting, but so worth it. Harley kept darting to the front of the group because she wanted to “be the leader”, which meant I did partial sprints for over a mile as we went from door to door. But it was great to see her confidence and happiness – she thoroughly enjoyed getting to say trick or treat, thank you and happy Halloween to each person. I think she liked the process of getting candy more than the candy itself. *** I love getting to create these traditions with her. It’s such fun to mark occasions and see how thrilled she is by everything from her #halloweencostume to seeing her friends as they all dress up and go. And of course it’s great to create fun new traditions with friends, too!
Harley had such a fun third birthday party. She wanted a Rescue Bots party. If you don’t know, Rescue Bots are the new series of Transformers, and she’s obsessed with them – has the toys and the series on her pad. I organized to have a childminder at the party, someone who used to work at the school who is now based at the restaurant where we had the party. She kept Harley and some of the other kids occupied so that we could actually eat the food and drink adult beverages, enjoying the party ourselves. I was so impressed with the restaurant’s food and service, plus Harley LOVED the arcade games. We’ll definitely be back to Rosati’s again soon.
While there are still hard days, especially when Harley is overwhelmed or tired, she is way more fun. I know I say this about every age, but this is my favorite age so far. We can play together, give big cuddles, and she can tell me things that melt my heart. She will cuddle close and tell me “Mommy, you’re my best friend” or “I love you mommy, we’re a family. It’s you and me and daddy.” She knows her Omi (my mom), GG (Dean’s mom) and Braka (Dean’s dad) and gets so excited to see them or tell them things.
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Prepping a blog about this amazing experience I had at #catchmeatluxe! It’s so great to be surrounded by other creative people, and I want to share some of the things I figured out that day. Plus, you just have to see how gorgeous Harley looks in some of these pictures!! 😱😍 (and I might even have a ton of great choices for my own new profile pic!) I also love seeing how she played with the other kids – I thought 2 year olds couldn’t do that yet, but apparently she can! Just check her out, hanging out with @jennloydlifestyle’s munchkin! 📷: @sarahhoagphotography
The threes are also a more difficult age in some ways. You know, like potty training, or generally trying to get a fiercely independent toddler to let me brush her teeth properly so she can continue doing whatever it is that she calls brushing her teeth. Mostly, I try to make everything linked to her own decisions, which helps a lot. I’ll let her pick out her shoes, or decide what’s going on with her hair. There is a tendency to push boundaries, but she is smart enough to realize when things are wrong. Like when she hits and I hold her hands saying “we don’t touch each other without love or kindness, if you don’t have love or kindness, you can’t have hands” and then she apologizes and we move on. She needs to test the limits we have in place for her.
She also constantly asks why. Everything is a state of infinite regress until she’s satisfied. Why does she need to wear clothes? Why does she need to stop jumping on the couch? Why can’t she run in the kitchen? Why does she need to hold hands crossing the road? I see now why so many parents revert to the “because I said so” excuse, but thus far I’ve managed to stick with valid explanations using safety, kindness or other important values. It’s exhausting, but typically means that she doesn’t ask the same questions multiple times.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a mom for three years. That the tiny baby who came into this world is now a smart, funny, kind, enthusiastic little girl. She is hilarious and adorable, and I’m so happy to be able to love her as a person now, and not just a biological instinct.