As I contemplate starting the kids' annual photo books, I realized I need to capture each of them as they are right this second (including the 19 week fetus, who is bouncing around quite happily in my tummy as I type (I assume happily; s/he got a cookie and a long walk today, it would seem that life is good)) because it's probably going to be a while before I move from contemplating to actually creating those beloved behemoths. We'll start with our newly minted 3-year-old.
Claire, at barely 3, is quite the big little girl these days, no matter how I look at her, there's really no baby left anywhere except my imagination. She is in the 85th percentile for weight and 95th for height, which means she has finally caught up to her perma-95th percentile head. Bear remains, as ever, happy, fierce, independent, and extremely affectionate. She is a lover, a fighter, an instigator, a thinker, and a hugger. She gets overwhelmingly excited about new things- the house reorganization and decoration, the baby (omg THE BABY, we talk about it CONSTANTLY; "When is your baby coming out mommy? I want to hold the baby mommy. Can I kiss the baby in your tummy? I will sing songs to our baby. I will love our baby SO MUCH. Sometimes babies cry mommy, but that's otay. Our baby is coming after Hawoween. Is that your baby in your tummy mommy? Can I pat your baby? I want to hold our baby. When is our baby going to come out?" over and over and over), and all other new things. She calls everything "so tool" (so cool) in this excited high pitched voice that is hilarious.
She checks on the plan for every day- what will the weather be? what are we having for dinner? who is picking her up from school? Like me, she likes to know what to expect. She's a precocious little thing- her teacher at school cleared her throat near the end of our last conference and said in a very serious voice with a very serious face, "Claire is... very smart. She is very. smart." and then stared at me. I had no idea what to do with that, so I just smiled and said well, great! and thank you? She loves the people in her life FIERCELY and will tell you about 15 times a day that "I just love you the mostest!". The other day she asked when we'd go to my sister's house in "Colowado" again, and when I told her I wasn't sure, but we would be seeing Tia at the lake house in September she gave a deep sigh and said, "oh good, because I just love my Tia." before moving on to talking about something else entirely. She still loves accessories and shoes but refuses dress-up clothes, all dresses, and most skirts.
She has a long attention span, loves books, and remains very physical with her attack-hugs, impromptu solo dance parties, preference for running over walking, and general fearlessness. We put her on a probably-too-big brand new bike this weekend and she just took off. Baby, Kitty, Teddy, and sunglasses in tow, of course
She's finally discovered the tantrum, but rather than yell or beat the floor as Landon did on the rare occasion he decided to protest something, when she doesn't get her way (or, far more often, if she feels offended or wounded by some correction you have made to her behavior), she just cries. Crumples to the floor in a tiny ball before stretching out full length and crying. Big fat crocodile tears, complete with the occasional wail. It's pathetic, long-lasting, and, so far, utterly undeterred by its ineffectiveness.
She and Landon remain best buds, though they occasionally, very purposefully make each other crazy. Claire is instigator 95% of the time. She frequently directs their creative play, coming up with elaborate "baby/mommy" story plans and telling Landon what to do and say to be the baby most effectively. Even with their newfound ability to annoy each other (which seems to annoy me far more than them, despite their protestations to the contrary), they are almost always together and on the rare occasion when they are separated, like when Landon goes to the pool with JP, Claire will wander the house looking for him every few minutes before remembering he isn't there. I get asked "But Mommy, where is my Yandon?" a lot on those afternoons.
The other day when I was making dinner (actually, sneaking bites of leftover Father's Day cake while dinner cooked in the oven; I can't drink wine while I chef, so cake it is), I overheard this little convo:
Claire, not even looking up while coloring: Landon, am I your best friend?
Claire, decisively, and still not looking up: Yes, yes I am.
While Claire is far more baby focused and exuberantly affectionate, Landon is decidedly the more gentle soul. About 10 days ago I heard this being yelled from the front yard while I was making dinner in the kitchen:
"No Claire! Stop stepping on the rollie polies. They have FAMILIES! They want to LIVE!"
You know she went right on squishing.