At three and a half, Nora is a strong-minded little monkey who swings back and forth between wanting to do everything “all by myself” and needing her mommy and daddy.
Developing independence means she sticks to her point-of-view and doesn’t back down. Logic does not sway her. Life for Nora is all about what she wants and does not want. “I want milk right now,” “I want to watch a little something!” “I don’t want to ride my scooter,” “No, I don’t want to go to the pool!”
We went to Rockland Lake so she could ride her scooter. She was distracted by all of the families who had gathered at picnic benches for cookouts, and by the smell of hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken wafting in the air.
“I want to eat dinner,” she decided, stepping off her scooter, trying to pull her helmet off.
“We didn’t bring dinner,” we said.
“Well, that’s okay,” she said walking over to join another family’s cookout. “There’s food over there. We can eat some of their food.”
“But that’s not our food,” we said. “We’ll turn around, go home and get dinner.”
She wouldn’t have it. “Nooo!” she yelled, about to sit down with the family. “I want dinner here!”
I’m trying to remind myself that though exhausting at times, she is showing character traits that will serve her later in life: She knows what she wants. She’s learning how to negotiate. She’s smart. She’s a problem solver. If we didn’t bring dinner, we could just go ask those nice people over there if they have a few hot dogs to spare. It must be hard to be so small, to do what grownups want all the time.
She seems to need us less and less as she asserts herself and learns how to do things for herself. But she still needs us. She’s afraid of the dark and she won’t let us leave her room so she can go to sleep. Lying in her bed, she wraps her arms around my head and says, “I want you stay too long! I really want you to stay too long!” I’d like to get to sleep and I don’t want to have a nighttime routine that never ends, and yet, I like that she’s holding onto me a little.
Rosie rolls over! For a while she could only do back to front and then started complaining because she couldn’t turn back over. She’s learning to turn the other way. She is a close talker. She likes to get right up there so our eyes become one eye and open her mouth and try to eat me. She likes to suck on her fingers, my fingers, anybody’s fingers. Maybe those teeth are coming in. She likes to reach out and grab my face and squeeze it in her little lobster claws. She is so chill and smiley all the time. She likes the Jumparoo. She likes to do a Tarzan yell. She says gggghhh and bwah and ahbah and she is working on being a ventriloquist talking with her mouth closed. She is so chubby! She grabs her hands and feet and looks at them with wonder. She gets startled a lot. She is taking big sister Nora’s rough hugs in stride. She laughs when you kiss her belly. She’s delicious.