You are three! My sweet sweet girl you take my breath away. As a matter of fact it has taken me over a week to write this letter because every time I sat down to do it I felt like I could not possibly do you justice. You are that fantastic.
This past year has been the best of my life. You became the sister I knew you would be. You were so gentle and doting with Ben when we first brought him home from the hospital. Now that he is bigger, you are patient and so very proud. Making Ben laugh is a special skill of yours. I am not going to sugar coat things, some days being a big sister is hard. There are times when you don't want to share, when Ben destroys something you have been playing with, when you are tempted to yell or hit (only rarely do you give in to those temptations). But I want to point something out, you never let that little boy forget how much you love him...and that will be your job for the rest of your life. A job I am confident that you will cherish as much as I do. Even when you are having a tough time navigating this new relationship, you always have a kiss and a kind word for your brother. You are nurturing and have shown such selflessness this past year. I would be lying if I said I don't feel guilty sometimes when I realize that all you really want is to have me to yourself again but I promise I will always have time for just you and me.
This past year you celebrated so many milestones. You are less and less like a toddler every day and at some point I am going to have to admit that you are a "big girl". Daddy turned your car seat around this past weekend and you love your new view! I especially like that now I can actually hear you talking to me, even when you intentionally use your "quiet voice". You are still sort of clumsy and I have always joked that anyone who has spent five minutes with you has seen you fall down. But you are showing more and more coordination every day. You can hop, skip, run, and pedal a bike (almost). Above all else you love to dance, specifically twirl. In October you surprised us all by slipping on a pair of water wings and swimming unassisted in water well over your head. I really don't know if I should be proud of your foolish bravery but it is endearing. You really are fearless...and just a little clumsy. You have mastered the potty during the day and if I am patient enough you can dress and undress yourself. You love to pick out your own clothes.
We can work on humility later, for now let me tell you, you are brilliant. Your vocabulary is impressive but your ability to use words in context, conjugate, and express your ideas, literally blows my mind. You are such a thoughtful listener and are always ready to draw conclusions from your curiosity. Don't even get me started on your memory and how yesterday you reminded me that we stacked creamers while we waited for our dinner at Cracker Barrel...in October of 2011. While your command of the English language really is impressive you do have several toddlerisms that crack me up. Instead of saying "by myself" you say "with myself". You call your bathing suit your "babing suit". Instead of "I'm thirsty for water", it's "I'm thirsty of water". Recently you're also very aware of my tone and will often request "Mommy, can you say it nice?"
Today while watching TV, which we do let you do while Ben takes his morning nap, you correctly determined that one less than three is two. Like I said, you listen and you are brilliant. Your favorite shows to watch are Curious George, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Octonauts, and Doc McStuffins. I personally love them all and usually watch right along with you. What is the biggest drawback to your brilliance you ask? Girl, we have our days. Days when Mommy can do no right and you are so frustrated that all you can do is yell and cry. You are not mischievous and very rarely do you use your intelligence for evil but you do have a temper and you do not like to be told no.
This September you will be starting preschool. I searched high and low to find just the right school for you. I chose a very small school where you will be loved and (I pray) feel safe. The world is a scary place and there is a big part of Mommy and Daddy that wishes we could keep you at home forever. That being said I am SO excited for you! You are going to love school! I can't wait to see how much you learn and grow. This is it lady, the world belongs to you.
You want to know what else you are? A total princess. Where did you come from? Mommy is not necessarily known for her femininity, yet here you are decked out in (not one but two) tutus, three headbands, a necklace and half a dozen bracelets...and that is just a Monday morning. Your favorite colors are pink, pink and pink. You tolerate purple, green and blue. For your birthday you were lavished with princess themed gifts much to your delight. You are now the proud owner of a different tutu for every day of the week. Over the past year, your love affair with all things stuffed has only deepened. Your entourage is officially out of control. Not only is it more than I can carry, but there are so many "friends" that even you lose track of who's in the bed with you. Lately you have been biting your nails, which I remind you not to do 100 times an hour. Today the pediatrician recommended that I offer to paint your nails as incentive to stop. HA. I believe that is called opening Pandora's box.
I spend my days revolving around you and your brother. There is nowhere else I would rather be. Today we went for a walk and watching you pick up every rock on the street, with the sunshine in your hair, I thanked God that you are mine. I listened to your story about how the nurse at the doctor's office gave you a "sparkle" band-aid and when you asked me to hold your hand I gladly fulfilled your request. I say it all the time but it bears repeating, these are the best days of my life. I was born to be your mommy.
I love you coo coo girl.