My big girl is rounding the bend to 3! In a quarter of a year, we will say goodbye to 2. It is so fun to watch Felicity grow and change. Her personality has really come out in the past year, and it is fascinating for me to see just who this little person is going to be. I love seeing her develop her own interests and relationships, even if it is kind of hard to not have her under my wing all the time. Felicity is such a tender little soul. She can be rough and tumble when playing, but when she is wronged, her face crumples, her heart hurts, and her cry is loud. She feels injustice very strongly which, though painful as a mother to watch, I hope never fades for her. Felicity is a fairly good rule follower, with an age appropriate dose of impulsivity. She knows and repeats things like "we don't play with doors" and "appies are just for bed". When she sees a child in public with their pacifier, she is very quick to tell me "but mama! Appies are just for bed!". And we discuss, again, how all mommies have different rules.
Felicity continues to pick up on words and concepts very quickly. She is really into rocks... collecting and sorting, and loves any show that talks about rocks, planets, and outer space. Her imagination has exploded in the last month or so and her favorite things to play are pirates, princess, and family. She loves playing with my neighbors boys (3 and 5) and her best imaginary play happens with them. They need very little oversight or redirection these days and can spend hours making up their own story lines. Felicity likes pirates because of Jake and the Neverland Pirates which we had to cut her off of as she was picking up unkind phrases from the show. But her love of finding 'treasure' (aka leaves, rocks, sticks, flowers) and dressing in her pirate costume continue. She dresses as Princess Sofia the First, too, which is the first princess she's taken any interest in. I find that kind of funny since it's not one I grew up with, but I'm sure she'll be into those soon eough :).
Felicity loves music, with her favorites being Old McDonald (also what she calls the fast food restaurant), Hail Mary, and Five Little Monkeys. She is happy with just about any children's music and is really into the library story time, especially since they've added a song at the beginning about a letter of the day. Felicity still likes letters but is really into numbers right now, often calling out address numbers she sees when we're in the car, or letting me know what number gas pump we're at when we stop to fill the car up. She really likes the number 100.
Felicity is still really into reading books, but we read a bit less than we used to because she's finally playing more. She still needs help playing when we don't have other children here, but will usually play for a bit if I get her started or if I resist long enough (ie getting chores done, cooking supper), which is a nice change. She does gravitate towards non-toys though, which I find really interesting to watch. She took the belt from my bath robe the other day and pretended it was pixie dust for about 30 minutes. She very rarely plays with any actual toys for that long! She also likes these 'coins' I have that have saints on them and pretends they're treasure. When we were building shelves in our bedroom, she would rearrange the wood boards or use them as a balance beam. I always remind myself that *every* thing is a toy to them!
Behavior wise, Felicity does pretty well. In fact, I think, she does impressively well for her age. She is generally pretty good at please and thank you and is currently learning to say excuse me when she wants to talk to me and I'm already talking to someone else. I struggle with her being super silly sometimes when I just want to get something done, like dress her or brush her hair, but that's probably more a problem with my impatience ;). I have to remind her that it's not a silly time and then I try to fill that need for her when we're done with the task. She will sometimes refuse to do something saying she's shy or scared, neither of which I think she's using in the correct context, but I try to honor her feelings and comfort her, and then redirect to the 'lesson' once she's had a snuggle or a chance to gather her emotions. I think she mostly uses them as an avoidance technique, ie saying "I'm shy" when she needs to apologize to someone, but clearly was not shy with that same person 5 minutes before. I try hard not to force apologies because I don't feel she is learning anything if I'm making her apologize (meaning she's clearly not really sorry!) but I do talk through empathy with her and ask her to take a break from the activity until she's ready to say sorry, which usually happens pretty quickly. She struggles a lot with Clare, mainly because she's jealous of the time and attention Clare gets from me. However, Felicity has actually improved over the last month or so, probably as Clare has gotten a bit more mobile and able to do her own thing a bit more. I try very hard to give Felicity one one one time in planned times of the day so she knows it's coming, like special read and cuddle time after Clare goes down for her morning nap, or snuggle and singing time at bed.
On the flip side, Felicity is super protective of her sister, which I find so adorable. If another child comes up to Clare in public, which happens often since babies are preschooler magnets, Felicity will either try to stop them or tell them that Clare is her baby. She also loves introducing Clare to people like Target employees or even our neighbors who have known Clare her whole life ;). She is starting to want to play with Clare more and more, crawling with her, cheering for Clare when she crawls, building towers for her.... I love it! She also is a little mommy and takes things away that Clare shouldn't have (or at least, things Felicity thinks Clare shouldn't have), and telling her "it's ok" or "shhhh" or "baby! what's wrong?" when Clare cries. She's a great sister, even if she is rough around the edges :).
Steven and I are hanging onto the words Felicity says incorrectly, because they are few and far between, and SO CUTE. Old McDonald, mentioned above, is one of our favorites. We also enjoy Sofia the Purse, chino (frappucino), chocolate beans (what she thinks yogurt raisins are), and the fact that she still can't say her name correctly. We are holding onto the few shreds of baby left in our big girl!