Stay-at-Home Panda

Stay-at-Home Panda

An adventure of triumphs and troubles as a mother, wife, and woman

28 Things I Love About You at 3

Oh, there’s so much to love about you. The tiny little bone structure of your face. The way your long golden locks catch the wind while you cruise on your scooter. The way you feel when you sit in my lap, and how you let me rest my head on yours. But your visits to my lap are numbered and your face won’t always be so small, and although I’m completely cool with you growing and changing, I want to always remember you as you are now.

Here’s some of the things I love about you as you turn three:

  1. You love to sleep with little trinkets in your hand. And sometimes they’re not so little, like that one time you wanted to sleep with an over-sized dump truck. But when I shut things down, you’re usually pretty reasonable, and I like that, too.
  2. You wrap you arm under my neck as you fall asleep. I don’t care if sometimes you tell me my breath stinks, it’s still sweet when you pull my nose to yours.
  3. Sometimes you prefer to be little spoon, and ask me to hold your “neck”. I know you mean your waist, but I don’t care to correct you. I just wrap my arm around you and pull you close.
  4. You call hands “wees”. For example, you say, “I need to wash my we,” “Hold my we,” and “If I put my arms in the washing machine, it will knock my wees off.”
  5. Speaking of getting your wees knocked off in the washing machine, you love to watch that thing. I don’t know how we lucked out with a model that still runs its cycles even when the lid is up, but you pull up a chair for the whole production.
  6. You’re always excited to see me. Like when I return from the bathroom, you wrap your arms around me and say, “You’re back!” I know I said I’m cool with you growing, but I hope this never changes.                                           
  7. Similarly, you tell me you’ll miss me when I leave, even if I’m only going to Target to get things for your birthday. As you give me a hug goodbye you say, “But I’m just going to miss you so much.” But you’re calm, and cool, and accepting. Maybe you even know I’m trying to surprise you with that mask you wanted, but Santa dropped the ball on. 
  8. You make a “s” sound for “th” ones, so when you want me to open my mouth, you say, “Open your mouse”. I tell you I don’t have a mouse, but you pretty much pry my lips open… You’re still figuring boundaries out…
  9. You love to sing, especially the song H.O.L.Y. I don’t know where your love for this song came from as you couldn’t have heard it more than a couple of times, but you belt it often and out of nowhere, except on command. You’re no puppet.  Ash Singing
  10. When you want me to pay real close attention to what you’re saying you say sternly, “Look in my eyes.” Only then will you carry on with your story. It’s probably the one about the boy who was leaning back in his chair and fell. Javin told us it one day, and the details about the boy hitting his teeth on the table and hurting his back on the way down stuck with you, and you love to retell it, which is quite the entertainment. Demand this much attention your whole life. People will not be let down.     
  11. You’re pretty easy going. I mean, definitely not in all ways. For instance, tonight you kept losing your shiz because the loops of the laces on both sneakers weren’t the exact same size. But when your brother blows out all your birthday candles, you look stunned, but then just blow out the remaining one, and it’s not even that big of a deal.                                                 
  12.  Maybe you’re just easy going when it comes to your brother because you love him so much. The other night we were going around the neighborhood looking at Christmas decorations. You and Javin were riding side by side on your scooters, and you said something I couldn’t quite understand. But then Jav said, “Yeah, we’re brothers.” That’s when I realized that one.) what you said to Javin is, “We’re brothers” which means you were reflecting on how cool that is. And two.) you guys are so close that you understand each other better than even I do.                                                                                                                                         
  13. You loved those cowboy boots you found the other night so much. They light up, so you jumped real intently all over the place while looking at them. You wanted to sleep in them so badly. When I finally talked you out of doing so, you slept with them beside you, and put them back on the instant you woke up.
  14. You look damn good in sunglasses, and you know it. I can tell by the way you carry yourself. 
  15. You merge Jingle Bells and Twinkle Little Star into one song. You sing, “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! Like a diamond in the sky! Hey!” You may have a future in remixing. I wouldn’t be surprised.
  16.  You’re actually good at cleaning and organizing. I won’t even ask you, but you’ll say, “Okay, I’ll pick it up…” And when we all throw stuff into a bin you’ll nitpick, “Wait, this doesn’t go in here…”
  17. When Javin goes upstairs to bed you run to the bottom of the steps and say, ” Wait, I want to give you a hug and a kiss.”                                      
  18. You’re tough. You roll around and wrestle Javin like bear cubs and you walk barefoot on even the most rugged surface.
  19. You charge it. It reminds me of how you used to outstretch your arms and close your eyes while running when you were younger. It was reckless but ballsy, and you still have the combo. Your gumption might be a little rash, but it’s confident, and it’s why you’ve been climbing up the staircase and jumping down to the couch for a while now.                                           
  20. You take deep breaths to calm down without even being prompted. I remember coaching your brother to do this a lot when he was three, but maybe from seeing so many of the sessions through the years, it’s just ingrained in you.    
  21. When I say yes to a request of yours, you say, “You’re the best mom!”
  22. We all love the way you say “I luhh you.” and now that’s pretty much the way our family talks. When you’re really feeling it you say between nearly gritted teeth, “I luh you SO MUCH!” You’ve always been passionate.                                     
  23. You know when you want to go to bed. You don’t skip naps, and don’t push your bedtime. You always just say, “I’m tired. I want to nap.” I love that you realize this is a beautiful thing, and nothing to fight. We go to the bathroom to see if you have a peepee snake or a poopoo snake, and then we read a book. Sometimes you make sure I’m not lying when I say the book is over, but you never even ask for another. You just tell me to hold your neck (aka waist) and then drift off.                               
  24. Your reasons for doing or not doing something are epic. For example, the other day when we were playing outside at Nana and Papa’s you were taking your shoes off. When I asked you why you wouldn’t keep them on you said plainly, “Because I don’t want to.” This morning when I asked you why you were stabbing a box with a pencil you responded, “Because I want to…” Like seriously, is there better logic than that?                                                                                                                                        
  25. You have a mischievous smile. I don’t know why I love it, because your testing ways make my job harder, but I can feel your rebellious nature, and there’s some part of it I admire. Maybe it’s because I know it’s tempered with a good heart. Or maybe it’s because I like my people bold. Maybe I know your mischief is just a simple kind of fun, like tonight, when you were standing in the driver’ seat, you turned the radio on full blast for an entire second. You turned it back down, and I never saw anyone laugh so hard in my life. I, of course, had to let you do it again.
  26. You surprise us everyday, like the time you were giving me kisses and counting each one in Spanish. You went all the way up to siete, but I was flabbergasted at cuatro. It’s higher than I even heard you count in English at the time. Where do you get this stuff from, and what else do you have stored inside you? A lot, I know.                                                                       
  27. You keep me on my toes. Today when you were bathing, I told you to stop putting the bottle under the faucet because it was making water spray everywhere. You said, “But it’s so fricken fun.” You seriously said “fricken” so I wasn’t sure if I should even be concerned. I’m certain I’m not the one to blame, as I’m not a “fricken” kind of girl.                    
  28. You’re fickle, and it’s ridiculous. If I offer you cream for your booboo, you’ll deny it like I’m trying to torment you. Then when I say, “No worries, ” and put it back in the drawer, you cry for it. As Will Ferrell says, “I like you, but you’re crazy.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ash, I can’t wait to see what this new age has in store. I look forward to each and every day with you, and I know some of the details about you will change as gradually as your love for Super Why, but I also know you’ll always be a badass. Thank you for the incredible honor of being your mother.                                                                                            

About Amanda Elder

Amanda has a background in education, but now spends most of her time snuggling her kids, wiping their butts, and doing house chores in her underwear.

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