I cannot believe that I have a three-year-old child right now. It’s so surreal how quickly time flies when you become a mother. You hear it from everyone but when you live it, it’s just unbelievable. Her birth feels like both yesterday and a lifetime ago.
I looked back at last year’s birthday post yesterday (sobbing) and can’t believe how much she has changed and grown. She reads herself to sleep in a big girl bed at night. She pours her own cereal. She puts on her own shoes (even if they’re backward sometimes). She can express emotions through words (when she wants to). She always reminds me if I forgot to give her vitamins or put on her sunscreen. She knows what letter everyone’s name starts with. She picks all of her own outfits. She knows the lyrics to every song in Frozen. And she knows how to push my buttons 🙂 When I’m feeling sad, she hugs me, strokes my hair and says, “I know, mommy. I know.”
She is empathetic and kind. She is sweet and loving, funny, and silly. She is curious and smart. I’m so proud of the girl she’s turning into. Every single day I somehow fall more in love with the light of my life.
She even tells jokes now! She made one up and gets herself into a laughing fit whenever she tells it which is, obviously, daily. A few weeks ago I said, “Hey Amalia! Are you ready for your bath or what?” She replied with, “What!” Followed by a giant smile. The joke landed, I lost it, and now it’s our thing every night.
Last month, Anel and I made a commitment to have an open dialogue with her about race and how people look different from one another and how that’s that’s a good thing. We’ve been encouraging her to ask questions if she has them. I will share all of the books we’ve been reading in another post, but I’ve been so amazed and inspired by her openness and what she thinks to ask. She doesn’t see it as a taboo topic the way I did when I was a kid. It’s been a really beautiful thing to watch her learn about something so complex from the perspective of a child.
This was a big year for all of us. Right after her 2nd birthday, we moved her to a new house, a new town, and a new daycare. She handled the change with a shocking amount of grace for such a tiny human.
Six months later, COVID hit, and her world was turned upside down again. But we got through it as a family and despite a rough couple of months, we’ve somehow managed to become even closer.
Threenager status hit us a few weeks ago, and wow, you guys weren’t kidding when you warned me! I have a feeling the next year will be intense in many ways. But so far the sweet moments, the adorableness of her constant dancing to Frozen around the house, and the way she asks me for a “smooch” more than make up for the tough ones.
My motherhood posts going forward will be focused on two things:
- The fun, light content like what she likes to read, wear, eat, and play with.
- Stories about my experience as a mother.
What I’ve decided to keep private going forward are topics that feel overly personal on her behalf. I won’t be discussing things like her fears and anxieties, details on potty training, or how she melts down. This is obviously very subjective, but it’s just something we’ve been thinking about a lot as she grows up and I think it’s worth a conversation.
Something about her turning three made me realize that she needs a little more privacy in her life. Whenever I post a photo or video now, I ask her permission. I realize she doesn’t fully understand yet what is going on but I want to get in the habit of that now so that when she does get it, she can give an answer that feels good for her. And by the way, sometimes she says no already!
It should go without saying, but it’s 2020 so I’ll say it just to be super clear: Our decision is in no way putting down anyone’s else decisions about how they share their lives or families online. It’s just what we feel works best for us. As with everything in parenthood, different things work for different families.
Amalia has been talking about her birthday party since last year’s party so it breaks my heart that we can’t have one for her today. So we’re doing everything we can to make the day extra special for her. She will wake up to a giant Frozen happy birthday banner and foil balloons on her chair. Last night I laid out a new birthday dress and she’ll get one of her gifts (a new helmet for her scooter) in the morning.
I also had a bunch of her friends and our family members send in videos and used Tribute to make a happy birthday compilation video that is so sweet.
When Anel gets home in the afternoon we’re going to give her a Frozen castle dollhouse, her big gift (are we sensing a theme here?), followed by pizza and a Carvel cake (her request) with my in-laws. Even though it’s a weird time for a birthday, I hope she has the best day ever.
I did a little Q&A with Amalia about her favorite things and here are her answers:
- Favorite color: Pink and purple. Mommy, your favorite color is blue. Daddy’s favorite color is green.
- Favorite food: Mac and cheese
- Favorite ice cream flavor: Mint chocolate chip with rainbow sprinkles
- Favorite fruit: “Mectarines” and strawberries
- Favorite vegetable: Carrots make me big and strong (Shows me her muscles)
- Favorite Book: Grumpy Monkey and I’m Not a Princess (I should note this answer changes daily)
- Favorite toy: My mommy’s dollhouse (awwww)
- Favorite TV Show: Frozen (Me: That’s a movie, what about a show?) Uhhhh Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol and Winnie the Pooh
- Favorite song: For the First Time in Forever and Let it Go and the Reindeer song and Olaf’s song (all from Frozen)
- Best friend: Bootsie and mommy and daddy and Nadia and Nicky and Eloise and Everly and Gabby.
Photos by Julia Dags.