I still say she's better at 3 than she was at 2. Tim disagrees, thinking she's worse now, but then I tell him, "You weren't there last summer when she took off running during Mass!" At 2, she could not be reasoned with at all. Now she has boundaries, and I know I'm dealing with a little girl instead of a monkey. In fact, when we're out and about is usually when she's at her best, most obedient and charming self. We get smiles everywhere we go. People think she's an angel. So in that regard I'm kind of glad she saves her worst behavior for us at home. And I do know that her worst could be much worse. She is overall a great kid, even though her bad moments can be so memorable.
|Not pictured: when taking turns was no longer working out, and the frog nearly lost his life in the ensuing dispute between the sisters|
She's carrying Lovey around again, as of just the last couple of weeks. She went months without it. This is my fault. She asked for it one night, and I could have said I didn't know where it was, but I didn't. I got it down from its hiding place. There's no harm in it. She sleeps with it and sometimes bring it for rides in the car. She doesn't take it out of the car when we go out, that's my only rule.
After her recent ventures with vacation bible school and swim lessons, I feel confident that she's going to do just fine in preschool, even though she's very timid in those kinds of settings. It will be good for her. She'll go to the same preschool Delaney did, just two mornings a week starting after Labor Day. We drive by her school often, and I always say, "There's Annie's school!" I'm glad that she gets to start preschool in a place that's already familiar to her, from when we took Delaney there three days a week last year.
She's very particular about how she dresses and how she wants her hair fixed. She only likes "pretty dresses." She won't even wear skirts, and at first I tried cajoling her into wearing them because she has such cute ones, and I hate to see them not get worn. But for the most part I have given up on that, and getting her dressed is now a cinch. I follow her to her closet, she points at the dress she wants to wear, I get it down for her, and she puts it on. Her favorite dress is her "fruit dress" pictured below. Her favorite way for me to fix her hair is in two braids. She's never happier than when she puts on this dress, I braid her hair, and she picks out some pretty shoes. I predict in a couple months, she'll be be wearing lots of dresses and leggings, and shoes with buckles. Maybe she'll pick a favorite and want to wear it every time she goes to school. If that happens, I'll either complain about it and beg her to wear something else, or I'll just have that outfit clean and ready for every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Or both.
I'm hoping that this fall we see more Sweet Annie and less Terrible Annie. For my part, I've been trying to remember to pay attention to her when she does good things, and to give her a word of praise or encouragement whenever possible. She wants to be a good girl, a big girl, and a helper. She gets frustrated easily, and she doesn't want to play second banana to either Delaney or Timmy. With Delaney in school every day, she should have a few more opportunities to be the big kid. Not that she doesn't have the opportunities now, but I think that a lot of the time, she feels like she has to compete with her big sister. It's exhausting sometimes, the way the simplest, stupidest things, like who gets to shut the car door, can escalate into fights. Maybe she's worried she'll be forgotten if she doesn't throw an occasional fit. She's a physical girl, so I try to remember to give her a hug from time to time, just because.
Here's a sort of strange thing about Annie that I only add here because this knowledge could come in handy some day. Whenever she tells me she's cold, it means she needs to poop. This just started within the last few months. It's odd. She'll argue with me that she doesn't have to, but sure enough, she does every time. So there's that.
I might be jinxing us here, but I also want to mention that Annie has woken up dry in the morning for so long that I've lost track of how long it's been. Two months at least. She and her sister have started wearing undies to bed. And now that I've said it, there's going to be a big bedwetting incident. But at least it seems we've moved in the right direction. We still get them up to go to the bathroom every night before we go to bed.
This little girl might drive us crazy, but we sure do love her.