Almost a month ago, Mo turned 3. I just re-read the post I wrote about her turning 2, and I can't believe all that has happened since then. First of all, I had just had a miscarriage and really turned to Mo to mend my heart. And now I have a 3 month old baby and Mo is a big sister! Second, Mo has really transformed from a toddler to a kid in the last year. Three seems so young, I think in my mind I lump that age in with kids still emerging from babyhood. But in reality, three is well past babyhood and on the verge of adolescence!
So while a year has brought on incredible changes, many things have remained the same because Mo is still the true essence of herself. Her personality developed early on and has changed only in small ways that reflect her age. The things I wrote about her last year are still mostly true. So let's review.
Is Mo still resoundingly happy?
Yes! She has moments where happy is the last word I'd use to describe her, but overall she loves life just as much as she ever did. She's up for anything anytime, and so it's easy to turn the most mundane things into an adventure. "Mo, do you want to go get groceries with me?" "YAAAY!!" "Mo, should we go switch the laundry?" "YES!!" It was actually really sad that when Drum was born, she started to rebel a little. She would actively not listen to us or do the opposite of what we asked, which was a relatively new behavior for her. It was sad because I know it was unnatural to her, and she was only doing it to get some attention from us. She was accustomed to involving us in all her many adventures, and now we were suddenly preoccupied with this needy little creature, and the only way she knew to get us back was to force us to pay attention by running in the other direction when we asked her to come here and get her PJs on! She's mostly grown out of that already, and now she's busy showing her brother how to get the most out of life.
Does Mo still love people?
Absolutely! This is one of my very favorite things about her. I was a painfully shy child, I hate social interaction, and with the perspective of an adult and a mother, I strongly hoped my children wouldn't be cursed in that way. So far, so good. Mo is happy to talk to anyone and everyone - nobody is a stranger. And nothing gives her more joy than to be around her people, the people that love her and that she loves so much. After Drum was born, we had a pretty steady stream of visitors and helpers. Every day when I'd pick her up from daycare, she'd ask "Who's at our house today?" She was in heaven with so much consistent company, and when it started to slow down, she was terribly disappointed. Mo also loves to go to daycare because she basically gets to spend the whole day hanging out with her friends at a big party. For Mo, daycare is such a blessing. There's no way she'd get as much out of her time (both socially and academically) if she had a stay at home parent or a nanny of some sort.
Does Mo still have and love a million stuffed animals?
Yes, but now it's more like 2 million. Everyone has figured out that stuffed animals are Mo's thing, so they keep bringing them into our house. And we don't stop it because Mo loves every single one. While her collection has grown exponentially, she still has two favorites: Pump and White Puppy (often referred to as Pump and Pup or Puppy and Pumpy). This is what I said about them last year in a list of her favorite things: "Pump, the pink blanket she got at birth and took a liking to awhile ago; Foofoo or Puppy, the little scrap of a stuffed animal she got on her first birthday and has loved every since." These two have remained solid for over two years now, and she rotates through other lovies du jour. Currently she's liking the stuffed Care Bear (Cheer Bear because of course) and the My Little Pony (Rainbow Dash) trinkets she got for her birthday. Speaking of My Little Ponies, she's recently obsessed (thanks cousin Scarlet for introducing her) and even though she says Rarity is her favorite, I think Mo is kindred spirits with Pinkie Pie. If you are familiar with MLP, picture Pinkie Pie in human form and you pretty much understand Mo.
Is Mo still pretty affectionate?
Yep. While I was pregnant she become ultra clingy and wanted to be glued to me at all times. It has simmered down a bit, but she still likes to be near me and Mike a lot. The other day Mike laughed and said, "Mo has no sense of personal space." I looked over to find her plastered against him on the couch. She wasn't interacting with him, she was playing a game on the tablet, but she wanted to be as near to him as possible. She has also started this adorable thing where she grabs the sides of my head and pulls me in for a kiss. And she always wants to hold my hand going up and down the stairs even though she doesn't need the support. She's often too busy to be tied down with cuddles, but when she slows down, she wants to be physically touching someone. I think it recharges her battery.
Does Mo still mean the world to you?
I mean, come on...
A few other things about Mo at age three:
- She is an incredible conversationalist. Everyone describes her as "chatty" and that's an understatement. She is a non-stop talker, and her vocabulary and ability to articulate her thoughts blows me away.
- She is learning her letters. I don't know when kids typically start to recognize and identify letters by name, but for a minute I was worried because she didn't seem to get it at all. I worked on the letter M with her for months and it never clicked. Then suddenly it did and now she recognizes M O S E L T Z consistently and several other letters sporadically. She can also spell her name verbally, and she can sort of write MOS. The funny thing is I taught her how to write those letters by explaing it was "up down up down, circle, squiggle." So for a long time she would call M "up down up down," O "circle," and S "wiggle." Sometimes I still have to remind her those aren't the actual names of the letters. Oops!
- She is fully potty trained and has been since the summer. She still wears pullups when she sleeps but most of the time she wakes up dry. I'm just not interested yet in investing energy into making sure she doesn't drink too much at night, and on the chance she does pee, I don't want to deal with changing her sheets. So, pullup it is!
- She loves her baby bro. At first she was pretty indifferent, but lately she has taken an interest in him and I think that will only grow as he becomes more and more enthralled with her. Sometimes she'll call him Drummond (or Drum or Baby Drummond), but mostly it's Brother, Baby Brother, Bro or Baby Bro. Yesterday her friend at daycare was admiring Drum when I picked them up, and Mo protectively said "That's not your baby. That's my baby!"
- She got her first haircut just before she turned 3! It was literally a millimeter off the ends to get rid of some split ends, but it felt momentous.
- She enjoys books, coloring, painting (loves painting!), puzzles, board games, random shows we find on Netflix, stickers, candy, singing, playing house, eating snow, and generally being a nutball!
Happy third birthday crazy girl!