Mo recently turned three and a half, so I thought it was time for an update. For awhile after she turned 3 we really struggled with her, but the last couple months have been some of the most magical. She responded really well to her behavior chart, which we still use, and now we can spend our time with her enjoying her amazing spirit. Seriously, I love this moment in time with Mo, she is truly one of the most incredible people I know.
So first, a couple more practical things. One big update is that she'll be starting preschool in the Fall. We thought we'd keep her in her daycare for another year and start preschool at 4.5, but recently her daycare provider talked to me about looking into preschool. She thought it would stimulate Mo in ways that she's not getting at daycare anymore, and she recommended a place that turned out to be a good fit for us. We've got her enrolled for September, and she got to take a little tour. I think she's a tad nervous, but mostly excited. We'll see how it goes!
One barrier to preschool is that lately Mo has started peeing during naps again. For a long time she was out of Pull-ups at naptime, but now has accidents a few times a week. At preschool she has to be fully potty trained, so hopefully this works itself out before then! She also wears Pull-ups at night still, but we're not making any effort to stop that yet. One day we'll bother, but not yet.
Mo is a terrible eater lately. OK maybe not terrible, but frustrating. She never wants a meal but always wants snacks. Fortunately those snacks often include vegetables, cheese, yogurt. But mealtime is a real bummer. She spends the entire time telling us she doesn't like what we've made and that she's not hungry, and then right before bedtime suddenly she's starving and willing to eat anything, including the dinner we made which is now either cold and shriveled or in the trash. We don't want her to have a negative relationship with food, so we don't force her to eat anything, but we do make it clear that this is what is available to eat and it's her choice whether to eat it or not. She often chooses not, and that's fine, but the problem is that an hour later she realizes she's hungry and now we're deciding between letting her eat and delay bedtime or not letting her eat (because it's bedtime) and causing her to go to bed hungry. Gah!
I thought Mo might make some progress with riding a bike this summer, but she is just not interested. She can pedal her tricycle, but still struggles when there's even a slight incline. She can't quite figure out how to keep up the momentum. And she won't even try her bike (with training wheels), she's just bored with it. When do most kids try out a bike?
Mo never stops moving. Like, really. We do this thing when I need her to calm down a bit where I have her sit on my lap and get comfortable and then I count to 10 slowly and she has to try to not move at all. It's a challenge for her. Ten seconds. She can barely sit still for 10 seconds! She loves to run, climb, jump, and dance. She loves to explore the world and test out her body's abilities. It's fun to watch.
Mo's mind has been expanding like crazy. She knows a lot of her letters and numbers by sight and can write many of them. The other day she, out of the blue, counted to 7 in Spanish. I have no idea where that came from! She's also very fascinated by rhyming and by time. She's always exploring what words rhyme, and has been talking a lot of about the concept of time, trying to get her head around that.
So that's some of the practical stuff. Now a little about her beautiful spirit. Mo is intrigued and amazed by everything. In fact, we call her a trash collector because she's always finding some bit of trash and making it into a treasure. She finds joy in all things, even a broken piece of plastic at the park. She has an inspiring imagination. I want to get inside her head and see the world because anything is possible and everything has the potential for a great adventure. I know it sounds like I'm describing any child, but there's something pretty cool about Mo. Obviously I think so as her mom, but I think others see it too. She's fun to be around and to have around.
And she's a genuinely sweet person. She has her moments, but she's kind and loving and innocent. Recently a couple of her cousins were playing and found it funny to leave Mo out. That alone is heartbreaking, but what makes it worse is that Mo doesn't even have a way to process that. She likes and loves everyone and can't even comprehend not wanting to play with everyone. I just want to scoop her up and protect her from the world. I want to make every person she ever encounters love her as much as she loves them. I'm a mom, I can do that right?
Her sweetness is reflected in her treatment of her brother. She is nothing but loving to him. I've never seen her be mean or even annoyed with him. Sometimes, she's indifferent and busy doing her own thing, but then suddenly she'll give Drum a hug or a kiss, or bring him a toy and play with him. I hope she always loves him that way.
Mo is very special to me. She always has been and always will be, of course, but right now we have a special relationship. We love to spend time together - maybe just cuddling, often talking and laughing together. She likes me to scratch her back, and I like to ask her about what's on her mind. This past weekend we were in northern Michigan with my family, and Mo and I played in the water a lot, just the two of us. We swam together, I threw her in the air over and over, we floated in a raft and talked about lots of things, we pretended to see a mermaid, we looked for stones. It was magical and I will cherish those memories forever. I hope she does too.