Today, you are forty-three months old. You are officially on the road to being FOUR. This is no surprise, as you have been wearing size 4 (and even size 4X) for a while now. You are a long, tall girl and there's no way around it. Fortunately, everyone loves buying you adorable clothes and as soon as you outgrow one item, there are two more to take its place.
This is the first year that you seem really thrown off by the time change, or more specifically by the fact that it is now dark when I pick you up from daycare or preschool. You seem quite distressed by the darkness, and anxiously announce that it's "way past my bedtime" but that you still want to play! Every day, I reassure you that we still have time to play, that we haven't had dinner yet, and that you don't have to go straight to bed. The message doesn't seem to be sinking in, though. I admit, driving home in the dark is no fun at all, but it's just part of winter. Get used to it, my girl, because it's pretty much going to look like this until May.
You've spent most of the last month being really excited and looking forward to winter, asking me every day when it was going to snow. My repeated answer was, "Don't worry, Gwen, winter will be here soon enough, and there will be plenty of cold and snow to go around." Winter did arrive last week with just enough snowfall to play in (but not enough to make the roads treacherous or otherwise inconvenience us), so that was fun. You enjoyed making a tiny snowman and playing with our neighbour Lily's sled, but I think your favourite winter thing to do is eat the snow. "How does it taste?" I asked, and you excitedly told me that it tastes JUST LIKE SNOW!
Your imagination is absolutely mind-boggling these days. You make up songs and stories and games all the time, often so lengthy and involved that I can barely follow them. In the car, you will often make up a song with nonsensical lyrics and a tune that goes nowhere, and expect me to sing it right after you. This doesn't usually work out the way you'd hope. Listening to you sing your silly songs is much more fun than me trying to learn them. Here is one you made up recently:
Dolphins, dolphins, dolphins
Cute and cuddly
Sharks, sharks, sharks
Cute and bitey
Cute and yummy!
You also have this charming habit of telling us stories about you as a 'big girl'. You are not yet clear on the usage of past, present, and future tense, so you tell these stories as if they happened in the past: "When I was a big girl, I went to the circus." The big you has had a lot of fascinating adventures, let me tell you.
One improvement we've made over the past few weeks is that I have bought you a clock radio for your room. It seems counter-intuitive that if we want you to sleep later in the morning, we should get you an alarm clock ... but I went with my hunch and it seems to have worked out. The clock radio sits on a high shelf where you can't reach it (preventing you from tampering with the buttons and changing the time), and we set your 'alarm' to go off about 10 minutes before ours does. This means that you wake up to the radio, and come into our bed for a snuggle for ten minutes before we all start our day. Snuggling with you in the morning is always the best part of my day, but the fact that it now happens at a reasonable hour instead of 5am makes it that much better. You have become pretty well-conditioned to this routine: I can turn off the alarm on weekends and you will sleep in a bit, and you rarely wake up before 7am now. Gotta love it when you can make behavioural conditioning work in your favour!