Thursday, April 25, 2013

Status report: Chloë, 3 years 9 months

Chloë this month is...well, mostly, obsessed with her body videos. "I saw a cloud shaped like a stomach!" she told me coming home today. "And the intestines under it!" 

She's very keen on electronics in general; shows are still big, but the tablet with its Youtube and my phone with its Wonder Zoo app (she likes catching animals for the zoo) and her LeapPad with its math game are much more interesting.

Her drawings have become increasingly complex and original. We have a "gallery" in the hallway now of her pictures. One is a flower I drew that she merely colored in. But the others are flowers in dirt; a campfire with sky above; a slide on grass and flowers; and another campfire, but with a guy roasting marshmallows over it, all completely drawn by her. And then there's this gem that she came up with during Colorforms play:

I did the seesaw and helped make the swing set long enough to accommodate all three swings she wanted by putting multiple Colorforms end-to-end. She did the rest. And then there's Legos:

I helped with this too, especially when she started screaming about the Legos not staying up. Now she knows about supports. But it was her idea and she did most of the work. 

In a way it's been a tough month. I can't even indulge in the "I bet she'll be an X when she grows up" because, contrary to her plans, I know she can't possibly be a physician and an artist and an architect and a dentist and a teacher and an astronaut and a circus performer. ("Watch my trick," she says, and balances on her head. But that's not actually the trick; the trick is a somersault which she accomplishes about a third of the time. She used to be better at it.) Luckily, "evil overlord" is a catchall job description.

Helping with that last, she's becoming more and more bossy, both with us and with Maia. We're still learning when it's worth it to reason or argue with her and when we need to assert our essential parenthood. "You don't order me around!" Chloë told me at dinner tonight. My answer was, "I'm your mother. That's part of my job." I can still shut her down with a well-placed yell or ultimatum, but she usually collapses into loud tears when I do, so I'd rather not when I don't have to. 

As for Maia, Chloë's very fond of telling her "No! Don't color on my picture!" or "Don't eat your hands!" or "Come to my room for a sleepover!" She's actually drawn multiple pictures depicting things Maia shouldn't do (take her lip balm, mostly) with "MAiA" and "ON" (she still hasn't captured the concept of writing left-to-right) written on them. She's so funny. But they still get along great, especially now that Maia's able to play and understand better. With the weather improving we've been getting outside as we can, and they love playing in the sandbox or using sidewalk chalk or flying kites together. She's finally learned how to ride the tricycle, including turns, though she still fusses when she gets stuck. She likes to have her own way, but she's also very encouraging to Maia. She's excited about Maia's party and the present she picked out (and also the one that we picked out), and will happily wait for her or fetch things for her, and they do decently well on sharing, even the LeapPad.

And now that she's finally mastered riding her tricycle (she rode all the way around the block today! And kept going even after taking a tumble!), she's found a new way to have fun with her little sister:

She's a very sweet big sister. Funny and silly and creative and smart. Definitely a keeper. Besides, I'm going to reach the age of bodily ailments soon and she'll be able to tell me exactly where my duodenum is.

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