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From the moment she opened her eyes as a three year old, we got a preview of her as a teenager. Gone are the mornings where she wakes up with a smile and a giggle and instead they have been replaced with desperate grabs to pull the covers back up and sometimes, on particularly difficult days, she swats at us to leave while she mumbles something about more sleep.


While she’s even more sweet and gentle and twice as caring as she was during age two, we’ve seen her express her opinions more frequently and without hesitation since turning three. She prefers to pick out her own clothes or at the very least reserves the right to veto an outfit chosen without her input. Pants are still outlawed with dresses her preferred article of clothing, I suppose this will be the case throughout age four as well.


She found her voice and an understanding of how to use it. To think there was a time before she was two that we prayed night after night for her to find her words, to make complete sentences instead of subjective grunts... she’s definitely making up for lost time. She talks from the moment she puts her feet on the floor until the moment she gives in to sleep at night and her comedic timing is near perfect.


This year we saw her vocabulary soar with word choices such as claustrophobic, oviparous, unfortunate, negative, organize, among others -- all used in the correct context. Speaking of organizing, she started (and continues) to organize and reorganize her toys and books and belongings until they’re displayed in a way she finds satisfactory.


We enrolled her in preschool again, as well as dance classes where we watched her take the stage for her first recital attempting steps in both ballet and tap. We finally took her to the pumpkin patch to pick her very own pumpkin for the first time. We introduced chores and implemented creative punishments for those times where her age forced her to lose her better judgment.


She fell in love with The Lion King and Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz and donned Dorothy’s signature threads for Halloween. She learned the theme song to Inspector Gadget and joins me in impromptu, spontaneous sing-alongs. She let her imagination run wild and soaked in the details of her surroundings, asking more questions than anyone could possibly answer. She learned a lot over the last year (how to spell and write her name and her phone number to name a few) and she managed to teach us even more along the way.


This year her favorite singer was Meghan Trainor and every car ride was all about that bass. Her favorite color slowly transitioned from purple to yellow and her favorite show from My Little Pony to The Magic School Bus. We saw Frozen on Ice and watched her first movie in a theater. We made her first Gingerbread house and built her first snowman. We played Candy Land and endless other games both inside and out leaving her growing footprints in the yard and her expanding handprints on the glass of our sliding door.


When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, the response seemed to change weekly throughout the year. Rock star. Astronaut. Teacher. Actress. Scientist. Ballerina. Doctor. Most recently, a waitress. Whatever she ends up becoming, I hope she maintains the courage to follow her heart and knows that her mother and I will be behind her every step of the way; we just want her to be happy. After all, she’s changed our lives for the better since she was born and she deserves nothing but the best in return.



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