Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday My Chloe

My Sweet Chloe,

When I wrote the Happy Birthday post when you turned 2, I didn't think it was possible that there was a child in the world that could top the mess you were at the time of that posting. You proved me wrong, as you do daily, by topping yourself at Halloween. I was so excited when I found a Snow White costume for a steal of a deal at a local consignment sale. And I applauded myself when I saw the look of excitement on your face when I unveiled my find to you. Since Snow White is your favorite character, you eyed that dress in my closet from the time I hung it there at the beginning of September until October 31st.. Knowing, too well; that our costume couldn't withstand the wear-and-tear you would normally inflict on such a treasure, I valiantly fought my urges to give in to your begging and pleading to be made over as your favorite Disney Princess before the big night. Our home was a toddler frenzy the day of Halloween as I laid the dress, along with a red sparkly headband, out in anticipation of the fulfillment of its long-awaited purpose. I thought you were going to burst with excitement when the time came to put on that sweet little dress that we had talked and dreamed about for months. You stepped one foot into  the life of being the "fairest one of them all"...then froze, stepped back out, and said, "uh-uh, I don't like it".  I used forward, sideways, reverse and any other psychology I could think of.  After trying every method of child manipulation I had under my belt, I began to offer all the costumes that make up quite a large dress up play assortment in your playroom. You were interested in none of them: not a cat, a doctor, a flapper girl, or Spiderman.  Nor, were you interested in Barbie, Strawberry Shortcake or any of the other Disney Princesses.

Deciding that this particular battle wasn't worth the fight, I surrendered to your suddenly firm opinion and adorably crazy antics, and together we invented the best Halloween costume ever.

You wore your costume with pride as you held that sign up in front of all of our neighbor's faces saying, "I'm a two year old!!! I'm a two year old!!!" 

I  thanked God for an 80-degree, South Carolina Halloween night. Then, for the rest of the evening, I made a mental note of our neighbor's addresses and determined which ones that I would make friends with, based on whether they looked at us like our hair was on fire or if they laughed and agreed that it was the best costume ever.  

Not to worry about the Snow White costume though... We made great use of it when we took our trip to Disney World in January.


We packed enough fun into that trip to make up for the trip we had made the previous year when you brought your stomach virus along with us.

Speaking of Disney World... I remember that while I was packing for us to go on that particular trip, I had to stop to pry a half of a cashew out of your nose. On top of that, I still haven't repainted the bathroom wall, on which you used your unsupervised time and creativity to grace our family with a masterpiece of a mural, drawn with bold strokes in black crayon. How clever of you to scout out the only room in the house that has not yet been painted with washable paint! The good news though is that it appears that you have no nut allergies.  

There are many stories similar to those above that I could write to portray you in a somewhat accurate light but for the most part, you just have to see it to believe it and my window of opportunity for sleep has grown very small these days. But, if you'll read back through this last years postings my dear, you will find that you have seasoned our life with a flavor that leaves us all begging for more.

For now though, I will do you the injustice of trying to briefly sum up your complex, little personality:
You dabbled in the tantrums of the "terrible twos" a time or two, but quickly moved on to tactics that may one day earn you a place in Washington DC. When we realized that there was no method of discipline that could keep you in your baby bed, we converted it to a "big girl bed" and reversed the door knob so that we could lock you in. Yes sweetheart, that's correct. We locked you in your room.  Some children need to be protected from themselves. But, this effort was to no avail. It wasn't long before we heard the click of the door shutting behind you and then your little feet pitter-pattering down the hallway at the speed of lighting. Next, to see you round the corner with an expression of great victory on your face as you cheerfully exclaimed, "I'm supposed to be bed!!!" Your dad and I of course did what any good parent would do: We laughed. We were amazed for a while by your Houdini-like skills. But, when we locked ourselves in your bedroom with you, you willingly and proudly, showed us that you had cleverly learned to unplug your night-light and use it's metal prongs as a key. We had pretty much conceded that particular battle to you and had decided to let it go until the day that your dad and I both jumped two feet out of the bed when we heard the house alarm alert us that you had gone into the back yard. As I type, you are once again locked away in your bedroom with all plugs or anything else we think might function as a key out of reach; (or so we think). Why yes, we did have an alarm installed on your window as well. We figured we'd need that when you're a teenager anyway

You seem to steal the heart of every man within five miles. This development would be a cause of great concern if I weren't so pleased with your choices of  whom you choose to give your affections: daddy, grand dads, and Mr. Lane (from church), topping the list.   

You could not be shamed into potty training. My futile attempt at threatening that you would be called, a "poo-poo pants" at Pre-school, resulted in a fit of giggles and a new nickname that you claimed  for yourself. From that time forward, you have alerted us of an accident by proclaiming, "Well, I guess I'm a poo poo pants!" However, I did find that a few days of having you "go commando" seems to have  done the trick. Still I have to admit I admire your confidence. Speaking of preschool, you start tomorrow and we have been praying for your teachers for a while.  

I think it was said best when someone said, "If I were going to write a cartoon character kid, it would be Chloe". It's hard to deny your cuteness. I'm afraid you're going to need every bit of it. And, I'm a little nervous about what our future holds for us.

At the end of the day, I find myself wondering how a little person can exhaust me so completely and still earn every ounce of my undying adoration. What fun you are my Chloe girl!  

Always and forever, love,