"Mom! You have to talk to Mrs. B. Shouldn't she be teaching HT how to say the word I?"
HT looked up from her coloring book bewildered. Her face turned slightly to the side as if trying to piece out the conversation that was about her. I shot Bean a look that screamed stop talking. Bean continued her diatribe against her sister's preschool education and finally I shouted "Stop!" and pulled her into the kitchen and whispered desperately, "please don't correct her."
I know that I should be correcting her. I get that. I know that when she uses the "my" in place of "I" that it is incorrect, but I also know that she won't be making this adorable mistake in kindergarten. It's a tiny phonetic quirk that will work its way out of her language soon enough and in the meantime I just want to stretch out her babyisms for as long as possible because she's a "tubler big girl." Instead of saying "toddler," she says "tubler," another endearing babyism that I refuse to correct. And she's right. She is more and more a big girl, than she is a baby.
We celebrated her third birthday with cake, underpants, balloons and much hoopla. HT is shy, so when we sang "Happy Birthday," she looked coyly at the cake and camera, and leaned in closer to her sister who assisted in blowing out the candles. She's potty trained and excitedly picks out her clothing daily (almost always she's wearing Frozen underpants and some kind of dress, sometimes a skirt). She is willful and assertive in ways that surprise me. HT will go into the refrigerator and feed herself ham, cheese, yogurts. She will take the gallon milk jug out of the refrigerator and leave it in the middle of the kitchen floor. One time she took the eggs out of the refrigerator and tried bringing them upstairs for me to peel them because she wanted to eat an "oval eggy." All of this happened while I was in the shower and resulted in me yelling to a hysterical three-year old because she didn't understand that those eggs were not cooked and didn't understand that they had to be cooked if she wanted the eggy to remain an oval shape.
HT is my little imp. She has this mischievous side to her that is both thrilling and terrifying. HT will climb the 10 ft curved ladder at the playground and cock her head back daring me to follow her. The corner of her mouth turns upward and eyes gleam with glee and confidence. And so I stand underneath her so I can catch her, but I don't need to be there. She has unwavering faith in her abilities to climb. Whereas Bean is long and lithe and hesitant in her playground ramblings, HT is muscular, strong and bold. HT was forged in Bean's shadow and does everything her big sister does. The word "NO" is merely a suggestion to her and she slyly figures her way out of every timeout, demand, or argument. HT is defiant and stubborn at times, trademarks of every tubler. Whenever I try to help her, she crosses her arms across her chest and proudly sticks out her chin and announces "my big girl!" and she squints her eyes angrily at me. And I acquiesce most of the time. I don't fight her because most of the time she's right. HT taught me to trust her, and by extension, trust Bean. They are perfectly capable beings. I just have to learn to let them be.
HT turned three and my world changed. My purse got smaller. I can carry a cute and tiny purse now. I don't need a giant bag filled with diapers and wipes. She doesn't nap and our days are long, but we have more freedom because we can do day trips and I don't fear the nuclear fallout at bedtime. We can head into the city at 3PM and attack a museum or park. On those days, Bean and HT fight over riding on the stroller or not riding in it, and I'm exhausted being the referee. Their fights are tremendous and loud affairs, but their angst burns out quickly, and they end up hugging and laughing soon enough. The love they have for each other is beautiful to behold, and I hope it continues throughout their lives. Together, they are unstoppable.