Last night, I kissed two-year-old Aria goodnight for the last time.
Today, she is three. Three. As in, the I can do it all by myself, it's my turn now, I've learned the word no and I'm not afraid to use it, Mommy, kind of three. I can't believe my precious girl is growing up! Each night this week as I've put her to bed, sentimental me has thought mournfully, this is one less time I'll be kissing a two-year-old goodnight. (Melodramatic? Who, moi?)
Hello, Three, welcome to the Thomas household. I'm almost sad to see you.
I know everyone talks about the terrible twos, but they've been dreamy in my house. No kidding, I really love this age. Unrestricted emotions aside, I've found the twos to be so delightful. It's been a true pleasure to watch Aria begin to comprehend the world and her place in it. She's such a joy. I love parenting this child. I just love it, love it, love it.
That said, I've found myself doing two things in our household lately that surprise me about myself. The first is ironing my scrubs. Yes, I know most normal people iron their clothes for work, I've just never seen the point. I mean, they're going to get icky and wrinkly anyway, right? Growing up, our housekeeper, Daisy - ah, sweet Daisy, bless her big, beautiful heart - always did the ironing, so I think I might have misinterpreted those perfectly ironed and folded clothes magically materializing in my closet to mean, "Don't worry, Sarah. Clean, laundered, crease-free garments will be provided for you". I mean, didn't God promise me He'd dress me as beautifully as a lily? (See Matthew 6:28-30. Didn't He?? Admittedly, I could be taking a liberty or two with this particular passage, and probably ironing my clothes for me is not exactly what He meant).
Oh, and a sidebar about Daisy. She didn't read, write, or drive, so my mom would chauffer her across town to and from our house every Wednesday. Daisy, being an African-American woman growing up in the mid-century deep south, would insist on riding in the backseat of Mom's car, which totally mortified my mother. Daisy was so dear to us she was like a member of our family, but to onlookers, it might have appeared as if Mom was making Daisy ride in the backseat of her car. My so-sweet, proper, never, EVAH one-to-offend-anyone mama making her help ride in the back of the car. If you know Mom, you see the irony.
Lookie there! Irony, get it? Iron-y! I didn't even intend to make that one. Ha! I just love English, and I have AP Mrs. Kelly to thank for it.
So, the ironing. In maturing and getting older, I have yet to see ONE of those perfectly ironed clothes appear in my closet without my own doing. I can still see the look on Chris' face when, early in our marriage, he handed me a pile of his shirts that needed to be ironed, and I brightly told him I'd take them to the cleaners the following day. "No, they're clean", he tells me, "they just need to be ironed." So, um, yeah rightio. You want me to what? Maybe I wasn't entirely clear during the interview process that was our dating, but I don't iron. And no windows either.
Well, now that our social life has taken a little hit (remember... the Two), guess what I've learned to do? That's right. I'm ironin'. I don't have as many reasons to get gussied up anymore but for playdates and work, and since our last playdate was at a bounce house and our next one is an inflatable backyard pool, Work, you are now the logical choice for me to try and look the trendy and stylish fashionista I (mistakenly, I admit) consider myself to be. I know I'm ironing my scrubs as a way of channeling my inner Talbot's-Ann Taylor-(who are we kidding? It's Nordstrom and Neiman's, but don't tell Chris) southern girl diva, and it often goes unnoticed and unappreciated in the drama that is an operating room delivering a 24-weeker at 4 in the morning, but oh well, I try.
The second surprising thing I've found myself doing lately is the issuing to my precocious and independent now three-year-old (!!!) the very ultimate Mommy threat of all Mommy threats: the 1-2-3. Oh, come on, before you judge the speck in mine, remove the log from your own eye. You know you're guilty of the 1-2-3 yourself. Every parent is. I can vividly hear Vivi saying the precise thing to me that I now say to my daughter on what could possibly be a daily occurrence. Here is an example of our exchange:
Me: "Aria Grace, I need you to Blank" (insert command here, usually has to do with potty-training).
AG: "No, Mommy. I don't wanna Blank!"
Me: "AR-I-A. Mommy told you to Blank."
Here it comes....
Wait for it....
Me: "Aria Grace Thomas. I am going to count to three. If you do not Blank by the time I get to three, you are going to be in serious trouble!" (Serious trouble in our house usually means the withholding of dessert. In extreme cases, it can result in banishment to the Naughty Stair. Thank you, SuperNanny Jo, for the brilliant Naughty Stair concept. For that, Chris and I are indebted to you.)
AG (Ignore, ignore, ignore).
AG: "No!" (Ignore some more).
AG (Thinks about it. Should I test Mommy on this one? How far could I take it?).
Me: "TWO AND A HALF..."
AG (Decides begrudgingly yet accurately not to test Mommy on this one, and slowly begins to Blank, whilst giving Mommy the Aria Evil Eye, the one Vivi says could quite possibly light a person on fire).
So there you have it. Ironing. And the 1-2-3. Never thought I'd see a day when I did either, much less both.
Wrinkled garments and the counting aside, I am so stinkin' proud of my baby girl for being the beautiful, bright, loving, happy, hysterical, sweet, caring, precious little rock star that she is. To that honor, here are a few pictures of her birthday weekend, during which she swam with her cousins, rode her first horse, played dress-up, and experienced that age-old childhood rite of passage, the Slip-n-Slide.
Next week, birthday party at the bounce house. I should have lots of good blog posts from the bounce house.
Cheers to the Three's. Welcome to the Thomas home. And Happy Birthday, Baby.