Beta just turned three. She spent her birthday demanding we sing “Happy birthday to me” again. Every time she would sing along and Alpha tried to explain to her that she’s not supposed to sing along when we sing happy birthday, we’re just supposed to sing to her and she is supposed to listen. She didn’t care. Alpha clearly has a better grasp on social rituals than she does at her age.
It amazed me how big the differences between the two of them are, even when I try to compare Beta to Alpha when he was her age. She is definitely more girly. Every morning we have a discussion over what she is going to put on and I have to veto many of her choices (clashing patterns, wearing entirely purple, that sort of thing). I’ve realized the most effective way to get her to go along with my objections is to give her a reason she can’t argue on. She tried putting on neon pink capri leggings with a top that clashed. I told her she couldn’t wear the pants–they were way to short and for today’s cold weather, she needed long pants. She looked at her pants and realized I was right–they were too short. She picked out a grey long pair and we were done.
But other days we can’t agree and it just ends up in tears if her favorite outfit (a purple velvet dress) is dirty.
The only times I fought with Alpha about clothes was when we were in a transition season–he used to have a lot of trouble moving between short sleeves, long sleeves and so on.
She’s also picked up on the fact that women carry purses. She knows I do and imitates this. Whereas Alpha at her age was limited only what he could carry when it came to taking things out of the house, Beta is limited by what she can fit in her bag, which is significantly more. And she has to load it up before we can leave. Stuffed dog. Wooden cake. Stuffed pigs. Spoons. And so on.
She is very quick to come and comfort someone if they hurt themselves. If I bump my leg against furniture, she rushes over and kisses it and asks, “You okay, mommy?”
She likes to go to the bathroom with me. If I’m going to the bathroom, she’ll rush to come with me, pull down her pants and sit on her potty, chatting all the while. Some times she doesn’t even have to pee, but there she is anyway. She’ll talk to me about how my experience is going and hand me toilet paper as needed and help me flush the toilet. At some point in the future, she’s going to be doing this with her friends. Hopefully in different stalls.
Both Beta and Alpha play with cars. But they play with them differently. Alpha would build caravans or stack the cars on top of each other. He’d also have a lot of fast and large crashes to destroy the caravans and stacks. Car playing for Beta goes like this:
“Mommy, mommy, mommy!” Little McQueen car is driving around frantically. Fortunately, Bigger McQueen car is right around the corner! “Baby, baby! Did you hurt yourself? Awwww.” The cars cuddle.
She even does this with crayons, which I find highly amusing because I used to do the same thing when I was a kid. The small broken crayons were the babies and the tall unbroken crayons were the adults. The in-between sizes were children of other ages. She does the same, though I don’t think her games are as complicated as mine.
When Alpha and Beta play together, they usually end up playing some sort of family-oriented game where someone is the baby and someone is the mother. Some times, they play going to school–a game I’m pretty sure they picked up from my niece.
But as far as getting dirty is concerned, they are just the same. They love a big mess, though Beta gets a little more upset when her clothes get dirty. They both love danger. Beta recovers more quickly than Alpha when she falls and gets hurt–he’s always been more high strung in this manner.
Over all, she’s a happy 3 year old. She loves to play. Her gymnastics teacher told me she’s fearless because she tried to do a forward roll off the top of a high mat, when they were supposed to jump down and then do a forward roll. And she is definitely fearless.