Kids grow up too fast, don't they?
I now have a baby who no longer takes a bottle or crawls, and a little bit of my heart hurts that this phase is past us. I now think I understand one of the reasons why people keep having babies!
I have been confounded at what to get Addison for Christmas. All she asked Santa Claus for was a Rapunzel dress and some balls. Done and Done. Since I really only buy toys for my girls at birthdays and Christmas (although I do stockpile at consignment sales), I have been trying to dream up something for Addison's "big gift." (Ansley's is a PBK Anywhere Chair.)
Her loves are coloring, writing, reading, playing dress up, playing make believe, making up stories, Dora, Strawberry Shortcake, and princesses. The princess phenomenon is a real thing for little girls, and, I even think, healthy in some way. When I read Dobson's Bringing Up Girls, I appreciated his perspective that the princess culture helps girls set their standards high for the way they should be treated, and I get that.
I have been proud that Addison's favorite princess is Belle--because she loves books, loves learning, has high aspirations, is not afraid to be different, and looks past outside beauty as she falls in love with the beast. I like Rapunzel's spirit, but I am not loving her new infatuations with Ariel and Tinkerbell. Let's face it, they have bad attitudes and Ariel is very ugly to her father... I know that may seem overdramatic to some, but my very impressionable 3-year-old takes her cues from these heroines. She doesn't like something, and she calls it a "stupid tinker." She pouts like Ariel when she doesn't get her way... So I am back tracking.
Of course I am not going to ban the princess love in our home. That would be ridiculous and unnecessary, but I do want to focus on Addison and Ansley having the room to develop their imaginations in innocent, pure, and childlike ways. I want to give them things to play with that reinforce our family values. I want to give them the opportunity to stay "young" as long as possible because, after all, they grow up fast enough as it is.
I also came to this conclusion because I have noticed that when there is also a little sister in the mix, the little sister gets into what the big sister is doing much faster than otherwise. This makes me want to protect my daughters' innocence even more. Since our family is blessed with 2 little girls, I have decided I am going to save some things--like a nice doll house, for example--until they are both old enough to appreciate them.
My conversations with friends and scouring the internet has lead me to some interesting finds. Addison's "big gift" this year is going to be this:
I think she will love this. She adores Peter Rabbit and is getting the complete collection of those books for Christmas. She loves make believe and playing with miniatures, and I hope that she will create many special stories and adventures with this. Plus if she likes it a bunch, there are more homes and families that we can add to her collection. There is an entire Calico Critter community. (Check the link above to find out more about them.)
Mom friends out there, what are you getting your 3-year-olds for Christmas?