At three Amelia is getting more adventurous and maybe a bit wilder (uh oh). She’s conflicted about her change in status from baby to middle kid. Sometimes she’s very keen to be a big kid but mostly she doesn’t want us to forget she’s “still little”. Three is what I like to call the age of thunderstorms. Big noisy temper tantrums are now a thing - not often but still. More often she'll grunt with annoyance and refuse to talk to you if she is displeased with you for some reason.
Amelia adores Matthew and happily plays with him but they also clash endlessly. He likes to make her scream, she likes to get him in trouble by screaming. It's fair to say that the middles are like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead. They fight endlessly, then make it up and then fight some more. Sometimes they get physical but mostly she complains about hurt feelings. She recently cried "Matthew bonked me on the head and it hurted my feelings". Matthew rather scornfully told her he didn't intend to hurt her feelings, just her head. "You missed", she wailed.
Amelia doesn’t nap, except in the car. At bedtime she likes to be tucked in and blessed first. Then we must not forget to say prayers. A cynic might say that she takes the opportunity to put off actually going to sleep (and to be the center of attention), and heaven forbid someone might get impatient and start their own prayers. Prayer time here is very frequently punctuated with editorial comments such as "Nooooo Matthew!! It's MYYYYY TUUUURNNNNN". Sometimes the kids pray for each other "Please help Matthew to feel better" which is rarely received in the spirit it is intended "I'M NOT SICK" "Noooooo Matthew!! It's MYYYYY TUUUURNNNNN". Nevertheless we persevere.
Favourite foods include hotdogs, sausages, fruit, salad. At breakfast time she likes to have a little bit of all the cereals in her bowl at once. She favors the low fibre/high sugar ones, which is problematic since she’s supposed to be cutting her sugar and increasing her fibre to treat an ongoing chronic constipation issue. She’s not fond of anything that she doesn’t recognize.
The constipation is an issue because it makes toilet training harder for her. Also unhelpful: she's frightened of the toilet and has decided she just doesn't want to use it. Did I mention she's very, very stubborn? We're not pushing the issue but UGH.
Amelia adores preschool and would happily go every day. She also likes going to housegroup at church because she gets to have a packed lunch like the big kids.
In fact, “I want to do that also too” is a very frequent refrain around here. (And lest you wonder, we've tried telling her she can't do certain things unless she uses the toilet like a big kid, but so far we have not yet discovered the right incentive).
She loves to dance and pretends to speak French very often. She has learned her colours in French, but her diction needs work. This is especially confusing when she switches languages mid-sentence without warning. She has some trouble remembering names, preferring "that person" or "her over there". She's only just stopped calling Michael "that baby".
We had blueberry pancakes and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, with yesterday's leftover timbits on top.
Amelia huffed and puffed and huffed and puffed and may have had a slight assist in finally getting her candles out.
We left church immediately after communion to go to Spring Fling, an annual fundraiser put on by her preschool. Since the other fundraisers weren't held at a time that worked for us, I felt obligated to at least put in an appearance. Elizabeth accidentally knocked Matthew off his bike on the way (resulting in some impressive road rash) but once we got there they had a good time in a low key playing mostly in the playground kind of way. I mostly helped with cleanup.
Then we headed home to get ready for Amelia's RAINBOW party. Elizabeth's rainbow party was my favourite birthday party theme ever so I was pleased to do a repeat. Amelia was super excited to wear her rainbow dress (that used to be Elizabeth/Maria/Erika's and Isabelle may have worn it once too). We had hotdogs, hamburgers, smile potatoes, rainbow fruit and veggies, rainbow drinks and an epic rainbow Angel food cake.
Amelia was pretty excited to get books about Peppa pig - her current favourite video series (from Erika, Maria and Auntie Janice), a shopkins pony set that Matthew asked me to get her ("so she'll have her own and it will make Elizabeth happy too cuz Amelia will stop stealing Elizabeth's shopkins"), hair clips from Elizabeth ("so she'll stop losing mine"), boooootiful dresses (from her cousins), a NEW! t-shirt! (from Grandma J) and a pink scooter with light up wheels.
Isabelle expressed her wish to live with us so she could help Amelia "learn how to ride her scooter". Since Matthew frequently wishes he could live in Xander's family, maybe we'll have to do a trade overnight one of these days!
Our regularly scheduled Doors Open Ottawa was slightly interrupted by a grading ceremony for our newest yellow black belt! There were only six kids, so it was short and sweet.
Today was also doors open Ottawa.
We went to check out the train simulator for the new light rain trains. The drivers are being trained using it so that they will be ready when the tracks are finished being laid.
While waiting in line to get into the building with the simulator we had a chance to check out a few of the buses used over the years. The kids were most amused by the old bus from 1958. They said the back was really different because the seat went all the way across the back. It also had a box for money instead of presto which they thought was odd. Wheelchair bus seats that fold up and seat belts. That bus was really small.
Finally we got in to see the train stuff. Apparently a single train holds 300 people.
The train driver said there are two engines in each train. Hardest thing about driving the train simulator is staying focussed. He can only drive for about 15 min and then gets nausea in simulator because real train has bumping and noise from movement but in the simulator you aren’t really moving and that throws off your senses. There were two train simulators at either end of a mini train in the building.
Matthew: It wasn’t moving.
Amelia: I did like that moving part.
Then we went to visit the Elections Canada center. They prepare and distribute all of the materials for each election. Dedicated Canada Post trucks take containers to the various ridings. All by road. Very remote areas they contract locally with planes and helicopters. There are 20,000 polling places. After each election it all comes back to this building. Takes year to plan but mandate is to be ready all the time
Four years of preparation. They keep ballots for 10 years. Securely shredded after 10 years by bonded companies. That's 17 million ballots right now. Ballots are colour coded by type e.g. special, advance, regular. Colour of materials can’t overlap with a party colour. For the next election they are changing the size of the pencils they distribute. While the tiny ones are space and weight efficient they are a pain to use. They think through little details like how using a round sign with an arrow and words all around can simply be rotated instead of square sign with words at top or bottom which would need to be printed with the arrow in different orientations to point the correct way. This means less waste and less shipping. They also had an old table which had been used to prepare materials up until 2007. It had a washing machine motor in the middle which would spin it around and the people around the edge would each add their part to the bundle.
Elizabeth's friend Bianca is technically at the next bus stop, but because of construction the two stops have been only a short block apart. That means that the kids from the other stop often wander up to ours to climb the tree(s) and play in the bushes.
We usually take the opportunity for an exercise break and outdoor outing, and the whole family goes albeit in a somewhat staggered fashion.
After breakfast we theoretically have 14 minutes to get out the door. Elizabeth is typically the first one out. In theory the rest of us all follow a few minutes later, but in practice Matthew's often halfway down the block before we get Amelia and Michael ready. Matthew always waits to cross Percy either with Elizabeth's help or with an adult, so we're okay with that.
Michael is developing quite the fan club at the bus stop. Elizabeth revels in her status as Michael's favourite person.
Amelia, Elizabeth and Bianca all have the same dress so they were amused to coordinate the wearing of the dress a couple of times!
Brownies is over and Elizabeth has received her pin to show she is ready to go onto guides.
She's decided not to; brownies was fun but karate and ballet take precedence.
I don't think she finished all the badges, but she certainly did quite a few. In the last few weeks we've done a lot of very random things to finish off badges.