A little over a month ago my first baby turned three years old. THREE YEARS OLD. It seems impossible. And most days, it seems like she’s three going on 13 (I’m sure you can imagine how much fun THAT is).
She was an angel in her twos, so apparently she’s going to come into her threes with a bang. And by bang I mean the sound her door makes when she slams it 19 times (because the first 18 times we ignored her, trying not to give into her strong will). Or the bang the wall makes when she hits her head against it during timeout. And then the bang of my hand against my head that follows because she’s now made herself sob uncontrollably and I can’t figure out if she’s REALLY hurt or if she’s just smart enough to know that bodily harm is the only thing that can get her attention in timeout.
So when you skip the terrible twos, apparently you’re just holding out for the stab-yourself-in-the-eye-with-a-rusty-fork, trying-doesn’t-even-begin-to-cover-it, tremendously-tumultuous, you-might-consider-selling-your-toddler-on-eBay threes.
Aside from the angsty teenage rebellion our daughter is coming into, she’s also going through a growth spurt — physically and mentally.
She eats more than I do.
No, this isn’t a joke. She eats like more than me in a day. Of course, she also runs, jumps, skips, gallops, twirls, dances and does more jumping jacks than I do in a day. (I’ve got her beat on coffee consumption though!) She’s not the least bit overweight or anything, she’s still taller than most girls her age and her weight is right on par with average, but this girl can seriously throw some food down.
Take yesterday for instance. She had a banana for breakfast. Then some strawberries for breakfast dessert. For brunch she had peanut butter toast. For brunch dessert she had a granola bar. Then for lunch, she had a veggie dog and some vegan pizza we had frozen. Followed by her lunch dessert of strawberry coconut yogurt. For dinner she had noodles, carrots and edamame. For her after dinner snack she had potato lentil chips. And then for dessert she had one scoop of cherry chocolate chip soy ice cream.
I’m not kidding you. For the most part she eats incredibly healthy food and she seems to be active and growing like a weed, so do you worry when your toddler starts eating more food than the rest of the family combined?
And while all that food is fueling her physical growth spurt, there’s plenty of turmoil around here to help her develop mentally. Take for instance the drive to my parents house, which, albeit two miles away, entails passing a free women’s center where abortions are performed Monday-Saturday.
Here’s the dealio people. I’m not going to get all politically righteous on you because it’s just not my place. While I may not agree with everything everyone thinks, I can respect that a person has different views than mine and probably feels equally as passionate about their cause (whatever it may be) as I do mine.
So when I talk about this pro-life issue, I’m not saying I have a problem with that belief system. I’m not saying I support it or am against it, either. What I am against, however, are the massive, incredibly gruesome posters someone is inevitably holding up between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Trust me, I get the point of them. The shock value of what’s being done to tiny fetuses at the hands of these women and doctors. I can commercially and personally understand the theory behind these types of pictures.
But for the love of three year olds, can we please put these pictures on maybe a pamphlet and pass them out to responsible adults instead? Twice in the last two weeks my daughter has seen these signs from her car seat and asked why those babies looked like that, what was wrong with them. Luckily, she doesn’t question my answer of «oh, someone spilled red paint on the picture» or «it’s not real, it’s just a picture,» but one of these days she will.
I’m not saying don’t protest. I’m just saying that maybe, in a small suburb loaded with tiny hands and tiny minds, we could reserve the shock value strictly for adults.
Just like people don’t like animal rights protesters to hand-out cruelty-filled information on what’s happening to their kids lunches, I don’t really think it’s anybody else’s job out there (regardless of their beliefs) to decide when I should educate my daughter on the realities of abortion.
And speaking of animal rights, she’s becoming a lot more aware of that, too. The other day we were perusing our grocery store and she saw the sprawling display of raw meats. She asked me what that was and I told her it was meat, like hamburgers, sausage and chicken. She then exclaimed «I love veggie chicken,» and begged me to go buy some. I told her that was a different kind of meat, that the veggie chicken she likes is made from vegetables (we make ‘chicken’ nuggets out of quinoa and sweet potatoes). Which led her to ask what the other meat was made from.
This is a tricky subject for us. I want our little girl to understand why we eat differently, but at three years old, I don’t want her to think all the other people in her life that don’t choose to be like us are bad. If she wants to come to that conclusion when she’s 14, fine, we’ll go down that road then, but just like we don’t want people to judge or dislike us because we choose to live cruelty-free, I don’t want to instill hate or disrespect in her for people that don’t.
When I explained to her that «real» meat came from cows, pigs and the feathery chickens she sees in her books, she got a horrified look on her face and asked why people ate them. I told her that some people do it because they like the taste, for moral or health reasons, but it didn’t make them bad, just different than us. I told her that because we are vegan, we believe we can get enough from vegetables so we don’t eat animals or things that come from them.
She sat quiet for about three minutes (quite the achievement for her) and so I asked her if she was OK or if she had anymore questions.
She simply looked at me and said «so we don’t drink chicken milk because we’re ‘begins?'»
God bless a three-year-old’s rationale.
You also might like:
- When’s the right time to have «the talk»
- Why can’t we be friends