Today she went to bed early.
It started when she wouldn't eat her dinner. And she knew that if she didn't eat her dinner she wouldn't be able to have any of the milkshake I promised to make. Well, sure enough, when dinner was over and I got to making that milkshake she wanted some, and of course I divided it amongst everyone except her. She said that I was really mean.
"You're mean to meeee!"
As I was cleaning up the kitchen I could hear the kids fighting upstairs. I knew Natalie was causing problems just because she was feeling upset about the milkshake. Soon Francesca came down saying how Natalie had closed them out of the toy room and wouldn't let her play with the doll house. I told her to just go get the doll house and bring it into the other bedroom. While the kids were doing that I soon heard more screams from upstairs. Adam was crying. Natalie was crying. Adam accused her of hitting him the face. The amount of her tears and the fact that she didn't deny it told me he was right. He was screaming crying, she was screaming crying. Neither could settle down. Jason heard all the commotion and came upstairs and scolded her for hitting him in the face, and then put her on time-out. Crying crying crying. After a few minutes I asked if she was ready to say sorry. More crying. So I let her be.
I came downstairs and just fiddled around on the computer for awhile. After about 15 minutes she was still crying up there. So I went on up and asked if she wanted to go to bed. She did. "Let's put your diaper on." She stopped crying and crawled into bed holding her bie to her face. Then she said she wanted to say sorry. So I called Adam into the bedroom. He came to her bedside and she paused for a minute and then whispered "Sorry Adam" and then flung her arms around his head and gave him a big squeeze and many kisses. He told her it was ok and left.
But now she was crying saying "Nobody likes me!"
I called the kids back to the bedroom and whispered to them that she is feeling sad about what happened, so they went to her bedside and gave her kisses and hugs and told her that she was a favorite sister.
Then she was ready for bed. "Do you want me to kiss your eyes?" Yes.
I kissed her eyes and pushed back her bangs. "I know it's hard to be three years old. You're almost four. I know it's really hard sometimes. I remember."
She nods and says "Free is really really hard. Four will be easier."
And I can tell it will be.
Three has been hard. Many many many situations like the one above. Getting slighted over one thing and escalating it more and more until into a full blown thing. This is common to me now and I don't get upset about it the way I used to. But I have seen so much improvement. I know she is maturing and she is understanding more. But it's a process and it takes a lot of time and learning.
It was just so precious to me the way she said it tonight "Three is hard. Four will be easier."