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The monthly letters are continuing into the 3rd year. I will continue each month, but I must warn you on the topic this month. If you don’t want to read about potty training in descriptive (yet relatively clean) language, you might want to skip this post. If you want to feel the pain (or laugh at us), read on.  Dearest Bean,

3 years old is bringing out an attitude that I was expecting at 2. It’s as though the big hairy “terrible two’s” is to woo us into believing it isn’t that bad. Then three happens. All I have to say is WTF??

OK, it isn’t ALL bad. There is still a lot of great stuff, but this month the attitude has been a doozy.

To start this month, we started with your birthday. Because you are my girl (and I do love birthdays), you got two parties. The first with all of Daddy’s and my friends (and your friends too), then another with your friends. You got some great gifts that you love, but the biggest hit was a Princess dress up outfit (as seen in the photo). It comes complete with tiara, clip on earings, a “dress” (aka, skirt) and a purse to carry (what else?) cookies (plastic cookies that were not that interesting before, but now is the only thing to complete the princess ensemble). We have come to an agreement that you can wear it after you eat, and before you play with anything else that is sure to get all over it. This thing is not made well, not sure how many trips through the wash it can handle. I appreciate your cooperation in keeping it as clean as possible.

The next biggest topic for this month is that poop is an issue for you. There is some block in your brain that refuses to let you poop in the potty. You will only do it with a diaper. Even worse, this was a challenge for a while also. There was a period of a couple of weeks in which you didn’t want to poop in the potty, so you just went on strike from pooping. At all. Of course that didn’t end well. Daddy and I spent those two weeks trying to convince you to eat the natural laxative foods. Convince a kid who won’t eat much of anything at all. That also didn’t end well.

Finally, we got to the point where you would poop with regularity, but still refused to go in the potty. So we thought. It seems the at home potty is problematic, but the one at school is totally fine and you poop there all the time. I ask again, WTF?? We are stumped about how to handle this one, since trying to convince you ends in pooping strike, so if you could just fill us in on the problem, that would be great.

Speaking of the digestive system – you are eating! Not a ton, but with regularity. I will choose to ignore the fact that when I stopped obsessing over your food intake (because doc said you are on track and growing perfectly), you started eating as I expect a 3-year-old kid to eat. Instead, I am going to credit our superior parenting skills. (go with it, it is better that way.)

I was also really hoping that you would give up the binky. Daddy and I have discussed various methods of getting you to give it up with the lowest amount of drama. You only get it in bed and to date it isn’t effecting your teeth – but I now wish I made you give it up at 1 like the doc suggested. This is going to be much harder than I planned. The plan we developed is that you can exchange the binky (which babies get) for freedom (we will remove the baby gate from your door while you are in there). You are VERY excited at the prospect of being able to come into our room any time you want – but not excited enough to give up the binky. We are even using peer pressure against you. We know which of your friends have given it up and remind you of this at every opportunity. When you are a teen, I will appreciate your lack of willingness to bend to peer pressure, but for now, it isn’t working for me. If you have any tips, that would be grand. I am not against bribery with M&M’s.

Back to bragging. This month there were HUGE strides in your writing/coloring. You can color a picture in the lines (when you choose to – which is not always the case) and you can write the first 3 letters of your name and the last several. You can read 6 “sight words” in addition to recognizing your name, Mommy and Daddy. You can type your name (when we let you touch the computer) and I am certain you are a genius! You also drew a picture of Daddy. It had a circle for his head, eyes – something like a nose, and something like a beard. Not only a genius, but an artist – I am so proud!

On weekend mornings, you are usually found making breakfast with Daddy. Two weeks ago, you measured all the dry ingredients of pancakes by yourself. Your favorite activity is still swinging  and you will swing for as long as someone will push you. I look forward to the time when you will be able to swing on your own.

This month had a lot in it. Daddy and I love you more than you know and we wish you the best. If you can help us out a little in the attitude and pooping departments, that would be great.

Love, Mommy