overcoming fears

A year ago (less than that, even), Catie had all of these quirky little behaviors that absolutely baffled me. Little things, stuff that you’d think most kids would enjoy, totally terrified her. It used to worry me. But recently, Catie’s been proving that she’s not afraid of very much anymore. Like…

1. The tricycle. She got this tricycle on her 2nd birthday. She was ok with sitting on it (while I pushed it) when she first got it, but then something changed and she would howl and cry if I suggested she sit on it. It seemed to correlate to her fear of “motion that she’s not 100% in control of.” These days, not so much.

Catie on her tricycle

Apparently there are some tricycles on the playground at her daycare, and she’s recently been trying them out. She came home bragging about how she “rode a bike” at school. I thought that was odd, so I brought out her old tricycle (which had been growing cobwebs in the corner of the garage) to see if she wanted to take it for a spin. She did. And she loved it. She still won’t use the pedals, she just scoots herself along with her feet, but I think she’ll figure out that part on her own time.

2. The playground. She still doesn’t like swings, but she OWNS the slides. When she first started going down the slide this past spring, she would only go down the baby slide, and only if I held her hands.

She goes down the big slide on the playground by herself now

Now, though, she goes down the big slides, all by herself. And likes to show off her static-cling hair when she lands.

Static-hair after the slide

That’s pretty awesome. She’s also decided that her stroller is for babies, so she walks all the way to the neighborhood playground and back, and doesn’t even whine for me to carry her. (It would be about a 10-minute walk if I did it by myself. With a slow-poke 3 year-old, it’s more like 25 minutes, each way. But it’s hilly, so I’m impressed that she walks it.)

3. Water. Apparently this kid of mine has decided that she’s half-fish. After battling her pool phobia this summer, yesterday she tried out something new: the slip & slide. I bought it for her months ago as a surprise gift ($4 at Target, yay!), and she took one look at the picture on the box, and said, “I don’t like that.” We never got around to setting it up until yesterday.

Loving the slip & slide in the backyard

I think she liked it.

Of course, I had to show her what to do the first time. Related note: 34 year-olds are not supposed to use slip & slides. Ouch.

I’m just so proud of her, it’s like she woke up one day and decided she was a big kid and needed to act accordingly. I don’t know how it all seemed to happen at once, but I love it.

Unrelated side note: I think she might be watching too many Disney Princess movies. Last night when I was kissing her goodnight & saying our “I love you”s, she said, “In the morning, after the sun’s up, we can be together again.” Way to make bedtime dramatic, kiddo.

I’m telling you, three year-olds are a freaking riot.

Conquering the Slide

This past weekend, Catie and I went to the playground. We’ve been doing this a lot lately, since the weather has gotten nice. We have a neighborhood playground which is ok but a little small; there’s a much nicer public park with a bigger playground about a mile and a half from our house. Catie particularly likes the sand pit.

Catie at the playground
(I didn’t bring my good camera with me, just my iPhone.)

She also likes the play structures, but usually she just walks up the stairs, hops around at the top, then climbs back down. She’s always hated slides and swings. I honestly don’t know why, she’s just a cautious kid, and she doesn’t seem to like motion that she doesn’t feel 100% in control of. She doesn’t care for tricycles either. Honestly, yes, I find this behavior a little strange, but I also try not to spend much time worrying about it, because I think most of it is stuff that she’ll outgrow in her own time.

And it turns out that my instincts might be at least partially correct. Because out of the blue, she turned to me from the top of the play structure and said, “I go on the slide?” I was kind of stunned, and I repeated, “You want to go down the slide?” She said, “Yeah. You help me.”

So I held both of her hands, and she scooted herself down the slide. And then she did it again. And about 25 more times after that. I was stunned. I couldn’t take any pictures of her in action because I had to hold her hand to get her to go down the slide, but one of the times she was running back up the stairs of the play structure, I tweeted about it.

(I’m a little more free with my language on Twitter. Which is funny, since my dad apparently reads my Twitter stream. But he’s never said anything to me about my profanity there, probably because he knows I’d tell him to stop reading it.)

I was so proud of her for breaking out of her comfort zone. I think she was pretty pleased with herself too.

Catie at the playground

After the playground, we celebrated by going out for Mexican food, just the two of us. Such a fun day.

And I know it’s probably a cliche, but there’s something about having a kid this age, she seems to do some new amazing thing that completely surprises me every day. I love that. And I cannot wait to see what this kid will do next to knock my socks off.