Petra @3.5 years

Do these shoes work with this dress? These are the words coming out of my 3 year old’s mouth. Suddenly she is more concerned with style than in the past. In fact, she won’t even wear shorts or pants. Only dresses. And my room seems to be the new favorite place to play. She pulls shirts out by the lot and tries them all on, then throws them to the ground to try some more.

I’ve been a delayed posting about Petra’s milestones. I’m trying to stick to a post about each child every 6 months. Petra was 3.5 years in May. But these posts are always so hard because I feel like I need to capture the entire child in one post – and that is simply impossible. I started to put a list together of everything I wanted to say, and after filling it up….I misplaced it.

But put simply: The girl couldn’t be more girly if she tried. Dresses, lipgloss, heels, and earrings top the list of her favorite things to wear. And you won’t catch her on a bike. Nope, not her. Not even if 10 children are outside all riding bikes together. She’s happy just to stand around, watch and cheer. Instead painting, swinging, and reading are some of her favorite activities. She also likes to help cook and clean in the kitchen. Usually cleaning equates to playing in a sinkful of soapy water – but it keeps her occupied and having fun.

She is loud. She makes awful noises just for the fun of it. Screaming is a delight…for her that is, not for the rest of us in the home. She thinks stinking out her tongue is marvelous fun.

She gets in more trouble than I would care to post about. She cut my bracelet in Sunday School 2 weeks ago – just to see what would happen.

She still bites, hits and kicks when she is angry.

She stuck blueberries in her ears this past week and a pearl in her nose.

She is what anyone would term politely as “spirited.”


She loves to play with friends – and usually that translates into running and screaming – just for the fun of it.

She loves to explore – which usually translates into making a mess or getting into trouble. But its the scientist in her so I try to find ways to encourage it.

She loves to sing and perform. She danced her way around the house last week, arms stretched wide, loudly singing “I have a dream, I have a dream” from the movie Tangled.

She is very good at expressing her feelings and can tell you why you upset her and what she wanted you to do differently. While I sometimes find it defiant, most specialists see it as incredibly wonderful that she is able to express herself so well.

When she prays she always thanks God first for the “wonderful sun and sky, and all the blessings we have.”

She is always comparing herself to her brother.

She speaks clearly and correctly – but has always been a very clear speaker.

She sings herself to sleep almost every night.

She loves to perform, recite verses and poems, and answer questions about stories. She wants to always be the best.

Today Petra read her first sign on her very own – a neon sign at Pizza Hut. It said “Budlight.” Of all signs, a beer sign was her first…I just had to laugh. Petra on the other hand thought it was suppose to say Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.

Amazingly she is quickly learning to read. I am using The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and I love it. After spending weeks on “at” words (bat, cat, hat, etc) it finally clicked and we were able to move on to other words (-am, – an, -ed, and more). She was reading her first words in May. In June while we traveled we spent hours working on reading – it made for a wonderful car activity. And she is quickly moving ahead. Usually I teach her once and she knows it. It is amazing to see how quickly she learns each lesson and understands it. The book suggests I read the new words to her first …. and I never need to. Once I tell her the rule, and show her the example, she almost always can sound all the new words out without help. She is quickly moving ahead and daily asks for reading lessons – sometimes more than once a day. But we almost always do one new lesson a day now. She can usually handle a 30 minute reading lesson in one sitting. Yesterday we finished lesson 45 – here are some of the sentences she had to read from that lesson:

Jack got a soft pup as his gift. Jack left milk in a cup in the box.

Mom felt the soft, silk quilt on the bed.

It is a fact. If I act fast, I can help him.

Petra is also continuing to do well in gymnastics. She was the only 3 year old moved up to the pre-team class last month. I am just glad she enjoys it. And it provides an outlet for her to learn to listen and obey and follow directions. As well as time spent with peers.

She can count – but misses the number 14 when counting to 20. She can also count objects – as far as she can count up. She understands basic addition and subtraction. For instance if I ask her to get out 4 mints, and she pours out 5 instead, she quickly knows to put one back. And she recognizes numbers 1-9. She also has started counting by tens with some assistance.

Honestly, she is like no other child I know. I am daily impressed with her … as well as daily horrified with how quickly she misbehaves. And then I remember, she is just 3.

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