Three years of Susannah

Susannah Michelle

Subee wearing her birthday gift princess dress from Auntie Elaine.

Has it really been three years?

Last Saturday we celebrated the third birthday of the sweetest 3-year-old I know. And I’m not just saying that because she’s my 3-year-old.

Princess dress again.

Susannah has always had a sweet, quiet, observant nature. Her big eyes take in everything you say and do – really, everything.

Once we were leaving somewhere and from the back seat she burst out with:
“OH, trap*! We forget my shoes!”

Yes, that was an “Oh, crap” moment as parents – quite literally. Not that it helps, but we had actually not forgotten her shoes…

And then last week there was the time when she said:
“TewPID* buses! Dey SO loud!”

For the record, the buses passing by our house are quite loud, a fact we apparently have spoken about often and passionately in front of our children.

Notice her full sleeve tattoo - a leftover birthday party favor. Really compliments her princess costume.

Part of her observant nature is being very sensitive, because she picks up on every emotion, too. She is especially sensitive to discipline because she can’t stand us to be the slightest bit upset with her.

Example: this morning (like every morning the last two weeks) she crawled into bed with me when she woke up. This sounds so affectionate and idyllic. IT. IS. NOT. Before you think I’m being a grumpy mom (fair warning: I AM being a grumpy mom about this!), let me explain to you that after interrupting my dreamy, comfortable, precious sleep, and hoisting herself up onto the bed, further crowding mine and David’s space, she does not just lay down angelically and continue to sleep. Oh no. She fidgets, and pushes, and squirms and digs her feet into my leg and lays her face 1/2 an inch from mine on my pillow saying “Can you wake up now, Mommy?”

It sounds cute now…
Anyways, she did that this morning and when I finally stopped fighting to get a few extra minutes of sleep, and got up in a grumpy huff, she followed me innocently into the kitchen where she surmised I was a little upset.
“Can you be happy now, Mommy? I want you to be happy now, Mommy. Why don’t you just be happy now, Mommy.”

This is also a little annoying when repeated 18 times, but endearing and precious because I realize she is still just a very small child trying to understand the world, and wanting so badly to have her mommy happy with her.

It also made me feel like a total jerk (which I was!) and so I gave her a hug and explained that I was just tired. This completely satisfies her and she forgives and forgets and moves on so easily.  Oh, the beauty of children and their power to forgive.

Susannah is an imitator for sure – as the quotes above indicate – but also an imitator of actions.

She constantly puts her dolls down for “nappies,” changes their diapers, takes them to the store, etc. She also tries this with us, sometimes, instructing us that it’s time for us to go to sleep and we have to lay down and “don’t move!”  Eeek. Makes us sound kinda harsh!

Love this shot of her hair. Yes, she looks a bit scandalous... but SO three years old.

Susannah is an encourager, part of which is just imitation right now, but she truly delights in telling us:
“Good job, Mommy!” or “You look sooo pretty!” or “Look! Lydia’s standing up! You’re doing it, Lydia!”

One of her birthday presents from us in the background - a tent house. It is a huge hit with both her and Lydia.

I’ve discovered that Susannah imitates the things that are most important (or traumatic) to her. She loves encouraging words, so much so that she’ll often coach us on what she wants us to say.

She puts on a pretty dress and immediately begs to “show Daddy.”
She runs up and waits eagerly for his admiration – he never disappoints.

Sometimes she wants more affirmation, so she tells us:
“Daddy, can you say ‘Awwww, you look so pretty!’?”
When we do say it she always looks satisfied and happy.

A true, genuine Susannah smile.

Susannah is a giver.

Although, in many ways, Susannah has a princess complex (she’d much rather we do things for her), she loves to please us so much that she’ll do almost anything and give us almost anything we ask for.

When Lydia came along, we never really had the sharing issue that I hear about with lots of siblings. Sometimes she wants the same toy as Lydia, but she does not get caught up in which toys belong to whom, and, in fact, she loves to find toys for Lydia that make her happy.

The best shot I got of her inside her tent – and the balloon string was in the way. But I could absolutely not get her to do this again, soo….

The princess dress -without thumb in mouth - and with Lydia waving "hi" in the foreground, because David told Subee to say "hi" to the camera, and Lydia, being much more a performer, immediately began waving.

Susannah loves to take care of people. Every time she hears Lydia crying or thinks that I am sad or even is playing that her baby doll is crying, she will always suggest getting a toy to “help her feel better.”  Or, in the case of herself crying or getting hurt, she’ll always suggest, through tears:
“I need some neminems (M&M’s) to help me feel better.”

Princess dress with thumb in mouth.

When she hears other kids/babies crying, she listens with concern for a minute and then asks me why they are so sad.
Usually, I say I’m not sure or that they are just tired or something, but she’ll always thoughtfully offer up:
“I think he needs he’s mommy.”

I love that she still believes mommy is the answer to life’s problems. 🙂

Birthday dress-wearing girl on her birthday. Thanks to Doug Breaux for the photos!

Another shot of the dress. Not her best expression. I wasn't able to be in there and I'm not sure she knew most of the people who were there... so doubtful look ensued.

Cake time! After a good swim, change of clothes and present opening.

Classic Susannah pose. "This cake looks yummy. Why is everybody watching me?"

Susannah requested a pink cake that tasted like strawberries. We made strawberry cake with strawberry icing and it was a great success.

My awesome sister Alyssa also made pink cupcakes, because I was afraid we would run out of cake.

I am sorta sad to report that Susannah, for her third year in a row, continued the tradition of not blowing out her own candles. I really thought this year would be the year. That is, however, my Subee – TONS of attention, plus TONS of pressure and voices yelling at her all at once to DO something will always equal confusion, withdrawal and ultimate refusal to comply with Susananh.

She was totally overwhelmed. I don’t blame her. But I am hoping next year we will break the tradition. Maybe for her 4th birthday she’ll finally blow out her own candles for the first time.

Thanks to Doug Breaux for the birthday pictures! I’m hoping to have more soon from Joseph to post. It was nice to have two people with cameras since I didn’t have time to take any photos.


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