Dear Autumn

Dear Autumn,

It's been a rough past couple of months. Wise moms know that the "terrible twos" are a cake walk compared to dealing with a temperamental three year old. It got to the point where I began to wonder if I was meant to be a stay at home mom. It's all I ever wanted to do since I was old enough to "play house", so questioning whether or not I could do it was heartbreaking. It's been a long road, full of tears on both sides, but I'm happy to say I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

It's been a learning experience for both of us. You're learning that screaming and hitting doesn't get your way (thank goodness, hitting is a thing of the past now) and I'm learning how to best avoid and deal with tantrums when they arise. After a few embarrassing exits from Walmart and other stores, I don't dread walking past a pink aisle or something you "just want!" anymore.

At the end of the day, no matter how much we fight, there's no shortage of hugs or kisses. I'm reminded frequently that you "don't like daddy" and I'm "your best friend". Despite tiring of each other throughout the day, the minute I need to go to work on a shoot or out for girl's night you run and attach yourself to any appendage you can get your hands on, pleading with me to take you.

At church, you've struggled in Primary. I don't know if it's the change, no longer getting to play with Nana and toys for two hours (ding! ding!) but it is getting easier. More and more you're growing up and into your own. It makes me excited (and a bit nervous) for preschool next year.

As for things you love, you still request chickens or "oatmilk" at every meal. You LOVE "pop". If you could drink it all day, every day, you would. You and Daddy both love otterpops, those long and thin popsicles. A big package lasts barely a week in our house. When pop isn't allowed, your drink of choice is chocolate milk. I can't simply pour it however - you insist on helping, whether it be pouring the chocolate or mixing it with the spoon.

Your favorite color is purple. Everything must be purple.

You have gotten SO good about keeping your glasses on. It doesn't hurt we tell you that without them your eyes will break.

At night, you now say your prayers all on your own. You love to sing "I am a Child of God" with me before bed, and love that "we singing together". At night you require Ernie, Dora, Bug and Lalaloopsy. On more than one occasion, you ask for stories about "the angry ducks", Turtles, or Ernie and Lalaloopsy. I'm pretty sure in your eyes, they're boyfriend and girlfriend.

You love your baby brother. You don't always like to share your Ponies... but you do love your baby brother. Daddy thinks it is especially funny how you've taken after me and call him "buddy". So everything is, "hey buddy!"

Everyday you ask to go see Nana and Grandpa. Partially because they are also your "best friends", but because they live next door to your very best friend, Chloe. Though you two spend half of your playtime bickering (hello, two 3 year olds!), you always quickly make up. You cry whenever it's time to go, even if we intend to return the next day. It's amazing what you remember - for example, we were running an errand and you saw a red truck and said, "Hey mama! That's like Chloe's grandpa's truck."

You still say it wrong, and I have no intention of every correcting you... it will always be called a "swimming soup".

Even though things are changing, and things are getting harder, I'm so grateful to be your mom. I worry about you constantly. I worry if I am doing a good job. I live for those moments where you just want to snuggle and talk. I love having conversations with you and hearing about your day. I love that even though I don't always love the emotions you're displaying, I love how much you feel and how expressive you've become. You're such a sweet girl and so curious and helpful.

You're my best friend.


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