picklesink

A mom, a dad, and two nutty kids.

To My Silly Munkin-Bum on Your 3rd Birthday

Dear Molly,

Time sure flies, eh? Four International Women’s Days ago, I went from this:

Me with pregnant belly
March 8, 2010
©PicklesINK 2013

to this:

Ian, me, and baby Molly – March 8, 2010
©PicklesINK 2013

…and now suddenly, somehow, you’re turning 3! Really – 3, even though I know you sometimes fudge the truth a little. I’ve heard you tell other kids that you’re 4 or 6, and you say it with such conviction that despite all evidence to the contrary, they actually believe you. Because really, who wouldn’t believe this face?

80s Molly

Grinning Molly in 80’s dance outfit
©PicklesINK 2013

I think it’s fitting that you were born on March 8, the day that we celebrate the achievements of women around the world as well as remind the world how far we still have to go. You are well on your way to becoming a strong-minded and empowered woman and I sure hope the world will be ready for you by then, whatever you decide to do or be!

Molly fixing sink 3

Molly fixing the sink
©PicklesINK 2013

As it is, by your 3rd birthday, I’ve already experienced your single-minded determination – like last summer, when you refused to wear anything that didn’t match, which meant that you left the house every day dressed from head to toe in pink (except for the one day a week that you wore your green outfit).

Pink-tastic Molly on rope bridge in Germany
©PicklesINK 2013

Or all those nights you decided that instead of going to sleep when you were tucked into your nice warm bed, you would read some books, rearrange your furniture, and make a couple of wardrobe changes before falling asleep in your favourite pink dance outfit and tights. (Thanks for that, by the way. I enjoyed that middle-of-the-night strip-off-your-leotard-and-tights-to-put-your-diaper-back-on-fiasco. We’ll call it mommy and Molly bonding time.)

Molly in bed 1

Molly asleep on her Dora couch in her dance outfit surrounded by the evidence of a wild night
©PicklesINK 2013

Yes, my funny bum, you may look cute, but your impulsiveness may one day get you into real trouble. Take this morning, for instance, when you were downstairs making a craft and I heard Ben say, “Molly! You’re not supposed to do that with TOYS! You have to go show mommy!” and then you came upstairs, seemingly abashed (although I could still see that gleam in your eye) as you showed me what you had done.

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Molly’s “craft” – a black toy car, now with hearts, glitter, and a face.
©PicklesINK 2013

We will have to keep working on the principle of “look before you leap.” At least we know that Ben has always got your back. He loves you SOOO much – and I know you love him too!

Ben and Molly – BFFs!
©PicklesINK 2013

I love hiding around the corner and listening to the two of you play together. You can play and chatter for hours, and even if you sometimes disagree, your arguments blow over as quickly as they started with both of you apologizing and working out a solution together.

Ben and Molly drinking their fuzzy water on our Valentine’s dinner out
©PicklesINK 2013

I should probably apologize in advance for the nicknames you’re going to endure as you grow up. It started out so innocuous, with “Molly-Moo” and then “Monkey,” which you quickly grew to answer to more consistently than your given name…then it devolved to “Monkey-Bum,” even given your Auntie Caitie’s dire warning that It. Would. Stick. After that came “Munkin” (I have no explanation…it’s kind of a combo of “Monkey,” “Munchkin,” and “Pumpkin” that slipped out one day…), “Munkin-Bum,” “Molly-Magoo,” “Funny-Bum,” “Silly-Munkin,” and I’m sure a multitude of others that have slipped my mind right now but will be equally traumatizing when they slip out in front of your middle school friends. I apologize in advance for being that mom.

Molly first pic

My favourite newborn Monkey-Bum!
©PicklesINK 2013

So, as you move on to the wild world of 3 years old, whether you’re getting your hands dirty…

Molly in the garden covered with dirt (that Ben was shoveling over her head)
©PicklesINK 2013

…or keeping them clean…

Molly at playgroup playing with shaving cream
©PicklesINK 2013

…just make sure you keep on being your awesome self, even if that means sometimes being a square peg in a round hole.

The dental floss that Molly discovered would fit perfectly in a toilet paper roll.
©PicklesINK 2013

Dance to the beat of your own drummer…

Molly in her own production of “Blackbeard Takes Swan Lake”
©PicklesINK 2013

…show the world that there are two sides to every story…

Molly wearing her Santa costume over her ballerina dress
©PicklesINK 2013

…and when life gives you pepperoni sticks, lie down on placemats and eat them on the floor!

Molly enjoying a snack of apple, pepperoni stick, and pretend tea lying on the floor
©PicklesINK 2013

Mommy, daddy and Ben love you millions and millions and millions, our favourite Molly-Moo! To quote your favourite song, “Molly is my favourite monkey, favourite monkey, favourite monkey! Molly is my favourite monkey – She says, ‘Ooo-ooo, ah-ah!” We hope you have a very, very happy 3rd birthday and that you are always as happy as you are today!

Love,

Mommy

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Molly has quite the ‘eye’ for art

If Ben is my intellectual, Molly is my visionary. She has a flair for the artistic and attention to detail that I find quite amazing. I talked a bit in my Santa letter post about supposed gender differences when it comes to fine motor skills. In my kids’ case there is definitely a Ben/Molly difference but the jury is still out on whether or not this relates to gender.

As early as a year ago, her teacher was marveling at her focus when it comes to crafts. One of the first crafts she did in her toddler program was a sheep – Molly’s was evenly covered in cotton balls and her teacher told me, wide-eyed, that Molly (under 2 at the time) had sat at the table for half an hour carefully gluing on cotton ball after cotton ball until she was completely satisfied with the end result.

She loves working in mixed media (aka “cutting and bluing”) and has an obsession with googly eyes. Here is the first piece she created when given a supply:

First googly eye picture

Mixed media art by Molly –
Googly eye arch
©PicklesINK 2012

That piece was from about 5 months ago. In the last little while she has developed a sort of a trademark – Can you spot it?

Googly faces

Three mixed media pieces by Molly
©PicklesINK 2012

Today while Ben was at school Molly decided that she would like to paint, so I gave her a canvas, paint and Q-tips as well as some glue and things to glue (googly eyes, jewels, sequins, wooden hearts, and “crumplies,” which are crumpled squares of crepe paper). NB – I’ve become a really big fan of Q-tips for crafts. In addition to paintbrushes they make excellent glue wands.

Molly mixed media 2

Molly with art supplies deciding on her first move.
©PicklesINK 2012

She started by painting shapes – a yellow “rainbow” (arc) and pink circles, followed by orange squiggles. This was all deliberate – she described what she was painting to me as she worked.

Molly mixed media 4

Molly paints a yellow rainbow and pink circles.
©PicklesINK 2012

She then carefully filled in the shapes with purple.

Molly mixed media 7

Molly fills in shapes with purple.
©PicklesINK 2012

She added pink and red “slides” (think playground slides) and then added a red jewel.

Molly mixed media 10

Molly adds a red jewel to her painting.
©PicklesINK 2012

At this point, she got distracted by another work in progress – a little while ago, Ben and Molly collected some fall leaves outside and I tried to organize a craft for Ben that was a bit of a flop. I drew a tree and suggested that he glue the leaves they had collected onto the branches. Unfortunately, it turned out that white glue is not particularly effective on freshly fallen (not dried out) fall leaves, and once they dry out they are really too crumbly to work with, so we abandoned that project. The picture has stayed taped to the cupboard door (It’s the best easel I’ve found!) and every once in a while Molly adds something to it (previous additions include the three hearts and a googly eye on the left).

Molly mixed media 12

Molly’s tree picture – a work in progress.
©PicklesINK 2012

She worked on this piece diligently for a little while and then asked me to take a picture, presenting it with a “ta-da!”

Molly mixed media 17

Molly showing me her picture – “Ta-da!”
©PicklesINK 2012

She had painted the pre-existing googly eyes green (“Ben will love this because he loves green!”), and added the rest.

Molly mixed media 16

“Ta-da!” New additions to tree picture:
Two painted hearts, one with eyes.
©PicklesINK 2012

After that she went back and forth between the two projects, adding bits and pieces here and there until she was satisfied with the finished products. Did you spot the trademark googly-eye, crepe-paper-mouth faces before? Here they are again!

Molly mixed media 21

Finished tree picture has 3 faces –
Can you spot them all?
©PicklesINK 2012

Interestingly, when Molly first asked for paint, she specified that she wanted every colour except green: “No green, mommy. I don’t need green.” I gave her the green anyway, and the only place she used it was on the eyes on the tree. Apparently her vision of her original project (the canvas – see below) had no green, and she remained true to that vision. In fact (and I’m probably reading too much into this now) the heart-shaped jewel was originally pale green and she painted over it in red, so there is absolutely no green on this picture – maybe this is her way of making sure it is clear that this was her work alone, completely independent of Ben?

Molly mixed media 22

Finished mixed-media on canvas
©PicklesINK 2012

If you’re still not convinced about both Molly’s attention to detail and googly-eye obsession, feast your eyes on what happened when she was left unattended with craft supplies for about 10 minutes yesterday:

googly eye sculpture

Mixed media paint and googly eye
egg carton sculpture.
©PicklesINK 2012

If you look very, very carefully, each googly eye has been affixed to the edge of the egg carton with identical-coloured paint with the exception of purple paint substituted in the absence of blue.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – my kids are nuts.

~ karyn

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