Aïcha, 3yo, February 2008
I'm three now.

At three, Aïcha can spontaneously count to twelve or thirteen, identify her left and right, recite many nursery rhymes (Little Miss Muffet) , sing whole songs by herself (1-2-3-4-5- once I caught a fish alive; Rock-a-bye, baby), recognise most letters of the alphabet, draw several of them, entertain herself for hours with little figurines or a baby-doll. She likes to boss her sister around, cut paper up into little pieces of paper and choose what she should wear (green is the current favourite colour).

Aïcha is learning the concept of time and days, and I can direct her to look at the clock when asking her to wait until a specific time. She is also content to wait for several days for an anticipated event.

Her favourite past-time is still reading books, both by herself and with someone reading them to her. Aïcha likes to “pray & kiss” before going to bed, and her prayers are often centred on a litany of the people she loves.

We’ve noticed that Aïcha enjoys being by herself and is sometimes cheeriest if she’s left alone for a while. She remains timid of new people and new experiences and is learning to articulate her emotions with words.

I find her mimicking my phrases: “In a moment”, “okey-dokey”. She points out other people’s positive behaviour (like when David and I share something) or when Brioni says “thank you”. Aïcha responds really well to praise and not at all to “time out”. She sometimes retires to her room on her own for a rest or time away from others and comes out again when she’s happy.

As she’s so eager to please and happy to learn, she’s fun to be with (unless she’s moody). Our main challenge is to correctly judge her mood so we can help her withdraw if she needs to be by herself for a while (instead of just being unhappy).

Aïcha, 3yo, & Brioni, 17 months, February 2008
The cat is still around, but notice that it's OUTSIDE the house. David has bought it cat food and it lives in his shed most of the time. I tolerate it, but I won't let it in the house. The girls love it.

Yesterday the girls enjoyed a “passionfruit party” when David picked a bucketload of passionfruit from our vine while I worked on the henhouse in the shed. I think they must have eaten close to twenty, and I’ve been waiting for (and dreading) the natural repercussions.