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Parenting by the Numbers: Preschool Edition


The day in the life of a preschooler is not a short day. For me it’s not, anyway.

As is the case with my 6-month-old baby, it’s a numbers game, really. Lots of laughs, lots of tantrums, lots of tears, lots of prancing around naked with similarly undressed teddy bears. But who’s counting?

Take a look at how my preschool-age daughter adds up:


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  • Ten 1 of 10
    The number of books she requires be read to her each day.
    Don't bother trying to skip pages, by the way. She'll know.
  • Nine 2 of 10
    The number of times at night we have to go in her room and tell her to stop dancing on her bed, playing in her closet, making a fort out of diaper wipes or attempting to literally swing from the chandelier.
    It's also the number of times a day that her silence means something is broken, missing, or otherwise rendered no longer usable, desirable, or a bio-hazard.
  • Eight 3 of 10
    The number of times a day she plots her next birthday. It may still be six months away, but the theme and flavor of her cake have been decided since a month before her last birthday.
    It's also the number of times a day she changes her mind about her next Halloween costume, which she's been planning since the day before last Halloween. The number is expected increase greatly as the halfway mark to Halloween approaches.
  • Seven 4 of 10
    The number of times a day she kisses her baby sister, which is also the same number of times a day we tell her that smothering is not the same thing as hugging, which is also the same number of times a day she asks if it's time for the baby to go back in Mommy's belly yet.
  • Six 5 of 10
    The number of arts and crafts projects she sees to completion each day.
    The number of incomplete projects, on the other hand, is infinite.
  • Five 6 of 10
    The number of times a day she changes her clothes — not including getting dressed in the morning or in her pajamas at night. Just because she likes some variety in her wardrobe. Often.
    It's also the number of times a day she reminds us in some fashion that pink is her favorite color, so you must necessarily choose another favorite color, thankyouverymuch.
  • Four 7 of 10
    The number of times a day since she was a toddler that she has snuck into the refrigerator to grab an apple.
    Three is the number of times a day we tell her that she can't have another apple.
    Two is the number of times we look at each other and wonder what the odds are that we have a kid whose biggest problem is she eats too many apples.
  • Three 8 of 10
    The number of times a day she asks to be called Dora, Snow White, Annie and Dorothy (each).
    It's also the same number of times a day she sings the soundtrack to the original Broadway cast recording of Annie from beginning to end.
  • Two 9 of 10
    The number of times a day we have to tell her she's too big to play with the baby's toys, but she's too little to play with the bigger girl toys.
    It's also the same number of times a day we agree with her that, indeed, it's tough being a 3-year-old.
  • One 10 of 10
    The number of times every 30 minutes or so that we look at her, smother her with kisses, giggle and feel our hearts go pitter-patter because we are overwhelmed that such a little girl with such a large personality and an ever larger heart is all ours.

Photo credits: Meredith Carroll

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