Wow, you are THREE! In the months leading up to your birthday I couldn't wrap my head around the idea. But when the big day came, it totally seemed right. You are so three. And from the constant chatter and lightning-fast mood swings to picky eating and a what-can-I-climb on/jump off/run to-next attitude, you are our most favorite three-year-old in the world.
This has been a year of enormous changes for you. You switched from a crib to a bed, became a big brother, moved to a new house the next week, stopped full-time school to stay home, changed part-time preschools twice, gave up diapers for the potty, made new friends, and as of your birthday, quit sucking your thumb! That is quite a list. I mean, just typing it gave me a little panic attack! Each one of these events happened after a lot of thought, worry, prayer, anxiety, discussion, etc. And you have floored us again and again by handling each one like the brave, happy, independent and easy-going guy that you are. (must've been the prayer part) I am personally inspired by your ability to accept and embrace change. Except for when it comes to changing the TV channel! "Turn dat mowmershul off!" (you think that anything on TV that isn't a cartoon is a commercial)
Activities and things you love:
helping in the kitchen
riding your bike
watching Diego, Dora, Mickey Mouse, Sid the Science Kid, Dinosaur Train and any (cartoon) movie - especially Toy Story
cuddling with Mommy
talking about, pretending to be, playing with superheros
tattoos and stickers
talking to family on the computer (but seeing them in person is way better!)
wrestling with Daddy
doting on Katie Beth
praying at the table: "Dank you Dod, for our food, Aaaamen!"
playing with other, especially older, kids
eating cereal, cake, cookies, almonds, peanuts, yogurt
Activities/things you do not love:
getting your hair brushed
watching Handy Manny
answering a lot of questions, ie: "Don't talk to me, Mommy. Just drive." (To which I told you that wasn't a nice thing to say to Mommy. So you corrected yourself: "Just drive please.")
having to sit at the table until you at least try everything on your plate
praying at bedtime
getting left out
learning your alphabet
wearing a coat
Katie Beth pulling your hair and poking your eyeballs
washing your hair
It's so hard to remember all the things you do and say that make us smile. A few months ago, I wrote down a few:
- A sentence that hurts this grammar girl's heart: "My see him car!"
- When I find you sulking in your room after being reprimanded. "My sad, Mommy."
- "Maaaammmyyy, I ready to get uh-up!" Sung to me each morning and after nap, in increasing decibels until I walk into your room. Then followed by, "It daytibe! It not yate anymore!"
- Randomly one time, "My think you're so handsome Mommy."
- Told me to get out of the bathroom during a recent bath. I told you that wasn't a nice thing to say to Mommy. So you said, in your sweetest voice, "Get out of here, feese, ma'am?"
- Say "Fenfess" or "Pincess" for our last name
- When I comb your hair to the side, you push it straight down to the front and say "no, yike dis. I need to yook yike Ben!"
You are so funny - sometimes on purpose, but a lot of times not. And you truly are talking up a storm at most hours of the day. And usually we're able to get the general gist of what you're saying! It helps to have context in mind and to be listening in person - phone conversations are not very successful. Although you love to call people! But there are lots of letters that are still getting reversed or replaced, which can lead to some misunderstandings. For example: "corn" is pronounced with a "p" instead of "c". Sooo, one day you'll be able to imagine how hard it is to not laugh when you tell us how much you like corn, want more of it, or don't like it anymore. Then there was the school art project where you painted an ear of corn and exclaimed when I picked you up that you "made corn!" ...but with a "p" of course. [nervous laughter to other parents]
You continue to be a sensitive boy; as mentioned above, even a small reprimand will sometimes induce a sulking session and time outs and taking away privileges seem to still do the trick. But you are not one to shy away from an all-out tantrum if you deem the situation appropriate. Like, picking you up from school early, making you wear a coat, not letting you eat cake before naptime or other atrocities we inflict on you.
We have certainly seen a fair share of these meltdowns this year, and I say pre-emptive prayers for patience daily...and then multiple times throughout. But thus is the life of a three-year-old, and we will take it! I feel like I'm leaving so much out. Like how smart you are. You have an elephant's memory and the creativity of an...uh...well, obviously more than me! Bottom line for all the stuff left unsaid - You are healthy. You are happy. You are my sweet, smart boy. And we are so thankful. Happy birthday Ben!
I love you,
photography by Michelle McKibben
And for your viewing pleasure, here is a quick slideshow of the birthday festivities, which while very small, were very fun!