Today you are three years old. If I were asked to describe you in one word today, it would probably be stubborn. Maybe you are no more stubborn than a typical child at this age, but for us, your behavior has been a bit of shock (your sister did not prepare us). From lying naked at the bottom of an empty tub, crying from the cold and refusing to pick up your bath toys to leaving one bite of food (that you like) on your dinner plate because someone suggested you might earn a treat, your insistence on making your own choices both amuses and aggravates us. You refuse to let the extra heater run in your cold bedroom, even waking up to turn it off. Instead, we find you sleeping on the floor in front of a heating vent. Daddy, in particular, gives me the side-eye at these moments. We both know this is a stubbornness is a trait you've inherited (mostly) from me. And that's why (shhhh), I kinda like it.
You know your own mind, and you're not going to be swayed. Even though this trait leads to some unfortunate choices, I breathe a sigh of relief to see you so sure of yourself. Hold on to that ability to resist what others tell you to do; it will also lead to good choices.
Like many boys your age, you love vehicles. Your current favorite book is Cool Cars, and as we read it, you demand, "Dis!" so I will name everything: wipers, emergency brake, steering wheel, air filter. Then, "Me!" you exclaim, meaning you like them. You call all tractors mowers, and all diggers arms, and you turn all your play vehicles upside down to study how they run. You demand songs about mowers at bedtime, and since I don't know any, I make them up. This satisfies you.
Also, balls, especially netball (basketball). Oh, how you want to make a basket in the tall hoop! But you're mostly satisfied with the one for people your size, tossing a basketball up over your head in the general direction of the tall basket or demanding I do it over and over again. You would love to play on a netball team, but I can't find any for three-year-olds. All balls are interesting, though. We talk about how to score with each of them: which use nets, which is hit with a bat, how to score goals. You like to rehearse, "Hit this one; kick this one."
And it's not just with sports--you want to understand the name and object of everything. Letters, shapes, colors, you even love sorting by attributes with Maggie as she does her Kindergarten math homework. A few months ago, you suddenly shifted your puzzle interests to jigsaws, and you haven't looked back.
You other great interest is art. Crayons, markers, stickers, paint, sequins, and above all, glitter glue can hold your attention for a good hour. The words art project get you running for the stairs to the office, and I think you must have made made twenty Valentines last month.
You're both a mess and a goofball: quick to splash or dig your hands in. But as the year has gone by, you've become rather fastidious about dirty hands. Clearly, they give you the fantods, and you think the dishtowel is the best for cleaning them. I often find it smeared with chocolate or yogurt and laid out on the floor to wipe up spilled milk.
Mr. Purple Hippo still tops the list of your favorite beings. He goes where you go, and you miss him when he's bathing in the washing machine. He's had some surgery, and he's rather thin, but your affection is not so fickle as to be turned away by these signs of age. Daddy and Mannie (Maggie) come next in your affections, but you and I have a good time together when it's just the two of us. We particularly like to share lunch at Chipotle before a Costco trip (you eat only chips and cheese) or take a trip to the ball 'tore (Dick's Sporting Goods), and I'm still your favorite singer at bedtime, with the exception of Wheels on the Bus, which I am more than happy to relinquish.
We bit the bullet and got you speech therapy when you turned two. Your age equivalent score was ten months on your second birthday. A few weeks ago, you placed out of speech with average and above average language scores. Wow! There's insight into your character in this, I think. You will not do something until you're good and ready to do it. You're also a self-conscious little thing. You don't like to make mistakes, and you don't like to be corrected. At times, you don't even like to be cuddled after a fall--it's too embarrassing.
You are still quite small, only now growing into your 2T clothing, but you are mighty. I've watched you lift and carry rocks that I thought were far too heavy for you. And you are never cowed by your older sister. You hold your own, and unfortunately, know just where her buttons are. Making her scream is disappointingly tempting.
We love you, monkey boy! These last three years have been enriched by your good humor and sense of adventure. Happy Day to You!
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, The Meaning of Me, Thankful Me, Uncharted, The Wakefield Doctrine
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