A week and a half ago, you turned three years old. These last three years have been awesome. You talk so much now, expressing opinions, telling stories, reliving memories, encouraging anyone and everyone to play your favorite games.
I really need to start writing down the things you say on a daily basis. Because as I sit here trying to capture the essence of you, I know that I’m about to leave something out.
There have been a few words that you haven’t been able to pronounce as clearly as some. We’ve already lost several to your constant listening, re-pronouncing and self-correction. Like helicopter. And tractor. Which used to be “hoptopter” and “cracker,” respectively.
So here are a few of my current favorites, in no particular order:
- Any word that ends in “st” you switch around to “ts,” such as, “almots,” (almost) “lats,” (last) and “fats,” (fast). Also, “ghost” started that way (“goats”) but has become “ghotst.”
- You’re still not quite there with the “l” sound, so when you say, “hello,” it comes out more like, “hewoh.” The best part though, is the intonation, which can’t really be accurately represented in writing but makes me smile every time.
- If you’re looking for me or someone else, you say, “Where are you?” but it comes out sounding more like, “what are you?”
- Bananas are “bee-nanas.” Emphasis on the first syllable.
- You have combined the phrases, “If you say so,” and “Whatever you say,” so they have become, “Whatever you say so.”
- When you don’t know the name for something, you make it up. Often you refer to items by their color, like the red Ergo carrier is simply, “the red.” But sometimes you are a little more descriptive, like when you referred to the back of your knee as, “the armpit of mine leg.”
One of your favorite games is “the train game,” where you link fingers or arms or loops and hooks with me or Daddy or whoever else is around, and you lead us around the house as the “big black engine.” We can be pretty lazy around these parts, but when you come over and ask us to play the train game please, how can we do anything but rise up off our seats and follow where you go.
You have become really interested in directions and maps. We draw maps, look at maps on the computer, and for your birthday, you even got your own laminated map of DC. You like to watch the moving map on Grandma’s GPS from the back seat of her car, and you appreciate being consulted whenever we have a directional decision to make. Most of the time, your answer is “wept,” that is, left.
You love people. And I’ll be elaborating more on that in another day or two, but I have to say I find it totally fascinating and humbling to watch you with other people. Anyone. From newborn infants to dogs to teenagers to toddlers to adults of all ages. You like to share yourself with them. At the rally it was, “look at mine sign.” Out trick-or-treating it was, “look at mine costume, I’m the man in the wewoh hat.” You show your cars, your trains, your sailboat picture to anyone who comes near enough to notice, and I love how excited you are not only about those things that you possess, but the fact that having someone around to share the excitement with makes it that much more exciting for you.
You joke and you tease, and your games are becoming more cerebral even as you still enjoy the more physical tackling and tickling and pillow castle and fort-building games. You have yet to master the subtle art of teasing, since more often than not the tease and the lie are about the same thing, but I can see you trying to work it out. Sometimes it works, like when you call me Daddy, and we all have a good laugh. But other times, like when you say you need to go potty after you’re all tucked into bed and you sit up there and do nothing, we have to try to remember that that’s not “teasing,” but a filibustering technique that makes no one happy.
There’s just so much to say, I keep thinking of more and more. I love how you remember things. You mimic us and ask us to mimic you, making faces or gestures or noises. You’re becoming so much more independent, wanting to do so many things “mine self.” You’re crazy and wild and loving and kind. You often remember your please, thank you and your welcome, but I see that you wish there was more to that exchange than those three, so after the “your welcome” part, you often add one of two phrases, “You’re so polite,” or “I’m so polite.” Either commending the other person for their manners or giving yourself that extra little pat on the back.
I think that you are an amazing kid, and your dad and I are incredibly lucky to have you around. You never fail to make us smile, and we hope that we bring that much joy to your life, too. Happy birthday, my big boy. I’m so proud of you.