Today, dear boy, you are three years old. I will pause for a moment to let this sink in...
I am not sure how this happened. It seems like yesterday that I was propping you up on our bedroom chair, taking a monthly photo. I couldn't take a monthly photo of you these days - I doubt you would stand still that many times in a year.
So who are you at three?
You are inexplicably sweet Michael, heartbreakingly so. You nature is mainly gentle and kind - so much so that it always comes as a little bit of a surprise when you act like a normal preschool boy and tell us, "No!" or throw a tantrum. It seems so...contrary to your personality.
Right now you are a complete mama's boy. Your father and I have developed a theory that you cling to whichever parent drops you off at school. Last year you were in daycare, dropped off by Daddy, and you couldn't get enough of him. This year I am the parent who takes you to school and right now you prefer me to handle your care in almost every instance. Nearly nightly you look at me during dinner and say, "You doin' me tonight?" That is your way of asking me to put you to bed and you are always disappointed if the answer is no.
You are HAPPY Michael, and very content. You love to follow me around the house and help with little jobs: unloading the dishwasher, sweeping with the little hand broom, putting items in the recycling, throwing wet clothes into the dryer, making the beds, as long as you can be where I am you are more than happy to lend a hand. When you aren't helping around the house you like to, "play basketball," which means throwing/kicking a little ball around the house and running after it shrieking like a wild thing. You especially like to do this in the kitchen when I'm making dinner - I am not such a fan. Other favorites of yours include puzzles, books (you love the library!), and whatever Harper happens to be playing with at any given moment.
In typical three-year-old fashion you like to do most things on your own, "Me can do it!" is a common refrain in these parts.
You have made many strides with your speech in the last year. You are still difficult for many people to understand and you very rarely speak at all, or above a whisper, to anyone but the family members you see regularly. Your articulation isn't very clear and you have an odd way of phrasing certain ideas, yet you are so much more capable of expressing yourself than ever before. Today you were supposed to have school pictures taken and you were not too happy that your teacher couldn't stand next to you for the photo. When I asked you about it you said, "Me cry yitta bit becat me sad some yitta bit." Which means you cried a little because you were a little sad. Even though you are difficult to understand the way you speak is completely adorable and I know that I will miss it when you are older.
In the past year you have started to recognize characters beyond Elmo. Your favorites are Cars and Thomas the Train. You also like the Trucktown characters, which, for now, are not on TV, only in some of your favorite books. It is only recently, as you've approached your third birthday, that you've been even remotely interested in watching television. Now you will snuggle up with us on family night and pay attention to what is happening if we watch a movie, and you love to get Thomas videos from the library. I must admit I appreciate this change, especially if you are sick and all you really want to do is snuggle; it is nice to have something that can distract you!
It has been a wonderful year in so many ways and I can tell that you are poised to do and learn all kinds of new things in the next year. I find it nearly impossible that your life began in such an uncertain way. There is nothing uncertain about you now Michael. You are a delight and I'm so honored to be a person who gets to help you learn and grow. I can't wait to see what this next year brings.
I love you sweet boy.