Happy birthday! Today you are 3, or “free,” as you say. It seems like we’ve been celebrating your birthday for a month. First you had a party at school so you could celebrate with your classmates before the school year ended. Then Aunt C. came to visit and you opened her presents early. Spiderman swim gear, with a towel cape!
While last year was all about trucks -- which you still have a fondness for -- this birthday has been a Spiderman extravaganza. You got a Spidey bathing suit, Spidey underwear, Spidey T-shirt, Spidey on a motorcycle, Spidey with a sticky web, a giant Spidey wall decal ...
The thing is, you are not singly loyal to Spiderman. In fact, when I asked you what kind of birthday cake you wanted, you said Spiderman one day and Batman the next. Sometimes you even said you wanted a car cake or a robot cake. In the end I made cupcakes -- half Batman, half Lightning McQueen and Mater. Not the cutest confections ever, but you were happy.
In fact, you’re pretty much always happy. You’ve been that way since birth. You didn’t get that from me. That probably comes from your dad. Don’t get me wrong, you have your grumpy moments. But generally, you’re a good-natured guy. And also, active. You like to play with your friends, go to the park, have picnics, and build forts with the couch cushions. Your constant companion is a stuffed dog named Vanilla, who used to be white but is now more of a grayish hue.
And it must be said that you’re quite a talker. Sometimes your mouth doesn’t stop moving all day. You astound your dad and me with your abundant vocabulary. One day you used the word “constellation” in a sentence and Dad just about fell over. Last week we saw a Coca-Cola truck, which led to a discussion about soda, which led you to say, “I want to be a grownup sometime and have cavities.” Obviously, my soda explanation was lacking, but still. You’re a bright and funny guy.
You have adjusted amazingly well to being a big brother. You were the first one to make your baby brother laugh. I believe it was when you were doing the “Wubbzy wiggle” on the couch. You like to give him hugs (or is that a headlock?) and climb in his crib with him. You laugh every time he sneezes, and alert me to his spitting up. (Not that I need a heads-up from you when a stream of spew is unleashed on my shoulder.)
You are very generous with your affections, and are constantly telling your dad, your brother, and me that you love us. Sometimes you even tell me, “You’re the best mommy I ever had.” Usually you’re angling for a treat, but not always.
I only have to look at your long, skinny legs and little-boy shoulders to see that you’re not a baby any more. There’s no more chub to grab, and I can barely pick you up anymore. I don’t feel sad about it, though, because you’ve turned into a great pal. You’re even more fun now than you were as a baby. You make me smile every day, and you give the best hugs.
I love you, buddy. You’re the best 3-year-old I ever had.