Dear Little Mister,
Today you are 3. You are also the best little buddy I could ask for. I read somewhere that you should never call your son ‘buddy’ or ‘mate’, because then you are not setting the boundaries between parent and child firmly enough. Well, that’s crap. I know that you know I’m mum. I’m very clear about that!
BUT…you are my little buddy too. You make boring things interesting. You come with me everywhere I go (OK so it’s not ALWAYS ideal but I love ya). You keep me company, while I wait. For anything. You make me laugh. I love love love that you’re young enough to think of me as your best friend too. I shall cherish this for as long as it lasts (which I am sure is not long enough).
You’re a threenager now. That’s for sure. For the first time in your whole life, I’m finding my patience pushed, stretched and tested. You will scream ‘no’ fifty times to a lovely snack I’ve provided for you, then a few minutes later I’ll find you munching on that same thing when you think I’m not looking. What tantrum, Mum? You’ll boss me about, interrupt my adult conversations, look me straight in the eye as you do something I’ve just told you not to do…because you want to see what happens. Each growth spurt, each new development, you will spend days extra tired and…hangry. Really hangry. You’ll wake in the night all worried and bothered.
But damn it, you’re cute. This is a cute age. You’re definitely your own little person now! We have conversations. We walk alongside each other. We disagree on things, because you have your own opinions. Sure, they’re rarely based on fact or logic, but we’ll get to that. I assure you, little man, that Granny really is Nanna’s Mummy just as much as I am Nanna’s daughter…but for now we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
I love the way you snuggle in close to my neck when we hug. I love the way you are always looking out for everybody. I love that you are so friendly. I want to jump up and down with happiness when I see you saying please, thank you and sorry. You say each word with such sincerity. You really mean your manners. It means so much to me. I’d love to take all the credit but really, you are just one good little guy.
You’re sensitive. You take things to heart. You can be quite dramatic (gee I don’t know where you get it from). But you rarely hit out. I once witnessed you walking up to another toddler who had smacked you in the arm, saying firmly, “Ow. You hurt me.” with such impressive (for a 2 year old) articulation of your feelings. Sure, he hit you again for your troubles (intervention was necessary), but in that moment I have never been prouder of you. You stood up for yourself and you were not mean. I love you so much. Your communication skills impress me.
I love how you dance. I love how you sing. I love watching you play when you think I’m not watching. I love your wicked sense of humour. I love the unintentionally cute things you say every single day – you’ve never let me down with the hilarity. I love the way you laugh and the way you try to communicate with me with silly made up sounds. I love how observant you are (although it keeps me on my toes). You always know when I’ve done something with my hair, painted my nails a different colour or bought a new pair of shoes (the ladies like that). I melt when you think I’m beautiful and I laugh when you say my face is yucky because you don’t like my make up. Your honesty is fantastic (it’s lucky you’re cute)!
You’re always trying out something new. Lately you’ve been telling people to have a nice day. You sound like you work on the check outs at the supermarket, but at least you mean it haha.
For a while you wouldn’t let anyone call you anything but your first and last name. Your full name at all times. You’re slowly softening your stance and I secretly fist pump when I can sneak in a cute nickname. I totally called you ‘sweetie’ like five times yesterday and you didn’t even correct me. You’re slipping in your old age!
You like things a certain way and you are always trying to rearrange chairs or cushions or something. One day our couch is a boat in crocodile infested waters, another day you’ve built a barn filled with imaginary farm animals. You’re amazing with your Duplo now. So creative. I know because you show me every single creation you’ve ever made and I’m always being told (not asked) to fish around for all the stray pieces that have ended up under the couch.
You love playing outside. Any chance and you’re barrelling out of the sliding door, big red bubble car at the ready. You especially love time with your dad. You have taken to calling him ‘my daddy’ and it melts my heart. He’s not just any daddy, he’s your daddy.
You love to pretend to be a dog. That’s pretty funny. You call yourself Heidi-dog because that’s the name of our dog. You love her so much. I have photos of you pretending to be one of the dogs, waiting for your dad to throw a stick at the beach. Just letting you know in advance, before they come out at your 21st birthday.
Yesterday we were lined up at the council offices to pay a couple of bills. The queue was kind of long and you looked at me, confused. You asked me where everybody’s suitcases were. I had to explain that even though everyone was lined up, it wasn’t an airport (to the amusement of the lady in front of us). I could have eaten you right up at that moment. So freakin’ adorable. It’s those little moments that just make my day. If anyone ever asks if parenthood is worth the trouble, I say yes. Just for the silly little moments like that. They are priceless.
I love how well travelled you are. You have so many stamps in your passport and you’re only 3! Japan, Korea, Singapore. Even a couple of trips to Tasmania – that’s technically overseas, right? You’ve experienced stuff that some people take a lifetime to ever have a go at. Dude, you’ve sat in a genuine Japanese restaurant and have eaten real, honest to goodness gyoza dumplings and sushi. MADE BY JAPANESE PEOPLE IN JAPAN. You’ve napped at the Shibuya crossing like it’s no big deal. You’ve walked the streets of Korea. That is just so f*cking cool. Sorry for the swear words, but I figure by the time you read this, you’ll be old enough to handle it.
For all that cultural experience, I secretly love that you think poo is a hilarious word. That when you fart, it sends you into so many giggles (the kind where you’ve lost control of your laughter). Toilet humour starts early, folks. Once you announced to complete strangers that you ‘done a wee’. So there’s that.
We’re working on toilet training. We’ve had some setbacks but I know you’ll let me know when you’re ready to go all the way with it. You’re a bright kid. I have faith. Eep! Next year is day care once a week, buddy. As much as I am ready for this stage, don’t think I’m not a little irrationally nervous!
I can’t wait to see what the year of 3 brings. As much as it can be bittersweet at times, I love watching you grow. Each new milestone is genuinely exciting.
I hope you have a fabulous day. I promise there will be cake.
Happy birthday, my ray of sunshine.