I recently read through the letter I wrote to you on your second birthday and it amazed me how much you have grown and changed. Your speech, your physical skills, your understanding of the world, it’s almost like you are an entirely different person and in some ways you really are.
This time last year, you slept through the night so wonderfully. You’d go to bed and then wake up in the morning so excited to see us. Now, we’re very lucky if you do that. There haven’t been many times that you’ve had a good nights sleep since we moved house. Whats the matter baby boy? Don’t you like your bedroom? Let’s see if we can sort that for you maybe.
This time last year, you ate so well. You had learnt to use a fork and spoon and could feed yourself with ease. You ate almost everything we gave you, including fruits and veg. You loved bananas, your favourite meal was a roast dinner and you always finished it. Now, we struggle to get you to eat on some days. Your favourite food now is a ham sandwich that you pick apart, chunks of cheese that you steal from the fridge, yoghurts, especially ones in Aunty Drinda’s fridge, and although you pick at the veg (so we hide it and mush it up) you do still love a good roast. Oh! and boiled eggs! You have a boiled egg in you packed lunch at preschool all the time.
You used to brush your teeth and let me go over them once you were done. Now? I’ve been known to have to pin you down to brush them. But we get there, and once they’re done, you’re up and playing again.
This time last year, you were beginning to string words together and make small sentences. Now? We have the most wonderful conversations. Your imagination is out of this world and I often wonder where you’ve heard things that you come out with. It’s awesome. You can tell me about your day, you can tell me whats happening in the pictures of the books we read. You talk to your sister when she’s unsettled and try to calm her. You ask all sorts of questions. You talk to yourself sometimes and don’t realise I’m listening. I love listening. Keep talking, baby boy.
In this last year you have ditched the nappies and are fully potty trained, day and night. You were so quick to pick it up, I think it only took 3 days! There have been one or 2 accidents but overall you have been brilliant at it. We did that last august so just shy of a year ago. At first you needed a step and a special seat so that you could go but just this last week you have been able to reach without your step and you were so proud to show me. Clever boy.
We sing songs together sometimes. Nanny says you don’t sing them at preschool but you clearly listen because you know all of the words and join in with me. You love doing the actions. Some of your favourites are Incy Wincy Spider and This Little Train and we’ve recently started singing our ABC’s.
You absolutely love being outside. You love the garden, the park, walking to the shops, walking to meet Daddy from work. In the garden you have a swing and a slide, a trampoline and all sorts of balls and things. You are going to love playing on your new bike out there when you open it. I can’t wait to see your face! You enjoy digging and planting things. You enjoy watering the tomato plants and putting our kitchen scraps and things in our compost heaps. I wish we had room (and permission) for chickens. I just know you would think they were awesome.
You are very arty. (I wonder where you get that from..) You made a magnificent earth canvas for Earth Day. Even I was amazed at how good it came out. If ever I get the paints out you are bound to start painting your hand an doing prints. You love the paints. in fact you love all kinds of messy and creative play. Especially play dough, moon sand, drawing, cutting and sticking. You’ve also cut a number of things that you shouldn’t like Mummy’s lists, your sponsor form for preschool and our alphabet stencils.
You are able to fully dress yourself. Sometimes you get stuck with 2 legs in one hole of your trousers or sometimes you get you top on backwards and your pants inside out but you make a pretty good job of it and you are always chuffed with yourself when you do it.
You are getting very brave lately too. You scare Mummy a bit with your fearlessness as you navigate your way over climbing frames at the park and jump over furniture. You often hurt yourself when you fall but no matter how much it hurts and how much we warn you, you’ll get up and do it again
You love all kinds of transport. You can name different types of diggers (your favourite is an excavator) and love playing with you toy ones in the sand. You are excited by the sirens of emergency vehicles and love to watch them whizz by. You spot planes and helicopters in the sky with such eagerness and absolutely had a brilliant time at the American Airshow at Duxford last week.
You started preschool a few days after your last birthday and I was so scared for you. I was terrified they wouldn’t understand what you were trying to say or that you would think I had abandoned you. You were scared too. You cried each time I left you and it broke my heart. But
you we got there. You’ve been there a year now. Sometimes I don’t even get so much as a wave when you walk in the door as I drop you off, let alone a kiss goodbye. But you do make and bring home some awesome artwork and reports of what you’ve been up to.
It goes without saying what a wonderful big brother you are to Paisley. All the time that mummy was pregnant, you were so lovely. You came to my Doctors appointments with me and when we got home you used to copy what you’d seen. You wrapped my arm and a curtain tie-back and pretended to take my blood pressure, you lifted up my top and listened to my belly. You even used to get the tape measure and see how big my belly was growing. Since Paisley has been with us you have loved her so beautifully. You comfort her when she’s said, you try to make her laugh, you always want to hold her, especially when I’m feeding her. I can’t wait to see how your relationship grows.
I won’t lie and say that you are always an angel. Anybody could spot that lie a mile off. All toddlers have their moments and you are no exception. As you grow and develop, you are learning to push your boundaries and find out how far you can go and how much you can get away with. sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating when I try to get you ready in the mornings and you just run around laughing. I put your shoes on you as we are about to leave and then I turn around to find you’ve taken them off again. Sometimes you totally fight against getting dressed and then other times you fight against getting un-dressed. You’ve learnt to say things like ‘Oh but pleeeeeeease can I?’ and ‘how about just a tiny bit?’. It’s very cheeky but sometimes it’s also kinda cute. I’ve found 3 things that work on most occasions and they are to give you 2 choices so it makes you think you are in charge for example… ‘you can either get your shoes on now and we can go to the park as we planned or you can carry on with what you are doing and we wont go to the park at all’. I also give you an answer and if you keep asking, I tell you you have already been given an answer and mostly then you wont ask again but my absolute favourite and the one that works best is the classic ‘You’ve got ’til the count of 3′ – That one has the best success rate by far. I’m dreading the day you stop listening to it though.
But even with the occasional tantrum and strop, you are still my awesome dude.
You’re not really a toddler any more, Baby. This time is going far too fast. In the next 12 months we have to start thinking about schools for you and I’m so not ready for that. I’m glad I write these letters because I don’t want to forget your little quirks and big milestones. I hope we are teaching you well. I hope we are setting you a good standard to live your life by. I hope that when you grow up, you’ll remember a happy childhood and want to give your children the same thing. I know you’re only 3 today but soon you’ll be 4 and then 5 and 6 and before you know it you’l be all grown up with children of your own.
My darling boy, even though you are so different to the boy you were this time last year, you are still the same bouncy, slightly shy and very comical, little thing you have always been. I want to thank you for coming into our lives and dazzling us with your smile and your charm every day. And while we are celebrating you today, excited for the little character you are becoming and personality that you have, I want you to know how very much you are loved.
Happy Birthday Little Man,
All our love,
Mummy, Daddy and Paisley