You are three years old today and it feels like you are three weeks, three months and 13, all at the same time. You have grown so much and yet you seem so much the same as the last time I wrote to you. You got a big-boy bike with training wheels for Christmas from your Grandad and one of your bajillion Grandmas and your feet touch the pedals but not the floor. You fit according to the manufacturer's specs but it seems so very grown up next to my little boy.
We've had a lot of fun this year, you and I, with our intentional play themes and your Mum being a wee bit more attentive and inventive. We've roped in your Dad for a few adventures and gone off, just the two of us to wander around. You've asked to hold my hand more times than I can count these last few months and it makes my mummy heart sing.
We've also had some fights, you and I, with your mind and mine made up and neither of us wanting to back down. Sometimes you win, sometimes we both do, sometimes no-one does. Sometimes we've cried and sometimes we've said we're sorry. And sometimes we haven't. You are a challenge and a puzzle sometimes, my little love, but you are making your own sense of the world and your part in it, and don't particularly want to be rushed while you figure it out.
We've reached some peaceful space with your eating - I ask that you try new/old things and mostly you do. It makes me happy when you try new things; I don't ask that you like them or finish them, just try them before you turn up your little button nose. Now when new sweeties are proffered you grab at them and then ask me if I'm happy. "I like it! Mummy, are you happy?" - if only you'd apply the same gusto to your vegetables.
You are still a transport aficionado and have been ever more attentive to the Cars and Planes movies and characters. You love them, trailing one or the other around and telling their stories over and over again. Today and yesterday, you flew Dusty Crophopper past my face and said 'Mummy, Dusty's just a small town cropduster with a big dream'. I'm fairly sure that's the exact phrasing from the audio book that we sometimes play for you at 'rest' time, but it tickles me that you've captured it as Dusty's motto - that that's the heart of his story.
Here's what else you like:
We have lots of changes ahead of us, buddy-boy. When you go back to child-care next week, you'll be transitioning up into the Kinder room where you'll be holding your own with the big kids. There'll be a crash course in using the potty/toilet and maybe a bruising night or two as we nix the dummy. I've got changes coming too, sweet boy, but if we give each other lots of cuddles and kisses and I remind you daily how much I love you, I think we'll be just fine.
Keep growing and laughing and dreaming and remembering and cuddling and snuggling.