Today, you’re three.
Three seems so much bigger than two. You no longer qualify as a toddler – though let’s be honest, you haven’t toddled for a long time now. The phrase “crazy toddler” really had a ring to it, though.
Never fear, I’m pretty sure that we’ll have plenty of excuses to swap out “preschooler” for “toddler” in that phrase.
When you’re two going on three, every year brings big change, but these last 365 days have been particularly momentous. You welcomed your little sister. You traded in diapers and your crib for “big boy” undies and a bed. You graduated from the only daycare you’d ever really known. You walked through the doors of the school that will be home for the next eight years.
Change is tough, and true to form, parts of this last year have been hard – for both of us. There have been tears and tantrums, and not always just from you. We’re learning this growing up thing together. I’m confident that we’ll come out ahead (assuming we make it through the terrible threes).
I get that confidence from you. Because despite how hard some of these days are, you’re happy. Happy to climb into that big boy bed, teddy bear in hand; happy to strap on that backpack and walk up the hill to your school. And never happier than when you’re with Katie.
I knew adding a new baby to our family would disrupt our equilibrium in a lot of ways. I knew I’d have less time to devote just to you, I knew I’d be tired, and I even expected that I’d have less patience to go around. Let’s just say I was right on all counts.
I totally underestimated, though, the joy that Katie would bring you, and the joy that seeing you together would bring me. The days of fighting over toys are upon us, but even still, I can see that there will be more days of the two of you against the world (and against your parents) than against each other. Katie will gladly (and quickly) scoot across a room to be wherever you are; she is still the first person you look for in the morning. No matter your mood, a kiss for or from her never fails to make you smile. And I challenge anyone, anywhere, to find a sound better than siblings making each other laugh. I am so proud of the big brother you have so quickly become.
This year you went all in. All in on Daniel Tiger, before leaving him and his tribe of trolley-loving friends in the dust for Thomas and the accident-prone trains of Sodor. All in on baseball and your baseball jersey, until the Patriots and your Gronk jersey and fatty football came calling. All in on wearing your Bruins jersey to bed until your Thomas PJs arrived.
Of course, you didn’t trade everything old in for new this year. You’re still going strong with blueberries for breakfast, even if you tell us that “coffee and donuts” are your favorite foods. (I don’t know whether to be ashamed or tremendously happy at that. I take it as an endorsement that you, like your parents, really like weekends.)
You live intensely and deeply. I’m not sure what form that will take over the next year, but I hope it will still include your big teddy bear hugs and “I love yous” even if there’s more pulling away as you assert your growing independence.
“I can do it, momma!” you tell me over and over again.
You’re absolutely right. You can do it. I’m so glad, and so, so lucky, to have a front row seat to watch.