So my biggest little boy turned 3 last Saturday (insert sappy cliches about how they grow up so fast, how it seems like only yesterday that we were bringing him home from the hospital, etc., etc.). We threw him a huge "digger" themed birthday party, and while I am still recovering and trying to gather and upload the pictures from the big event, I wanted to at least acknowledge the fact that my little man has made it through another year.
Once again, I'd like to share Alex's 3-year interview from his journal that B got him on his first Valentine's Day (read his 2-year interview here). The interview starts with some things that I wrote about Alex, then moves on to an interview with Alex himself.
Major milestones and important accomplishments this year: You never stop talking. Ever. No, I mean EVER. Which can be exasperating for us, but it just demonstrates that your language skills have really developed over this last year. You have a huge vocabulary and you love to make up stories almost as much as you love to hear them. You can tell us what letter almost any word starts with, and you can read and spell simple words like your name, "mom", "dad", "stop", and "go". You can even sound out larger words with a little help, and you love books, flash cards, and anything else that has words on it. Your teachers are always impressed by the things that you know.
You surprise us daily with your capacity to understand complex or abstract concepts and the way you use logic to solve problems...particularly how you find ways to sidestep our rules so that you can do what you want. For example, recently you have been in the habit of saying, "I have to..." when referring to things that you want, e.g. "But I have to have another piece of cake!" We explained the difference between needs and wants and discouraged you from saying "have to" unless you really needed something. A couple of days later, you revealed that you had found a loophole in our rule:
A: Mommy, can I have more juice please?
Me: No buddy, you've had enough already.
A: But I must have more juice, I must!!
Me: Alex, are you using the word must because you know it means "have to" and you're not supposed to say "have to"?
A: (*grins devilishly*) Yep!
You know you're in for a world of trouble as a parent when your toddler already knows how to work the system.
And while this doesn't really count as an "achievement", another recent milestone that we reached was that we took you to your first movie at the theater. Grampa T, Tim, and I took you to see Toy Story 3 for your birthday, and you could not have been more excited. You got your own bag of popcorn, which you loved, and the theater that we went to has giant couches and ottomans and bean bag chairs instead of regular theater chairs. The four of us cozied up on a couch to watch the movie, and you were mesmerized by the giant screen. I don't think you blinked for about an hour. Grampa was on one side of you and I was on the other, and you kept wiggling your arm behind our backs, hugging us and whispering, "I love you." I wasn't sure how you'd handle sitting in one place for two hours, but you were great. After the movie, you looked at us and said, "Thank you for taking me to Toy Story 3!"
Funny moments: Truly, there are too many to list. And it's not just what you say, it's how you say it. Your delivery is impeccable. One of the most memorable moments, and one that Tim and I recount over and over, is when you had hand, foot and mouth disease, and we were all sitting at the dining room table discussing the best way to administer this heinous throat-numbing concoction that you call "silly medicine". You watched your father and I discuss possible methods for getting you to take it, and when there was a break in the conversation, you looked at us and declared, "Listen...I'm not taking any medicine. I'm gonna eat my lunch, and then I'm gonna have some ice cream." And while that probably doesn't sound funny in print, it was the way you flippantly tossed your hands around and batted your eyes when you said it that was hilarious and so classically "Alex" that we are still imitating it to this day.
And your dancing always provides us with a laugh, particularly the way you swivel your hips while doing your "stank face". Your teachers always comment on how entertaining your dance moves are.
I'm most proud of you for: Being smart and friendly. You're the life of the party, and I love that about you.
My predictions for your future: You will be a handful in every possible way, but your boundless energy, bossiness, and strong-willed nature will help you achieve many things.
Characteristics I most love about you:
That you make up new words to old songs.
How, during playdates, you always want to play with your friends' moms because they tend to be more talkative than your friends are. You usually describe your friends based on how much they talk to you.
The way your eyes brighten and your helium-voice gets even higher when you are excited about something.
That you love to make us laugh.
How you spontaneously give your dad and I hugs and tell us you love us, especially when you hug both of us at the same time and say, "I love you guys!".
That you look through our books and make up a story while running your finger along the words to pretend that you are reading.
Your silliness. You have a joy for life that I envy.
The way you try to control every situation and how it makes you crazy when people don't do things the way they are supposed to be done. I can't imagine where you get that from.
Your curiosity. You have inherited your father's enviable ability to absorb information like a sponge and his insatiable appetite for learning new things. You ask a million questions about everything you see and hear, which can make me nuts at times, but I'm very excited for how those traits will benefit you as you grow up.
My biggest worry this year was: that you would have a hard time adjusting to having a baby in the house. We have had a couple rough weeks of you being more defiant than usual, but that could just as easily be attributed to you being a rambunctious and strong-willed 3 year old boy as to the fact that you now have a little brother.
INTERVIEW WITH ALEX
This year's interview was really fun because it's the first time that Alex has actually answered the questions himself. Here's what he said.
Q. What is your favorite color:
Q. Who is your best friend?
A. Jaron. (a classmate)
Q. What is your favorite food?
A. Peanut butter sandwich(es).
Q. What is your favorite fruit?
Q. What is your favorite vegetable?
Q. What is your favorite snack?
Q. What is your favorite drink?
A. Vanilla soy milk.
Q. What is your favorite dessert?
A. Pink ice cream.
Q. What is your favorite thing to do?
A. Open presents!
Q. What do you want to do when you grow up?
A. Be a construction worker. (specifically, to "play with diggers")
Q. What is you favorite TV show?
A. Thomas the Tank Engine shows.
Q. What is your favorite song?
A. I've Been Working on the Railroad and She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain.
Q. What is your favorite toy?
A. My drum set.
Q. What is your favorite animal?
Q. Where is your favorite place to go?
A. The bookstore and the airplane museum.
Q. What makes you happy?
A. Thomas the Tank Engine!
Q. What makes you sad?
A. When I get a boo-boo.
Q. What are you afraid of?
Q. What are you most proud of?
A. Making good choices.
Q. If you could wish on a star right now, what would you wish for?
A. An airplane and a spaceship. Both of them.
Q. What is your favorite thing about school?
Q. What is your favorite thing about birthdays?
A. Opening presents.
Q. Would you rather be really famous or really smart?
A. I don't want to be famous, I want to be smart.
Q. Would you rather be the age you are now or 25 years old?
A. Three years old.
Q. Would you rather know how to talk to animals or how to fly?
A. Talk to animals. That would be cool.
Q. Would you rather go on a trip to outer space or to the bottom of the sea?
A. To the bottom of the sea.
Q. Would you rather have ten sisters or ten brothers?
A. Ten brothers.
Love ya, buddy. Thanks for another great year.