On Monday, December 24, Jack turned three years old.
Jack's third year has been a crazy one. Luckily, it has been free of surgeries and has included only one trip to the emergency room - and only one ear infection. But we did pack up everything we owned in a "big orgish truck" and leave the only home Jack had ever known. There were also smaller transitions - his crib has been replaced with a toddler bed. Sippy cups are used only to protect our carpeting. Binkies are no longer a constant, but rather are only for sleeping and in the car. He's learning to use the potty with increased consistency - to the point where I am no longer buying giant boxes of diapers at Sam's Club.
His vocabulary has exploded - I could no longer list his words if I tried. He says please and thank you without being asked, and often finds me in the kitchen and asks, "Mommy, may I help you, please?" He can take his pants off by himself and does a decent attempt with his shirt, hampered only by his giant head. He can count to about 15 (then the rest of the teen numbers sound a lot alike), knows how to kick a soccer ball, play tee ball, and stir muffin batter.
In short, he's turned from a baby to a toddler to a kid. And not just any kid - a really cool kid. He has a vivid imagination and sometimes spends entire days pretending to be Luke Skywalker. He tries to make us laugh, doing pratfalls and making up silly words to songs. He gets so excited about everything from the rides at Disney World to an unexpected cookie that he jumps up and down with delight. He thinks that both pirates and princesses are cool. He is not at all shy, willing to march right up to the librarian and say, "I need some help, please. I am looking for a book about Thomas the train."
His birthday was very much a day of fun for a big kid.
He got a tricycle from his Mawmaw and Poppa, which he proceeded to ride all around the kitchen. We went out for lunch with his GrandmaGrandpa, Uncle Andy, and Aunt Ariel, and he was stunningly well behaved. He alternated between putting together a cool puzzle from Grandma and wolfing down kraft macaroni and cheese. He and I made cookie dough together, for later decorating.
We had so much fun that I let him pick out another recipe from my cookie cookbook to make. Not surprisingly, he chose candy cane cookies. I proved that baking kicks ass by letting him help me crunch up candy canes using a hammer. Unfortunately, even though I put the big hammers away, we caught him attempting the same when we left him alone for a moment.
Note not only the candy cane dust and Oscar the Grouch hammer, but also vaguely guilty expression.
I made him reindeer sandwiches for dinner, which he loved.
He got all kinds of Star Wars toys from us for his big day, including a very cool x-wing fighter.
If that wasn't cool enough, my brother made him a Roary cake. Jack especially liked eating the stripes. The night ended with a reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas," which Jack has a surprising amount of committed to memory, then putting out the cookies that we made for Santa.
Happy birthday, Cub. I am proud to be your mommy.