Today is October nineteenth or "Octover nine-teeth" as you would say and you are three years old. That's hard for me to believe. Because I remember that fall day when you arrived, seven pounds and screaming. I remember bringing you home and watching your big sister peer over your car seat and then decide to rock you. I remember dressing you in your first Halloween costume, an impossibly tiny plush jacket with bear ears, how the trick-or-treaters looked in at you, asleep and oblivious, and cooed at your cuteness.
And here we are three whole years later. And you are no doubt a person, a person with opinions and aversions. These days, you are in love with the color pink. It doesn't matter what shade, but as long as it is pink, you will wear it. The other day you told me that you are also willing to wear leopard print.
When I asked you what kind of cake you wanted, you thought about it for a second and then you said it, the word that shocked me, but maybe shouldn't have: Barbie. You want a Barbie cake. I am not sure where you learned about Barbie, but your big sister seems to think you became acquainted with B-girl on a television commercial. And she's probably right. Instead of fighting this, I am going with it. You will get that Barbie cake, my sweets. And I am sure it will be delicious.
You are delightful and tricky, full of a magical charm and frustrating stubbornness. You are physical and wild, a fast runner, already a risk-taker. You are prone to deep belly laughter and skinned knees. You have begun to speak in funny voices, high-pitched cartoon-ish voices that are bizarre and wonderful and a bit confusing. You are precocious as ever, peppering your sentences with words and references beyond those expected of a tiny human.
You are sandwiched between two sisters who adore you. Big Sister is your idol; you follow her closely and hang on her every word. You also challenge her, sometimes to the point of tears. And Little Sister is your baby; You are impossibly sweet to her, showering her with hugs and kisses, signing her songs, reading her books, making her giggle. Often, when I am feeding her, you ask to help. And I hand over the spoon and you stand on your tiptoes and shovel it in between her tiny lips. This little creature? She's lucky to have you.
Last night around 4am, you called for me. I heard your little voice over the monitor. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy, you repeated in a sleepy drawl. And I hopped out of bed and came to you. I stood by your bed and you asked me a simple question: Will you wrap my blanket around me? And I did. I wrapped it tightly around your little body and watched your eyes drift shut once more. I could have been frustrated by this middle-of-the-night request, and I often am (to be fair, it's usually Daddy who comes to you), but I wasn't last night. Somehow, strangely, or not so, it was a privilege to stand there, in the quiet of another good night, and watch you shift into sleep. Sometimes, it is these little moments, unpredicted and even undesired, that affect us most.
In the picture above, you are cradling two dozen pink roses you picked from the flower shop. You insisted on carrying them home even though they were too heavy for you. You made it about half a block, just long enough for me to snap these pictures. And then you whimpered a bit and handed them over. And you slipped your little hand into mine as we walked the rest of the way home.
My babe - I hope we still have many years where you reach up and grab my hand. I hope we still have many nights (okay, not that many) when you call for me and ask for me to wrap you up.
I love you to pieces, Middle Girl. Far more than you love pink. Imagine that :)
PS - You have asked more than once that we switch your birthday to Easter. I'm sorry Daddy and I can't accommodate that particular request. The Barbie cake will have to suffice.