We've officially kept you alive and well for 3 years now. They don't hand out medals for parenting, unfortunately, but I choose to be proud of the fact that you are a happy, healthy, lovable little 3 year old and that our sanity remains intact (mostly).
You are at such an interesting age — your personality is bursting forth. You are saying and doing things that are completely of your mind, not just mimicking and parroting us, which is really, really cool. On a daily basis I find myself laughing at your choice of words, or how you notice something I wouldn't have. On the other hand, you have regular emotional meltdowns that try and test our patience. I try to remind myself that the world is so big to you and you just want some power and control over things — things that may seem trivial to us but are a big deal to you. The nice thing is that you can be having an epic meltdown one minute, and the next minute you're making me laugh. So it all evens out in the end.
Without a doubt, my favorite time of day is snuggling in our big bed with you after bath time. You, me, and Daddy read a book together and cuddle. You often say, "I love you." or "So cozy." during this time and it completely melts away any anxiety I had about how our day went. It's like we're hitting our reset button before bed, which I love.
You are such an amazing big brother to Livy. You find her funny. And I'll watch your face as you have a moment of realization about how cute she is. You'll turn to me and say, "Livy is so TOOT!" You're very affectionate with her, unless she takes something of yours in which case all bets are off. You guys love to chase each other laughing through the house and play hide and seek. You also love to sit next to each other while watching a cartoon, or roughhouse together (Livy is more of a brute than you are).
You remain obsessed with cars, trucks, planes, trains, and construction vehicles. I honestly think you know more about mechanics and engineering than some adults. Your eyes are keenly aware of any vehicle around us. Often you spot a plane or truck or construction vehicle that I don't even notice. And if I make a mistake in identifying it you are quick to correct me. When you play with these toys you are often on the ground, putting your face down near the wheels, and watching how it works.
You're still a pretty cautious kid when it comes to physical play, but you're becoming more and more adventurous. You love to jump! Your favorite shoes are your Croc boots, which you can put on by yourself. They're nice and bouncy and good for jumping in puddles. You're also good at climbing and are getting increasingly good at kicking balls.
One skill I didn't expect you to have down at 3 years of age is driving. But thanks to the tractor that Grandma and Opa got you for your birthday, you are now 3 going on 16. Your Daddy and I are both amazed at how well you steer and maneuver your tractor with a trailer behind it. You can reverse and get yourself out of situations by yourself — even doing 3 point turns. You're also able to sit with PaPa on his John Deere lawn mower and steer it all by yourself. He pushes the gas pedal, but you are the one steering it all over the yard. At this rate, we won't have to teach you to drive when you turn 16 because you'll already have it mastered.
Some of my favorite Hank-isms:
- "Bop [stop]. I wanna tell you sumfing."
- helipopter [helicopter]
- Fophie [Sophie]
- Boops [boots]
- "Don't say that!" (whenever we say something you don't want to hear)
Your favorite food is mac and cheese. Your favorite color is blue ("boo"). Your favorite cartoon is Paw Patrol. (I love when you and Livy sing the intro song together, "Go! Go! Go!") You love playdates with your friend Jack where we go swimming or hang out at the museum. And you are also strangely fond of going to the doctor's office and playing doctor at home (you tell us that you are "Dr. Barber" which is your pediatrician's name).
I love you, buddy. And I am so excited to spend the next year getting to know you better and seeing the world through your lens.
All my love,