Sunday, July 3, 2011

Today You Are 3

Dear Marino,

Today you are three years old. I remember when you were a baby thinking that three was so old and that when you were three you would be more like a little boy than my baby. Thankfully, you are both. In so many ways, you remind me of an older child, and it's so fun to see you evolve into the person you will be. And yet, you still "need" us for so many things (especially cuddle time!).

You are still super athletic and you continue to surprise us with the things you can do physically, like somersaults (off the couch, sometimes) and throwing a ball in the air and hitting it with a bat. You love to climb and jump and throw a ball. Your pitch is pretty fantastic...I see baseball in your future.

You eat like a grown man most days and I am afraid I will go broke trying to feed you and Daddy when you are a teenager. You love all food, with the exception of beef, black beans and olives. Sometimes when you ask for something strange, like raw pumpkin or raw corn on the cob, we nudge each other as you try it, assuming you will hate it. And yet, you never do! Your current favorites are similar to years past: popsicles, mac and cheese, pizza, fries (or anything with ketchup) and catfish. But you also happily eat vegetables, all kinds of fruit, and more unusual things like quinoa. You start off each day with a cup of orange would drink that all day if I let you. Who knows where all this food goes? You are a very skinny boy, still just shy of 30 pounds. You have the beginning of a six-pack and even defined pecs! You are pure bone and muscle!

You are definitely a mama's boy. You are fiercely protective and possessive of me and shower me with love and affection. It can take you a while to warm up to other people, even people you know. You are not a fan of large groups of people and will need to take small breaks of quiet when we go to parties. You need personal space and unless you want to be held, you make it clear you need a good 6 inches of personal space at all times, even when it comes to your closest friends.

Daddy and you have lots of fun together - the two of you make me cringe when you wrestle but you both love it! You are lucky to have a daddy that teaches you all kinds of "guy" things, like how to throw a ball, how to whistle and to be respectful of your mother. You also really enjoy your grandparents and ask for them often. Your warm up time with them is generally only a couple minutes before you are dragging them around and saying "come on, let's play."

You love tv and movies (maybe a bit too much). Current favorites are "Go Diego, Go," "Dora the Explorer", "The Adventures of Chuck and Friends," and "Shrek". You and Daddy tend to watch older cartoons like "Scooby Doo", which you also love. Sometimes I think you are destined to be an actor. You love to give everyone "lines" to say and hate if we say what you've decided is your line! You have a variety of different voices you use to make me laugh. You like to try out different sounds and share them with me "Mommy, you like that sound? No? What about this one?". You are introverted away from home - you need to take quiet breaks when we're in crowds or at parties. But at home, you never stop talking! You hate it if I'm not talking back to you;"Mommy, just talk!!" you demand.

You still hate sleeping and never sleep through the night. You begin each night in your own bed but end up in bed with me every night. You love to sleep snuggled up and you tell me "I need you, Mommy" and "I have to hold your hair." We definitely need to work on getting you to sleep alone and to use the potty in the next few months (you are not particularly happy about the prospect of doing either).

You still love all animals and know about so many different ones. In the past few weeks you've started imitating a dog walk on all fours, with your tongue out and ask me to pet your head. You and Max are good pals and you still delight in seeing Max every morning like it's the first time you've ever seen him. You make sure he wakes up at the same time as us and generally like to boss him around.

Marino, being your mom continues to be the greatest joy of my life. I am so proud of the boy you are becoming and the obstacles you've overcome to get here. Every day I think it's not possible to love you more than I already do and yet my love for you continues to grow.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Babycakes!

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