Happy birthday! Three years old! You’re three years old. I can’t even believe I’m saying such a thing. I can recall the day you were brought into this world as though it were just yesterday. Your dramatic entrance was nothing short of how you’ve quickly developed into a young lady. You’ve given me a run for my money as a mother, but you’ve taught me how to be patient and kind. I truly enjoy watching you grow each and every day.
Over the past year, you’ve gone from a sassy toddler to a mature young preschooler. Some days I wonder if you are 16 years old trapped in the body of a 3 year old. Your language is mature and precise. You are very detailed oriented and can describe the world around you so eloquently. Sometimes when I listen to you talk, I catch myself thinking about how incredibly smart you’ve become. Your language is one of your greatest features and listening to you talk is one of my favorite activities. I shake my head in laughter at the things that you say. Part of me wants to document every crazy sentence and create a book, but then I remember I have #irishtwins and most days don’t even have time to brush my teeth.
You are creative and musically inclined. You can learn the chorus of a song after listening to it only a few times. You even correct me when I sing the wrong lyrics. You love to dance and “shake your booty.” Sometimes you’ll entertain us by dancing on the tables and chairs. You love to tell us to look at you and watch you perform. Your love for art is incredible. You can take a blank canvas and create tremendous things. When describing your work of art, you have an imagination that can light up the world.
You are a beautiful young lady, but you are not perfect. You are perfectly imperfect. Some days you drive me absolutely insane. So insane that I want to rip my hair out. You have anxiety and some days it’s easier to manage than others. I am currently sleeping in your bed at night, but I continually remind myself that some day you won’t need me. Hell, some day you won’t even want me. So for now, I stuff my long legs in your full size bed, let you dig your head into the center of my back, and I do an extra 30 minutes of yoga every day merely to find my patience again.
Eloise, you’re a control freak. No doubt about it. I take blame for that characteristic as I am much of a control freak myself… but do you know what happens when two control freaks live under the same roof? Head butting. Lots and lots of head butting. I’m not that parent that forces you to see that I’m in control either. Much like you, I struggle with anxiety. I know the extreme emotions you can feel at any given moment, and I know how much having control can alleviate those anxious feelings. So I pick my battles. I let you take control, but I also make sure you’re making good choices. My job isn’t to have power and control over you. My job is to keep you safe and make sure you’re achieving your highest potential.
Though we butt heads most days, we are inseparable. Maybe it’s because we go to bed together at night and wake up together in the mornings. Or maybe it’s because we are so similar. We are vocal and strong willed. We love to have an opinion and we voice our opinions any chance we get. We are kind and patient. We love with all of our hearts, but we aren’t afraid to speak up when we are hurt. We like to be in control, and we are decisive. We give everything 100%, and we work hard to give back.
At three years old, you’ve achieved much more than the average child. I hate when people ask me about your developmental milestones because I feel like people are judging me as a mother. I can sense the eye rolls as I talk about your accomplishments, and I try hard to convey that bragging is not my intent. I don’t brag just to brag, and I don’t exaggerate your accomplishments to make me feel like I’m a good mom. I truly believe you are “creepishly” smart. That’s what I tell people. You surprise me everyday with your knowledge, and I shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about it. Don’t ever let people undermine you, or make you feel less than what you’ve achieved. It’s ok to be smarter, work harder, be more creative, or have more patience. It’s the beauty of being an individual. You won’t be good at everything, but you should soak in the glory of the things you can achieve.
You know your entire alphabet, colors, and you can count to 13. You can hold a pencil appropriately and create all sorts of shapes. You can identify a triangle, rectangle, circle, star, and heart. You know types of animals that I think most 7 year olds can’t identify… a chipmunk? What kind of kid knows a chipmunk? You can correctly pronounce difficult words like “constipation,” “cantaloupe,” and “ambulance.” You can sing entire songs and love to paint. You can identify various yoga poses and love working out alongside me. You express complicated emotions in the correct context. Emotions such as being nervous, frustrated, worried, and embarrassed. These things make you brilliant, but they are only a fraction of the person you’ve become.
Though you have an attitude and a heart full of sass, you are incredibly kind. You take care of your little sister and make sure you give your friends so much love. You use polite words such as “please” and “thank you” … and you always respond to my requests with “yes m’am.” These aren’t phrases I’ve directly taught you, but things you’ve learned from the world around you. You also use words such as “god dammit” and “mother fucker,” but maybe those things I’m not so proud of! Or maybe I am… whoever said self expression was a bad thing!?
As we celebrate your third birthday, I want to take a moment to thank you for being a wonderful child. You’re high maintenance, detail oriented personality has taught me how to be patient and kind. You remind me on a daily basis to slow down and take time to enjoy little moments. You’ve taught me to control my anger and to see your problem areas not as things you should control, but as things I should help you learn to cope with. You’ll only be little for so long, and you’re reminding me that I need to soak up these moments… that I should love you for the child you’ve become and the child you’ll grow up to be. Though some days are harder than others, I’ve truly enjoyed being your mother. As I said before, you won’t always need me forever… but you’ll always be the first person to teach me true happiness and love.
Happy 3rd birthday, Peanut.
I love you.
(or Sam because sometimes you just like to call me Sam)