Dear Sambino Boo-Boo Bear Joyce,
Today you are THREE!!!
How is it possible that my baby boy is now a three year-old, tipping the scales at 40 pounds and measuring over 30 inches?! You are GINORMOUS! I still love to snuggle your sweet little body, but when you are throwing an epic tantrum involving all four appendages, it is practically impossible to manage all of your big boyness.
Temper tantrums aside, you are altogether a lovable boy. Three is a fun, busy, crazy, loud, happy, expressive age and we couldn't be any more pleased with our little guy.
Speaking of tantrums, this week your beloved cowboy boots set off a doozy of a battle of the wills. You know that boots aren't allowed at school, but it doesn't stop you from trying. Most mornings we can distract you, but Monday you were having NONE of those other pairs of shoes. I finally walked out the door, started the car, put Maddie in her seat, and came back to the continued wailing, kicking and stomping upstairs. I carried you, limbs akimbo, to the car, where you FINALLY acquiesced. Sigh. At least you weren't wearing the boots during your fight, because I've been kicked. And it's not fun.
But in all honesty, three will always make me think of those leather cowboy boots, how you love to dress up, the way you pick out your own clothes, wear shirts backwards, change six or seven times a day, and mix and match costumes to your specific imaginative scenarios. (Robot cowboy? Totally. Jedi Princess? You better believe it. White, lace-trimmed glove-wearing motorcycle man? Oh yes.)
You're also kind of a sneak these days. You disappear for minutes at a time, not answering my calls, usually hiding beneath some surface (dining room table) with some sweet treat (marshmellows, candy, gum). You know you're being naughty and so you flash me a classic Sam grin, taunting me to enjoy your cuteness and overlook the sin. Yes, you are already working the system.
You are smart, pensive, thoughtful. You can spend many, many minutes engaged in an activity, playing by yourself, figuring things out or sorting items. You watch carefully, learn quickly, and though you don't express a lot, we know that the wheels are turning. It's been fun this past month to hear all the new words you're trying out. You work SO hard to get your sentences out, and little guy, we appreciate each and every word you articulate. Sometimes I wish I could get in your brain because I know there are complicated things going on in there. One of these days you're just going to blow us out of the water.
You still love to snuggle. Just today you asked at naptime, "Sleep Mama's bed?" Then we laid down together and drifted off to sleep, me spooning you, you spooning batman. It was really, really sweet. You crawl up in our laps at meal times, hug and kiss everyone good night when we're gathered for missional community, give Maddie little loving pats throughout the day, and rub my arm when I lay with you at naptime. You are such a tender little soul, loving and gentle.
Today was a treat. We started with a fun and delicious family breakfast and you and John were up to your regular routine: making each other laugh, flexing your muscles, discussing "big man" things. Then I got to work in your classroom and witness the joy that is the birthday crown. Oh, how you loved that crown! You picked out superhero popsicles to take as your birthday snack and clapped with joy as you shouted out "Batman! Hulk Man! Gee Man (Spiderman!)" You were very entertaining.
For your birthday dinner we settled on cheeseburgers and a red velvet cake (because Superman's cape is red, of course). You helped me lick the spatula, sample the raspberries, and you even grabbed a mouthful of red food coloring gel when my back was turned. Well, that was not a pleasant treat because after you realized just how awful the taste is, you proceeded to drool red drool, spit red spit, and end up looking like something out of a horror movie. I just threw your white undershirt away as it was covered in red spit polka dots. My floor, too, stained in a million little places from the five minutes of "YUCKY!" that happened after that little taste of gel. Yep, you're sneaky, but it doesn't always have a happy ending.
The finished product was much tastier:
And you, covered in red velvet cake? Irresistibly tasty! Daddy couldn't help but sneak in a little kisser.
Welcome to three, my big, big, big, big, big, big man. We are so in love with you. Thank you for teaching us the value of a good pair of boots, the joy of small delicious treats, the importance of well thought out words, and countless other life lessons. May your superheroes fly high, your kisses be plentiful, and your costumes be fabulous. Thanks for lighting up our life with all that you are.
We love you buddy.