Happy 3rd Birthday, Anthony! How is it possible that you’re already 3 years old? It feels like only yesterday when you were getting ready to judo chop your way out of my uterus with all of your crazy fetal movement. I have to admit, given the tumultuous moments your second year has given us and the frequency in which I’ve used the poop emoji to describe you and your behavior, I am a little more than slightly terrified of what raising a threenager has in store. So far you’ve been giving us tastes of how easily you can lose your shit over things that don’t matter. Like if I throw a piece of toilet paper into the toilet before you start to flush it then things get nuclear pretty quickly.
But I think everyone knows that toddlers in general have a predisposition to be assholes and this bumper sticker is pretty much living proof of that fact (thanks, Alesha!)
So instead I want to focus on the good of this past year because really there was so much of it. For every nap resisted and public tantrum thrown there were redemptive laughs, hugs, and “I love yous” that made me able to get up and do it all over again. Wine and Bravo were also key during this time too.
This past year was tough. We asked so much of you and in my utter exhaustion I haven’t always been patient enough to keep that in perspective. You became a big brother, moved to a big boy bed, were potty trained, and learned so much in a whirlwind of a year. Given all of that, I think you’re entitled to have a bad day here or there just as I am entitled to put you in timeout to keep you humble. I remember when the hospital told us to come in right away to start the induction with Olivia and I was in tears on the drive there. How could I do this to you? To us? We had a good thing going – why mess with that?
Once Olivia was home the confused, pained look in your eyes when you saw your lap occupied crushed me. The guilt was overwhelming at times – further fueled by raging hormones and sleep deprivation. But over time we adjusted to life as a family of four. The guilt eventually subsided with the occasional flare up and I’ve watched you grow into an amazing big brother. Well, when you’re not drop-kicking your sister for having the audacity to look in the direction of your Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage. During a play date last week, I watched from afar as you stood between your sister and another kid creeping in on her toy and said “No. The baby is playing with that” with a quiet don’t you dare f with her defiance that made me proud and also pray that you will always be her protector. My heart bursts when I hear squeals of sibling laughter as you engage in games of your own making and I know that this is why we had two. My temper bursts when I hear a loud THUD following by Olivia’s crying and see you slinking away from the scene of the crime. But hey, I’m an older sibling too so I get it. Little sisters can be the worst.
From birth, you’ve always had a big personality and it’s been a great source of entertainment and enjoyment watching it flourish alongside your ever-growing vocabulary. You are quirky – for example, you BEG for donuts yet only eat the sprinkles off the top and discard the rest. You insisted for the longest time that humus was not pronounced humus, but pronounced THOMAS, like the train – your obsession at the time. Yellow is your favorite color, a bold choice, and we discovered that you are amongst one of a few people on this planet than can pull off yellow pants.
Your jokes are as awful as mine and you laugh during the delivery of the punchline too. A few weeks ago in Dunkin Donuts you started calling it “Dunkin Mommy” (clearly we go there a little too often) and laughing like a frigging maniac in the middle of the store while we waited for my coffee. It was 6:40a.m.
Your energy is constant…your ability to sit still limited unless it’s something that interests you (see: trains, cars, and puzzles). You get that from me and I learned how exhausting and simultaneously exhilarating it can be. Watching you on the playground I marvel at how you conquer things I considered “for the big kids” completely unassisted as you yell out “See, Mommy! I didn’t need any help!”. My heart breaks just a little because I know there will come a time when you don’t need me at all.
At night you snuggle into me as we sing songs and you whisper “keep me safe” and nestle into me a little closer and I squeeze you tightly responding “I’m your mommy. It’s my job to keep you safe!” You are my sweet man. My sour patch kid. The giver of tight hugs and owner of a charming “you can’t be mad at me” grin coupled with the knockout “Mommy, I love you soooo much” punch. I love watching you grow, as difficult as it can be to bear at times because it’s all going way too fast and now my attention is split in two and I feel like I’m going to miss something. I love this time where you consider me to be your best friend and my kisses can make anything better.
Thank you for making me a mom. Thank you for this gift that is as exasperating as it is incredible. For better or worse, this has been an unbelievable year and I am incredibly proud to be your mother. I love you more than you will ever know. Here’s to the next year and 365 days of your hijinks!
Love you always and forever,
PS: If you promise to take it easy on me this year I promise you’ll get all the lollipops you want on your 4th birthday.