Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year

Eli was born on New Year's Eve, and this year he turned, well, I think you can guess what he turned.

We had a great time celebrating his birthday together. I took a risk and scheduled his annual check up for that morning. Before you accuse me of being an uncaring mother, I did confirm that there would be no shots involved. The whole thing went fine, except there was supposed to be a shot involved. Oops. So I'll suck up the co-pay and go back. I just can't do that to him, even though I know it would only hurt for a second. It's just not fair.

Everyone needs a post-doctor reward, so we headed over to Dunkin Donuts where they had, of all things, a white frosted donut with M&Ms on it. I swear, Eli -- who had never seen anything like it -- thinks they made is especially for his birthday. He was excited, to say the least. Then we headed to our local children's museum (which was happily very empty) for a couple of hours of playing. Home for lunch, the centerpiece of which was a cupcake, and a hard-fought-for nap. He needed to sleep because in the evening hours we headed to a friend's house for a European New Year's celebration. (Actual midnight just doesn't work well for three-year-olds.)

We saved Eli's present from us for the following day because we knew it would require some real time, which we just didn't have on his busy busy birthday. Needless to say, he was pleased with it.

So. Three. He's three. And he's a good three, not that I'm biased. It's true what they say, that they just get more fun. I've thought every age has been the absolute perfect one and then he just goes and gets even more charming, more interesting, more adorable. Some days I can't believe how big he is, that he can reach every light switch in the house now. I can't believe how much he's developed cognitively in the last six months, either, that he actually reads such a wide range of words. And then other days I look at him and think, "Look at that tiny person. He's still very, very small." But every day I love him to pieces.

And guess what? He loves me back. I have very purposefully not encouraged him to say "I love you" to me (or to anyone, really) because as much as I wanted to hear it, I also wanted to know it was coming from him when he said it. He's said it spontaneously a few times, but mostly accompanied by some whining or some manipulation or some other scenario that didn't make it feel like "it." A few nights ago, though, before he fell asleep, he was calling for David (who does bedtime) and I went in instead and he was so surprised and happy, and then even more so when he asked me to cuddle (his usual stalling tactic) and I said yes. I laid down next to him and he said, "I love you, Mommy." That one I count.