Love letter to my 3 year old...

I refer to this photo of the balloon curtain (through which I hope my newly turned four year old will walk through in the morning and not in the middle of the night on his way to the bathroom) as a #pinterestfail. Yes...I just hashtagged. One ought to measure the door before attempting this kind of surprise. One might also check to see that the balloon package does not indicate "tiny" balloons for miniature mystical people. Additionally, one might consider the depth of the overhang from which the balloons must hang and that you have ample adhesive material on hand to affix the narrow, or preferably, wide curtain. Last, affixing in place, as opposed to affixing to another medium and thinking affixing the medium to the unmeasured depth of overhang will work...well it does not. Instead, it will likely result in a tangled mess which you may spend 45 minutes untangling and destatic-ing with a dryer sheet (the latter does not work). AND...this is NOT a I just wrote this, one balloon popped. Priceless.

Wait for it, wait for it...nope he still sleeps. Let's see how many others pop throughout the night and whether my balloon curtain ends up on the floor at 3am. 

Luckily, a three year old or a four year old (I never know where to put that damn hyphen), will not see this as a #pinterestfail. As with it as he is, as dexterous as he may be at Angry Birds and Temple Run, or even a mouse on the desktop, he does not know what Pinterest is or a hashtag or a fail...except that when he sits on my lap to look at the pictures on the screen of the addictive Pinterest, he picks out all the food that is yummy and that he wants me to make. My child will neither know my effort (and Hugo's...he helped me blow the tiny balloons) as an act of love for him. He will just enjoy the experience of walking through a curtain of half-popped balloons on his birthday morning...for which he is so excited. 

Today is the last day that I will know my three year old, for tomorrow he is four. I am not sure if I am writing this for myself or for him, but probably mostly for me, so that I may reflect on this past year with my last three year old and savor it all...the good and the bad. For my three year old was no peach.

Why Glenn was no peach:

  • He was and still is the master of whining.
  • He has had a few handful of tantrum-like episodes this year. I did have to leave Costco a couple of months ago without anything yet in the basket and drove home with the radio blasting to drown out his inconsolable fit of emotion and screaming.
  • He has and continues to resist bedtime through a myriad of tactics. 
  • He is finicky with his affection for others. I don't like that. He's kind of a cold fish. This can be toward anyone that is not Mom or Dad...and that includes his brothers. 
  • He fights with his brothers. His brothers forget that he is three. Glenn believes that he is the same age as the boys...14. And the boys both treat Glenn like he's 14, especially in situations of injustice at which point they sometimes act like they are three themselves. 

Other observations...I have often referred to Glenn as having the personality of a child actor...he says things like he's in a Cheerios commercial. I can't explain it...I am not sure I have a great example. Also, he's kind of like a scene-stealer. He has these one-liners that he delivers deadpan. I want to think that he's special in that way, but there's so much acting that he observes on TV and even the way his brothers talk, I think he's just picked up on mannerisms and speech that he can use in context when he needs it. 

Even with the above list, this year was my favorite year with Glenn, for he is a charmer. Some of my favorite things about Glenn this year:

  • He can eat three breakfasts. He wants cereal at 7:30am, but when his brothers or Dad wake an hour later and they make eggs and toast or pancakes and bacon, the smell makes him want that too. He can eat A LOT of pancakes. 
  • He loves most fruit. He loves most vegetables...though suddenly he does not like cooked carrots. 
  • When he just has to sit on top of me on the couch or just needs me to snuggle with him before bed, I'll ask why. Says me, "Why must you sit right here on my lap...I am trying to work on the computer." Says he, "Because I LOVE you."
  • He holds my face when he kisses me. 
  • He is still enamored with me. Only I will do. This can be exhausting, but I recognize how sweet and fleeting this is. 
  • He is always thrilled to moon his brothers and his Dad. 
  • I LOVE his face. He has the sweetest smile, the twinkliest eyes, and the softest hair. And when he cries out of sadness, I'm a total sucker. 
  • Like his brothers, he loves to snuggle. Every morning. But as soon as 7:30 snuggle is as good as cereal. 
  • He bounces up and down in excitement and anticipation as I pour his cereal and milk every morning.
  • He has a new found adoration for his cousin Adam, with whom he got to stay the night over the summer. Adam being just a year older than his brothers, he took care of Glenn and was kind of in charge of him and shared his old Thomas the Train stuff with him. This was last summer. Glenn still talks about it and still talks about Adam.  
  • He loves to be tickled. I don't remember ever liking that. He asks to be tickled. Nut. 
  • He loves to be in cahoots with his Dad in playing pranks on other people. Wet willies, tickles, etc. But he can't keep a straight face through it. He giggles the whole time. 
  • He loves potty talk. 
  • He asks me, "Smell my feet. They're fresh." Said in a  "no, go ahead, it's okay, trust me" kind of way.
  • Glenn loves superheroes. Especially Batman and Spider-Man.
  • His body knows when it's time to burn energy if he's been housebound by rain or whatever, he'll suddenly start doing laps around the kitchen island. He'll ask me to count the laps and always tries to make a goal of 10 laps. Sometimes twice. 
  • He's got a great throw. When he throws a football, he has good aim, force and a nice spiral. He cannot catch. 
  • On Christmas morning, after two months of "building a very long list", he opened a present from Grandma and Grandpa that was unexpected. He looked at it and said to himself, but out loud, "THIS wasn't on my list!"
  • Watching the Golden Globes last night and into the third hour, Glenn got antsy and was bouncing around the couch in his underwear and pajama shirt from the night before (Sundays). When he figured out that I didn't want to be interrupted when he wanted my attention (because I really needed to see and hear Tina and Amy's bit), he would just stick his face six inches in front of my face. When I would try to look around his face and past his head, he'd grab my face and make me look at HIM. Naturally, I grabbed his little body and tossed it to the corner of the sectional. He loved now it was a game. Repeat six or seven times, when finally he starts doing a slow motion creep with his head into my was like he was photo-bombing my view of the TV.

There is so much more, but it's way past my bedtime. I want to finish this post with this reflection: Tuesday is Glenn's birthday, it's mid-week, Brad is out of town all week and I kind of assumed I'd figure out some kind of low key party for the weekend. I still don't know what my plan is, but something loosey-goosey will come to fruition tomorrow. Ten years ago, I would be beating myself up about this, but I know now that it's not about the perfect party, it's just about the attention and making sure he feels loved. And then it's about all the things I'd like him to be able to experience all year. Swim lessons, ski lessons, learning to read and write, playing records on his own turntable, making new friends through new playgroups, having his own garden and play area this summer, spending time with grandparents and having more responsibility in the house.

Glenn is invested in getting older. I couldn't talk him out of it. Every time I asked him to stay three, he said, "No. I want to be your age. I want to cook like you and Dad and my brothers. I want to be tall." I will so miss you, my little Glenn. This is the agony and victory of a holdfast and slowly to let go. I hope I don't forget him this way.



Our little superhero on Christmas Day 2013. Age 3.