Timmy's birthday was very low-key and un-exciting, in keeping with our family tradition that if you have a July birthday and it happens to fall on a PCS (permanent change of station) summer, then you get the short end of the stick. But like his big sister before him he was unfazed, and I believe every bit as happy as if I'd been able to throw a party and put real thought and effort into all the details. When he bounded into the kitchen first thing in the morning and I said, "Happy birthday, Buddy!" he said, "Thanks!" Here's a video of us singing happy birthday to him after dinner.
What is there to say about Timmy as a newly-turned three-year-old?
- He loves to converse with us constantly, and he's always asking questions and telling us things. He has SO MUCH to say and he speaks very clearly now. He doesn't mispronounce much anymore, but we love what few things he does and enjoy them while they last. It's very endearing the way he still pronounces "Delaney" as "Duwaney." When he has to say a lot of words at once he still garbles them just a bit. For instance, "I spy with my little eye something that is green" becomes "I spy my little eye sumfing green."
He catches me thinking out loud as I am wont to do sometimes, and he says, "Hold on a second. Who are you talking to right now?"
He doesn't want to accept "I don't know" as an answer. A conversation we had in the car recently went like this: "Mama, what's the name of this song?" "Um, I don't know, Bud." "Just tell me," he insisted.
- As of two-and-a-half weeks ago he is potty trained. I thought for sure he would be my difficult one because when I attempted with him at 2.5, I had no success at all. And he showed no signs potty readiness at all since. He would happily sit around in a wet or dirty diaper all day, it never bothered him a bit. He never sought privacy to do Number 2 either. So I kept putting it off until once we got all moved in here, we had nothing else going on, and Tim kept saying to me, "Shouldn't we be thinking about potty training him?" I gave it another shot on Friday, July 11. We went cold turkey no diapers just like I had with his sisters. He had two pee accidents that first day, both times while he was wearing the little Cars themed tighty-wighties I'd gotten him for the occasion. Tim had the idea he might do better without undies on, I agreed, and after that he was good to go. I think being bare under his clothes gave him more awareness of what was happening with his body, and he immediately started using the potty without prompting. After a week went by he chose to use the real toilet, telling me he was too big for the little froggy potty. OK! I was pretty shocked at how easy that was. He wears a diaper at naptime still, and usually keeps it dry. The one he wears at bedtime is very wet by morning. I guess that eventually we'll go through a separate process of nighttime potty training like we did with his sisters.
- I was just looking through his update at age 2.5. We've come a long way in a few short months! 6 months ago he was still in a crib that he wasn't even climbing out of yet; and he was still in diapers with no end in sight. Shortly after that update he began climbing out of his crib -- of course -- so Tim converted it to a toddler bed. Once we got here Tim discovered that a part the bed needed as a crib or toddler bed had gone missing in the move. He set it up as a full bed. So now he's in a big big boy bed. He looks a little lost in the middle of it but he likes it.
- Timmy is very much a people person. He insists on having his window down every time we go through the guard gate because he wants to greet the Marine there and hear him/her greet him back. He welcomes every opportunity to meet someone new and tell them his name and age, and ask them questions. He's so used to the positive attention he gets that he has learned to expect it. He will stare at a person until they smile at him. That might make a few people uncomfortable but most seemed charmed wherever we go. I know this stuff used to make me uncomfortable before I had kids of my own. I might have given them a little smile or said "how cute" and hoped they were done looking at me. Would you believe I was not all that into kids before I had mine? True story: The first time I had dinner at Tim's parents' house and met the family, our older nieces were all age 3 and under. To impress me (I guess?) they all screamed at the top of their lungs as we sat at the table. I sat there in my LOFT twinset that had never seen a drop of spit-up and was appalled, and it showed. They probably all thought, 'She does not like kids.' I wanted to sink into the floor. Now I have three champion screechers of my own, but they know not to do it to me too often or for too long because I really CAN NOT stand it. I put my hands over my ears and run from the room.
- He is not all sweetness and charm. Like any kid his age he sometimes wants to test his boundaries at times and find out if I really mean what I say. He seems to know when my guard is down, and when to push his luck, i.e., opening the fridge when I've told him he can't have a snack or demanding things in a whiny voice. A fun time out can quickly become painful when he starts loudly demanding to go home. I can easily see how an adorable two or especially three-year-old becomes a tiny tyrant. He needs a firm no and he needs to be reminded that he's not in charge. I think Tim and I do a good job of this because in general he is a sweet boy and very pleasant to be around. He does really well as long as he's on his routine and he gets his nap every day. He deteriorates badly when he's tired, and post-lunch/pre-nap is prime time for moodiness and tantrums. All of my kids have their moments but it is so nice when family or friends mention how well-behaved they are. It lets me know we're doing something right -- either that or we're just extraordinarily lucky.
- He and his sisters play really well together for the most part, even though Annie loves to pick on him. They've taught him to think everything "booty" or "bum"- related is hilarious. They get frustrated with him sometimes because they'll have their stuffed animals arranged a certain way for a game they're playing; and then he'll run them over with his dump truck. Repeatedly. So there's a lot of "Timmy, if you can't play nicely with them you'll have to go to your own room to play." He's going to miss them when they start school in a couple weeks but doesn't mind his own company either. He still likes to put his cars and trucks in lines, and he'll have them talk or even sing, it sounds like, as he moves them around. Delaney is the one who is nicest to him and he is a lot more affectionate with her than with Annie. For Annie, picking on him is like an itch she has to scratch. She obviously loves him and thinks he's cute like the rest of us do, but at the same time he annoys her. She's probably thinking, 'Stop being so adorable.'
- This is random, but it needs to be recorded somewhere in the blog: Sometimes when he's sleeping he makes a noise like a siren, like a tonal noise that starts quietly, builds up to a crescendo and dies back down. It makes sleeping in the same room with him difficult, but it's not loud enough to wake up the whole house. Come to think of it, that's the same kind of noise I made while I was in labor with him. Connection, possibly? I wish I knew how long he's been doing it. I don't remember him ever doing it the 5 + months he roomed with me after he was born. Hmm.
- We're taking him for his checkup in two days, and I will update here with his stats.* I already know he's only gained three pounds since last year but he's definitely gotten taller. He's looking very svelte now, especially without that diaper. He eats like a typical three-year-old -- that is to say, poorly. He's a picker. He hasn't eaten a vegetable in the longest time, and no matter how small I make his servings there always seems to be a lot left over when he's done. But he loves whole milk
That's about it! Phew - I'm glad to be done with kid birthdays for awhile.
* Timmy is 30.86 pounds and 38 inches tall -- 42nd percentile for weight and 65th for height. It's funny how important percentiles still are to me.