What to Expect Before You’re Expecting

So maybe you’ve decided that this year is going to be the year – the year you and your partner make the leap and have a baby.  Just the thought of going from a couple of two to a family of three sends chills of anticipation down your spine.  You have achieved those all-important first steps – you’ve secured a partner and survived the wedding – and now the next logical thing seems to be to procreate.  You have already begun the fantasies – you’re holding a gorgeous newborn while hubby smiles down proudly over the hospital bed in awe of the miracle you have just performed. I mean, it almost bring tears even to my eyes knowing the excitement, the butterflies your tummy feels when you think, hope, there might be a baby in your belly next month.

WAIT. Back up, back up…about five seconds after the fantasy moment passes, that newborn starts crying and neither you nor dad are exactly sure what to do.  It’s actually pretty awesome, but the reality is, once the baby comes out, it’s here FOREVER.

Here are a few things you should be sure to do before you toss your birth control:

Sleep.  Everyone says this, right?  Well, maybe they say it for a reason and you should listen.  You will never, and I truly mean NEVER feel well rested again.  I don’t care how many kids you have or how old they are, being a parent means being tired.

Travel. Take a special trip, near or far it doesn’t matter. Just do as much traveling as you can while it’s only the two of you.  Is your idea of a fantastic vacation sipping wine over a fabulous French meal on the Left Bank in Paris?  Or zip lining in the jungles of Costa Rica? Because theirs will involve 7AM breakfasts with Sesame Street characters and swimming in pools that are the temperature of pee.

Sex. Have a lot of it very regularly.  Do it everywhere.  You’re too tired? Do it anyway!!

Make amends. Having a baby is very special time in your life; make sure you can share it with the people who mean the most to you.  There is enough drama in those first few months; you don’t need any more from angry friends and family.

Spend an entire day in bed.  Do it just because you can, because these are these the last moments in your life where you will be solely responsible for just yourself.

Read. It will be a long time before you have the brain capacity to read anything other than The Happiest Baby On The Block.  If you have a few good reads on your list, try and check them off prior to the arrival of your little one.

Don’t rush.  Make sure to spend some quality time together alone as a married couple.  The kids can wait a bit, cherish your “alone time”.

Dine out.  And make sure to do it at places that don’t have chicken fingers or buttered noodles on the menu!

Get fit.  Flaunt your pre-baby body assets.  You like your legs? Wear shorts in winter.  Have great boobs? Show cleavage every day, for they will be gone post-childbirth.  I’m not saying you won’t ever look great again; it’s just different.  Better not to discuss it, I don’t want to scare you too much.

Luxuriate in the bathroom. Seriously, spend an entire day in there.  Take a nice long shower, read an entire book while pooping, or just sit quietly while you stare at yourself in the mirror.  Post-kids a shower is more like a five second rinse every few days and you’re lucky if you get to finish peeing before some small child interrupts your flow.

Get dressed up. Now is the time to wear all of those fun clothes you have.  Even months, or years, later when they fit again, they will be covered in spit up, food, dirt, snot…

Don’t Decorate. Or at least “undecorate”.  I get it, you’re adults now and you want your living quarters to reflect that, but you’re going to be really pissed when chocolate milk splatters on that expensive white throw rug and your walls are covered in crayon.  Learn to embrace Ikea.

Bringing a child into this world is the most magical and special moment of your life.  It is also immediately followed by some of the most complicated and trying times you will ever encounter.  Enjoy the freedom of being just a couple, it will make it that much easier when everything changes. 

I’m Dreaming Of A Jewish Christmas

I am Jewish.  At one point in my life I was in a serious relationship with a non-Jew, and, of course, when thinking about marriage I would always consider the religious difference.  Would we celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah?  How would we explain it to eventual children? It was certainly confusing.  Ultimately, I married another Jewish man, so I assumed that other religions wouldn’t be a factor for our children.

Boy, how wrong I was.

When he was one, I took Man to sit on Santa’s lap.  Why not? Since he was too young to ask questions or build memories, I figured there was nothing wrong with it. We waited on a long line until it was Man’s turn, and there before him was this red-suit-clad Santa with a real beard (I thought that was kinda nice) and a permagrin affixed to his face.   Like a little Santa factory, Man was placed on his lap, a picture was taken and off of his lap he went.  It was all of 30 seconds and if it weren’t for the single picture (and the fact that I’m now telling all of you nice folks) I could deny that this event ever took place.

Man and Santa

Man and Santa

I had never heard the word “Santa” out of his mouth again, until now.  Flash forward two years and suddenly I can’t get away from it. The questions started simply enough:

Q: Where does Santa live?

A: The North Pole.

Q: Do we have a chimney?

A: Yes.

Q: Can we go meet him?

A: Maybe.

Q: What do the elves do?

A: Build toys.

Then it started to get a little more complex:

Q: Why does “so and so” have a Christmas tree and we don’t?

A: Because we don’t celebrate Christmas.

Q: Why not?

A: Because we’re Jewish and we celebrate other holidays like Hanukkah.

Q: What else do we celebrate?

A: Passover.

Q: What’s that?

A: You remember when we had a “seder” and we couldn’t eat until we finished reading stories from that little book, the Haggadah?

He sighed loudly and his face registered disappointment. I could see that I had lost him.  Here was this holiday with trees and sparkly lights, ginger bread houses, and a sweet old man who gives lots of gifts; everything really did seem merrier and brighter.  How could any of our Jewish holidays compare to that!?  I mean, it’s not like there is a man at the mall dressed as a Menorah, eagerly waiting to seat Man on his lap and ask if he’s been a “mensch” this year.  To a three-year-old, lighting the Hanukkah candles just doesn’t seem as exciting as having a big light up tree.

Excited to light the Menorah.

Excited to light the Menorah.

Compounding this, everyone around him seems to celebrate.  It’s everywhere; Curious George celebrates; the television told Man so yesterday.  So does Peppa Pig, Team Umizoomi, and Sid the Science Kid, as do many of his real life friends.  All of these people get to celebrate and he doesn’t, and this was obviously a travesty.  He wanted, no, he “neeeeeeded” his own tree and gifts.  I reminded him that we had just celebrated Hanukkah and that he had recently received many gifts.  This did not soothe him in any way, for so did half of his friends who were of mixed religions and got to celebrate both holidays.

I was trapped.  I took the easy way out – the only way I could see out of it – I told him Santa wasn’t real.

He seemed to take the news rather well, having really only learned of him a few weeks ago.  This was the correct answer, right?

WRONG!

This was not a satisfactory answer; it did not explain why he couldn’t get presents.  It did not explain why we see him outside the supermarket ringing a bell, or at the mall, or on television, or on a fire truck coming down our block and tossing him a lollipop.  Plus, now I have to be worried that he won’t burst anyone else’s bubble.  What if he told one of his many friends who celebrate that Santa isn’t real?  I would be labeled (rightly) as that mom and he would never be invited to a play date again.

You think he’s confused?  I’m confused!  I would love to have him enjoy the beauty of this holiday and some of the more secular aspects – the festive lights, the tree at Rockefeller Center, the windows at Macy’s, and a delicious ginger bread house.  I am, however, finding it impossible to explain that although these things might be fun, it is still a religious holiday.  His three-year-old brain cannot conceptualize that.  I don’t need the book, Daddy Christmas, Hanukkah Mama – I need We’re A Houseful Of Jews & We Don’t Believe In Santa.  Maybe this sounds harsh? Give him a tree, you think?  But what message does that send? Christians do not fast for Ramadan, and Muslims do not light Hanukkah candles.

The bottom line is that this is a religious holiday and for now he will just have to be satisfied with eating Chinese food and going to the movies on Christmas as Jews have done for thousands of generations before him.

Holy Sh**, I Lost Tiger

“911 911”

I see this text come through from my husband as I’m trying to scrape Lady off the floor of Target.

Oh, no, I think. Visions of Man lying at the bottom of the stairs or cut with a knife flash through my head.

The buzzing in my hand brings me to, “I CAN’T FIND TIGER!!!”

OMG, it’s worse…sooooooo much worse than just a broken leg! Tiger is missing!

As I’ve done so many times before I begin to go through my mental checklist of all the places we’ve been and where I could have possibly seen him last.

Lady, by the way, is still on the floor.

Lady was unimpressed with Bloomingdale's

Lady was unimpressed with Target.

Who is Tiger? Tiger is the single most important friend in Man’s life. He’s an Angel Dear blanket head which has become a permanent fixture hanging from his mouth. He was a gift bestowed to us at his birth.  I want to lavish this person with love and thanks for providing us with a tool that so easily soothes our Man.  Simultaneously I want to punch this person in the face for attaching us, like a ball and chain, to a single object that Man needs daily.

When he’s upset, who does he turn to? Tiger!  When he’s tired and wants to lull himself to sleep, who is there?  Yes, you guessed it.  Tiger.  You can literally watch his eyes roll into the back of his head and hear the soft moans of ecstasy as he shoves the first piece of tattered cotton into his mouth and begins sucking away.  This smelly, disgusting, ragged piece of cloth is part of him.

If you look closely, he is wedged underneath..  BFF from the very beginning.

If you look closely, he is wedged underneath.. BFF from the very beginning.

Tiger had a really bad week last week.

After the Target incident we were all on edge a bit more.  It had been a close call; it took about an hour of searching to finally locate him behind a couch in our loft space.  By then Man had worked himself up pretty well so you can imagine the Hoover-like sucking that went down when he was finally located.  I’m betting he even closed his eyes and groaned for a bit while letting his mouth get reacquainted with the fibers and nuances of Tiger’s coat.

Later that week, after being on vacation for a while, my cleaning lady returned.  She, like all family members and friends, has been schooled in Tiger etiquette: if we find Tiger anywhere in the house it goes directly into my hands or into his bed.  Now, I’m not sure if she was just in such a cleaning frenzy after not being here for so long, or, if Lady, in her efforts to “help,” may have done it, but somehow Tiger was thrown away.

That evening, after a long day of playing and fun, Man went in search for his Tiger.  He was, of course, nowhere to be found.

The house was pretty clean so a quick cursory glance told me that this was going to be a real search.   If the house was clean for the first time in three weeks, it no longer was.  I did a thorough dumping of everything in sight, until finally I reached the moment where it was time to dig through the garbage.  All worked up and freaked out, I was standing in my garage digging and praying.   It was like that scene in Parenthood where Steve Martin and Mary Steemburgen are looking for their kids’ lost retainer while he panics by their side.

It didn’t matter how covered in crap I was—when I saw that thing a little tear of relief rolled down my cheek.

Finally, with Tiger washed and hanging gently from Man’s mouth, he gets into bed for a story with Bubbie.  I sneak out of the room and head upstairs.  Suddenly, Man is by my side again. “Bubbie doesn’t know the goodnight song, mommy – come sing.”  We head downstairs to begin final preparations for night night.

All tucked in, I reach for Tiger.

“Where’s Tiger?”  I ask, already in a complete panic.  Is this happening, AGAIN?  It was at that moment that I completely LOST IT.

We began by pulling apart his room; it wasn’t in, under, or behind the bed.  It wasn’t in the sheets, duvet cover, or pillow cases.  No drawer held it, and no closet door hid it.

I retraced his steps up the staircase, into the kitchen, and then back down to his room.  At one point he handed me his magnifying glass and called me Inspector Gadget.  I believe I threw it across the room in frustration; it wasn’t my finest parenting moment.

This thing was gone. I looked in my room, risked waking Lady to check her room, upstairs, downstairs, all over, and it was just gone; I mean it vanished into thin air. Where the F could it have possibly gone on a quick walk from his bedroom to the kitchen and back???  Maybe it finally ran away, so tired of being Man’s plaything?  I could think of no logical solution.

It was at this point that  I went into Defcon Five.  There was shouting and blaming and maybe even some crying.  I threw Man in the car and drove him to sleep, not even wanting to deal with the mess that would be getting him to sleep without his precious “Tigey”.

Magically he slept through the night. As if the same magic that had stolen Tiger from us the night before was working again, in the daylight it revealed Tiger, wrapped in a similarly-colored sweater in a pile of clothes sitting at the bottom of my bed.  He had obviously looked for me in my room before coming upstairs to the kitchen.

The moral of the story, my friends: put a tracking device on your kids’ “fuzzies,” “loveys,” “suffies,” or whatever it is they have, because trust me; you are equally as attached to that thing as your kid is.

TIGER

TIGER

Some People Call Me a Space Cowboy

I’ve made no secret of the fact that lately I have felt a little lost just being a stay-at-home mom.  This afternoon, Man threw up on me…and I was struck with a realization.  Yes, it took an Exorcist-like scene of projectile vomiting for me to come to the conclusion that I am not just a mom.

When the kiddies scrape their knees, bump their heads and puke all over me, I am a doctor.

I answer their important questions about cheese and dirt; I read to them; we do lots of puzzles and play games. I am a teacher.

They ask me to make French toast for breakfast and chicken nuggets for lunch. I am a chef.

“Shoulders, shoulders!” they beg for a ride. They climb all over me, clamoring for leverage.  I am a jungle gym.

They draw on the walls, spill their juice and splatter yogurt on the floor. I am a maid.

They snuggle up to me and fall asleep on my chest, breathing delicious little breaths. I am a pillow.

Grabbing and pushing leads to tears and fights.  I am a referee.

Man is upset; someone doesn’t want to play with him.  I am a best friend.

I push for meetings; I advocate and sometimes fight for the therapeutic services he needs.  I am a lawyer.

Of course – I schlep them to school, play dates, doctor’s appointments, classes…I am a bus driver.

Running around trying to put Lady’s wild hair into a more manageable ponytail, I am a hairdresser to the stars!

New toys need to be built and old toys need to be fixed. I am a carpenter.  (Who am I kidding, my husband fills that role.)

I pick out their clothes and make them look cute, or at least make sure their bodies are covered before we leave the house.  I am a stylist.

Man wants to throw a ball; put me in coach, I’m ready to play. I’m Derek Jeter.

He dives under the bedcovers so we can “search for bears”—I am a park ranger.

When I assist in his “experiments” and we end up laughing while the floor gets soaked and your clothes get filthy, I am a mad scientist.

Man steadfastly refuses to carry his dinner dishes from the table – apparently I am a busboy.

They step out of line – I’m a prison guard on Oz.

At the end of the day, I am their mom.

 

Mom to Lady

Mom to Lady

Mom to Man

Mom to Man

You Think Halloween Is Scary?

I am not a very fearful mom.  I have heard other parents say, “Oh, well if she doesn’t let her kids do it then it must be very, very bad.”   You can often find Man and Lady sitting on top of a table, eating a meal without washing their hands, or going outside on a chilly day with less than the ideal amount of clothing.  This isn’t to say that I would let them share a milkshake with someone who has an active case of pneumonia, but a simple cold does not faze me.

On this spookiest of holidays there are a few things that just scare me to the core: Man’s behavior once he has finished his Halloween candy, any kid dressed like Dora (or worse yet, Boots), and animals in costume.  These fears will recede as the holiday comes to a close.  And though I might not fear general day to day parenting tasks, there are some irrational parenting phobias that will continue awhile longer.

That I will poison my children: Lately, you can’t get away from it.  Everything you read and hear says that unless you go completely organic you might as well just be tossing your children headfirst into harm’s way.  All I want to do is wash a dish, but, apparently, this is what I’m actually doing: scrubbing my dish with toxic fluid, which leaves a poison residue, which later coats the food that my children eat and digest.  Shit, my kid just ate a Polly-O string cheese—is he going to grow a third nipple from the hormones that were given to the cows which produced the milk which was used to make the cheese that Man ate?  Sheesh, it’s enough to make you want to raise them in a bubble.

Grass fed, PBA free, all natural, no antibiotic, non-GMO, hormone free, dye free, sugar free, gluten free… it’s enough to strike fear in even the most educated of consumers: do it, or suffer the consequences—a kid with seven toes and severe ADHD.

Image

Even in eutero I was harming them!

That I will never be alone again… EVER… for ANYTHING.

That I will lose my kids’ “fuzzies”:  My children have an unhealthy relationship with their Angel Dear blanket heads.  If they were lost, neither would Ever.  Sleep.  Again.  In order to ensure their safety, and our sanity, we do not let them leave the house or car with them.  However, every once in a while one ends up stuffed in the crisping drawer of the refrigerator or stuck in a shoe on the very last rack of some remote closet.

Bedtime comes. “Where’s Tiger?” asks Man, innocently.

“I don’t know,” I reply, my voice cracking with fear. I break out into a cold sweat, and my body hair stands on end.

I try and hide this from Man. If he smells my fear, it’s over.  My heart racing, I take a mental inventory of all of the places Tiger has been “hiding” throughout the day… and I search them, ALL.  I consider calling the FBI and demanding their best agents be sent out immediately—anything to get this wailing toddler off of my leg.

Man will actually be the only kindergartener in history that is not potty trained.

Cutting Lady’s hair: She absolutely will not under any circumstances allow me to put anything in her hair. But now it’s getting a bit out of control, and lately it gets stuck in her eyes.  I’ll notice her trying desperately to wipe out stray hairs, her eyes watering, her voice shrilly calling, “me eye, me eye!”  It’s enough to make me sad for her, but NOT enough to make me want to cut her hair.  Her beautiful red hair is my, er, I mean her crowning glory; I just don’t think I could handle it.

My kids will literally suck the life out of me: Sometimes I feel like I’m in a Stephen King novel: “Life Sucking Toddlers.”  I can picture it now, toddlers standing over their parents, mouths open and suck, suck, sucking the life out of them.  I’m just trying to put on pants, and one is hitting, the other is crying, the dog is barking, the timer on the oven goes off, the other starts hitting back, crying escalates to “crining” (crying and whining simultaneously)… yup, life sucking.

 Image

Watch out, or my unkempt hair and I will suck you dry!

Please share you irrational parenting fears in the comments section below, and have a safe and happy Halloween.

One of THOSE Days

Today has been one of those days.  You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones where everything that can go wrong actually does, from the second you wake up until the moment you try and go to sleep.

My day started at 4:55; I woke up and went to pee.  At 5AM my husband got out of bed to get ready to go to his thrice weekly workout.  That’s right, three times a week my husband leaves at 5:20AM so he can go and workout.  I bitched about it for like 8 months, but now that I get to actually reap the benefits of snuggling with an almost six pack (something I had thought was absurdly unnecessary until I actually did it) I try to stay mum.  He is blending his breakfast shake and the hum of the blender is infiltrating my brain and keeping me awake.  Six pack, six pack, six pack, I repeat to myself in order to stay in bed and not go upstairs, rip the blender out of the wall, and tell him to go shove it somewhere where it won’t interrupt my last 40 minutes of sleep before one of the kids wakes up.

It’s now 5:40 and I’m still up; the goings-on of the impending day are whirling in my head, keeping me awake.  Don’t forget to do this.  Make sure to pack that.  Pick up this.  Drop off that.

Somewhere around 6AM I must have fallen back to sleep.  6:07 comes along and… “MOOOOMMMM” is being shouted over the monitor.  Man is awake.  Some days this absurdly loud shouting of my title does not wake up his sister, but of course, today, it does.

By 6:08 we are all up.  She is excessively snotty and crying in my arms, on day three of her cold and having been awakened earlier than expected.  He is in my bathroom ready to play with my makeup.

“Man, come get into my bed and pick a show to watch while I get dressed.” (i.e. get my sweatpants and t-shirt off the floor from last night and put them back on)

“No, I need to get ready.”

Today, “ready” meant placing two blush brushes and a mascara in the shower drain while I Nosefrida’d his sister.  Those were my last two non-pissed on, non-sucked on, relatively clean blush brushes and now they are covered in drain slime.  He pried off the cover and stuck them in.  He has drain slime on his hands and as I look closer I realize it’s in his hair.  Once he has recovered from Ebola he will need a bath.  This means she will insist on having one as well.

It is 6:42 and we are all dried and dressed.

It was a blog publishing morning, which meant I would personally need about three extra minutes to get everything ready before hitting “publish”.  I know, I know, expecting even three minutes of uninterrupted time is a joke in itself.

Of course, the picture was only uploading in thumbnail size, so three minutes turned to 15… Therefore, Man had enough time to not eat his breakfast AND pull a chair over to the staircase, climb over the gate, go upstairs, open the bottom of the bird cage and dump tons of empty nut shells and bird shit on the floor.  His overly snotty sister then covered her hands and face with this crap.  She looked like a Girls Scouts project for a home-bird feeder.  You know the ones where they cover a pine cone in peanut butter and then roll it in bird seed.  I could have hung her out the window just like that and it would have been like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

Blog published; picture still thumbnail size.

Now clean, Lady spills a bag of dried split peas… Man must have unlocked the cabinet.  Damn it.

The peas will have to stay where they are; it’s time to leave for school.  (To all non-parents, this is why your friends with kids have dirty, shitty, houses.)

Man insists on wearing his high top Converse.  These are difficult shoes to put on, especially for Man who can’t stay still long enough for me to even untie them.  Ten minutes and many tears later (some of them mine) we are on our way to school with no time to spare

There is construction on the two miles of road between us and school.  I say “FUCK” instead of my usual “fudge”.

Man shouts “FUCK”.

Lady shouts “UCK”.

We are late to school.

The day continues like this, one mishap after another.

A lunch refusal here, a shouting match over changing a diaper there (YOU SHOULD BE POTTY TRAINED, MAN), a 45 minute nap from Lady and no nap from Man…and the day continues.

At one point I remind myself that soon I am going to drop Man off at his Bubbie’s house for the night and I will be rid of him for 12 whole hours! The hubby is off to a baseball game and Lady napped like crap so she will be down by 6:30.  This means that if I play my cards right, I could have like four hours of uninterrupted alone time while it’s still early enough to actually enjoy them.

I drop Man off at Bubbie’s.  He goes inside, turns around and before I even have my foot in the door he yells, “Leave now, mommy” and waves his hand dismissively.

My heart is aching and I head home.

"You can go now, mommy."

“You can go now, mommy.”

I make the mistake of posting on Facebook about the awesomeness that is going to be my “alone time”.  Even as my fingers are typing the words my brain is screaming “Nooooooo, don’t do it – it can only end badly after this!”

At 6:20 I lay my little Lady down to sleep.

At 6:27 she projectile vomits all over herself, her bed, and her carpet.

My husband got to work out and he is now enjoying beers and ribs at a baseball game, I’m cleaning milk filled puke from the crevices of a crib.  Fudge him!

It’s now 8:50.  I have yet to take a sip of that wine that is sitting in my kitchen.  Many unwatched episodes of Homeland are still waiting for me to press play.  It has totally been one of THOSE days!

Because any day can look like this...

Because any day can look like this…

What I Thought Three Would Look Like

Man is turning three next week.  For some reason, before having children, I thought that three was this magical age where things started to fall into place.  What things exactly??  Well, I’m not really sure… just kid things, I guess.  Man is my first, so whatever lies beyond the age of two years, 11 months, and 20 days remains a mystery to me.  I’m sure I was just being naïve, but I did think that once they hit three things got a bit easier.  My in-laws used to tell me that by three they would set up the Betamax with my husband’s favorite movie, have his breakfast waiting in the fridge for him and sleep in on Saturdays while he watched and ate.  I took this as a sign that three was basically close to adulthood.  Clearly, I was wrong.

I thought that three would be slightly more independent.  I mean, you walk and talk now, can’t you walk on over to your dresser, pick out a pair of pants, and put them on by yourself?  You know where the pretzels are; get up and go get some if you’re hungry!  Seriously, the store is 30 feet from the parking lot; why am I carrying you?

Shouldn’t three be jumping at the chance to sleep in a “big boy bed?”   I know people who had to transition their kids as early as 20 months because they kept climbing out of their cribs and getting hurt.  “Don’t do it” they would hiss, looking at me wild eyed, “It’s awful—little Benny trashes his room and then comes in and wakes us up in the middle of the night.”  We got lucky in this respect; at three he is still not climbing out of his crib. He can, he just chooses not to.  But three hates change, and has decided that he is going to sleep in his crib “forever.”

I pictured three walking calmly walk next to me in a store, not having to be strapped into a cart for fear that he will remove any and all items from the shelves.  It’s as if in pulling that box of Triscuits off of the shelf he has discovered a new galaxy.  “Mom, look that these CRACKERS!!!”

I had no idea three would have such an imagination.  I used to bring the toys to you; now I am merely lucky to be a character cast in your stories.

I thought three would have fewer tantrums.  Isn’t it called the “terrible two’s”???  Three seems like it’s going to be a lot more work than two.  We practically begged for two to understand us a little better and now that three does, those newly-formed reasoning skills are really coming back to bite us in the ass.  Now tantrums talk back, have demands of their own, and are not stopping until said demands are met.

I thought three would still nap.  Maybe she isn’t remembering correctly—it was almost 30 years ago, but my mom always tells me that my brother and I napped right up until we went to kindergarten.  I know now that this can’t be the truth.  I used to just drop Man in the crib and say goodbye for upwards of three and a half hours.  Now, executing nap time is like performing a mission meant for Navy SEALs.  His naps must meet specific time, place, and length requirements – if any one of these factors is thrown off we risk having him up until all hours of the night.

Three is supposed to be a lot mellower.  You have been awake for 12 hours; how do you still have so much energy???

I didn’t think three could be so funny.  We used to laugh when we made jokes that two didn’t understand.  Now three understands them, laughs, and then cracks one of his own.

Shouldn’t three feed itself?  Why do I still have to hover over you like a mama bird?  Seriously, it’s borderline Alicia Silverstone behavior.  After you dress yourself, please feel free to go ahead and feed yourself breakfast.

The destruction should be done by three, right?  How come when I ask you what you’re allowed to draw on you correctly respond “paper,” but when I find you a minute later you are coloring all available surfaces in your line of vision?

I thought I would have my parenting skills a lot more together by three.  But alas, every time I think I start to understand something, you up and change again.

Who knew three would be so articulate?  We have conversations now, about real things, like actual discussions.  I’m not sure exactly when this started happening, but I love it.  I can’t wait to see what you want to discuss next!

It’s pretty obvious that I really had no idea what I was in for when I had my first kid, do any of us really?  One thing is for sure, I can’t wait to see what this year brings and what four looks like.  Happy 3rd birthday to my, sweet, petite, delicious little Man, love you little buddy!

Happy Birthday, Man

Happy Birthday, Man