|"All of these are for me? Well, I'll give it a shot."|
My darling, crazy, wild and affectionate Nora Jane,
Today is your third birthday. Your Dad and I continue to be astonished by how cool we can find one little person. You're rapidly reaching that age where we can easily see how good of friends we'll be down the road. (If you'll still return our calls. You're that cool. But also painfully empathetic, so it looks like this could play out well.)
Here are just a few of the reasons why we think you're the best thing since Velcro shoes and washable paints:
The crazy amount of alone time you require is slightly hampered by our incessant need to make sure you're "safe," not "painting yourself with lipstick," or "dressing Bean Cat like a gypsy." You tolerate these check-ins, then go back to playing DJ for your babies and lining figurines up for bathroom breaks.
Clementines are "lemontines," Cheshire Cat is the Treasure Cat, and the word chocolate has a w somewhere in there.
You've memorized an entire section of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. When you think we're not listening, you'll "read" it to yourself, complete with "Alice answered indignantly" and "The Mad Hatter was the first to break the silence." If we catch you and ask you to say it louder, you'll whisper it even more softly, with an impish smile that seems to say we missed the boat on that one. (Suckers.)
You adore your little sister, and give her all the very best co-starring roles in your daily games of pretend: The Robot Butterfly to your Princess, Pig Won't to your Sally Cat (Busytown Mysteries, anyone?) and sometimes, rather inexplicably, she's the White Rabbit in your game of Mommy and Baby.
When a song you love comes on the radio (or my laptop), I can always turn around to find you with hands clasped over your mouth and a look of utter glee on your face. I love that look. (I remember that look from 1993. It's called I've Waited Eight Hours For The Request Line To Play My Song And Here It Is. I always liked experiencing that Look. But yours is even better.)
If I begin to cook a meal, I'll hear a familiar scrape of a chair and seconds later your blonde little self will pop up and hand me your miniature apron. "Need some mixing?" "Should I crack this egg?" "I'm just gonna poke this bag of flour with the carrot peeler."
Your love of media falls a close second behind your Dad's. And you're always one pitch away from convincing us to watch a new movie (or the same one for the eleventy billionth time), your hands artfully splayed out and twisting for emphasis- "Maybe you...want to watch a little show? We can sit there? You know what you'd like? You'd love to just watch a little movie. I'll go get it."
You're such a grownup. Except when cuddle songs play- that's when you can be convinced to snuggle (or even be picked up!) for a slow spin around your room. Last night it was One Little Star from the Follow That Bird soundtrack and you held my neck and asked me why Big Bird was so sad, why why why wouldn't they just let him go home...and then you closed your eyes and I felt your head heavy on my shoulder. I told you that I loved being with you like this, it reminded me of the first night we knew you and I held you just like that, and you asked me- Right after I was in your belly? (Yep, just after that, I told you.) And now there's no one in your belly. (Nope!) But that's okay, you told me, because you can have Doc Bullfrog to be pregnant with. And you shoved your lovie down my shirt and pulled him [her?] out the other end. You wrapped Doc upside down in his/her attached blankie and gently presented it to me.
"Aw, here's a little baby for you! It's so nice."
Kiddo, it really, really is. Thanks for making us parents.