6.17.2014

a little bit of life and ethan at three

Some days are harder than others. I've found the busier I am, the better I can sort of trudge through a day. There probably isn't much Super Special Science behind that one, as it seems pretty straightforward: keeping your mind occupied and all that. Ethan came down with a sort-of cold on Sunday afternoon. On Sunday morning before swim class, he was grumpy and sneezed once. "He's sick," I told my husband, "I know it. Some kid had snot running down his face at open gym on Thursday and his mom kept trying to hide it, but I saw him!" As usual, my husband thought I was insane. When it comes to Ethan getting sick, I am pretty insane. I have my own zero tolerance policy for people who bring their sick, snotty kids around other kids and then I just become a ball of paranoid nerves whenever Ethan exhibits even signs of a sniffle. He has shown many promising signs that he is outgrowing asthma with age, but I still panic -- especially since his birthday party is Sunday. I don't even want to jinx anything so I'm not uttering another word about any of it, but let's just say Erika loaned me some essential oils and I am now a believer. Anyway, my point is -- Ethan had a sort of cold. He's basically fine at this point except sometimes he coughs which is mostly attributed to his asthma anyway but I refuse to acknowledge this cold down to it's last remnants in fear it will come back and bite me in the ass. It's a risk I'm so not prepared to take around birthday time. Because of his asthma, I've had the exciting task of keeping a three year old still and calm for an entire day. This means lots of art, a movie with popcorn, tot school -- and car rides. Because sometimes I need the help of a five point harness to keep my bundle of energy calm. All of this down time gives me more time to think -- or dwell, more appropriately -- than I would like.

Today while coloring pictures on the living room floor, Ethan stopped coloring and looked at me with a serious stare. "Don't be sad, mommy," he said, "I am drawing you a picture of a boat!" I didn't think I was being particularly sad but it made me realize just how much children can sense things that we are convinced we are hiding well. It was motivation for me to try to amp up my Happy Game to the next level, at the very least.

Ethan's third birthday is Sunday and I can't believe it. I usually do his party on a different day than his actual birthday, but we are having it on his actual birthday this year. I'm excited for him to have fun and be surrounded by his friends who are all there to celebrate with him. The part that is stressing me out the most about his birthday party is that, for once, I feel prepared. Usually I find myself scrambling and trying to pick up the pieces of all the ideas I thought of but never fully executed but not this year. Maybe it's that whole keeping myself busy thing. Party aside, it amazes me how much Ethan At 3 differs from Ethan At 2 and, at this point, Ethan At 1 seems like so long ago that it's hard to even wrap my mind around it entirely. I'm sure this little blog space will be inundated with posts about Ethan's birthday and party as the week rolls on but I figured maybe I could get a head start and list some of my favorite Ethan Turning 3 facts before calling it quits on the night and binge-watching Party Of Five because in my mind it's still 1996 and I'm still desperately wanting to be Neve Campbell. (What? Don't hate.)

- At 3, Ethan is 41.5 pounds and 39.5 inches tall. These are our At Home measurements because his three year check-up isn't until July and I'm too brutally impatient for that.

- He's wearing boys XS tops from the actual boys department -- which means now during our Target trips we just wave the toddler section goodbye on our trek to the boys clothing. He's still in 5T bottoms because the regular boys sizes are still a tad on the long side, but it's nice to cling to this little bit of babyhood before it's altogether gone. If it hasn't been made painfully obvious, Giant Kid got his daddy's genes.

- We had to turn Ethan's car seat forward facing this week. It was something that I knew was coming but still couldn't really prepare myself for. I was sure he would hit the weight on his Radian before the height, but my all-torso kid's head was officially flush against the top of the shell. In my heart I am relieved we made it to just about 3, but pre-kids I had these high hopes of rearfacing until four which has been dashed by the aforementioned Giant Genes. Still, I guess three is pretty good. We were met with much resistance from Ethan who handles change as well as his mom but now he's just sort of indifferent. I'm trying to win him over by showing him he can see when the lights are red or green. I'll be sure to let you know when (if) he actually cares.

- He is completely saturated in the know-it-all phase. There is nothing -- and I mean nothing -- this kid doesn't know. Talking about my kid's private parts on the internet probably takes my oversharing to a whole new level, but he corrected me today that it's not called a penis, but instead a peanut. "It's just a peanut, mommy. It's just a nut." Likely inappropriate anecdotes aside, it feels like this main goal in life is to find flaws in whatever I'm saying and point them out to me. "That's not a monkey, that's a gorilla." "That's not a butterfly, it's a Monarch." "The flowers aren't growing big and tall, mommy, because there is not enough sun. They cannot grow without the sun!" I'm not saying it never gets a little irritating, but I'm sort of loving the know-it-all phase. It's funny to hear the things he can come up with even when he knows I totally didn't say anything wrong.

- He has opinions on everything and while he can be a little bossy, he really just likes to be involved in everything. When I once asked "what should we have for dinner?" as a rhetorical question, Ethan now gives me some legitimate suggestions as well as the ingredients we would need. When we get into the car, he waits a good thirty seconds before requesting certain songs (also the concept of Pandora is lost on a toddler who wants to hear the song he wants to hear right that minute!). He basically looks at himself as one of the adults and acts the part so well, too.

- Today he called me "dude," so there's that.

- Today he also gave me a pathetic look and when I asked what was wrong he sighed and replied with, "Aunt Meh Meh says I don't have any swag, mommy."

- He is still swimming twice a week and is a couple of weeks from being bumped up to the four and five year old class, which I'm a little nervous about. At this point, he's legitimately swimming and I'm left wondering where the heck I got a kid with any swimming skills. Because I'm still technically recovering from a VBAC, I can't go in the pool with him and it's all up to my husband. I was pretty sad about this at first, missing out on his last lessons before being bumped up to an actual swim class, but I realize I had just about two years of swim lessons with Ethan so it's only fair my husband gets a turn. Both parties seem to really enjoy their swim time together so I set my feelings aside -- or save them for this blog post because I'm rambling about it here (surprise, surprise).

- Ethan talks like a little old man and I love it. Whenever we're anywhere, someone is always telling me how he sounds like a little computer and he definitely does. He certainly uses some interesting words ("I'm just feeling a little frightened, mommy. I know there is no need to be frightened but I am feeling a little frightened!") and makes me laugh on a regular basis. While he doesn't entirely nail the execution, he's begun to understand the concept of telling jokes and it's pretty epic. He definitely opts for conversation over physical activity so he's inherited my family's complete lack of athletic skills. I see a lot of skipped field days in his future.

- Every year I like to guess what he's going to be when he grows up. For the second year in a row I'm guessing chiropractor, tattoo artist, filmmaker or hair stylist.

- For the most part, he sort of sleeps through the night now. I said for the most part. Maybe one night a week or sometimes two nights a week he still gets up and needs to be laid back down, but for the most part he's actually (finally) sleeping through the night. It only took three years to get here! Maybe by four he'll have nailed this concept! Naps have been gone since well before two but his sleeping is better than it ever was, really. Which isn't to say it's great because, well, he didn't earn the nickname He Who Requires No Sleep for nothing.

- He is still every bit as sweet and sensitive as he's ever been. I still worry about his feelings a lot. I have a lot of worry about him making it through school and, well, life unscathed while not losing his sentimentality because I think it really is a special quality to have.

- Ethan At 3 loves art and drawing as Ethan At 2 loved art and drawing. Whereas he used to prefer paint, he now seems to prefer actually drawing. It's been cool to watch his drawings evolve over time, like this one he did today of him getting his haircut:

It's crazy to think that my beautiful little baby is now nearing the corner on three. My husband likes to make fun of me for making birthdays somehow morph into birthday weeks and I've no doubt that'll be loud and clear here on this little space. There was once a point where I was almost sad about him getting older but, at this point, every day has begun to feel like such an adventure. I love watching him become the little man he is becoming right before my very eyes.

Bring it on, 3.

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