My big three year old (baby) boy

Wow, buddy. You are three years old today. I sort of feel like you've been three for months now, because you just seem so BIG and mature to me. You have no trace of babyhood left on your body---you are so much longer, leaner, and older in your pictures now compared to last year. And yet, sometimes it hits me how small you are compared to the huge world around us. The second you get an 'owie', while you are sleeping peacefully, when you are running through the house with your daddy---in each of these moments you still seem like a little baby to me. After all, you are only three and not thirteen: but sometimes it's hard to tell.

You are kind of confused about whether you are 'big' or 'little', too. Some days you declare, 'I'm not a baby, I'm a big boy!' and other days you say, 'Hold me, mommy. I'm a baby.' Ah, the paradox of being in between a baby/toddler and a true preschooler. I'm trying to roll with your mood swings (ahem, we joke that you are bipolar at times) and praise you for being a big boy while giving you extra cuddles when you are feeling overwhelmed. You do realize that I've never done this 'mothering a three year old' thing before, right? It's all new to me, too, and most days I absolutely adore your emerging personality. You are just the most precious kid I know with the kindest heart, most infectious laugh, and sweetest smile. You are sure testing your sense of self/boundaries/independence, too, as most two-going-on-three-year olds do. But (most days) I can see through all of that 'threenager' drama and see my little boy, trying to figure out how the world works.

How do I capture the essence of three-year-old Truman in a blog post? I'm not sure I can accurately describe the little quirks that make you the buddy we all know and love, but I have to try (in the name of documenting the CRAP out of your childhood, for which I hope you appreciate someday).

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You are still obsessed with trains as evident by the fact that they have officially found their way into every room of our house, it seems. The fascination seems to come from the magnets that 'connect' each train, the pushing and the pulling, cause and effect, and of course the crashes;) I hear you role playing with your trains now, creating elaborate story lines between the characters that never cease to amuse me. 'Come on Charlie!....Not like that....Oh, sorry!....Oh, no you don't!....Yeah, I will!...I know it's hard, but you are too heavy...No, stop. It's not funny.' It's hilarious and I love listening to your mind create scenarios. I also love when you play by yourself, plain and simple. I'm grateful that you do have that skill nailed down for 15-20 minutes at a time or so, because without your independent play mommy would be even more worn out than I already am. ;)

You rock at putting together puzzles all by yourself, even some of the harder 20 piece ones that used to be a challenge for you. Your daddy taught you how to look for missing colors on each piece and because you love colors it really seemed to click. Whenever you eat pretzels you like to break them apart into 'puzzle pieces' and show me how to reconnect them together. The broken pieces also become letters and shapes to you, as your imagination runs wild with ideas. You can now use a computer mouse to play Thomas games online occasionally. I was shocked to see you click on the correct cards for a memory matching game, but your favorite game is  'Lift, Load, and Haul'. I don't feel too guilty about letting you play these games online because they are somewhat educational. The narrator will ask you to 'show me the purple cart of chickens' or 'which track goes under the road?' and you nail it almost every time.

Favorite TV shows of yours include: Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Dinosaur Train, Super Why!, Thomas, and Daniel Tiger. You told me the other day that, 'I hope Barney isn't on this show, I really don't like Barney.' Ha! Me either, buddy, and I'm not even sure you've ever seen an episode of the purple dude! Also very happy that Calliou and Elmo and Blues Clues are old news. Sometimes you happily turn off the television when I say screen time is over, and other times this statement causes the most epic of meltdowns. Life.Is.Hard when your mom won't let you zone out in front of the TV for hours on end. But we do let you watch an episode of your choice show about 3 times each day, depending on how busy we are.

You can count to twenty and only forget numbers sixteen and eighteen some of the time;) While doing a number puzzle at the library I realized you can also correctly identify numbers 0-10 and maybe more (but the puzzle only went up that high). You tell me what each letter is when putting together our alphabet puzzles, although I think your default is always 'E'. If you aren't sure what letter you are holding you always tell me 'E,' but I'd say you probably know about 75% of them pretty consistently. Naming colors has always been your thing, which I attribute to good old Thomas and Friends and their engines of the rainbow. I think you know most of the basic shapes out there, too.

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One interesting thing that I will call a 'phase' (because I'm really hoping it passes) is that you only like to wear 'soft pants and a soft shirt.' Meaning NO JEANS OR I WILL FLIP OUT! And even sweaters are borderline tolerated. This is one of those things where I oblige your wishes because it's just not that big of a deal to me if you want to wear sweat pants and a sweat shirt at all times. Probably because I love to be comfortable, too (as I type this in my yoga pants and hoodie). I pick my battles and can usually convince you to wear khaki pants on 'special occasions' as needed, but otherwise I respect your opinion on the need for comfort in your wardrobe.

Oh, and speaking of getting dressed---you can finally pull up your own underwear and pants after using the facilities. You've been pulling them down for months now but you would just get frustrated when trying to get the old underoos over your booty. Now you can go potty without any help from us even though you have been potty trained since August. Such a big step! You can take off all of your clothes including your coat and your boots, except you cannot take off your shirts just yet. Putting your clothes on is a different story. I should probably let you take your merry little time with it and maybe you would surprise me by getting everything on independently---but I usually help you more than I should. But your Spiderman snow boots are YOUR thing to get on before we leave the house, and you can usually handle your coat, too.

All of a sudden you LOVE to take a nightly bath. This is a big deal because up until a few weeks ago, I could only wrangle you into the tub twice a week but your sister always gets one nightly. I think you love routine as much as I do, buddy. And you truly love to play with your sister so maybe that explains the need for a good scrub down each night. Plus there is the whole 'fun' of getting yourself  undressed, splashing mom 'accidentally' during wild train crashes at sea, and dumping water over your own head repeatedly. Your sister and I both love to watch you act a fool at bath time.

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You are doing a better job with eating real food other than snacks, although I still think you have a big texture issue with a lot of foods that aren't totally crunchy or perfectly smooth. I busted out your old booster seat one night because I couldn't handle you getting up and down (and sprinting around) during dinner. I figured you would hate it and throw a fit but you actually kind of like it, and you request to strap you in most nights. You really hate vegetables but fruit is usually acceptable. This is definitely one area we need to work on, buddy, but I suppose you are growing and are healthy so I try not to stress about our food battles too much.

Sleeping for you is pretty consistent (I cannot say the same for your sibling). You go to sleep at 9pm most nights, despite our dreams of having you down much, much earlier. But bedtime itself is not as painful if we don't force you to go down before you are really tired. Your Tot Clock is set to switch to yellow at 6 am and most days you make it that long....but sometimes you call out for us by 5:45 (the other day it was 5 am but I'm not even going there because it was a FLUKE, okay?) And hey, some days you even sleep in until 7! Napping is a weird thing: if we let you nap without physically waking you up, you will sleep for 3 or 4 hours. No joke. But the problem with the epic nap is that bedtime then becomes 10-11pm---which is later than I'm even awake. And you are still usually up by 6 am at the latest, so no. Sorry. Not okay. We prefer to wake you up after about 2 hours of napping, sometimes longer, and deal with crankiness for a little bit after a nap instead of crankiness at 11 pm. ;) We've tried skipping the nap all together but it's never worth the reward of a super early bedtime. Too.Many.Tired.Tantrums.

Your bedtime routine is one of my favorites. Your daddy takes you up, brushes your teeth, and reads you books. Then it's my turn to tell you stories about Truman the Conductor. And lately, you request that these made up stories have a giant CRASH of at least five different engines involved. You are always very interested to know what types of ailments these crashed engines have---like a busted buffer, a lost wheel, scratched paint, etc. I feel like my stories are really lame and repetitive but you cannot get enough of them, even if all four of them are the same each night.

One of your most prized possessions? Monkey, your lovey. He is becoming quite the character as you tell me that 'Monkey needs a haircut....Monkey is really sick, let's give him some medicine....Monkey is taking a nap, so please be quiet.' Monkey goes with you everywhere right now and I'm not too anxious to get rid of him just yet. It's really cute how attached you seem to be to Monkey, except for the one day we forgot him at home when at daycare. Lori somehow saved the day by finding an old giraffe lovey of yours from when you were a baby, but nothing could really replace your beloved Monk. ;)

Some of your most hilarious word mix ups that make me laugh: instead of saying 'yogurt' you pronounce it 'yorget.' Also, 'ogre' is pronounced 'yorget'---so basically yogurt = yorget = ogre. Also you call a 'spiral' a 'spider', the 'bumbo seat' a 'bumper seat', and a 'scone' is a 'ghost'. Loved hearing you tell your daddy that you wanted to help him bake ghosts the other day;) But my all time favorite word mix up? Instead of asking, 'What did you say?' if you want us to repeat something? You say, in classic ebonics, 'What you said?' Your daddy and I love it so much. I hope that phrase doesn't fix itself anytime soon.

You are a tall dude just like your parents, at 39.5 inches (90%) and you weigh 35 pounds (80%). You are wearing 4T shirts and usually 3T pants and those size 9 shoes still seem to fit fairly well.  In the past year you have grown 4 inches and gained 5 pounds, buddy!

I'm trying to paint a pretty, positive, happy picture of you here, Truman. But I suppose I should mention that you DO love to push my buttons, test the boundaries, and try my patience about a hundred times more than you did last year at this time. Sometimes you are incredibly demanding, bossy, and you don't listen to me when I warn you that you're headed for a time out. Of course, some days you are a perfect angel and other days it seems like your mission in life is to test me. Those are not fun days for any of us, buddy. Time outs seem to work effectively right now and sometimes you get so upset with me telling you 'no' to something you need, you will have a 'tantrum'. But luckily you only lose your mind when we are in the confines of our home (aside from that one time you flipped a switch at the playground--which was months ago but still quite scarring for me, obviously). And truly, you don't have 'try mom's patience' days too often, and you are usually pretty laid back. You are just a good kid and extremely well-behaved, especially in social situations. I really hope that doesn't come back to bite me in the butt now that I've typed it. ;)

One last thing: I never want to forget how much you adore your baby sister, Truman. I hope that the two of you will always have such an awesome relationship. From day one you have been enthralled with her, falling into the protective big brother role with ease. You still introduce her to the strangers at Target who stop to comment on such adorable kids. You demand that daddy 'say Hi to Cece' as soon as he enters the door each evening. You ask me, 'How did Cece sleep last night?' when I come to get you out of your room. Lately she has been teething like a mo fo and you will often say, 'Maybe she is teething, poor baby.' You do NOT like when CC cries and you ask me to nurse her/hold her/help her anytime she fusses for a second. It's adorable, Truman, and you better believe she looks up to you as much as you care for her. Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes you get a little frustrated at her new-found mobility and her desire to grab your toys from their proper place on the floor. But usually you are so gentle when you say, 'No, Cece. That's not your toy. You are a baby. Here is a baby toy for you.' We are working on giving Cecelia a different toy instead of simply ripping your toy out of her hands. Sharing is tough. I get it. But you better learn now because the two of you are going to be sharing quite a bit throughout your little lives;)

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Instead of posting a billion pictures of you from the last year in the body of this post, I figured I'd just share the slideshow I made for you this year. I'm going to play it in the background of your birthday party (next weekend!) and I have to admit that watching this makes me weepy. Something about life being set to music that always gets me, especially when it comes to my handsome first born. You made me a mom, Truman, and for the past three years I've been so blessed to have you as my boy. You make your daddy and I happier than you'll ever know. And as I've been trying to explain to you lately, nothing you could do will ever change our love for you. I never knew unconditional love until I had you. Thank you for being you, buddy! You are the best little boy I could have ever imagined.

Love, Mommy.

Your slideshow is 7 minutes long, but worth it! I cannot stop watching it and your hip/young uncles would be very proud of my music choices.
three years from Julia H. on Vimeo.


One of the THREE interviews you did this year. You are such a ham and cannot get enough videos of yourself. I think this one is my favorite, capturing your personality the best.
Three year interview, part 1 from Julia H. on Vimeo.

19 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday, Truman! You're so big now!!

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  2. Happy Birthday, Truman!!!

    PS: I totally cracked up at your term 'threenager'. That's so beyond hilarious!

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  3. Happy birthday Truman! I can't believe he's already 3!

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  4. Happy Birthday Little Man!!

    Soft pants are all we get over here too!

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  5. He's so fabulous! Happy Birthday! I love how much Truman and CeCe are starting to look like each other.

    Maybe you've addressed this before, but where's all that red hair coming from!! :) It's adorbes.

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  6. Happy Birthday to Truman! You're growing up so fast!!

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  7. Happy Birthday, Truman! There really is a big change between 2 and 3 that you don't notice until looking back over photos and videos. When I did B's 3-year video I couldn't believe the change.

    And I saw your comment on FB - I sob and sob when making videos. Part of the fun :)

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  8. Happy birthday to Truman!

    I could have written so much of this post (about the just turned 3 year old I nanny for). He goes back and forth between wanting to be a baby ("call me baby!" "Baby wants this") and a big boy. I guess it's a pretty tough transition!

    The clothing battles crack me up. H will not wear any buttons on his shirts!

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  9. OMG, the interview video!? Amazing. Loved every millisecond of it. Especially the jabs from sister at the end :)

    Happy Birthday to your sweet boy. I swear, feels like just yesterday we were all anticipating "the call".

    Gulp, our boys are all turning three! Can. not. handle.

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  10. Happy Birthday T! That "threenager" thing will start to ease up around 3 and a half, but it tends to rear it's ugly head when tired.

    You will love the next year too - and when Cece is walking and talking and they can play?! You will die. :)

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  11. Happy birthday to the sweetest 3 year old ever ! We love you, Truman!! Love, Go-go & Po-po

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  12. Happy Birthday Truman!

    Threenager....yes!

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  13. Happy birthday, Truman! Julia, I love this and totally watched the whole video...what a sweet, handsome guy :) SO fun to see this as Finn is one year younger and I love seeing what he might be up to next year :)

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  14. The video is wonderful - LOVE it. And the interview - darling!!! Beautiful family!

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  15. Happy Birthday Truman! Beautiful post as always Mommy. Love the video, T and Lily would get along like two peas in a pod!

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  16. Happy birthday, Truman! It's been quite awhile since I've commented, but I always love to read your posts. My boy is almost 18 months (how is that possible?), and your Truman updates give me so much to look forward to. And Cecilia is a doll, of course. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Such a smart, beautiful boy - I love him. The video is amazing and I'm sad I didn't get one of Henry on his birthday - maybe we'll start on his half birthday and continue from there. ;) Love that he still calls Henry his best friend!! Henry's excited to see him this weekend for his party.

    I wish I could be a fly on the wall when you tell him his stories before bed. ;) Such a sweet post about your little man. He's quite the boy!

    Didn't watch the slide show yet - will wait til Saturday! Happy belated birthday, buddy!

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