Dear Baby Avery,
Today you turn three. You’ve been practicing raising three fingers instead of two so that when the time comes you can properly tell people how old you are. Holding your pinkie finger down with your thumb is tricky, but you’ve got it now.
Now, do you know what that means? Turning three means you’re a big girl now. You have a beautiful big girl bed, a sippy cup instead of a bottle at bed, and no more Pull Ups. You’re so grown up. You’ve even promised that starting today you won’t ask me to “uppie” as much anymore. I’ll believe that when I don’t hear it, but it’s a step in the right direction.
I haven’t polled enough people to come to an accurate conclusion, but my guess is that you’re the grossest little girl in the world. And you and I both know that that is a compliment. I’ll spare you the future embarrassment of elaborating the most disgusting offenses, but I will say that just this afternoon, you smeared potato salad on your face right up to your eyebrows just to get a laugh. And laugh we did, right before we scolded you about making such a mess. But that’s the exact reaction you were looking for.
Sorry about the mixed signals, but you have that way with grown ups. On one hand you can frustrate the bejesus out of us. Sometimes we just don’t understand you. You’re whiny and bossy and naughty and defiant. But at the same time you do all these things in a way that we can’t help but burst into fits of giggles. I know this must be very hard for you as you try to figure out how to be a real, live person, but it’s very difficult for us. We’ve never met anyone like you before, so we’re all learning together.
After three years, we still don’t know what to make of you. You charm us with your wit and humour, your observations and your monkeying around. You’re like a wee stand up comedian, specializing in slapstick and one-liners. But then you turn around and punch your big sister in the arm. It’s ok. It’s just your way.
You’re just a tiny little thing, which is just the way I’d like you to stay, thank you very much. Your clothes are labelled anywhere from 18 months to 3T, although the smaller pieces are a little tight and the bigger pieces need a belt, but it’s so strange to have a child wearing clothes that are meant for their age (or younger) because your sister was always in at least one size bigger. Your feet are small, your legs are short and your hands get lost in mine. You’re our pixie; our little Tinker.
When we learned you were going to be born, we never once hesitated in knowing our hearts would grow to fit you in them. We never had the fear of whether or not we’d love you as much as we love your sister, we just knew that we would. It was like we knew you before we even met you and we could tell that you would be so much a part of us. Even before there was four of us, you were a part of our family. You were the piece we never knew was missing.
You’re our last and you’ve made our family complete. Today you are no longer a baby, but you’ll be our baby forever.
Love your Mommy (and Daddy and Eirinn and Bosco)
P.S. I don’t think I’ve ever thanked you for coming out so quickly and easily. Your sister was nothing but trouble, which made for some horrifying post-labour pictures. Yours aren’t too bad and will see the light of day occasionally. Not hers, though. Hers will be burned.