I've been working on this post on and off again over the course of the last 2 months, trying to come up with the perfect words to capture YOU at three years old. There are so many facets of your personality that make this phase of life with you oh so sweet, yet oh so frustrating all at the same time! You're growing and changing every single day - and while I'm loving every minute of it, I'm always wishing and hoping that things will slow down.
Here's a quick rundown of you at THREE....
Let's start with your crazy admiration for your big brother, Harry. You want to copy his every move and repeat every word that comes out of his mouth. This monkey see, monkey do routine is making you wise beyond your 3 years. You watch him do big boy things, and are determined that you can do them too. You write your letters with minimal assistance as well as words like M-A-X and your big brother's "long name" H-A-R-R-I-S-O-N. You try to sound out 3 letter words and have an imagination that sometimes makes me lose track of reality. And while he may be your best friend, partner in crime, bring out your best belly laughs - you have no qualms about calling him out on things you don't like. One of my favorites is when I hear you say "Harrison Paul Ritchie" in your stern I-heard-Mom-say-it-that-way voice.
When your dad and I found out that we would be welcoming another sweet babe into our home, one of our biggest concerns was how you were going to handle the addition. At the time you were a total mama's boy and the very definition of NEEDY! If we only knew then what we know now. Oh my word, how you love your baby "Bwooks". You cover him with kisses ALL DAY LONG, talk "baby talk" to him, sing him silly songs, and rush to his side when he's upset. And speaking of upset - its pretty common for you to come stomping up to me and say "Mommy! I'm being funny and Bwooks isn't waughing!" Its obvious that you take your big brother role quite seriously and its been amazing to see this gentle, tender-hearted side of you shining thru.
You're 99% sweet, but lets be honest here, you have some sass in you too...and boy are you volitle. Happy one minute, in tears the next...most often as a result of H telling you he's "not gonna be your best friend anymore." We're working reeeeeally hard on not whining. You do it a lot. (For real. A lot.) One of these days you're going to get tired of us responding with "What? Huh? We can't understand you!"
You are a creature of habit and like a good routine. The best example of this is the bedtime routine that you have created with your dad. Hug. Kiss. Butterfly. Eskimo. High five. Fist bump. Followed by a series of "Is it stuck? How stuck?" that I myself will never be able to do as well as him...and you have no hesitation pointing that out to me. Watching the two of you orchestrate this routine is one of my favorite parts of the the day. And speaking of our nighttime routine...one bedtime prayer is ever enough. First up is our Guardian Angel prayer, followed by none other than our dinnertime "Bless Us Oh Lord" prayer complete with the sign of the cross.
You still suck on your two middle fingers when you get tired and love to have your "nigh-night" by your face as you fall asleep. (You hide your head under that same gray blanket when I try to wake you up in the morning!) When you were a babe you didn't want anything in your bed with you at night, but now it is overflowing with "sleeping buddies" who keep you company at night. Just this morning I found you sound asleep with your head on a Lego palace that you built last night.You are not...let me repeat, NOT a morning person. Its best to let you wake up on your own terms, and when thats not possible? Hold on to your hats. Mom picks out your shirt? Melt down. Mom combs your hair? Melt down. Mom walks down the steps too fast? You guessed it. Melt down.
You're becoming very opinionated when it comes to things like picking out clothes. Usually the shirts/pants that I pick out for you are "boring" or "slow." Weirdo. You would eat pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if given the chance. You started big boy swimming lessons and are trying so hard to be brave like Harrison. There's still a little fear in those big brown eyes of yours, but you're "waking up your brave" more and more each week. You call croutons "croutons", country roads "crunchy roads," and say "inscusting" instead of disgusting. Every L out of your mouth sounds like a W. You're a big, thick kiddo, steadily creeping up on big brother in terms of size. I don't think Harry is going to be too happy when the little brother becomes the bigger brother.
I could go on and on, but when it comes down to it there is really just one thing that I want to remember about you at this phase of life. You heart, Mr. Max. Its sweeter than sweet and so full of love. I can't help but melt a little just thinking about it. I hope that you embrace this part of your person and carry it with you always.
Happy 3 Mr. Man.
May it be filled with all sorts of silly adventures and endless laughter.