A love letter to Simon
You are three years old today. Three years old... no longer a baby, but not quite done being a toddler yet. You are still my baby, and your babyness shows in your fat baby feet with their pudgy baby toes, and in the way you still have a traces of the bowlegged toddler waddle when you walk, and in the way you wrap your body around mine when I pick you up. Your skin, too, is the flawlessly soft skin of a baby, fresh and dewy.
But every day, another remnant of your babyness disappears. You speak in full sentences, and it's only occasionally that we don't quite catch the waterfall of words and ideas spilling constantly forth from you. We had a little confusion with 'shovel' and 'trouble' yesterday, for example. Most of the time, when we don't understand your words it's because you're busy thinking your own thoughts and you surprise us with your out-of-the-blue observations and opinions.
You are charming, my son, and you love to work that charm. You flirt shamelessly, and yesterday you kissed the back of my hand when trying to convince me to do something for you. Of course, I acquiesced; how could I resist? You are free with your kisses and hugs and declarations of love, and you have a way of meeting my eyes just before you tell me you love me that makes me think you realize exactly what you are saying and what it means to me. I fear for the hearts of a generation of girls who will look into those deep brown eyes, crinkled with laughter, and be lost forever!
You are a happy little boy. You are almost always cheerful, content, and easy to get along with - unless you are hungry or tired. Much like your mother, when you are hungry or tired, you are - well, I was going to say you are a little bit cranky, but 'an angry tyrant' might be a little closer to the truth. But once those basic needs are met, you are a pleasure to be with.
I have to admit, you seem to be the more mischevious of my two sons. You find small ways to get into trouble every day that would have never occured to your brother. You like mess, and you like chaos, and you love to play with water. Personally, I'm not so fond of those things. It was you who dunked the blanket in the toilet, and you who coloured on the fridge and microwave with magic marker, and you who found Papa Lou's scissors and started practicing your cutting skills, luckily with a scrap of paper. I think you're getting used to hearing your name said with an exhalation of frustration: "Si-mon!" as your daddy or I follow in the wake of your mischief, our eyes rolling as we try not to laugh - or yell! And yet, you are so lovable that you are forgiven for your transgressions, and we learn to live with a little bit more chaos and clutter in our lives.
You love music and you love to dance. You are going through a drum phase right now, and we can't help but laugh at your energetic "dum dum dum"ing as you drum on an imaginary drum. Last week, Papa Lou dug out some of his old drumsticks and turned over a bowl to use as a makeshift drum, and you were not only patient of his teaching but showed an impressive aptitude for rhythm that must have made Papa Lou feel better after the abysmal lack of rhythm that I've always displayed.
You are so very clever, and you have no idea that because Tristan is two years older than you, there are things that he can do that perhaps you cannot. You've recently learned from him how to work the remote control for the DVD player, and you display your prowess with the remote by watching at most three minutes of every feature on your many DVDs, flicking with abandon through the various menus for special features, advanced settings and scene selection. Who knew I would pine for the days when we simply sat down and watched an entire 30 minute DVD from start to finish? You still love the Wiggles, but you also love Scooby Doo and Garfield and Spot, and you have been indoctrinated by your father's love for old Superfriends cartoons and your mother's love for old skool Sesame Street.
I can't think of a day in recent memory that hasn't begun with you creeping quietly into my room before dawn to crawl under the covers and cuddle into me. For such a small person, you take up a lot of bed space, often sleeping with your arms thrown wide to either side, or sleeping sideways across the bed with the top of your head pressing into my back. You also like to sleep with your hand twisted through my hair, and as you sleep you twitch the hair at the back of my neck, keeping me just awake to be aware of you but not awake enough to move out of your reach.
You are so unfailingly sweet, and can be surprisingly well-mannered for a three year old. This morning when I picked you up and told you it was your birthday, you said, "Oh, thank you, Mommy!" in your most gentle voice. And when I sang a quiet and private "Happy Birthday To Simon", you beamed and blushed and said "thank you" again.
Tonight, we will celebrate your birthday with Granny and Papa Lou by having your favourite food - guacamole and cheese roll-ups, and I won't even try to hide any extra vegetables in it in honour of your birthday - and cupcakes with candles for dessert. We'll celebrate again on Saturday with the whole family - even your cousins from out of town.
So let me end this by saying for all the world to see how much I love you, Simon, and how much you make every single day a joy with your quirky sense of humour, your endless affection, and your boundless energy. Happy birthday, my sweet Simon!