You are the master of at least a thousand expressions
You have given us a run for the money this year, kiddo. We started out continuing to pump you full of calories so that your weight would bounce back and you would once again be on the charts. You are now a delightfully chubby boy who loves to pat his belly. I pinch your meaty little thighs on a daily basis (and silently give a prayer of gratitude) just to make sure you stay that way. In fact, you've grown so much this past year that you are outpacing your older brother, Owen, when he was your age. You've outgrown all the shoes and clothing he wore. If you keep it up, we will soon be buying you and Owen the same the same size of clothes and shoes. People will mistake you guys for twins!
You are the most self-sufficient of the bunch, at this age. You regularly push a kitchen chair around to different counters in order to gain access to whatever it is you need. A cup, a cracker or granola bar, some candy... I will routinely find you, standing there in front of open cabinet doors, digging into boxes to get stuff. You just look at me and say "Cracker". You don't even phrase it like a question - more like you are just informing me of what you are up to. You also retrieve your own clothing items, when you are serious about getting dressed. You grab up a pair of pants, a shirt and socks and bring them to me. If you want to go outside, you will bring a coat, mittens, hat, scarf and boots and dump them in a pile on front of me and say "Outside?". The funny thing is, all of the items you bring me are a conglomeration of bigger brother or sister-sized items that were left laying around by the back door. You also love to help clean. If you see a spill on the floor, you will grab the kitchen towel and wipe up the mess. You pitch in when your older sibling are picking up toys. You also don't like gross stuff. The other day the cat threw up on top of the little kids desk, and you came running over to me, pointing in the direction of the desk, saying, "Yuck, yuck". You would not rest until I had cleaned it all up - you supervised the entire process.
You don't like it when I sit at the computer and you are in need of something. If you want some juice, you walk up to me, point to the kitchen, push the sliding shelf with the keyboard away from me and pull my chair around to face the kitchen. When you want juice, you mean business!
You love reading stories. You are at that precious age where you repeat everything. Point and say vocabulary books are your favorite right now. You will take a board book with you to bed every night, and hold on to it as I rock you to sleep. When you are being too quiet, I will often find you sitting amongst a pile of books.
You love music. You dance and spin right alongside your big sister. Coldplay, Lady Gaga and Mumford and Sons are favorites.
You love food - but you definitely have a grazing style to your eating habits. I will prepare a plate of food for lunch, and it will take about an hour's time for you to finally finish - if the dog doesn't get it first. You just grab a bite and go. You have a banana almost every day - as well as chocolate. You ask for each, by name, at least ten times a day.
Affection is your middle name. You love to give hugs. You will clamp onto any available leg and say "Hug, hug", and then run away - only to return about five seconds later for more hugs. You like to sit in my lap and place your hands on my cheeks and just smile at me. You are so nice - you don't squeeze or smoosh my face - you just hold your hands there and gaze at me. I love those moments the most - and luckily they occur often, at the moment.
You love to dig, play with trucks, eat chapstick, race around the house on your tricycle, dress your sister's Barbies, steal your older brother's trains, wear dress-up high heels and dig gum out of my purse. Putting on shoes is your most favored activity of all. Any body's shoes - it doesn't matter. When we go to karate, you will go around and try on every body's shoes, which are typically laying in a jumble on the edge of the mat.
Emotions run very strong for you. When you are mad you hit, cry, yell, and throw. When you are sad you bury your face in your hands and prostrate yourself on the floor. When you are happy your entire body just wiggles, and when you are curious you are quiet, and you take your time to investigate. You love to take things apart - but then you scatter the pieces far and wide.
I love you to pieces, little one. I don't have the heart to make you grow up, since you are the last. I thought we had kicked the bottle and binky habit several weeks ago, but then you got sick and they were the only comfort items that would do. I will have to steel myself to tackle this, but the end is near, I'm afraid. You love that little binky so.... Yet you hold it in the most awkward position in your mouth and the front of your shirt is wet with drool. - yep, the binky has to go sometime soon. Sorry, buddy.
Your third year is sure to be filled with lots of fun and learning. Potty training, two-wheeled bike practice and lots and lots of investigating. Maybe even a medical emergency or two. You are definitely the child we need to worry about - you have no fear of anything - especially of heights.
Love you little boy!!