To my very dear SB on your third birthday:
Happy birthday to my very exuberant, independent, feisty, fun, happy little girl! We treasure every day that we spend with you. You are so full of energy, so full of life, and so very funny. You are a little spitfire, and everyone who knows you enjoys you so much.
We are in swim class now, you and I. Up until this week, I had to go in the pool with you. You only became interested in swim classes recently. Before now, you weren't all that interested on the pool. When we were on vacation last May, you wanted to spend all of your time in the hot tub (no worries--it wasn't actually hot--more like bath water, which was still too hot, given how hot out it was). But you loved lounging in there. You could have cared less about the pool. But suddenly, at a birthday party a few months ago, you decided you loved it, and asked for lessons, so we signed you up. They said I had to be in the pool with you, since you'd never had lessons. So in I went. You were the oldest in the class by far--it's really for babies. Apparently, they start kids young in swim lessons here. But then last week, you struggled with me a bit. You are so independent. You wanted to go underwater and blow bubbles and jump in the pool without my help. I realized then that you didn't need me in the pool any more, and that you would probably learn more if I sat on the sidelines and merely cheered you on. But when I asked about a slot for you in a different class, they claimed not to have one. And then this week, you were even feistier with me, and the professor suggested that we really needed to put you in a class on your own, and lo and behold, they found one for you. My little girl is growing up so fast!
You are so inquisitive. Your favorite questions is why. You want to know about absolutely everything. You even ask strangers--in Spanish, often--what they are doing, and why. It startles people like the grocery store clerk, who are used to being invisible. You will talk to anyone, and do. You chatted up a guy, again in Spanish, yesterday while we were in line to pay our cable bill.
You and your sister adore each other, and also have tremendous fights. No one is closer, and no one can come between you. . .but no one annoys each of you like the other. I love how close you are, and hope you will always stay close. You stick up for each other, even when one of you has been seriously misbehaving, because you each hate to see the other punished. I hope you will get over the fighting part, and soon. :) My rule is that if you can't work something out between yourselves, without whining to me or your father, then I take away whatever the item in question is.
I love the sound of your laugh. It is infectious. You are VERY funny. And you smile not only with your mouth, but your whole self. I love the way your eyes light up with you laugh. You have a very bright light inside you.
You eat pretty much just fruit, although you like pretty much everything else. But fruit, you love. You have learned how to help yourself to the fruit bowl. I recently found a few bites taken out of an avocado, skin and all. No wonder you put it back after a few bites!
You are not a good sleeper. You take forever to fall asleep, and you wake up early. You literally talk yourself to sleep at night, telling stories that often involve the word "because." Your sister falls asleep long before you do. You are often talking a blue streak for an hour or more after she has fallen asleep. You frequently beg me to sleep with you. "But mommy, I CAN'T sleep alone!" you protest. When you wake in the middle of the night, you often come into my bed. Sometimes you are so sneaky that I don't even wake up, and find you curled up next to me in the morning. You love to snuggle. Sometimes, though, you get into my bed in the middle of the night and start chatting with daddy and me as though it is morning!
You have an enormous vocabulary. While you were opening your birthday presents, you got a My Little Pony toy that came with a few other little pieces, and you said "look mommy--it came with accessories!!!" You also speak your mind to anyone and everyone around you. When we toured preschools recently, you decided you didn't like one place, and you said--quite loudly, and in front of the English-speaking director--"I don't like this place. I want to go to the other school." But mostly, I love the way your mind works and the things that you think of and say to me.
Your Spanish is also coming along nicely, too. I hear you having entire conversations, and it is quite impressive. Preschool has been so good for you. You love going, and look forward to school days. You spend your time there painting and playing and singing and dancing and coloring and playing with play-doh, and love every minute of it. Although, you REFUSE to use the potty, and REFUSE to let anyone there change your diaper (in fact, you pitch such fits that they called to ask if they could just send you home wet, and we agreed). You are a girl who knows what she wants, and you aren't afraid to tell anyone what you think. We are hoping you change your mind about potty training, and soon, because we know that as soon as you WANT to, you will.
You love your piggy bank. Except, that's not what you call it. Any time you find change around the house, you grab it in your little hands and coming running to me, asking for your "guinea pig." Your grandmother, daddy's mother, gave you a little ceramic bank a while ago, and every time she sends a package, she sends you and your sister quarters taped to an index card, so you can put them in your "guinea pig." You love it. It cracks me up to hear how excited you are to find change, and how excited you are to claim it as your own.
We are moving soon, and I am so very much looking forward to this next year with you in our new city, because there are so many wonderful things there that I want to show you, so many wonderful things I want to explore with you. I can't wait to see you enjoy them. I am so excited to watch you grow and develop, to continue to snuggle with you, to hear your thoughts, and to listen to that contagious little laugh of yours. I love you my SB, forever and always.