Sure enough, it's been three years. And I don't even know where to start. Because reading those past birthday posts, I'd have to say, yep, he's pretty much the same.
He's still our little trouble-maker with the cutest face that gets us all in trouble. Because it's hard to be frustrated with a kid that looks up at you with big eyes and says, "I want to 'nuggle with you," even though he should be in bed. And that giggle - don't even get me started on that precious giggle that digs right down from his gut.
It's true what they say, about every child being different. And this guy, he's our tough one. Or maybe our laidback one - the one that takes what life gives him and just lets it slide. He's happy with what he's been given and rolls with the punches. I've honestly never seen this kid throw a tantrum and he only gets downright angry if a sibling is being unfair to him or if he's being disciplined for one of his many mischievous antics.
He says silly things just to watch us giggle and he covers his face when he knows he's being ridiculous. He has a strong shy streak that causes him to shut down if a stranger asks a question (not necessarily a bad quality), and, when he does so, very little will coax him out. Because once he's made a decision, he sticks with it. If he begs for dessert and then decides he's done two bites in, no amount of reverse pyschology will convince him otherwise. I taunt him by pretending to take a bite, and he shoves it right toward me, as if to say, "You go ahead. I said I'm done and I'm done."
He is our first easy potty trainer. I hesitated to ever announce we had started the process with him, because for his siblings, it seemed it never ended. In fact, he keeps his nap-time diaper clean and dry while his older brother still couldn't care less. And every time, I want to give him the biggest hug ever, because potty training has been the most horrible battle of my parenting career.
This kid is going to be a star at life - because when he has decided to succeed at something, he will do so. We have a challenge ahead of us to funnel that determined spirit in the right direction, but I look forward to seeing where it takes him.
There's no greater reason to celebrate than that.