And now you are Three…

And now you are three.  What a year this has been, Kieran.

You’re not a baby any more at all.  You are a big boy – and you’re proud of it.  You just potty-trained yourself in about two weeks after going to San Diego for Uncle Oin’s wedding.  You had your heart set on some “Mater Underwear” (Tow Mater from CARS) and we told you that once you were doing all your business in the potty that we’d get them for you.  You already knew how to tinkle in the potty – you just didn’t want to for a long while.  But the first morning we were home from Oin’s wedding, you pulled back the curtain when I finished my shower and announced “Mama!  I go tinkle in the potty!” and you were off!  It took about a week before you could poop too – and you still usually request a treat (lollipop or chocolate) after each success.  I imagine we’ll phase that out once the current bag of lollipops is gone.  You’ve been dry every night but one since you started this too, much to our surprise.  All year we’d been telling you that you weren’t a big boy because you didn’t use the potty.  Well, now you are.  (You’ve been quite vocal about it to anyone who will listen – even complete strangers at the store commenting on your lollipop.)

Speaking of strangers…. You make friends wherever you go.  You’re friendly to everyone, waving and saying “Hi!” as we pass people at the store.  You love to ride in the big part of the cart – or even more to help me push the cart when we’re grocery shopping.  You are my little shopping buddy – when I have to go to the store without you, I’m lonely.

You talk all the time now, narrating your play with your toys.  You still love everything Fireman, but space shuttles, pirates, construction, and dinosaurs are steadily making their way into your world as well – frequently all at the same time.  You’re so sweet, even when you’re playing with your toys – they all say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ for being rescued or flown somewhere in the space shuttle.  You love a baby toy that you call “Puppy” – a Baby Einstein dog with teething feet.  Puppy sleeps with you every night, and you use him to comfort yourself when you’re scared or upset.

It’s very hot here in Las Vegas right now – and you’re loving spending time in Oma and Opa’s pool.  You’re learning the basics of swimming already, you’re quite the kicker in the water with me.  You love to jump to us off the steps in the pool.  We’re going to teach you to swim this summer for sure, either on our own or with lessons.

You’re doing well at school too.  You know your colors and you count to 15, although usually you leave out number 6 or 8.  Your vocabulary is off the charts, and you impress all your teachers (and the directors) at school with how well you speak – beyond your age, they tell us.  You know your first and last name, and your right from your left.  You have trouble following the rules sometimes, especially when you would prefer to run around.  You’re a leader in your class – which can be good and bad, depending on whether you feel like following the rules that day, or leading a parade at circle time.  We think you’re a little bored and mostly a little boy, so we’re not concerned.

You’re curious about everything, asking “Why?” about all that you see.  “Why are you doing that, Mama?” is a question I answer a dozen times a day.  So far it’s not getting old – although I turn it around on you when I run out of answers “Why do you think, sweetie?”  Daddy and I do our best to tell you the truth and explain whatever it is you’re asking about.  We don’t dumb things down for you.

Oh, and speaking of pet names: you don’t like them most of the time.  If we call you “pumpkin” or “sweetie” or even just tell you that you’re handsome, you reply “No!  I not pumpkin!  I just Kieran!  Kieran Gorman!”  Daddy calls you Superman though, and you don’t seem to mind.  I call you Buddy.

You’re growing like a weed, although thankfully not as fast as when you were tiny.  Shirts you wore last summer in Philadelphia (when you went on your first plane ride to visit our friends Peter, Kelly and Kara) are now hanging on as PJs – although they’re almost too small for that even.  You’re wearing 3T pants and 4T shirts.  You’re all torso, but your legs are trying to catch up.  You’re one of the tallest kids in your class, and you tower over your cousin Grant.  You weigh about 34 pounds now.  Heavy enough to make our arms tired, but not too heavy to actually put you down.  You love to be carried still – and I love to put you on my shoulders.  Daddy is too chicken to do that often, but I do it as much as you’ll let me.

I’m not sad to see your birthday this year, Kieran.  There’s no mistaking you for a baby anymore.  You are my little boy now – charging ahead into this big world.  I can’t wait to see every day what you’ll learn.  Seeing the world through your eyes is such a joy.  You are so happy, so loving, so curious.  I can’t wait to see what this next year will bring for us all.  Thank you for holding my hand as you charge along.  Mama loves you, Buddy.

Birthday Boy2

And now you are Two…

(I wrote this a year ago in 2012, but for some reason never published it.  I have every intention of writing a letter to Kieran every year on his birthday – and what better place to keep them than here?)

You’re TWO now, Kieran.  Did you know that?  Does it feel like such a big change to you, like it does to Daddy and me?

You really are an incredible little man, Kieran.  This last year has been so wonderful.  Don’t get me wrong, your first year was amazing – watching you go from a tiny squishy baby to an almost-walking curly-haired little guy was incredible.  Our miracle baby.

But your second year – WOW.  You have become your own person – someone Daddy and I are loving getting to know.  You have opinions and aren’t shy about sharing them.

You love rockets and fish and balloons and trains and fire trucks.  You love to color, but you go on jags where you’ll only use one color of crayon.  (Recently it’s been brown and then black.)  You don’t like to be messy, which makes typical toddler activities of finger painting and exploring new foods a bit of a challenge.  You are the only kid I’ve ever seen to ASK for a napkin so you can wipe up during your meals.

You are a whiz when it comes to the iPads (which you’ve taken to calling “My iPad” of late.)  You can pull up your favorite games or your favorite shows without help from us.  You color with the coloring apps, and enjoy the Elmo Potty app quite a lot these days.  Our phones present no challenge to you either.

Speaking of Potty – you’ve decided to take a whack at that now as well.  You’ve been off and on for a few weeks now, but you tinkle in the potty really well.  Daddy and I don’t mind changing your diapers though, so we’re not going to push you on this.  You tell us when you’re ready, OK?  Mama has cloth training pants all ready for you.

You talk, son.  You are so much like me right now in that you never stop talking, much to Daddy’s chagrin.  You tell us stories.  You talk (and SING!) to yourself.  You tell us about your friends at school who are riding on your trains and where you’re going (usually to space!)  You’re using full sentences, and asking questions.  This morning you saw a picture of cookies on the computer and you told me “Mama, go in kitchen.  Make cookies for Kieran.”  Cheeky little monkey.

You’re growing so fast too.  Not as fast as you did when you were a baby – but I’m afraid you’re going to outgrow your 3T clothes (that you got in right after your birthday) before it cools down enough for your (mostly long-sleeved) 4T clothes.  We swear we can hear you creaking in bed at night as you stretch taller and taller.  (I just made you a huge ruler so we can track your growth at home.)  You can reach things on the counter and flip light switches without a stool now.  But if there’s something on the counter you can’t reach – or you want to help me make something in the kitchen, you know to go get one of your stools or chairs and bring it over.  You’re a good helper in the kitchen, helping me pour, and crack eggs, and stir.  You like to watch me make dinner.

My favorite thing you do right now?  You sing with me, especially at night before bed.  We sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as we look at the stars on the ceiling and play ‘Hide the Moon’ with your light-up turtle.  We sing “You Are My Sunshine” just because you are my sunshine.  And then we sing your lullaby – a song called “Godspeed” that I’ve been singing to you since you were born.  You don’t know all the words, but you sing along to parts of it – and your little voice is so sweet.

Kieran, I hope you know how much you are loved.  We’re always kissing you and hugging you and asking for hugs and kisses.  (You’re usually pretty good about giving them too!)  I worry that we’re going to spoil you, because you’re an only child.  But I’ll never worry about loving you too much.  You are the best thing Daddy and I have ever done.  You make us so very happy, just by being you.

I know this year is going to be amazing for us all.  Thank you for being such an incredible little boy.  I am so lucky to be your Mama.  I love you so very much.

Philadelphia, July 2012