Happy, Happy Birthday Baby

My little girl turned three on Sunday. All the cliches apply: I can’t believe it, look how big, how time flies, etc. But looking at the pictures of her from the day of her birth, and then looking at her now, I’m in awe of the mighty forces of development and growth of the human being.

To think that at birth she looked like this:

Unable to control her limbs, unable to speak or be upright, no teeth, requiring close proximity to Mama at all times, but instinctively able to nurse and cry for what she needed.

Then on her first birthday:

Completely weaned, sleeping alone in a crib, able to stand up, smile, have much better control of her body, and definitely able to communicate desires with or without words. (Note the aura of sassiness; it’s still there to this day, in spades.)

Then on her second birthday she looked like this:

Now more socially aware: posing and smiling for photos! Walking, talking, definitely expressing preferences, and learning to drink from a cup.

And then on her third birthday:

Sitting in a big chair (boostered of course), sleeping in a big girl bed, learning table manners, dressing herself, learning to use the toilet, and never ever stopping the flow of words coming out of her mouth! (Note the birthday bagel with lox and cream cheese, it’s becoming a family tradition.) And now, no song is allowed in the house if it includes the word “baby.” All songs must now refer to “big girl.” Hush, big girl, don’t say a word, mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird. Sleep, big girl, sleep. Rockabye, big girl, on the tree top.

When we asked her where she wanted to go for her birthday, the first thing out of her mouth was “NYACK!!” Since most of my 10 loyal readers probably don’t know that fine city, I will ‘splain. Nyack is a artsy little town on the Hudson River, just north of the Tappan Zee Bridge. It has a fun downtown area, many funky shops and yoga studios, and in relation to this story, a very nice playground for small children in a park right on the river. Napoleona wanted to go play there, and perhaps have pizza after. After a tiny bit of maneuvering, she agreed that going into the city to the Met would be more fun.

Now, we didn’t trick her or really wheedle too much. She really wanted to go. In fact, she was crying disconsolately when we had to leave early to return home for an appointment. Really. My 3 year old was in the back of the van, crying, “I’m sad because I wanted to stay at the museum, I didn’t want to go!!”

Warms my heart, that does.

We checked out the Egyptian mummies, the big Buddha statues and murals, and the Van Goghs, and the very nice Chinese scholar’s garden.

Then we drove home and had a big nap. Ice cream cake with 3 candles after dinner.

Happy Birthday Little One!



Filed under Parenting

5 responses to “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby

  1. Kerryn

    Happy belated birthday to your beautiful little girl.

    Did the sassiness come out during the negotiations over whether to go to a playground or the Met? I can imagine that it might have. However, it does sound like the right choice was made — imagine wanting to go to a playground when there’s mummies and van Goghs to be seen.

  2. Helen

    Wah! Cyberspace ate my comment! The gist was: Happy Birthday, Napoleona! Isn’t it amazing how fast they grow?

  3. Papa Bradstein

    Happy happy birthday. What a fun birthday for her and for you. She’s always so adorable–but maybe that’s because I don’t get to experience the sassiness in the photos.

  4. Henitsirk

    Oh my, the sassiness, the force of will. Most of the time she has a wonderful, fiery spirit that is a joy (and is quite amusing) to behold.

    Then, there are times like right this minute, when she is in bed crying because she wanted Mama and not Papa for bedtime. Perhaps there’s an underlying reason for her to be upset, but then, there’s what she said to Papa as he tried to soothe her:

    “I’m just going to cry all night until Mama comes.”

    So now I can’t go in there lest we teach her that she gets what she wants via tantrums. Papa gets to go in there every so often to try to soothe her. SillyBilly gets to stick his head under the pillow to get some sleep.

  5. (un)relaxeddad

    Fantastic! If only dudelet loved museums that much (other than the imperial war museum). What an age, eh?

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