Friday, November 27, 2015

Three Years Old

My children are like puzzle pieces-they're all different, but when you put them together, they create a complete picture.  If one child happens to not be home, the whole house feels off.  They each contribute their own uniqueness to our family.  Sometimes, you don't realize you're missing a piece until after it's been given to you.  I thought my family of six was complete.

And then came Nash.
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Somehow, Nash managed to acquire all of best things of the other four kids: A calmness from Owen, a self-confidence from Emerson, a voiced opinion from Greyson, and an infectious laugh from Alayna.

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I could tell you that Nash is stubborn and difficult, because that's true!  He IS.  That boy doesn't always know what he wants, but you'd better give it to him NOW or else.

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If he gets new boots, he will most definitely be wearing them to bed.

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If he wants to wear three watches at once, don't you dare try to make him wear a jacket-you will cover them up and he won't be able to see his three watches.

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If he wants to wear a headband with glittery balls on it and a fabulous pearl necklace, don't try and stop him.

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If his siblings join the swim team and he gets highly jealous and wears a swim cap and goggles for weeks, just go with it.

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If he sneaks into your room and puts on a bunch of your medals, just to hear them clang together, smile, because they were meant to be worn, right?

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If he'd rather drink almond milk for every meal and snack, just let him, knowing that SOMEday he will realize that almond milk doesn't taste nearly as good as fresh fruit, or Gigi's best-ever stew.

As stubborn and difficult as Nash is, I know that deep down it's for a reason.  He is learning.  He's been on this earth for three short years and everything is trial and error for him.  In reality, he just wants to do what all the big kids do, and he's had some great new experiences this year:

Drinking from the water fountain...

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Picking rocks on the shore of Lake Michigan...

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Sliding down the big slide all alone...

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Eating apples from our tree...

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Watching the big trucks, ready to hop in as soon as they'll let him...

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Splashing on the dock at the lake...

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Climbing the ladder at the park...

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Getting his hair curled...

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Searching for Nemo in storm drains, because all drains lead to the ocean!

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Nash's allergies still keep me on my toes, but he's very good at asking, "Milk in it?" before accepting food from people.  And he does still have occasional outbreaks of respiratory issues, but he can now ask for a breathing treatment and insists, "ME do it."

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While a lot of toddlers seem to be wrapped up in themselves, which is completely normal, Nash likes to keep tabs on everyone.  Throughout the day he asks individually, "Where Oweee go?" "Where Nemmee go?"  "Where Reyson go?"  "Where Yanie go?"  "Daddy working?"  And if I'm working on a project and say, "OW!" Nash immediately asks, "You okay, Mom?"

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Speaking of Mom, let's address that issue.  I know all kids go through the "Mommy don't leave me stage", but Nash takes that to the extreme.  If I go to the bathroom and lock the door, I have betrayed him.  If I go to the grocery store and leave him home, I have just ripped his heart out.  That boy is always by my side, preferably touching me, and I'm sure if I'd let him, he'd choose to be right back in the WOMB.

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I remind myself often that nothing lasts forever and that they're only little for a little while.  And while he's trying new things and learning the ways of the world, Nash is also teaching me things.  I've learned that allowing a child to sleep in a winter hat, mittens, snow boots and a diaper works.  I've learned that if you shoot your brother in the eye with a Nerf gun, it might sting for a minute, but he won't actually go blind.  I've learned that when he says, "Mom", there's a 50 percent chance that after I say, "What?" he'll say, "Chicken butt."  I've learned that back flips off the couch won't result in a broken neck.  I've learned that the best way to eat a hamburger is to load it with ketchup and then remove both parts of the bun and eat the ketchup-y piece of meat as messily as possible.  I've learned that slow dancing in the kitchen while dinner is cooking is much more pleasant than listening to whining.  I've learned that five minutes of snuggling on the couch can fix just about anything.  I've learned that if Nash hadn't come into my life, I wouldn't be the same person I am today.

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He is thoughtful, and stubborn, and caring, and demanding, and funny, and inquisitive, and smart, and he is the piece I didn't know was missing.  Today he is THREE.

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Happy Birthday, Nash.  Mom loves you.

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