A couple of weeks ago you turned three, and let me tell you what a milestone that was. It's taken me this long to write to you about it because although life has handed us quite a few obstacles lately, I've also felt like once I write this post to you, it will actually be official. My baby will be three. And oh dear Vivienne, you SO deserve to be three. In fact, this is the first birthday that actually felt like a birthday because leading up to it for two weeks you would tell everyone and anyone who was within range that "GUESS WHAT, I'M TURNING THREE!" When someone would ask you your name the answer would be, "Vivienne, I'm turning three". The smile on your face when you would proclaim that statement made up for every time I cursed God and the Heavens for blessing me with a three year old.
These days you are doing everything by yourself. It's the thing to do. You help me cook your eggs, brush your own teeth, help me turn off the alarm (and YES, it is ALWAYS on now, more on that later), are the best gardener, put on your own shoes, and pretty much everything that I try to do for myself or you. "I can do it because I'm three" is the new motto in our home. You are pretty much reciting books back to me verbatim now. Maybe not every single word, but most of them. It's beautiful and scary as hell to watch. You are an intellect babe, and the books that hold your attention are way beyond your years. You love to make up stories about the pages and we often go off on tangents half way through a story. And who knows, maybe Iggy Peck did have to poop, after he built that bridge. It could totally have happened. And I'm so sorry I can't tell you what the wolf's house looks like, and that they only ever describe the homes of the three little pigs. Darn them! And their lack of imagination!
You've done a lot of new things this year Viv. You learned to kick a soccer ball really well - you are left footed!, and you only use the big girl swing. You LOVE to climb. You made a few really good friendships (some people, some stuffed). You traveled and spent lots of time with your family. Went camping! Decided you love popsicles and cream cheese frosting, but mostly your favorites are green olives, pickles, and lemons. You talked about POOP, a lot. You drew a lot of POOP. You really love poop Vivienne, however, although you are potty trained you still refuse to poop on the potty. You'd rather poop in a diaper, in your own designated spot in the house, have me check it out afterwards to tell you what kind it is (messy, pebbly?), and then we flush it down the toilet. I kid you not. I actually look down your pants daily and describe to you all the attributes of your feces. And then I let YOU look at it, because you always want to look at it. I am describing this in detail because someday you will be older. And when you are going through your teenage angst and feel like cursing me or the world, I will make you sit down and read this, and I will remind you of just how much I love you, and exactly how far I have gone for you. Yes, my dear child, I love you enough to dissect your poop on a daily basis. I. LOVE. YOU.
The fact that you have actually pooped on the potty before gives me hope. I am so ready for you to just need the potty, but don't want to force anything either -- like that one time I told you "that's it, we're done! You're a big girl and you're gonna go on the potty now!" You held your poop for three days until I said, "let's just get a diaper". Needless to say, you do things on your own time Tootie, and that's perfectly fine by me.
How can I possibly sum up the last year of your life? Viv, being with you every day is like being in the presence of this super fun, super creative, super genuine and sensitive person. You are strong willed, confident, and very articulate. You are a thinker, and sometimes seem so wise beyond your years. You're figuring out who you are and what your actions mean in this little world of yours -- which consists of daddy and I and your close friends and relatives. You're making some of your own choices, and you get to see how those choices pan out. The whole world is ahead of you. And I get to be right by your side watching it happen. Nobody tells you how absolutely mind blowing this part of parenting is, even when it's laced with tantrums and poop. It's nothing short of magical.
About ten days or so before your birthday, our home was burglarized. Everything of value was taken, including my wedding ring, my Nona's wedding ring, and all of the computers, ipads, camera, you get the picture. The most devastating part for me was the fact that I hadn't backed up any of the pictures on my computer. The last three years of your life -- your birth in the hospital, my swollen, pregnant belly, holidays, first steps, videos -- all gone. I cried for three days until your daddy reminded me that everything I have and need is still right here, perfectly safe.
On your birthday afternoon as I brought your cake to you, your daddy was holding you. We sang and you clapped, and then you gave your daddy the biggest "tight tight" (bear hug) ever, right after he held you up to the crowd like he just won the prize of his life. I told you to make a wish and you said "I don't want to make a wish mommy" and everyone laughed, and you proceeded to blow out your candles. A friend standing next to me jokingly said, "I have everything I need mommy". And right there it hit me, just like the giant lump I have in my throat right now typing this out. Everything you need, you already have. No wishes needed. I couldn't be prouder of that.
I love you more and more every passing second.