Wow...we have a three year old in the house! For almost 4 months now! And we love it.
Gabriel had a great birthday. We started off his special day by recording him first thing in the morning (a tradition) as we sung him happy birthday and gave him his gifts. I just love getting him on video, as he first wakes up in the morning. Seeing Gabriel in the morning is my favorite thing.
We wanted his birthday party to just be full of fun with his little friends. So we decided to do it at an inflatable palace called Kangaroo Jacs. He had so much fun and it was so cute to see all his little friends enjoy their time as well. I had a lot of help from my wonderful mom in planning this party. She knew I was in such a stressful time in school and offered to figure out the cake, and many of the other party things. It felt nice to accept help. Below are some pictures of his birthday:
And finally, here is my wrap up on Gabriel as a 3 year old:
Soon after Gabriel turned 3, we wondered if he was in the terrible 3's stage. He was grumpy, extra sensitive, and very stubborn. Now, those are normal feelings for any child to experience on any given day. However, he had about 2 weeks of that, and we were not use to him being that way! We started to wonder if this was our new Gabriel. Our little guy has always been so sweet, flexible, sensitive, and loving. He never did have the terrible two's. But, just as fast as those two weeks snuck up on us, they were gone. Gabriel is back to his own self. I realize that he may have been feeling my own stress of grad school and was just reacting to that. Gabriel is incredibly intuitive to my feelings, just as I am to his.
Gabriel continues to be the same boy I have always blogged about. He is so smart, constantly amazing us with his questions or actions. He is kind and loving to us and those around him. Occasionally, he has his angry outburst, and they are usually directed at Dave. So every once in a while, poor Dave will get a tennis racket to the head. He always tells on his dad. He will come up to me with puppy tear filled eyes and say " Dada hurt my feelings", "Dada made me sad" "Dada told me..and it made me mad". So I then have to empathize with his hurt feelings and when he is feeling better remind him that Dad told him it was time for bath because Gabriel needs to be clean. Once any one of us is able to empathize with him, he is fine! Whatever made him terribly sad (getting in bath, asking him put toys away, telling him he can't watch a movie) suddenly makes sense to him.
To Gabriel, i'm his everything, and it's mostly Dad that messes up. It's a case of classic Oedipus complex! At the end of the day, he adores his dad and has a strong relationship with him. We both have very special relationships with him. I think Gabriel is blessed with two parents that love him like crazy. There is days where Dave and I fight to be the one that reads to him, hold him as we watch a movie, or comfort him first when he hurts himself. I love that we both fight to shower Gabriel with support and love. It's a good problem to have in a home.
At this stage Gabriel loves to watch "movies". This is something that happened after he watched the Cars movie in Utah last November. We had never really watched movies in our house. So once he understood the concept of a movie, he asks us to watch movies all the time. We have a small collection of movies that are usually on his rotation: The Land Before Time, Tom & Jerry, Popeye, Scooby Doo, and a Leap Frog Alphabet Movie. So usually once a day he watches part of one of those movies as his down time, usually in the morning or early afternoon. The most hilarious part of his movie watching is that he watches it "actively", especially with the Tom & Jerry movie, and the dinosaur move (Land Before Time). He does all the same things that Tom and Jerry do in the movie, he'll run around the house while Jerry is being chased, he'll fall down or pretend to throw things with Tom throws them. It's hilarious! And whenever a T-rex is chasing the rest of the dinosaur's, Gabriel runs away too and screams around the house. I have to video it one of these days. From my perspective, it's great coping skills! He's coping with his own stress response (fight vs flight) when watching a cat chase a mouse, or a scary t-rex chasing someone. Of course, this is his mom therapist talking. Nevertheless, i'm impressed by his response to watching movement in a movie. It also goes to show...this boy is always moving!
We are very happy for our three year old. I have no idea where our life would be without him. For sure, life would not be as deeply rewarding as it is because of him.