Three years old. It simultaneously feels as if it can’t possibly be true and as if you’ve been three for awhile already. You are so, so smart and funny and kind.
One of the things I love most about you, Ellie, is your sweet, kind spirit. You care so much for others. You never forget to say “Please” or “Thank you” and you are always the first to offer comfort and affection. When you and Zoey are fighting over something, you are always the first to compromise, the peacekeeper who just wants everyone to be happy.
I love the way you still come up to me, toting your “Day” and your “Baby,” arms raised as you say “I want to be up, please.” I never tire of the way you feel in my arms.
You love being read to, playing board games and doing puzzles. You still need help with anything harder than the wooden toddler puzzles, but you are quickly figuring it out. You can sing the whole ABC’s and count to twelve. You still put your shoes on the wrong feet ninety-nine percent of the time. When I point it out you insist you like it that way.
Some of your favorite toys remain the unscripted ones: a cup and a spoon provide hours of entertainment as you pretend to feed everyone (alive or stuffed) in the house. Your attention span for television and movies is slowly growing, but you still prefer interaction with mom and dad.
You are slow to warm up around others, preferring to hang back and sit close to me than to play with your peers. If it is only one or two other children, you will eventually be drawn into playing with them, but not until after you have spent awhile at my side insisting “I am shy.” And yet, you are over-the-moon excited at the prospect of starting preschool this Fall. It’s a milestone I anticipate with happiness, pride, and more than a touch of sadness at the speed with which you are growing.
The “Big Sister” role is slowly growing on you. For the past six months, Alden has been more “background noise” or “wallpaper” to you. You’ve been too busy with playing, learning and quenching your curiosity about life for him to register as anything worth focusing on. Now, however, you notice when he wants a toy and rush to remove things from his grasp that he could choke on…including items larger than his head. I have enjoyed watching your love for your little brother grow, and have hopes of a long-lasting bond forming between you two during the next year.
You sing made-up songs, tell hilarious stories, have the most expressive face and voice, and impressive imagination. Eleanor, you started bringing joy into our lives the minute you were born and you haven’t stopped since. So full of life, quick to laugh and downright adorable. Every day I am humbled by how much you love me and the rest of our family. I am so glad you are exactly who you are. Happy third birthday, my sweet Little One.