Today, if you ask CK how old she is, she'll happily tell you, "three-AND-A-HALF!"
I feel like just yesterday we were celebrating her third birthday at "banastics," and cannot believe she's halfway to four.
My sweet little girl has grown up so much over the past six months, too. T and I were just saying the other day how she's like a little adult now, and will have these grown-up conversations with you. And we're always caught off guard by her intelligence and curiosity. She's a little sponge, that CK...
To my three-and-a-half-year-old sidekick,
Oh my girl. I am so proud of how you've grown, who you are today, and who you are becoming. It brings me so much joy being your mama.
To be completely honest with you, since about two-and-three-quarters, you've been a handful. We've had a lot of tough moments, you and I, as I've learned how to navigate being a mama to a threenager. It's tough, ya know, because I just want to love you and be happy together and shower you with hugs and kisses all day long. But unfortunately, that does not an effective mama make. These past 8ish months have included lots and lots of discipline. Having to tell you no, a lot. Putting you in timeout, a lot. Making you go to your room, a lot. You've cried, I've cried. But you know what? I honestly think we've turned a corner. Your daddy and I have seen so much improvement in your behavior lately, and while I think it has a lot to do with you growing out of your threenager phase, I also feel like all of the hard work and effort we put into teaching you about right and wrong, actions and consequences, good and bad choices - all that hard work is starting to pay off.
You have such a kind, giving heart and you are very sensitive. One look of disappointment from your daddy or me is enough to bring you to tears. You absolutely love making us proud, which is so very sweet.
You were born to be a big sister. When Everette was born, you dove headfirst into your new role, helping whenever I'll let you and loving him with all of your heart, all day long. Watching you with him... well, I can't even put into words what that does to my heart.
I also absolutely love watching you play by yourself. Your imagination runs wild, and you tend to get very wrapped up in your own magical world of pretend play. Whether it's playing with your "friends," baby dolls, or your feet (Gaddy and Bussy!), you'll sometimes get so wrapped up in your imagination you'll keep yourself busy and occupied for over an hour.
One of my favorite things you do is sing. Just like your G Gram, you will make up songs for anything and everything you're doing, and can be heard singing all throughout the house while you play. And you have such a sweet, singsongy voice, too.
You still love your Ellie, and though it's hard to believe, I think you're even more attached to him (her?) now than ever before.
You still love "banastics," and have improved so much now that you're in the Mighty 3's. You've also started playing tball, which is one of the cutest things I've ever seen.
You've become obsessed with Peppa Pig, and will often talk about changing your baby's "nappy," taking the "post" to the mailbox, needing to "phone" someone, and taking six "pounds" to the store to buy something. You also exclaim "Oh dear!" quite often. I find it all to be adorable, of course.
You are very obsessive-compulsive about your bedtime routine, having little rituals you have to do and say before you'll settle in to sleep. To be honest, it used to bother me. "Cameron, just GO TO BED," I'd say. Now? Now I realize that one day I'm going to miss standing in your doorway saying, "Don't let the bed bugs bite" over and over again. <3
And I know everyone thinks this, but you are so smart, my CK. With some coaching from Mama, you know your days of the week and months of the year. And with my help and your preschool teacher, Ms. Sandra, you pretty much know all of your letters and numbers. We've been practicing counting... you still sometimes throw in an eleventeen, and also have a hard time understanding why "twenty-ten" doesn't come after "twenty-nine."
And also, we talk a lot about letter sounds. You always want to know what letters are at the beginning of words. Like the other day in the car, we were talking about your friend Ruby. "What does Ruby start with?" you asked. "R-R-Ruby." I sounded out. "R!" you exclaimed. "That's right!" I said. Then you went on to say, "Rrrruby. But there's a 'B' in the middle, right?" I was so proud!
I'm always proud, my girl. You make me so proud, and I absolutely love being your mama. You have taught me so much in three-and-a-half years, and you make me want to be a better person, each and everyday.
One of your new favorite things? Dandelions. Every time we go for stroller runs, you always need me to stop and pick dandelions. You'll make a wish or two, and then blow with all your might until the stem is empty.
I used to hope you wouldn't see the dandelions... I just wanted to finish my run! I didn't have time to stop for dandelions! And then the other day, you begged me to stop just one more time to grab two more dandelions. And you made the sweetest wishes (that will stay between us, my girl).
And in that moment, I felt so embarrassed at not wanting to stop to get you your dandelions.
I told myself.
ENJOY THIS MOMENT.
I told myself.
STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES. OR DANDELIONS.
Or something like that.
Truthfully, Cameron Kate, everyday with you I am reminded that this time is fleeting. You will only be three-AND-A-HALF once, so I am doing my best to soak up every single second with you by my side. Every little don't-let-the-bed-bugs-bite, and every little wish-making-dandelion.
Happy half birthday, my sweet girl.
I love you to the moon and back and more than anything in this world.