This weekend we celebrated Liam’s 3rd birthday. How those 3 years went by so quickly is beyond me – it feels like just yesterday when I was damning the stubborn little bugger for taking up what felt like a permanent residence in my uterus (he was all of a day late). Still a stubborn kid, but one with a huge heart and who can make you laugh out loud at the drop of a coin, he makes me smile day in and day out. And when I think about the experiences he has had in those 3 short years, well, I’m jealous! Most kids could only dream of the things he’s done and there is still so more to come!
When I look back on this last year, I think of how much he has grown and that he’s no longer a baby or even a toddler, but a little boy now. His concept of language has come so far. He carries on complete conversations now. He asks questions all the time and expects you to answer him! His physical capabilities have also come so far – his dexterity and climbing ability have improved in these last 12 months. He climbs pretty much everything he sees and must follow his big brother’s every move. He jumps – oh he loves to jump. Jump jump jump… on the bed, on the sidewalk, on the couch. Doesn’t matter, just jump!! His memory has improved. I can no longer pull a fast one on him because he remembers promises or remembers we said we would go somewhere and throws it right back at me (damn). He’s learned to follow rules (ok, this is by far not his favorite thing to do). He doesn’t parallel play so much as actively interact with other children now. We’ve even begun some potty training which he was getting the hang of til I found I didn’t have enough time to focus (I need to make time) on bringing him to the bathroom literally every 5 minutes.
Anyways, this year has been one of growth for Liam. He’s more mature, more worldly ;). He’s even funnier than he was before if you can believe that. And he’s an absolute love. And while I was thrilled to celebrate three with him it also made me a bit sad that my baby is growing up. But now that we live in Europe, I’m looking forward to what 3 has to offer to us. Hopefully it means getting to see more sights with less meltdowns (one can dream right?). It means explaining to him all the beautiy and history that Europe has to offer (doesn’t mean he’ll comprehend it but we can talk about it). And it means that we are at an age where we can start having some real fun!! It also means he’ll start school this fall – again, time just flies!
We started off the celebratory weekend with a lunch at Hard Rock on Saturday. For us, there is nothing more American than hanging with the tourists and eating a 16€ burger. And we enjoyed every last bite of that “American meal”. Liam even tried to sneak a sip of beer in. Liam, you are 3, not 23! You still have some time ahead of you before that!
Celebrating 3 was also great because Liam actually understood the concept of birthday. Now I don’t mean he understood that this is the day he was born kind of thing, but he understood that he was going to be 3 years old and that he was going to have presents on his birthday. You know, the important part of a birthday! And all week long he told me that he wanted a Zurg toy (from Toy Story). Thankfully, I happened to find one at the one Toys R Us in Barcelona.
On Sunday morning he woke up and I asked him what day it was. He said “my birthday?”. I told him yes and he immediately asked if there were presents. And to that I replied, “you’ll have to check downstairs”. And so off he and Aidan went to check out his stash of goodies. Now Aidan was just as excited as Liam to see what kind of gifts were under the colorful Mickey Mouse wrapping paper and he was a significant participant in helping to unwrap the gifts.
Some favorites (there were gifts from my parents, Josh’s parents and us) – a Velociraptor (spelling??) that tries to bite your finger, the Batmobile and of course, Zurg. Zurg probably could have been the only toy he received and he would have been happier than any kid I have ever seen. And now of course, Aidan would like a Zurg toy too.
It was supposed to rain all day on Sunday but it turned out unexpectedly beautiful out. So we made a trip to the zoo (thank god for that membership!) where we checked out a few animals, grabbed some lunch and then headed off to the playground where the kids really wanted to play. Aidan ran into a few kids from his class and Liam just wandered around enjoying every bit of his day. He was on a swing with a bunch of other kids and everytime he spun around I heard him telling the other kids “It’s my birthday today”. Over and over and over again. Of course, they all spoke Spanish and probably had no idea what he was saying.
After a fun day playing at the zoo we headed home for a nice dinner and a homemade cake (ok, I used a Duncan Hines mix that cost me 6€ at the American store). As you can see Liam thoroughly enjoyed his cake and got to eat it too! Liam, cheers to 3!!! I love you!