When I look back at my pregnancy with Max, his personality was clear in utero. He never stopped moving. Harry was like a sloth who seemed to be stretching out every now and again to yawn, maybe. Max gave constant little kicks as if he were running, or in training for life. For three weeks prior to birth, on the same day each week, I had very real seeming contractions for hours and hours, so much so that for three weeks we set the plan in motion that we were having the baby -- Rob called off work, Beth/Lach and Alice picked up Harry, the doula was on alert, Auntie Steph and Uncle Joe prepped for Harry overnight duty. And then....nothing. Now that I know him, I feel that he would find this chain of events HILARIOUS, because his favorite things include: Hiding, Playing tricks, or Surprising you (as he says SUPLISE!)
Here he is...one day late, but already plotting his next move.
I am hours old, but I am awake, and I will never sleep again. This world is so interesting! At 3, Max is getting better about sleep, especially since the adenoids were removed this year. But, he still does not like sleeping. He is not one to ease into his day either. As soon as his eyes open, he is immediately jumping or dancing on the bed, or running. Thus, the other three of us in the household do whatever we can to avoid disturbing him during sleep.
Brothers meeting for the first time.
Max at 3 does not like to be separated from Harry. He gets very upset if one of us tries to take Harry somewhere without him. When we take Harry to school, he tries to blend in with the other kids in the preschool class, sitting at the table, starting on the projects, as if I will just get confused and leave him there. He had a blast on Harry's birthday when he got to stay to be part of the class for Harry's birthday celebration. He talks about the other kids in Harry's class as if they are his friends too. (Some of them are, but still it's so cute how much he wants to be part of school.) Four out of five days that we pick up Harry from school, Max greets him at the door with a hug.
Max mimics Harry in many ways, repeating what Harry says and following his lead, but he's definitely a leader in his own right. He brings out Harry's silly side, and makes him laugh harder than anyone else. He's the one who convinces Harry that it's fun to swim in the dirt, or play trucks in the rocks. He will get a crazy idea and as long as Harry is laughing, he will follow it through no matter what, no matter how loud Mommy and Daddy yell. Max definitely loves an audience. And he has a sense of humor beyond his three years.
First Birthday.Strong-willed, assertive, bossy, bull-headed, willful. Max is all of these, and then some. The child does not give up. Ever. I've said before that I believe he will do something amazing in life like cure a disease or climb a mountain or break a record, not just because I'm his mother and biased, but because I've been on the other side of battle with him, and you cannot win if he has pitted himself against you.
How is he 3?! His hair is two shades darker, and he's growing like crazy. Apparently the growth is fueled by snacks. He is a big lover of snacks. As soon as we wake, he is harassing us for snacks. Especially the individually wrapped kind, which we usually don't have much of. He will do anything for an individually wrapped snack. The other night, he went to bed clutching an individually packaged granola bar, holding it against his face. He loves to go to other people's homes and get a gander at their snacks. If you have recently gone to Costco, he is your best friend! And he has a giant sweet tooth. He dreams about cake, candy and dessert. In one week's time, he talked in his sleep twice about sweets. Once it was "Mommy, give me that candy!" and a day later "I want to have that milkshake!" He woke up this morning saying "I didn't finish my ice cream!" But neither Rob or I could remember him having ice cream for a couple weeks at least.
I told him he looked like Daddy in this outfit, and he was very proud. He dresses himself now (even though his brother doesn't...) and likes to do everything himself. In fact, if you try to do something for him, he will UNDO it, then REDO it himself! The other day Rob picked Max up and carried him from the bedroom to the bathroom, but Max wanted TO DO IT HIMSELF! So he flailed until Rob put him down, then ran back to the bedroom to start the path over and walk to the bathroom HIMSELF. I lifted him to his car seat this week, but that also prompted a do-over. After I put him in the car seat, he jumped to the ground to erase my movement, then said "I do it myself!" With quite a defiant look, he climbed into the seat himself. Oh. Wow.
A rare nap, after a day of playing VERY HARD.
While trying to be very grown up, Max still has some baby ways that we adore -- such as his use of L's for R's. "I'm going to show James my sclatch." (Scratch.) "I'm blushing my teeth!" (Brushing) Rob's favorite: "Look at that blidge (Bridge)." Or, "I'm going to play tlains!" (Trains!) We recently let him play his first computer game, so now he says: "I want to play pbskids dot KORG!
He still gets things mixed up in adorable ways. "I'm looking for a paterciller!" (caterpiller)
If you catch him at the right time, he's a major cuddler. We love that part.
While being a crazy, challenging kid, he can also have his quiet, focused moments, especially if art projects are involved. We are taking a class at the arts center, and he pays attention so well and is very serious about his art projects.
And he is a superhero. Daily. He is always flying in the sky, fighting bad guys, catching "roberts" (robbers), and shooting Spiderman webs at you. It's exhausting and challenging being the parent of a superhero, but he gives us many, many smiles. Happy Birthday Max!