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Happy Birthday to Jack (or, OMG...My Baby is THREE!?!?!)

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to Jack (or, OMG...My Baby is THREE!?!?!)

Jack is three years old today.

When Jack's first birthday rolled around, I found myself feeling a little weepy for the entire week leading up to the big day.  I could not believe that my baby was turning a whole year old.  Where did the time go?  How did he go from this...

To this... just 365 measly little days (the second picture was taken on his first birthday, which also coincided with his first ear infection and first trip to the doctor for something other than a Well Baby Visit...and you can see my sad attempt at giving him Tylenol all over his shirt).

As two rolled around, I felt a little emotional...but I contribute this to pregnancy hormones (I was a few weeks pregnant for his second birthday).  We kept saying that he was no longer a baby, but when I look back at this picture from his second birthday, he sure looks like a baby to me!

And that brings us to the Big Three.

In the days leading up to this birthday, I haven't felt the same "my baby is no longer a baby" sadness that I felt the last two years, mostly because there is no doubt in my mind that Jack is no longer a baby.  He's a kid.  A little kid, but a bona fide "kid" nonetheless.  No more baby boy for me.

The weeks leading up to Jack's birthday have also brought about another "never say never" experience - you know, one of those things you will never do, yet here you are...doing it.

A few months ago, when Claire was just a wee three weeks old, we took Jack to Chuck E. Cheese's for the first time.  While we were there, some kid was having a birthday party in the party area (right next to our booth).  It was loud.  Chuck E.'s mouse costume looked dirty and Jack yelled "I don't want to see the mouse!!" when he made an appearance at the party.  There were lots of kids running around.  It was impersonal.  The "live show" was...dare I say it...cheesy.

I said (out loud and in front of three adult witnesses), "We will NEVER have a party here."

Go ahead and start laughing now.

In my head, we would have a train party or an airplane party or an ANYTHING-OTHER-THAN-CHUCK-E-CHEESE-PARTY.  I would bust out handmade invitations.  My mom would make the cake.  I would thoughtfully put together age-appropriate games centered around the party's theme and hand out the kind of party favors parents actually *want* to take home.  Jack and Claire would wear matching outfits.  This would all take place in our new home.  It would be perfect!

But then November came around.  The first week passed.  The second week passed.  I suddenly realized I hadn't picked out a party theme or date, let alone started on my handmade invitations.

So we decided to maybe think about having the party elsewhere.

I started calling around.  Gymboree, Little Gym, the airplane museum, the local bounce house place.  It appears that, umm, you need to book these kinds of parties more than a few weeks in advance (lesson learned).  Also?  It appears that these kinds of location parties are expensive.  And you have to bring your own food.

Charles suggested, more than once, Chuck E. Cheese.  I said no.  Then, after being told by the third party location I called that nothing was available until January unless I wanted to schedule my party for 9:00 (AM or PM), I just went to the damn Chuck E. Cheese website and took a gander.

Food for all the kids?  Chuck E. Cheese e-vites?  Party favor bags and balloons and tokens for all the kids?  And (best part) no clean-up afterwards?


I booked it.

I won't lie - I'm feeling a little guilty and lame about the whole thing.  But I'm also feeling relief (and really, this isn't really about me, even though I have somehow turned this blog post into a story about me and my party-planning-failure - it's about Jack and he really likes Chuck E. Cheese's).

And I can spend all my non-party-planning-and-preparing time thinking about how I can't believe it was three years right now that I was in the hospital pushing out a kid.

Specifically, this kid:

My three year old.

My bright, vibrant and insightful little boy who I give thanks for every day.  The boy who substitutes the "L" sound with the "Y" sound and says, "Can I please have a bowl of Yucky Charms?" The boy who loves trains, cement trucks, trash trucks and pretty much anything with wheels.  The boy who today came up and kissed my hand and said "There, Mom, that's so you can feel better" after hearing me complain that I was sick.  The boy that now calls me "MOM" more than he calls me "Mommy" or "Mama" (when did that happen??).

I am so proud of him.

Happy Birthday little man!

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At December 6, 2011 at 5:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that he calls them yucky charms!
Happy Belated birthday to Jack by the way!

At December 7, 2011 at 10:11 AM , Blogger Carrie said...

Hehe, I always think, "what??" before I realize what he is asking for.


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