22 Dec An Open Letter to My Thriving Three-Year-Old
I can’t believe that another round of 365 days has just passed and here I am writing my letter to you for your THIRD birthday. Yes, you’re three years old today and it only seemed like yesterday when I wrote my letter for your second birthday!
I feel like I’m chasing after the wind, trying to slow down your growth as much as I can. I know I can’t do that and I’m actually glad that I can’t. You know why? Because it has been a blast seeing you achieve one milestone after another. 🙂 Seeing you grow up before our eyes is like watching a light-hearted family movie—full of life, laughter, and lessons.
It’s amazing how fast you’ve grown physically. You can now grab the things that were previously beyond your reach. When I carry you, you occupy almost 3/4 of my body. You are athletic, too! You have your morning basketball routine (make that whole day because you always pick up your basketball when you get bored). You run too fast I can barely keep up with you! Your energy level doesn’t seem to go down even if it’s bedtime.
Funny how you would find excuses to do something before going to bed. 🙂 After our story time, we would pray, turn off the lights, and lie down. You will then say, “Want to read books!” I’m sure you know that reading is one of the things we encourage you to do. When this request is ignored you would say, “Want to read the Bible!” Now you’re taking the “who doesn’t want their kids to read the Bible?” tactic. Hahaha! Smart move right there, little one! Too bad, your requests fall into deaf ears when it’s time to sleep and you know by now that we can’t afford to stay up late. 🙂
Speaking of making excuses, I remember when you were sick we placed you on room arrest. You couldn’t play basketball. Despite knowing that, you still told me, “Want to go out… want to play basketball.” When I said no, you got your huge teddy bear, carried it to me, and said, “Teddy bear wants to play basketball!” Hahaha! You’re crazy! Poor bear, he didn’t know that he was being used as an accomplice! 🙂 Nice try, Timmy. We both know how that conversation ended, you had to put teddy bear back and we stayed in the room. 🙂
When you were a year old going on two, you were so fascinated with letters. So we bought you all sorts of letters—ref magnets, plastic letters, letter blocks, and flash cards. This year you became obsessed with numbers. You weren’t contented learning 1-10. You wanted 1-100. You love anything with numbers! You watch the top ten NBA highlights mainly because of the numbers. You watch Minute to Win It because there’s a lady that says, “The game begins in 3, 2, 1…” We bring number blocks when we leave the house because forming numbers keeps you busy. You just might end up being the mathematician our family never had! 🙂
You still love to read, Timmy. You get excited when you see books and we’re so ecstatic about it. 🙂 You love story time regardless if it’s in the morning, afternoon, or evening. You like it when I read to you. You have a book of the month, which means that we read the same book over and over again that month.
Some of your favourite books are “My First Book of Prayers,” “The Toddler’s Bible,” “Monster Trucks,” “Curious George’s Pat-A-Cake,” “First Steps in Faith,” “Just Like Daddy,” “Llama, Llama Red Pajama,” “My First Easter,” “My First Christmas,” “Mole in a Hole,” and “How Do I Kiss You?”
At some point, I thought you already knew how to read! One time, you started reading “Monster trucks are so big and so strong, they jump over cars and they race along!” You were at the right page, pointing at the correct words and reading them! Then I asked you to read the next page, you did the same thing but I noticed that you were looking at the pictures.
It dawned on me that you memorized the words! Hahaha! The reason why you were asking me to read the same books over and over again is for you to memorize what it’s all about! Soon you will learn how to read, sweetheart. We’ll get there. 🙂 You already know phonics and soon you will learn to combine them and read words!
You have shown signs of your childlike faith, Timmy. We were so touched and blessed to hear you say, “Let’s pray, let’s pray” when you were not feeling well. When you woke up from a bad dream crying, the first thing you said was, “Read the Bible.” Somehow, you knew in your heart that you have a big God who can remove the “ouchie” and bad dreams away. Your faith blows up my faith. 🙂 Through you I am reminded that God is my stronghold and that He will also take my “ouchie” and worries away. 🙂
And yes, Timmy, you have a God who loves you. He gave His life for you, He will guide you all the days of your life, and He will never leave you. When you see the cross you say, “Kawawa Jesus.” And then I will say, “He’s not kawawa anymore because…” You will then shout, “JESUS LIVES FOREVER!!!” 🙂 You may have a small heart but it is full of big faith. 🙂
One of the highlights of your year was the discipline stage. We’re still at it but it has been months since we last spanked you. We realized that discipline is vital to the proper upbringing of a child. There were times when it was so hard to spank you but if we didn’t do it, you will not learn to stop shouting back, hitting the table, and stomping your feet.
We do not tolerate disrespect and disobedience in our house, you know that. It may have been painful to see you cry when you got spanked but when we saw you stop those bad habits we wouldn’t have it any other way. We praise and thank God for helping you understand that we do it out of love. 🙂
We also had to teach you how to say sorry. We didn’t realize that this will be difficult to do! You easily grasp the concepts and have since then used the words thank you, please, and excuse me. But sorry is a different story. You would cry, hug us, bury your face on our chests, look elsewhere—anything, except say sorry. I realize how innate pride is that even a seemingly innocent baby knows how difficult it is to admit that he’s wrong.
There was one time when after spanking, we hugged and your daddy asked you to say sorry to me. You wouldn’t budge. So we prayed. Then we explained and tried again. It took us 30 minutes, Timmy. Half an hour and three prayers before you said sorry for the first time. It became easier since then. Now, you know how to say sorry and just the other day when I responded, “It’s okay” you even reminded me to tell you, “I forgive you.” 🙂
I’m also amazed at how you are able to communicate in sentences now. You can express what you like and what you don’t like. You say, “I love it!” and “Timmy’s such a happy boy!” when you’re doing something you love. You are so good at imitating us that we need to be extra careful with what we say. You learn Filipino by just listening to our conversations. One time when we out of the house you said, “Ang init sa labas!” On our way home yesterday, you said, “Ang cute ng yellow parrot.”
You are good at relating the meaning of words and putting them together. We are happy that you are not having a hard time learning both Filipino and English. 🙂 You know all the names of our family members (first and last name), too! You have a good grasp of basic concepts like shapes, colors, opposites, letters, and numbers. 🙂 You also know the days of the week and months of the year. I praise and thank God that you are a natural learner and you love discovering new things. 🙂
You love the NBA. I am just floored that you know the names of the teams based on their logos. One time I heard you say 76ers while watching a game. And you were right! The Philadelphia 76ers were playing! Sometimes while eating you would say, “Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat on NBA Premium TV.” Hilarious! Hahaha!
Of course you know the Miami Heat’s big three, their jersey numbers, and their trademark game-on faces. You know who the Heat’s coach is. When we have a game, you cheer, “Let’s go heat! Let’s go heat!” You joined us when we watched Lebron James at SMX and you could clearly recount what happened. 🙂 You actually prefer to watch NBA than Disney Junior. But when you watch Disney Junior, you only want Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Hi5. You love singing their songs!
You are tech-savvy. You know how to use our gadgets and have learned it with ease. We try to balance your use of gadgets with your other activities. The things you use everyday are balls, cars, books, toys and gadgets. I believe that gadgets are not bad as long as the parents control its usage.
I’m happy that you don’t complain when we get the gadgets from you and give you something else to do. You borrow politely when you want to use them. Someday, you will have your own when you are old and responsible enough to take care of it. 🙂
You are the sweetest baby, Timmy. You give us random hugs and playful bites using your lips! It’s very ticklish! You always do that to me when we’re eating and when I’m lying down. 🙂 You say, “Hi, mommy!” repeatedly as if you’re seeing me for the first time after a long while. You say, “I love you” and “I miss you” out of the blue in a voice that can melt any parent’s heart. 🙂 You are very vocal in saying, “want to join mommy” when you want to be with me.
You pray for almost every person in our family before we go to bed. You have some favorite relatives whom you pray for more frequently than others. 🙂 You make sure that you make us laugh every single day with your crazy antics, imitations, and one-liners! When you want daddy to stop smothering you with kisses you would say, “Daddy will work.” Haha! You also love tickle time and you keep asking for more! You are one amazing, joyful child who laughs at the smallest things and expresses love in the simplest yet sweetest possible way.
I can really say that you are a thriving three-year-old. 🙂 I’m sure you will learn more things this coming year and we are excited to be with you on this journey. 🙂 We are so privileged and blessed to be your parents. You are God’s grace and love personified. Someday you will read all my letters and see God’s faithfulness in your life. 🙂
Oh, I forgot to tell you, you’ve been really healthy this year! You only had two bouts with asthma compared to four last year. 🙂 Praise God! I love you so much, sweetheart! You inspire us to be better people so we can become better parents to you. 🙂
Happy birthday! Thank you for bringing us so much joy, for making us feel like the most important people in the world, and for showing us how great our God is. 🙂 I pray that you will enjoy being a child and experience God’s goodness in every stage of your life. May He continue to mold your character and make you the kind of man He wants you to be. We love you, Timmy! We will always be here for you. Happy 3rd birthday! 🙂