I'll try to spare you all the cliches of parenting as my child gets a year older. All the "where did the time go?", and the "how did it happen so fast!", etc. You know them all. But as they say, sometimes cliches are cliches because they are true. Suffice it to say that our Little Guy (aka, the Baby) is four today.
Despite the fact that we've talked about it for weeks, and tucked him in bed last night with "goodnight for the last time as a three-year-old" kisses, he didn't remember that this morning was his birthday. So when he stumbled out of his room all groggy and bleary-eyed he did not notice that I hadn't managed to get around to decorating and wrapping presents last night. Ahem. That's the price of being second-baby. Parents are not so on top of their game as with those first-born little emperors. But one of the best things about little kids is that their limited life experience means that they don't always know what they're missing. And so I was able to sneak downstairs and quickly wrap a few gifts, while Hubs pinned up some bunting. And then SURPRISE we were able to reveal to him that it was, in fact, his birthday! He looked bewildered and then delighted. As though despite all this talk of the coming birthday he hadn't realized that one day it would actually BE his birthday. We try not to go crazy with the gifts, as it can get out of hand, pretty fast these days. But you can see why people do spoil their kids because its pretty darn rewarding to watch them open a gift that they really wanted.
This is not a great picture (bad lighting, should know better than to put him in the seat with the window right behind him. duh) but the look on his face and his joy with that little rabbit toy is so perfect. "I have always wanted this!" he cried when he pulled him out of the bag.
Sidebar: Here's my honest parenting moment. I would like to say that I just chuckled about this sort of mishap due to overzealous toddler help, but I was not pleased. Though I am glad to say that aside from an audible sigh, I kept all the frustration inside. In my head I was all like "Seriously! Didn't I just tell you NOT to try and carry them to the fridge by yourself! ARGH!" But luckily the other part of my brain said "DO NOT freak out about this. Its his birthday. Don't ruin it. They are just cupcakes, and you are making them for him anyhow, and he doesn't care at all if they are smushed so long as they still have lots of icing and a liberal amount of self-applied sprinkles." And luckily, I had another 8 cupcakes, perfectly iced and ready to go in a second container that he didn't get his helpful little hands on, so there was no need to freak out.
Another fun thing on your birthday is getting phone calls from relatives that live too far away to visit. So cool, to hold the phone yourself and talk about the things that are important to you. (such as the new bunny toy. Cupcakes. Sprinkles. etc)