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My oldest turns 3!

Between my "little" Cole turning 3 this week and the birth of the royal baby, there's been a lot of chances lately to reflect on what it was like to be a new parent. One of my favorite activities with Cole at the computer has been showing him old photos.

"What's that?" is his usual inquiry.

"That's me helping give you your first bath in the hospital."

"I'm crying."

"Yes, you weren't very happy when you first came out of mama. When we brought you home we were really happy, but you used to cry until mommy or daddy would come hold you in the chair in your room."

Cole laughs. This is both ridiculous and he doesn't remember. Yet, here's a photo of him quite obviously covered in yogurt so it must have happened.

I still remember stopping at Starbucks and getting Kelly a tea before her labor started. La la la. What are you doing today? Oh, nothing much, just having a baby.

After he was born, they'd bring him in the room from the nursery and we didn't really know what to do with him. I mean, other than eat and poop and cry, babies are sooooo boring. It's so hard to tell what's them and what's just filler that will eventually go away. It's like tasting something that's been in your freezer for months and tastes vaguely of other stuff in your freezer. The bagels taste like beef and the beef tastes like ice cream. And you just wish you had something that tasted like it actually tastes.

Well, the nice thing about a 3 year old is they are entirely themselves. 100%. 24 hours a day. (What a 3 year old tastes like, I can't say.) I could not, at this point, ask Cole to be anybody other than who he is. Which is refreshing and awesome and also makes you feel less guilty for all those times you quietly said you can't wait to get beyond babyhood because you want to be able to interact with your child.

Interact you will. Nonstop. It's a little input-output machine where you give it more information and it spits something back out at you. Sometimes cute, sometimes funny, sometimes annoying, always amazing.

Cole fell over the weekend at the splash pad and scraped his lip just under his nose. So it's been healing since Saturday afternoon into a nice scab...unfortunately, he decided to wrestle with me on the living room floor this morning and it was bleeding again. After the chaos of me trying to not have him bleeding all over, he eventually calmed down into a constant "kiss it!" where he demands that I kiss his nose to get it to feel better.

I dunno. Maybe I did ok with babies. I was always great with feeding them and could get them to sleep and look after their needs pretty well. But I wouldn't trade my older ones in to revisit those early days. The constant worry and inability to treat them like...people.

Probably my favorite thing about my son at the moment is that I can relate to him. We hang out. We chill. He wants me to explain machines to him and that rhinos have horns while hippos do not. He likes to wrestle me to the floor and go with me places and tuck him in and get him a snack. He's even learning to ask nicely and come find me when his sister is annoying him--instead of just slugging her.

We're having grandparents over for cake and presents this weekend and I'm really enjoying the way he's taking the birthday thing in this time around. He wants to open his gifts. He wants chocolate cake. He tries hard to remember that he's no longer two and to say "three!" when people ask.

In short, I'm having a blast and so proud of who Cole is growing up to be. Happy Birthday!