And there he is! Our first three year old. Chris and I always joke that, being the oldest, Ryan is our guinea pig. We try our best, but hopefully he can cut us some slack when he looks back and sees that I attempted to bake a dinosaur cake with my lackluster cake decorating skills. Fortunately, his reaction was a pleased one, and is there anything as sweet as a little child's wonder at the simplest (ugliest) things? 

I'm really excited for three. I've heard from friends that some kids get the terrible twos and some the terrible threes, and I think our terrible-no-good-bad-days have sailed. I first saw the tide changing this fall when Ryan was plucking all the petals off a rosebush in our front yard, and I told him to stop and why he should stop and then he ... stopped. Now of course, I know he is still a kid and still learning loads a day and there will be throwbacks to the tantrums of the twos, but ahhh it is so nice to be able to reason with him! 

Here are some fun tidbits about Ryan at freshly three years old:

Making: us realize that if a three year old wrote the script to Batman, it would go, "Batman! Baaatmaaan! Batman! Batmaaaan!"

Cooking: butter. He loves to rub the butter on the skillet if we are making pancakes or eggs, and don't think I can turn on the KitchenAid. That's his job. 

Drinking: Water. He is a water boy, although he is starting to like milk. 

Reading: Put Me in the Zoo is a favorite, and anything with animals or dinosaurs that we get from the library. He loved this Mo Willems book.

Wanting: to go to California. Today he listened to a voicemail from our favorite and San Diegoans, and he said, "Johnny! Mom, can I go play with him?" I was sad to tell him that California is so far away. He went on to say, "Johnny ... I love him because he is my uncle. And Ciaran ... I don't hit him because he is my uncle." I'm glad we are making progress in that department.

Looking: for nests in every tree we pass. 

Playing: "I Spy." He always asks, "Can we play I spy maybe?"

Saying: "And if you he puts a coin in, he can die on the cross?" A+ for our theology parenting! Thank goodness he will start going to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd next fall!

Wishing: we could have Chipotle every meal. 

Enjoying: that he can play chase with Conor now. Also loves playing "tackle" and "wrestle" with Chris. 

Waiting: for his tv show every day. 

Liking: running errands with Chris. 

Wondering: "Where are we going??" every time I tell him he needs to get dressed. 

Loving: babies. He loves praying for babies in bellies. I am so happy to tell him tomorrow when he wakes up that our sweet friends he has been praying for had their baby! 

Hoping: that when the sun comes out that means it's warm enough for the zoo to be open! Sorry, buddy.

Marveling: at the bath water running out of the tub. 

Needing: me to hold his hand while he falls asleep on the bunk bed, and I nurse Conor on the trundle. 

Smelling: all of Conor's diapers (from an acceptable distance!) 

Wearing: his superhero underwear. When he puts it on, he kind of sticks his hip out and puts his hand on his hip and closed-mouth smirks at you. What??

Following: our sweet neighbors around.

Noticing: anytime I'm eating. 

Knowing: that Dad can open a jar if I can't! I really need to work on my arm strength or at least get a jar grip thing. 

Remembering: anything and everything (same as last year)  

Repeating: see above. (same as last year, again).

Telling: me I'm beautiful allll the time. It's terribly sweet. I think it is a three year old thing because I remember Chris' brother Johnny doing the same to all of us girls the Christmas he was three.

Feeling: like he must light a candle at the Grotto "all by myself!" after each trip to the Basilica.

Opening: books. He always wants to read. Independent play, you're awesome. 

Waking: up before seven, but mostly staying in their room until the clock turns green.

Being: our boy.

We love you, Ryan Donald Harrington. Thanks for making us parents, and thanks for making us talk about you incessantly after you go to sleep.