On the other side of 3 is 4

It was 8:28am four years ago today that I saw my little boy for the first time. I didn’t get to hold him right away, but it wasn’t long before they sewed me up and brought him to me in the recovery room. It was such a surreal and amazing moment to hold him for the first time. This beautiful child I’d dreamed about for so long.

We’ve come a long way over the last four years. Even in the last six months, the changes in Brandon are overwhelming when I think about how he’s evolved. It’s a good kind of overwhelming. He makes me proud to be his mother.

You see, last August, we started the process of getting him assessed through First Words. I’ve been hesitant to mention it. We didn’t (and still don’t) know the extent of help Brandon needs. But he has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few months and I don’t have the same fears that kept me from being open about this period of our lives initially.

The changes I’ve seen in him make the celebration of Brandon’s birthday this year more poignant than the previous three years. 

He’s gone from wanting us to do everything for him to insisting on “helping” or doing things for himself. There are times it’s a fight to get him to let us do things that we know he can’t or shouldn’t do. (I draw the line at letting him cut his own bagels with the bread knife.)

This time last year, I was beating myself up for not having him potty trained. I didn’t know what to do to get him interested.But his interest grew in his own time. Today I can tell you that - except for naps at home on the weekend (because they’re longer than at daycare) - he’s in underwear full time and has been accident free for almost two weeks. This major achievement seems to have given him a newfound confidence in his abilities in many other areas as well. 

His vocabulary grows daily. There is no doubt in my mind that my child is very intelligent. Communication is the challenge. We’ll learn to do what is needed to help him. That’s a fact and a promise to him.

Some things haven’t changed.

Brandon continues to be an exceedingly stubborn child. As frustrating as this trait can be at times, I know that he will benefit from it later in life. Ideally, I’ll be able to train him to be selectively stubborn so that he doesn’t drive the people in his life crazy as an adult. Have I mentioned that he takes after his father in his stubbornness? With a dose of his mother tossed in. It’s a totally unfair genetic consequence we didn’t anticipate at all!

He is a truly affectionate child, freely bestowing hugs and kisses on us and always up for a cuddle.

His desire to have fun and be funny gives us constant amusement. He ASKS to be tickled! He likes to laugh that much.

The perfect pair for Brandon’s cake. :)He is a geek-in-training, with a keen interest in the iDevices that run rampant in our home. He’s also become a huge fan of Super Mario Galaxy 2, though I can’t convince him that the levels with Bowser are not actually fun. He thinks they are because HE’S not the one who has to try to win them. ;) One day, he’ll learn. For now, I’ve ordered him a cake that has Mario and Yoshi on it. I can’t wait to show it to him!

The past year has been so full that I decided he needs to be celebrated in a special way. So, he’s going to have his first-ever birthday party with friends this weekend. He’s very excited and when he sees the trampoline we’re going to set up this week, he’s going to be over the moon. (And that isn’t even a birthday present!)

We have another big year ahead of us with school starting in September and I’m looking forward to watching him grow, learn and discover all the new and interesting things he’ll get to explore. 

Happy Birthday to my sweet little man! May you always be enthusiastic in the things you love to do.