I can't say that this is exactly one of those "oh my gosh time sure has flown I can't believe my babies are that old omg!!!!!11!!!" kind of posts.
Honestly? It feels like Caden and Brooklyn have been two-years old for approximately FOREVER. Seriously, this past year has been LONG. I'm mostly surprised that they aren't three yet. In the past few months, I've often found myself thinking of them as three years old. So the fact that we are just getting here? Feels kind of strange.
Part of that is the addition of baby brother almost exactly a year ago. The year has been long with meeting and caring for another little person's needs. The nursing and the changing and the additional sleep deprivation.
But the bigger thing is that they themselves just seem so old. They're usually pretty mature. Oh, don't get me wrong. They have their moments. We have our fair share of tantrums and stubborn streaks and lack of listening around here. But for the most part? They're good little kids. They are so very verbal, and certainly not shy. It's usually a race (or a tie) to see which of them answers first when their teachers at school or gymnastics ask a question. They chitter-chatter nonstop and will usually answer a question asked directly to them, whether from an adult or another kid. They're better at sharing and taking turns than most kids their age, simply because they've never known any different. And they just plain old act older. More often than not I find them interacting with the 3, 4, or 5 year olds at the playground or on playdates, instead of their fellow 2-year olds. Just last week at the park, Brooklyn and another little girl were chatting away, having a full-blown conversation, struck up by Brooklyn herself, and I was surprised when her new friend said she was five years old.
They're so physically able as well. They - Caden especially - don't shy away from the big kid equipment at the park, and tackle most of the challenges sent their way at gymnastics. They've always been a bit on the early side as far as physical movement is concerned, crawling, walking, climbing, etc., and that trend has continued.
They're both smart. They pick up new concepts and memorize things at lightning speed. More than one of their teachers has commented on how early they were able to recognize all of their letters, and shapes, and colors. They have (or, ahem, can have) ridiculously long attention spans for their age, and will think nothing about sitting through the reading of an entire stack of books.
And most of the baby stuff has completely disappeared. Where many of their playmates are still in cribs, they've been in toddler beds for over a year. The pacifiers are long gone. They've been out of diapers for half a year or more.
Between our year of #threeunderthree (so long, hashtag), and their relative maturity, they seem so much older to me than just now turning three.
But here it is, a third birthday. Times two. A double third birthday celebration. And then again, can it be that it was only three short years ago that these two little babies made us parents? Just three years ago that I was relieved of the 10 1/2 pounds of baby all squirreled up inside of me? Three years ago that our lives were so drastically altered?
Three-year old Caden loves trucks and tractors. He enjoys play-doh, coloring, and painting, and more often than not is drawing a "road". His answer to, "what should we do?" is usually, "I know! Let's build a choo-choo track!" He is my often serious, sometimes mischievous, rule-following little helper, and the most polite toddler you ever did see. "Oh thank you mommy, thank you! thank you for helpin' me!" He loves to talk and make observations. He has a wild streak - still waiting for that healthy dose of fear to kick in - and is a champion balance bike rider. He also adores books (Berenstain Bears are a particular favorite) and the show Super Why.
And three-year old Brooklyn. She can be a little chatterbox. Whenever we go somewhere, to school or a friend's house, she immediately finds a baby or a stuffed animal to care for until it's time for us to leave. She is a little mommy to Nolan, too, helping to give him a drink of water or more food and can even "baby-sit" him for awhile, playing games and making him laugh, until her attention wanders to other things. She has a joyful, silly, spirited streak, and enjoys play-doh, coloring, and painting. She loves to sing songs (it's amazing how many she has memorized) and to read books. And with their recent gymnastics classes, she is a near-professional somersaulter.
Together, these two are absolutely, positively BFFs. If one wakes up before the other, the second one wanders around their bedroom once they get up, wondering "where's Brooklyn?" or "where's Caden?". They play pretend and sing their favorite Frozen songs together all the live-long day. "I'm Elsa - chase me!" "Come back Elsa!" *epic run around the house ensues* "Now I'm Elsa!" *repeats all day long* They adore their baby brother and quite literally tackle him with hugs, and suffocate him with kisses. They love to cheer him on whenever he does something new: "he's standing! He's walking! He said 'book'!"...even though some of these things he's been doing for awhile now. And they share and take turns and help each other - often preferring each other's help instead Tyson's or mine - all day long.
Happy Birthday, you two big three-year olds! It's about time...