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Charlie turned three last week, and I am reeling that she’s already older than Vivi was when we moved to Boston. I wrote about Vivi turning three in this post. We marvel at all the ways Charlie is different from Vivi at her age. For starters, her gross motor skills are far superior; she has been swimming with coordinated arms and legs for nearly a year already, and she rarely trips and falls. Vivi was (and still is) falling on a daily or sometimes hourly basis, perhaps because she was taller for her age (100th percentile versus 80th). On the other hand, Vivi had already created 10 whole volumes of Vivisms (here’s volume 10 from her birthday week, and here are all of the Vivisms) by her third birthday and had us in stitches every day with her hilarious pronouncements. Like my dad always says, it’s amazing how each kid brings their own package into the world. It’s so true.
We celebrated Charlie’s birthday for the second year in a row (a tradition!) in DC while visiting old friends. She rode a train and a carousel and ate a coconut cupcake with coconut sorbet–she’s a coconut fiend! As always, we never could have predicted that a foam alphabet game from the $1 bin at Staples would be her favorite birthday gift, but I love that she’s still so easy to please.image

Dear Charlotte, 

You are a cuddly joy! You go along with almost anything we want to do, scrambling to keep up with your big sister and shouting “ME TOO!” Just as other parents told me would happen, you are introduced to all that life has to offer at a much faster and earlier pace than Vivi was. Movies, okay. Candy, why not? The big jungle gym, of course!  

I say you go along with what we want, but you are not without your opinions. Almost as soon as you’d drawn your best artwork to date today (a masterpiece of faces!), you decided the picture would look best covered in buttons and purple scribbles and had a near meltdown when I tried to intervene. I am in awe of your tenacity of spirit and at the same time your patience in dealing with a sister (and a mom, for that matter) who insists you follow her every direction and whim. 

Being a clumsy person myself, I am drawn to your grace and athleticism, knowing you will have more success in playing childhood sports than I did. And you’re still only three, a fact that we must constantly remind ourselves of, considering your maturity and capability. 

We are so happy to have you in our family of four!
Love, Mommy