I've always felt that three is the most challenging toddler age for a parent to endure. Garrett did very little during the past year to sway my opinion. In fact, he did a lot of things that helped enforce it. It was the year he demonstrated a keen interest in dumping liquids. He dumped out everything from brand new jumbo bottles of bubbles to car wash soap, and he even spilled gasoline onto our garage floor a number of times. It was also the year he developed an uncanny ability to disappear in crowded, public places (We have initiated "Code:Adam" twice at Wal-Mart on his behalf). I'll spare you the details of his breaking and entering at neighbors homes to jump on their trampolines or hang out in their camp trailers. I'm relieved that cops have only been contacted once to return him home after he hopped on his tricycle and rode six blocks away, crossing 4-way intersections and everything. Yikes!
Needless to say, Garrett is quite spirited and fiercely independent. However, the very qualities that can exhaust even the most energetic of caretakers also happen to be the qualities that are most charming and endearing. He is clever, self-motivated, and very passionate. He makes me laugh-- a lot. He says and does the cutest things and he has a generous heart with a great capacity to love. He also gives me great material for interesting conversation. So, while three may be one of the most challenging ages, it is also one of the most fascinating and exciting ages, too. Our lives would be so boring without our Gare-Bear. Happy fourth birthday, little buddy!
Garrett's Birthday Meals of Choice
Each child gets to choose what they would like to have for breakfast on their birthday. Garrett requested french toast (using homemade bread), and of course, we had to add some candles for him to blow out. He loves to blow out candles.
As for dinner, Garrett selected the fine establishment of McDonald's for his meal. I think he was going for someplace that had a playground. Ambiance is key, people!
Garrett's Angry Birds Party
Free printables used on invitations and decorations found here.
Balloon printables found here.
Cupcake idea found here.
Up until that point, no one had signed Garrett's cast, so we made that a part of the birthday festivities as well. Ella insisted that some one write on her bandage, too, so Dad signed it.
Gifts were generously given, and Garrett accepted them in a comical way, as only he could. He showed off his new items and sang his own "theme-type" music which added a little flare of pomp and circumstance, then he chucked them behind his chair to move on to the next gift. He seemed most excited about the snow cone flavored syrup (that went with his new snow cone machine). We later learned that he thought they were sodas when he opened one and began to chug its contents. If I only knew I could completely satisfy my child with a simple gift of soda pop!
After he opened his gifts and we watched his year-in-review video, it was time for cupcakes and candles. I wonder what he wished for as he blew out the candles, or if he made a wish at all. If it were me, I'd wish for another year just as jam-packed with exciting memories as the last (but with a little less of Garrett running off on his own)!
Happy Birthday, Garrett!