For the past week Oliver has been wondering if everything we do and every place we go is for his birthday. But after a week of the answer being, “Not yet,” he gave up and didn’t care any more. He was also really sure up until today that he was turning 3. But when someone asked him at church today how old he was, he said, “Kind of two.” And then tonight the answer was, unhesitatingly, “Five.” By the end of the night he had it down, though. He’s 3. Solidly, unquestioningly 3.
And all that being 3 brings, for better or worse.
We are slightly unused to having a child whose mind is more changeable than, say, Simon’s is. We’ve been asking Oliver what kind of birthday cake he wanted for a few weeks, and initially the answer was a green airplane cake, inspired by last year’s masterpiece. Then he wanted something with food coloring and cherries. And, finally, a snowman cake with pink frosting. Some of us still have a little bit of hesitation with boys and pink, and so we gave Oliver as many chances as we could to rethink that choice, but he did stand firm in that decision. Micah was able to work out a solution, however. We did frost the snowman cake in strawberry cream cheese frosting, but then we covered it in coconut so it would look more like a real snowman. Brilliant, no?
If we’d been paying a bit closer attention, we may not have given him too much say in the cake at all and gone with a general theme of “bugs” and modeled the cake after that. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until he was dead set on the pink snowman that we realized we were giving him a hexbug and Simon was giving him a Cootie game. It all worked out in the end anyway. Oliver liked the cake, and the hexbug, and the Cootie game, and didn’t mind in the least that we didn’t exactly have a theme for his party. He successfully turned 3. (Although the transformation has been coming for several weeks now, as evidenced by the discovery of his whiny voice.)
I just hope he keeps asking if every trip to the grocery store, or library, or playground is for his birthday. It’s more fun if you can stretch it out as long as possible. And make everything a celebration. Oliver is good at that.