As we celebrated Garrett’s 3rd birthday this weekend, I thought back over how he’s grown up during the past 12 months. He has transformed from a babbling, drooling, ball of energy to a very talkative, semi-drooling, ball of energy! Garrett has made lots of friends, learned lots of new words, and is always ready for the next experience. It truly has been fascinating watching Garrett and Justin grow up. Two boys from the same parents with such different personalities and interests. As I look back over the last year, I’ve learned a lot about Garrett. Here are the top five things that I’ve discovered about him:
- He is the “Outdoor Kid” and his brother is the “Indoor Kid.” I can’t get Justin to come out of the house and I can’t get Garrett to come back inside. If it wasn’t for the fence surrounding our house, he would have left home months ago in search of adventure. With his “Lightning Queen” car charged, his playhouse nearby, and my grill ready at a moment’s notice – he could happily be outside for hours upon hours. We even had a couple of evenings when he didn’t want to come in so we laid out some blankets and watched the stars and moon go by. Garrett has no fear of being outside or encountering any wildlife. I’ve seen him yell at the squirrels who try to steal the bird food and I’ve watched as he’s chased after the rabbits when they cross the yard.
- He is very particular about who does something for him. Much like his mother, Garrett wants to “direct” the action around him. He is very specific about who he wants doing certain things. It’s not uncommon to hear him say, “No, I don’t want you to do that!” or “I don’t want to get into your car. I want to get into mommy’s car.” Garrett will even direct the changing of his own diaper. “Be GENTLE!!” he’ll yell. Or, “I want the butt cream.” He’s even been specific about the type of diaper he wears. “No, daddy. I don’t want that one. I want the night time diaper!!” Once he learns to negotiate, we’re screwed.
- He has one obsession: Garages! Some children like playing with cars and trains. Some like boats and airplanes. My son loves garages! Whenever the garage door opener is in my car, he wants to play with it and watch the door go up and down and up and down. Whenever he visits “GrandmaBob,” he has to play with theirs as well. Garrett has even instructed our neighbors to open and close their garages when he sees them. Much like his Grandpa Bob and his obsession with stereo equipment, Garrett will begin to discuss the pros and cons of garages and garage doors going up and down with friends and strangers alike….even if the conversation has nothing to do with garages. Because it’s important to him, he’ll make sure it’s important to you!
- He has A LOT of energy (and a “streak” of exhibitionism.) On Saturday night, after a full day of playing, running around, celebrating his birthday, eating cake, climbing all over the Tumblebees Bus, bouncing like a maniac in a bounce house, taking a bath, and eating dinner….he still had enough energy to vigorously bounce up and down on his new trampoline WAY after his older brother had passed out on the sofa. THAT’S a lot of energy. And…most people mellow out after a nice long bath, but not my son. You know his bath is about to begin (and/or just ended) when you hear “NAKED BABYYYYYY” just seconds before a butt-naked toddler zips by laughing hysterically.
- Garrett is a great kid. Yes, every parent thinks their kid is great. The problem is, they’re wrong….and my kid really is great. Over the past year we’ve had to deal with new issues that never arose with Justin. There have been moments of frustration, aggravation, and serious consideration of either (or both) parents running away from home. But given a little time and some perspective, we’ve come to the conclusion that Garrett was simply going through some growing phases that just needed a little more patience. He is a happy, well-adjusted, fun, energetic, and sweet little boy. Garrett is empathetic, inquisitive, and sometimes just wants to be silly. I wouldn’t change a thing about him.
While the list of things I’ve learned about Garrett this year far extends past these five items, these are the things I thought were the most important. No one needs to know that because of Garrett I’ve learned how to speed to an emergency room, catch vomit mid-air, or verbally address mediocre daycare providers in such a way that makes them want to rethink their professional choices. I’ve also learned from Garrett that garages come in all shapes and sizes, that he loves running into Justin’s room just to piss Justin off (and to play with his stereo,) and that Garrett is at the perfect height to kick me right in the “Huevos de Padre” whenever I hold him.
All in all, it’s been a pretty good year! Happy Birthday, Monkey!!