Today Leo turned three and I think (I hope) his birthday was all he dreamed it would be. We wanted to make the day special - but not too over the top. We wanted him to feel like it is his special day, while reminding him that it is also a special day for everyone that loves him.
(jb did this by telling him that, in a way, it is everyone's birthday because so many of us remember his birth and meeting him for the first time. This resulted in him wishing a happy birthday right back to everyone who wished him a happy birthday.)
Then he got some time to play with dad before lunch. For lunch he requested a hotdog, so we obliged with the stipulation that he start with a bowl of broccoli. After lunch, jb went into work and we had story time. We've had a bit of a sleep deficit around here, so he needed the rest and a friend recently passed along a large bag of books to us, so we were all set for an epic story time.
After napping for a couple hours, he requested a trip to the playground - so off we went. We serendipitously ran into several friends and Leo had a great time.
Soon dinner time rolled around and jb met up with us to go to Leo's current favorite restaurant, Manakeesh. We ate flatbreads and drank lemonade and just as we were going to wrap it up we surprised him with a mini-cupcake and candle and another round of birthday songs and wishes - interestingly, he wished for a cupcake.
Finally, we walked home and got ready for bed and he fell asleep pretty darn happy.
Throughout the day he kept saying he was having a really great birthday - which was really nice to hear, and I believed him. We also received several calls from family to wish him a happy birthday - this is where the "It's a special day for all of us" lesson was repeated. He doesn't have a ton of patience for phone calls to begin with, multiply that by eight and add the distraction of balloons, and, well, it can devolve quickly. But he did pretty well thanking people for their calls and telling them about his day.
I know kids get harder to impress as they get older, but man, today was perfect. His excitement and happiness were perfect. We managed to get through the day with minimal overwhelmed-ness and no meltdowns, so I hope that sets the tone for the year.
Leo says his favorite part of the day was the cake - for me, I think it was his birthday interview. The video isn't perfect (almost 15 minutes long and features a cameo of Zoe screaming) but I'm hoping to post it, and perhaps a transcript, soon.