Not Bad, for a Third Year

I knew I wouldn't be able to post the annual "Jaxon is a year older" post anywhere NEAR his birthday because I have a tendency to be overwhelmed by a pile of unfolded laundry. I also was waiting to be able to post the family photos we had taken on Easter. Still working on it.

But enough of the excuses.

Let me start by saying, he is ME through and through. Every day he proves it in new ways.
And I don't just mean because he loves pickles, lemons, punk rock and the Kratt brothers. I mean, he reacts the EXACT way I do when I see a cute animal, he is unfazed by peer pressure, he loves broccoli, old bay and sushi [obviously not together], he already has a witty sense of humor and shines when he's able to do things on his terms. Those are just things on the most basic of levels. There are mannerisms, looks in his eye, facial movements and attitude changes that are more than just learned. He is 100% my child.

Don't get me wrong, he is also 100% his father. But we'll save that for another time, for Daddy's sake ;)

I want to tell you a little more about this amazing, challenging, genius child of mine.
Jaxon knows all his colors, all his letters and can count to 20 with his dad. He knows different ways to tell you his food tastes good, what his plans are and exactly what he wants to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and what his favorite foods are from his favorite restaurants [Montezuma's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Saga and Dawg House]. He can completely dress himself, from socks and shoes to hat and sunglasses. He can quote and sing along to every catchy tune from Blue's Clues, Zaboomafoo, Veggie Tales and Octonauts. His favorite movies are The Iron Giant, Finding Dory, Zootopia, Cars and The Lion King. His imagination is unlimited and he loves to pretend to talk on the phone with his grandparents, his friends [Dylan and Rachel] and his cousins. He also loves to grab one of his lunch boxes [he calls them backpacks] and his toy keys and tell me he's off to either work or "AwMart" for juice and chicken and daipers. He loves telling me which way to turn when I'm driving [already the BIGGEST, most literal backseat driver to ever exist]. He absolutely LOVES to boss people around [he's still working on grasping the concept of consent and being polite when it comes to making friends ha] though he hates being told what to do himself [I'm sure we don't all know anyone like that...].

He also loves his baby brother and is becoming possibly the best big brother in the whole world. He tells me when baby is crying [just in case Roran's shrill screeches don't alert me] and will give him the nearest toy to try to soothe him, even if it's his own toy. I can't claim that he ALWAYS shares, but he does most of the time. He loves playing peek-a-boo, giving him his snacks and making funny faces at him to make him laugh. He asks me every time we pack up to leave somewhere if baby is coming too, to make sure we don't forget him, and tells me "baby's okay/sleeping" when I ask for his help when I'm driving if I can't see him through the mirrors. And when I ask him if baby Roran is his friend, he always says, "YEAH!"

Just because I've mentioned all the ways this kid blows my mind, certainly doesn't mean he is some superhuman cyborg child from an alternate timeline that never does anything wrong or never throws a fit. Just in case you were beginning to believe that. I gotta clear that up too, I guess.
He DEFINITELY throws fits. Loud fits. Painful fits. Angry, demonic fits. Unavoidable fits.

Ironically, he also hates when I remind him to stop and take a breath, even though he tells me to EVERY time he thinks I'm getting frustrated [I mean, he's usually spot on, but still...having a 3 year old tell you to chill is something I'm still working on reacting to properly].

Which brings me to a side note. ANY adult that you hear say "I would never let my kid throw a fit like that" or "they must be crappy parents if they can't control their kids" is either SINGLE, does NOT have children, FORGETS what raising a young child is like, or is flat out LYING. Because let's just make this very clear, once and for all...
EVERY child throws fits [some more/less than others, depending on the day]. EVERY child is learning what emotions and urges are all about. It DOES NOT MATTER what approach you take, your child WILL throw a fit in a public place, out of nowhere, at the most inappropriate time in the most inappropriate way and there is absolutely NO WAY to avoid it. 
The ONLY "secret" to raising a human is this: YOUR CHILDREN WILL LEARN BY YOUR EXAMPLE.
Spanking them, threatening them, intimidating them, out screaming them, WILL NOT teach them anything EXCEPT how to hit, threaten and intimidate others. If you want quiet, reasonable, polite and patient children, YOU must FIRST show them how quiet, reasonable, polite and patient YOU are.
And let me make you another promise.
It will show you just how loud, demanding, rude and impatient you didn't even know you were.
There is no such thing as "winning" at parenting. It is a learning and growing experience for you just as much as it is for them. You will fail but you will also learn how strong, smart and resilient you can be. And so will they. That is what makes parenting worth every insane, exhausting, tear inducing second.

Now back to my real point.

Jaxon is my favorite 3 year old in the entire universe. He makes every tear I've ever shed, every painful heartache I've ever felt, every beautiful and every ugly sight I've ever seen and every failure I've ever learned from worth it. He is my shining star and calming focus. He is my reminder that everything alive has a purpose, including me. He is my superhero and I still believe that I never truly existed before him. Raising him and being alive knowing him is like meeting my true and complete self for the first time, every day. I am aware how strange, exaggerated and borderline obsessed I sound, but I cannot make you understand any further just how much he has saved my broken, dark, anxiety riddled life and continues to make it bright, satisfying and whole.
Goodbye, Terrible Terrific-Two's.
Hello, Terrifying-but-even-more-Terrific-Three's.