Happy 3rd birthday!

Yay! Today you turned 3 years old.

It was almost 11am, September 3rd 2007, when the doctor took you out of my big, fat belly. You didn’t cry as you were born and I couldn’t see you because a curtain blocked my view of what the doctor was doing to my abdomen; it was comforting to hear a couple of baby sounds from you. I was very much doped up on that wonderful anaesthesia and I hadn’t slept at all the night before because of the contractions. Still, I remember perfectly when they brought you to me and I saw you for the first time.

They had put a cute, white bonnet on your little head and wrapped you in a blanket. I couldn’t move because of all the machines I was hooked up to, so they put your head on my shoulder, right up close to my face. Your eyes were opened really wide and were a very deep black. All I could do was give you a bunch of soft, little kisses on the forehead. You looked calm but bewildered. You were perfect.

And where was your dad during all of this? In the hall, enduring what must have seemed like a never-ending wait, wondering if everything was okay. I can’t imagine how nervous he must have felt.

As a parent, I think I’m expected to tell this story on every single one of your birthdays. It might be better to write just the one post about your birth and then link to it every year… When you’re old enough, I’ll be able to tell you the gory details of it but don’t worry, they’re not really all that gory.

But today is your 3rd birthday. You’re definitely a niña mayot now.

Tradition dictates that the birthday kid must take a special snack to Kita. We asked you to choose between taking a cake and taking a fruit salad. Surprise, surprise; you chose the fruit! I can only hope that this healthy habit will last forever.

Chéri and I spent an hour washing, peeling, cutting, squeezing and mixing the different fruits the night before: bananas, nectarines, apples, pears, mirabelles, strawberries, kiwis, oranges and lemons. It’s a good thing that Abuelo likes to buy us ridiculously large tupperware. It was perfect for the occasion. Tradition also dictates that you all sing “Happy birthday to you” in English; how I found that out is a funny story.

Lovely cacophony

Your dad and I picked you up from Kita together this afternoon and brought you home to give you your present. Your very noisy and therefore very fun present: a musical set composed of a tambourine, a pair of maracas, a flute and a harmonica. Lovely cacophony. The rule is, if it’s dark outside, there will be no instrument playing of any kind. Our neighbours are going to love us…

After you had talked to Abuelo on Skype and Abuela on the phone, we went to the restaurant that you picked: “donde hablan como mamá”. It’s a favourite of ours, this Spanish tapas bar nearby.

You wanted olives and potatoes, so that’s what you got. Then a delicious chocolate mousse for first dessert. Yes, I said first dessert. You see, this morning you had asked your dad for crêpes and he loves you so much that he had prepared that for you. So, once we got home with our bellies full, you ate two crêpes au citron and had a glass of mango-orange juice!

This was not enough, though. You had gotten a present at Kita: a package, shaped like a mouse, and filled with candy. So you had some gummy bears!

The night before, I had promised to read you three bedtime stories if you behaved. Since you had pretty much behaved, I did as promised.

What an exciting day! You’re so grown up. Today we celebrated that it has been three years since we first got to hold you and kiss you. But we loved you long before that; don’t forget that you spent 9 months in my belly.

Feliz cumpleaños, mi chiquitina preciosa.

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