So three years ago, James looked like this:
Last month, when he turned three, he looked like this:
(we cut his hair last week and the curls are gone. Sob. And then the teachers at preschool made a big deal about how good it looked because "Now he looks like a boy," which makes me want to grow it out until it's to his waist. But his hair was a little too egregiously in his eyes and I don't need any of my children to be Cousin It)
What can I say about a three-year-old James? He loves baby dolls and stuffed animals, trains, cars and legos. He's fascinated by the alphabet and trying to count to twenty.
I am coming to the conclusion more and more that I gave birth to my father. James is gentle and considerate - he apologizes if he accidentally hurts someone and solicitously asks if we're okay if we cry out in pain. He's fastidious - he asks for a wipe if his hands get dirty and I suspect he mastered using eating utensils as early as he did because they're neater. He's neat - he will often clean up toys he scatters or things he spills without prompting. He's mild-mannered - even though he has an enviable attention span which makes it hard to redirect him away from things we don't want him to have, he'll sulk for a little while instead of throwing a full-blown tantrum when denied things. Even when he does tantrum, he calms quickly and easily.
Of course, these traits are all for relative values of being three. Does he throw tantrums, make yogurt art, happily strew toys hither and yon and refuse to share? Of course he does. He's three. He just does those things so much less than our previous three-year-olds.
All in all, it adds up to a pretty stinkin' cute kid. I think we'll keep him around for another year.