Dear Grady,

Today is your birthday. You are four. We've had weeks and weeks of so-hot-you-want-to-melt weather and then today we had thunder and lightning and hail. I'm trying not to see it as an omen. Three had its difficult moments. People warned us about the "terrible twos" but I don't think those people had ever met a three-year-old. I love you dearly but I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish four would be a little easier.

You know what you like and don't like. You know what you want and when you want it. You are stubborn and tenacious and opinionated. I love it. I love that you assert yourself. I love that you know yourself and aren't afraid to ask for what you need. I love it, it's just exhausting.


You love to perform. You fancy yourself a bit of a comedian. Your favourite joke is:

"Knock, knock."
"Who's there?"
"Banana who?"
"Banana chocolate ice cream!"

And then you collapse into a heap of giggles. Every time. I've heard this joke probably a hundred times in the last month. It never gets old.


You've recently developed a love of baseball. We play catch and every time you manage to trap the ball with your mitt you exclaim, "I'm a natch-u-lar!" ("Natural" for those not fluent in toddler-speak.)


You exist mainly on carbs and peanut butter. You've shot up in height in the last six months (I don't know how given your diet) and have lost all of your delicious chubby bits. No thigh rolls to munch. No belly to chomp. You are gangly arms and knobby knees and I know it's supposed to happen this way but it still makes me a little sad. There are no traces of babyhood left.


You still love music so much. You dance, you play drums, you play air guitar, you command everyone in the room to stop and watch your new moves. Your favourite song is Uptown Funk and anything by the Foo Fighters.


Your love for the Avengers continues. Iron Man is still your main man but you've branched out to accept the others as well. Your clothes, your toys, your books - everything is superhero-themed. Sometimes you introduce yourself to strangers as Iron Man. I just shrug. It's my job to believe that you're a superhero. So I do believe. And you are.


Happy birthday, Grady / Iron Man. We can't wait to see how four turns out.

Love Mama