I remember a light switch going off - when abstract reasoning clicked, when the terrible 3’s melted away (the 2’s are a breeze, it’s the 3’s you gotta buckle up for!), how he was suddenly this KID. It was the moment he went from this really adorable, little being that I protected, taught, encouraged, and comforted to this person who suddenly developed a sense of self in the world, acting like he didn’t need me to do any of those things any more (even though I just had to get more subtle about doing them).
Henry is a lot more babyish - he’s held onto his little guy features, the tiny voice and the mispronounced vocabulary - and he’s content to be cuddled and loved on (when he’s not too busy doing dangerous maneuvers on his bike that don’t seem possible at his age). So though it’s a little easier to let him go at each stage of his growth (and it always has been), I know big changes are coming in his perception, soon. It’s just a crazy thought. My squishy little Henry. My sweet dreamy baby - a kid.
Though Henry goes with a flow in a lot of ways, he’s a stickler about some things, and has some strong opinions of his own. Like:
- He is HENRY. Not Cute, Silly, Smarty Pants, or any other complimentary name. He will answer to H, H-ey, H-er, and Mr. H....though he denies that he does.
- Everything must be orange. Toys, cups, popsicles, vegetables.
- Pizza. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Mickey Mouse makes the world go ‘round. It’s funny - Luke was more of a Nick Jr. kid, and Henry is all Disney. He is CRAZY about Mickey, Dusty (from Planes), Lightening McQueen (from Cars), and Baymax and Hiro (from Big Hero 6).
We try to plan his party earlier than his actual birthday, because Matt’s sister and family come to town to visit, and we like to include them. It’s the only time of the year we get to see them, so having something normal families do together is sort of nice since they miss everything else. But of course, that means we are set to a certain timeline, and we also have to work around the 4th of July. We make it work!
This year, he couldn't decide whether he wanted a Mickey, Planes, or Big Hero 6 party - so we mixed it all together and made it a Disney party! It was perfect, really, having just been to Disney world this year. We had a really fun day with all of Henry's favorite things!
The Mickey bounce house was a huge hit - Henry spent lots and lots of time in it, on and off all day. He took all of his stuffed Mickeys for a bounce, and even snuck in there for a rest.
His cake(s) got lots of awws and "so cutes" - and they were so, so simple and inexpensive to make! I spent less than $10 in supplies for everything. The Baymax cake was made with two circle funfetti cakes, trimmed a little to be more oval-shaped, frosted with vanilla marshmallow frosting (because Baymax is a big marshmallow!), and we drew his eyes on with black decor icing. The cupcakes were all chocolate, made in red paper cups to match Mickey's outfit, and we made Mickey's shape on them with regular and mini-sized oreos. SO easy!
I made the party more Disney by mixing up an assortment of Disney character plates (we had Mickey, Dusty, Lightening McQueen, Olaf from Frozen, and Buzz & Woody from Toy Story), making REALLY simple Baymax cups out of white paper cups and vinyl stickers in the shape of Baymax's eyes (found on Etsy, here), and wrapping up sets of utensils and napkins in Mickey's colors.
On a recent Walmart trip, Henry noticed a Dusty pinata in the party clearance section - he was only $9! So we scooped him up, and had a lot of fun with him! Some of the faces I captured as they hit it were hilarious, but I'm only sharing a couple of my kids in case their parents don't want them shared here. If you have a pinata at a party? Have your camera handy and find a good view - worth it! haha
The weather was beautiful, the BBQ-style food was yummy, Henry was so excited about all of his Mickey & Big Hero 6 gifts that he took off to play with them as soon as he finished opening them (haha!), and I had so much fun having all of my family over to visit.
I'm not sure what we will do on his actual birthday next week - probably a trip to Toys R Us for the birthday goodies, and probably replaying his Disney playlist we used for the party a bunch of times (he's crazy about it!). He's not a very picky, and doesn't have a lot to say about it, so we'll see what he decides!
For now, I'm going to soak up every last moment of Henry as a 3 year old, and all of his sweet little boy qualities while he still has them. I love this little guy!