You exhaust me, little boy.
He is so very loud and always moving and forever insisting that he can do it, yes! He can and he will and I shouldn't dare try to help. I give us a ten minute head start to every outing, an allowance for him to put on clothes and buckle buckles and close doors and climb up and get down and do everything just so.
I will, occasionally, make the mistake of doing something for him. Then I must bite my tongue and clench my fists and stand back as he undoes what I have done, and redoes it himself.
He changes clothes a dozen times a day. Yesterday, he insisted on wearing his new Spider-Man underwear. All seven pair. All at the same time.
He seems to have read a little boy manual, and follows it to the letter regarding nose- and butt-picking, animal noises, climbing and jumping, farting, and generalized mess making. He is maddening in his endless energy and strong in his will and there are many days when I feel utterly and completely defeated by him, our small dictator, our benevolent despot.
Katie was reading through a book of baby names one day and came across 'Henry'.
"It means," she said, "Ruler of the House!" And we all laughed, because it is true.
He marches through this space giving us orders and demanding attention and we scramble to accomodate. Because we adore him. Because he is our little prince and when he gives us his affection we all feel like we've been blessed from on high.
Because there are few things in this world that beat Henry putting his fat little hands on your cheeks and kissing you softly on the mouth. Because, when Henry says 'I love you', you feel like he loves you more than anyone else.
He is the baby, and we should all be ashamed at how we fawn over him. But we don't care. We laugh and squeeze him and say, "Isn't he amazing?".
Today, Henry is three years old. He came as a surprise, was born in a hurry, and has spent his whole, short life wrapping us tightly around his tiny finger. Happy birthday, sweet boy of boys. You are loved, completely.