When You Were Three

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When you were three,
You told me that you had three siblings.
Brett, Chipper, and Egway.
Egway was a brother-sister.
You liked to invent games with me,
And I would always take videos
So you could watch them.
I gave you your first video camera because
You cried when I left.
You showed it to me every time
I went to your house after that.

When you were three,
You didn’t understand Easter,
You wanted to see the Easter Bunny’s car.
On Thanksgiving, you asked
If it was your birthday
And couldn’t help your mom with anything
Because you were waiting for me.
You fell asleep laying on my arm,
Facing me with the TV on to
Game Show Network, of course.
You sucked your thumb.

When you were three,
You used to go to Google
And type in my name and yours,
No spaces, and see what came up.
You would practice typing in our names
On Word documents and emails.
You liked to eat buffalo burgers
And drink my orange soda
when I wasn’t looking.
You helped make cookies for Christmas,
But mostly just ate the sprinkles.

When you were three,
You laughed when I put
your hair into a ponytail,
And asked me to do it again,
Even though you were a little boy with short hair.
You made me drag you around the kitchen
On a blanket until I couldn’t move you any farther.
You liked to help me pick out my clothes,
And told me why you didn’t pick a certain shirt or pants.
You loved my necklaces.

When you were three,
You tormented my poor dog Chipper.
You wanted to go play with him,
And chased him around the house
Until he went into his crate,
so you tried to shut the door.
We never showed you how,
But you figured it out on your own.
You were smart.
You were always very gentle with him, though.
Never pulled his tail or ears.
You were a little nervous around him sometimes,
And made me sit you on my knee so you could see.

When you were three,
You liked to play the toy piano
Rachel gave you.
You sang songs in your made-up language
And danced with the microphone in your hand.
You always watched me when I sang,
Concentrating hard,
But never let anyone else sing.
I taught you how to say
“Taylor Swift is the best country singer”
Before you could say my name right.

When you were three,
You used to call me at home and tell me
All about your day.
You told me that you cleaned your room,
You helped Mommy in the kitchen,
You made cookie dough, just like when I was there.
You would make your mom hold the phone
While you jumped on your bed
Like I taught you a year ago.
I wasn’t the most responsible role model.
You thought I was a lot of fun, though.

When you were three,
You ran around the backyard with Aimee and me.
You pretended to do yard work like your dad
And cried when he cut down the dead sunflowers
You planted special that summer.
You led me around the garden and told me stories,
Thinking them up as you went,
Then nodding and saying, “Yup. That’s right.”
You liked my laugh.

When you were three,
You made me open my mouth so
You could see my braces.
You called them bracelets.
You sat patiently while I blew bubbles
With the bubblegum you offered me.
You liked to pop the bubbles for me.
You gave me a piece of gum and tasted one yourself.

When you were three,
You drove your toy car to the kitchen
And ordered two large pizzas with cheese
And a buffalo burger to go.
You would always give me ‘exact’ change
And ask me if the pizza store was open.
You used to share your food with me
And proudly say, “I sharing. See?”
And give me some of your French fries.
You would always tell me Mommy said it was okay
Before I made you go ask her again.
You knew you got away with a lot when I was around.

When you were three,
You put on chapstick and told me
you were putting on ‘lips.’
You liked to brush your teeth with me,
And set out my toothpaste.
We went to Rita’s to get frozen custard
And flavored ice.
It was my first time there,
And you told me all about how good it tasted.
We saw Mommy’s friend Kevin there too.

When you were three,
You resisted taking naps.
You would not ever admit that you were tired
Until you were in front of the TV with
Your blanket and thumb in your mouth.
You fell asleep to Thomas the Train Engine and iCarly.
You didn’t like Victorious,
And you called Drake and Josh my show,
Because your mom told you I liked it.
You watched it with me.

When you were three,
You helped us decorate Grandma and Poppy’s
Christmas tree, which you knew they bought at CostCo’s.
You liked looking at Grandma’s record player,
And I had to remind you not to touch it
While it was running.
You decorated your own tiny
Christmas tree, complete with lights I plugged in.
After you left, we saw it.
You had put it right next to Grandma’s tree.
You left a little ornament under Grandma’s tree
Because it was a bag,
And everyone knows Christmas bags
Go under the Christmas tree.

When you were three,
You went in my pool in the summer,
And always wanted to play
With the rubber duck that held the chlorine.
You laughed when Chipper drank out of
Nikki’s cup at the pool party.
I don’t know if you saw it happen,
But you smiled when Andrew came out of the pool,
Fully-dressed, shoes, diabetes bag, and all,
Sopping wet, because Nikki pushed him in.

When you were three,
You were sitting by the pool next to me.
I made your hair into a Mohawk
because it was wet.
You smiled at it.
You liked watching Rachel jump off the diving board,
And helped Nikki and me fill up water balloons.
Maggie and Aimee and Nikki liked to play
with you in the pool,
And you had so much fun.

When you were three,
You were like my little brother.





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