This is a picture of Jen, Ross, and Kale Arbo. Kale is three.


Oh Kale.

Really? You’re three? What happened to the past 36 months of my life? When did this happen? When did you suddenly go from a newborn blob to this? This chatty, social, silly, lovely, beautiful PERSON? My god.

You broke a jar yesterday, a special jar, the jar I keep all my coins in. You had asked to play with my coins – I guess you and your dad have enjoyed this activity at some point? – and I said “sure” because five minutes of you happily playing with coins is five minutes you are not begging for a food product you want to have but shouldn’t or for television you have not earned. So I left you for a moment, to pack up my bag to take to work and was in the kitchen when you walked in, brokenhearted, and said “I’m sorry, Mommy, for breaking your jar”. And you handed me three pieces of that coin jar and you were so Very Sad.

And at first I was so exasperated – I mean, these days a day does not go by where you have not broken something or beat on the dog or done something destructive but then it hit me. OH MY GOD. You owned up to something you did that was not awesome and you came to me and you apologized and I thought “Oh my god he’s a little person who feels remorse and knows right and wrong” and suddenly you were a big giant 6 foot teenager telling me you backed into something with the car.

And so, you, on the verge of tears, looking up at me, imploring me, expecting me to be mad and I just drew in a deep breath and blew it out and said “It’s okay, Kale. It was an accident. You didn’t mean to break the jar, and you did the right thing and came to tell me. Mommy is very, very happy. Don’t cry, honey.” And you threw yourself into my outstretched arms and hugged me in that ferocious way that only toddlers can. You amaze me.

So, what have you been up to this past year?

Well, you learned the joy of running around naked in the backyard. You learned that underpants weren’t as bad as you thought. You went to the PNE with your best bud, Bonnie and saw The Doodlebops (OMG). You discovered your shadow. You made some friends.  You went trick or treating as a salt and pepper shaker. I can’t wait to make you more costumes. You were officially potty trained. Your cousin came to visit and stayed with us for a week. You fell in love with jam. You gave up your sucky with very little fight. You started working on your stand up routine. You got chickens! And you made me (and your daddy) fall in love with you four million times over.

What did we do for your birthday? This morning we went for a playdate, and while you napped, I put together the train set I bought for you back in May. I wrapped up the one Thomas Train and when your daddy came home we gave you your gift, and let you go into the basement and see the train set all set up. It was pretty funny and you were thrilled with your train set. We went out for dinner, as a family (pirate pak!), and I’m quickly posting this before we have cake and ice cream at home. You’re going to have a party next week with a bunch of your favourite people. I am sure it will be fun – you love parties.

I’ve gotten into the habit of taking a picture of the three of us on the bed at important moments, with Daddy’s extra long arms holding out the camera. Here’s the whole set. But, today, just a simple comparison. Here’s you at six months. I picked this one because the same duvet is on the bed.


Here’s you today, on your third birthday:

This is a picture of Jen, Ross, and Kale Arbo. Kale is three.
What a ham.

Anyway, honey, you are the best thing since sliced bread, truly. I love you with all my heart. Happy birthday, bean.



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PS: You should know I also bought myself a little present for your birthday, a little reward for making it here. Three holy-crap years, dude. Seriously. I haven’t killed you, I haven’t let you kill yourself, and you’ve actually learned real usable skills (being polite! going to the bathroom! sleeping!), so I sort of felt like it was okay to reward myself. I bought myself a silver ring made from an old demitasse spoon from one of my market vendors. See?

Mommy deserves presents too.


11 years ago


  1. He sounds like a really cool kid. The story about him breaking the jar just breaks my heart. I don’t think Charlotte is capable of feeling remorse yet, but I can relate to the ferocious, tear-filled, toddler hug. And, MY GOD, it always kills me.

    That is a kick-ass ring, too. And, yes, you absolutely deserve it!

  2. He is such a sweet kid. I look forward to making small talk with him in 10 years when he just wants to Get Away From Grown Ups — GAWD.

    Happy 3 years to you all.

  3. Aw – he is such a sweetie. Toddler affection is an amazing thing. The other night Moira had a 2-hour tantrum after going to bed set off by my having to go for a walk to deliver something. We think it was also set off by the fact that she was over-tired and it was freaking hot out because she rarely tantrums anymore… anyway, after I finally (FINALLY!) got her to calm down (seriously – she was hysterical and we thought she was going to hurt herself or vomit) her reason for being so upset: “I just love you to peices and I didn’t want you to not be near me.” Gah! All was quickly forgiven. Toddlers. They kill us every day in one way or another.

    Happy Birthday Kale!

  4. That story pretty much made me bawl my eyes out. No kidding, I’m trying to mop up before a meeting!

    Happy birthday to Kale!

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