Last Sunday marked the three-year anniversary of the day that changed my life forever. The day my daughter Piper was born.
It's funny, the details I can remember from that day in 2006. I remember it was a Wednesday and I was at the Sunnyside Daybreak Rotary Club meeting but the name of the speaker and the topic he was speaking on is a little fuzzy.
The meetings are held in a conference room at the hospital and when the phone rang, and I was told it was for me, I kind of knew what was happening. After getting it confirmed I rushed out of the hospital to go get my wife, thankful and excited for my baby to come.
A cold snap had invaded our little corner of Washington that year and I remember it was in the teens. I also remember the pathetic heater in my car trying, but failing, to heat the car properly as my wife and I drove to Richland.
That day is forever etched into my head but the days that have followed are a blur. Three-years-old? Man, I can't believe it. So many things have changed.
I'm not sure when my daughter went from being a little baby to a little person but the change is now complete. She has become her own person.
Piper can make me laugh and smile but can also frustrate me like no other, besides maybe her mother.
She's potty-trained, except for some rare occasions at night. Piper, that is. I'm not talking about her mother.
She tells me what she wants to eat. She watched the movie Elf this Christmas and seems to believe in Will Farrell's assumption that the four foods groups all have candy and sugar in them.
I admit I give in to her wants every once in a while but I do make it a point to get her involved with the 'other' food groups, you know the ones: dairy, fruits and veggies, grains and proteins.
Her vocabulary has come along nicely. She speaks English, Thai and Lao, and can sprinkle a bit of Spanish in for fun. She picks the Spanish up at daycare.
Her favorite word is still NO. She usually says this to me when I ask her if she wants to go to bed or when I try to wake her up in the morning. She also finds other situations where the word comes in handy for her.
She is a recorder so I have to be careful what words I use or what movies I watch around her. She is also very ritualistic, making me put her backpack on her so she can carry it out to the car every time we go anywhere.
She hates wearing her Disney Princess hair bands in her hair but instead likes to wear them as wrist bands.
Her eyesight has significantly increased since she's gotten older, as well. This past Christmas she had no problem using her eagle eyes to point out every single Santa Claus hanging from doors or windows.
It went something like this.
"DADDY, DADDY, DADDY, SANTA CLAUS."
She would say this over and over again until I recognized the fact that yes, she had seen and pointed out yet another Santa Claus.
Even though it's not Christmas anymore any day Piper can see Frosty the Snowman or Santa Claus is Coming to Town is a good day for her.
She's changed so much and I imagine she will continue to change every day until she is all grown up. And I love it. Every day is different with her. Sure, she has her rituals but she's picking up new things all the time and continues to give me fodder for what I call the Piper Tales.
It's a set of stories I look forward to telling for many years to come.