as my daughter turns 3

My dear Caila,

Belated happy birthday, Anak! You’re now 3 years old! I still can’t believe how fast time has flown since the day I first lay my eyes on you. You were so tiny then, all helpless and fragile. Now, you’ve grown into a little girl who has accomplished so much! You’re already potty-trained (only needing diapers when we go out and at bedtime), you choose the clothes that you want to wear, you can sing along to almost all of the songs I sing to you, you can identify different shapes, colors, numbers, letters, characters in the Disney Junior shows, and so many other things!

Yesterday I took the day off work just so that I could be with you on your special day. You continued sleeping when Daddy whispered to you that he was leaving to go to the office, so when you woke up and saw me beside you, you were surprised and asked me “Mommy, wala ka work-office?” and when I answered because “birthday ng Baby Caila ko eh,” you gave me a huge smile that lit up your face. You automatically hugged and kissed me, as if to say “Thank you so much, Mommy!” That alone affirmed me that I made the right decision to apply for a leave that day.

While Yaya took you to the bathroom to wash up and brush your teeth, I cooked a pancake for you. Even though you wanted a Hello Kitty birthday cake (don’t worry, you’ll get it on Friday), you were still happy when you saw it in the shape of your age, with a pink candle beside it which you blew. Later, we went to Dubai Mall where I told you to choose any Hello Kitty item you wanted as our birthday gift to you (you chose a spoon and fork set). When I asked if you wanted a HK drinking bottle and pyjama set, you replied “no” because you already have a bottle and several sets of pyjamas. I was amazed that you were already so practical in your way of thinking; you weren’t easily tempted, even though I was willing to buy them.

After lunch, you had McDonald’s ice-cream for dessert. You had the cone all to yourself, and you really enjoyed every bit. Before going home, we stopped by Candylicious where I said we could buy anything you wanted. Your choice? Gummy candy! So I scooped different colors of all the letters, drops, fish, and bones that you pointed out to me, which you instantly started eating as soon as I paid for them. Even though you chose to hold the bag by yourself, you weren’t selfish, and willingly gave Yaya some pieces and fed me the ones I wanted when we asked. By 1:30pm, I could see you were already tired and sleepy, so I ditched my plan of taking you to an activity center and we left the mall.

On the way home, from the feeder bus to the metro to the taxi, you slept in Yaya’s arms. You were so exhausted! I couldn’t blame you; all throughout the day, you were walking on your little feet, and you never asked us to carry you! Good girl!

In the evening after Daddy came home from work, we went to Dubai Festival City where we had dinner at Tony Roma’s. You didn’t eat much because you already had your dinner at home, but you fed yourself with some of the corn and little trees (broccoli) from Daddy’s plate. While we were waiting for dessert, you and Yaya played around with a crayon…taking turns pushing and blowing it between the two of you. This made you laugh out in glee, and I was glad that you were able to find (non-disruptive) ways to entertain yourself with simple things.
Dessert was a slice of cheesecake with a candle on it, which you excitedly and happily blew. At home in bed while trying to go to sleep, I asked for “a kiss from the birthday girl” and you instantly planted a long wet kiss on my mouth, accompanied with a tight embrace around my neck…and then you said “I love you, Mommy!” Haaaaay! Ang sarap!

Almost everything you did yesterday made me so proud of you! Many times, I noticed myself just looking at you in awe at the amazing girl you’ve become…and you’re just 3 years old! I’m sure you’ll be just as amazing when you’re older.

Every day is a testament to the wonderful person that you are, and Daddy and I will always be proud of you. We love you, simply because you are our daughter.

Even before you were born, you were already part of me…every second of every day, for almost 9 months. For this reason alone, Caila, I will never, ever stop loving you...every second of every day, for the rest of my life.

Love,
Mommy

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