Happy 5th birthday!
Although you're completely ecstatic about this day, I think my own excitement might actually trump your own. Why? Mainly because I no longer have to keep hearing, "Daddy, daddy, daddy! How many more days until I turn five?"
Don't get me wrong, kiddo. It was cute for awhile but after 5,000 times in one month, I was starting to think about canceling Christmas (FYI, it's in about 80 days.)
Five is an amazingly fun age, Peanut. You've really turned into a person now and it simultaneously enthralls and scares the crap out of me. On the one hand, you still love cuddling on the couch with me and reading books together. On the other hand, you don't always want to hold my hand in public anymore because I might be cramping your style. That kills me!
Here are just a few things I'll want to remember about you at this age:
- You're a ridiculously funny kid. Last year was all poop jokes and fart noises. Now, you do impersonations. You invent hilarious new dances. Your sense of sarcasm grows daily. And you love playing pranks on me (hiding my cellphone in the fridge was a good one!) You also have a uniquely funny way of playing make-believe. While other girls pretend they're princesses, you like to pretend you're a pizza delivery man or a UPS truck driver. You're such a city kid.
- I never cease to be amazed at how you can spread joy to so many people solely by your warm and affectionate nature. You're always there with a quick hug or a kiss to cheer someone up. And when you truly love someone, you're not afraid to say it or show it. Adults could learn a lot from a kid like you.
- You're as stubborn as I am and we have our fair share of epic battles. We never yell or scream at each other. It's more like Jedi warfare. Last week, we left the playground because it was raining. You were so pissed, you gave me the silent treatment and shot Korean Death Stares (KDS) at my back while walking twenty feet behind me in the grocery store. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and tried to give you a hug but you stuck up your hand and said, "Not right now, Daddy. I need my privacy." What the hell? Sometimes I think you're 5 going on 40. I love it.
- You love being a helper. Whenever I cook, you're always next to me as my sous chef or busy setting the table. You love working with Aunt Di in the garden or helping Uncle Paul wash his cars. You even love cleaning the apartment. The funny thing is that you draw the line at bathrooms and whenever you see me scrub a toilet, you think it's the funniest thing you've ever seen. "Haha, Daddy. That's where the poop goes!" (Ok, so you're not completely over the poop jokes.)
- You're enrolled in Spanish and Korean classes and are slowly becoming trilingual. Whenever you hear someone speak Spanish, you like to bust out in song. You know at least 20 different Spanish songs and waiters all over town now laugh when you enter the restaurant singing "Felize Navidad" ...again.
- You're at that age where your tiny brain can memorize anything almost instantly. You love "reading" entire books to me from memory. Alternatively I love teaching you funny lyrics. Last month, I made you call your grandmother and sing, "I said a hip hop the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop, a you don't stop the rock it to the bang bang boogie say up jumped the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat." I'm still laughing over that one.
- I love having conversations with you. It's one of my favorite things to do in the whole world. Sometimes we'll just sit on the couch and talk about things that are on your mind. Sometimes you'll ask me questions about the moon and the stars. Other times you'll talk to me about your grandfather's death or your love of fried chicken. I know it sounds silly because you're only five but I hope that we'll always be able to talk openly with one another like this.
There are so many things that I love about you at this age, I couldn't even begin to put them all down on paper. In fact, I still can't believe that you're 5 today. It's strange. Sometimes it feels like you were just born yesterday. On the other hand, it's hard to remember a time in my life when you weren't in it.
There are just a few things I want to tell you about how I feel about you, Peanut.
I'm not one of those parents who thinks that his child is more special than any other one.
I'm not one of those parents who wants to be best friends with his child.
I'm not one of those parents who tries to be the cool dad.
That being said, I'm so incredibly proud of the little girl you've become. I feel closer to you than with any other human being alive. I love spending all my time with you. And I'm glad you enjoy having fun with your goofy weird dad.
Have a great birthday, Peanut. I love you with all my heart.
P.S. One more thing you enjoy at this age is sticking your finger up every statue's butt. We've practically been banned from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and are now forced to hang out with lawn statues. I have to admit though, it's still pretty funny!