C. turned three on Sunday. Unfortunately, that did not mean she suddenly stopped throwing tantrums, reacting wildly to tiny things, or master using the potty. In fact, she threw her normal fit at breakfast because it was not presented in the manner she desired and peed either her pants or on the floor four times. But if you subtract all the left-over, two-year-old garbage, it was a fine day.

She was very excited, and for a couple weeks had been telling everyone that her birthday was coming up and she would be “this many,” holding up three fingers as in the picture above. She was less excited ahead of time about presents as she was about cupcakes. In fact, she kept telling everyone that we were having chocolate cupcakes – or cutcakes as she calls them – with pink frosting AND chocolate cake with pink frosting. Since she had been saying that for about a month, we figured we better split the batter in half and do both. Hate for her to throw a fit because she had to eat two cupcakes.

She got the obligatory new clothes, a cool princess table and chair set from Mimi and Ampa, and a pair of soccer goals from S. and I. At first she loved the goals, but Monday she was more interested in doing other things. While M. and I were “playing soccer,” she watched while she made a “salad” out of mulch, leaves, and grass. M. scored after an extended run* and I turned, hammered the ball, and knocked it into the net 30 feet away. C. shrieked and said, “Congratulations, Daddy! You scored so fast!” Congratulations?

(M. is not the most adept dribbler of the ball. She’ll knock it about a foot, carefully size it up, and then knock it another foot. But when she gets close to the goal, she can put some force behind it.)

Monday was C.’s final day of preschool, so in addition to celebrating her school birthday (“Dad, I got popsicles for treats!”), there was a lot of wrapping up of things. She brought home tons of dazzling artwork, pictures her teachers had taken all year, and a nice CD with a movie of all the class pics of the year. The movie was set to Green Day’s “Time Of Your Life.” I bought the new Green Day album on Friday and have been thinking about how far they’ve come in their career. This is just another sign of their ubiquity. Not only was that song good enough for <em>ER</em> and the clipshow before the final <em>Seinfeld</em>, not to mention a million other goodbyes, but it is also good enough for a Catholic preschool. I think her teachers are pretty cool and had more to do with it than any of the priests or bishops around here.

I was making myself laugh this morning. I thought of mock awards the teachers could give out to the two year olds on the final day. “And the worst poopy diaper of the year goes to Jeffrey. Whoo do you have some stinky ones, Jeff! Annabelle, you threw the biggest tantrum of the year when, who can forget this, we gave you goldfish instead of pretzels for a snack in November. Congrats!”