Sunday, July 29, 2012

52ish months

Oh Love,
These little letters to you are becoming a little more difficult to compose. You are a 4 year old. You have FOUR years under your belt. You do so much. You say so much. You say so much in the things you don't say or do. These letters are increasingly difficult because you're just so damn complex. Your sister is too, of course, but hers are still in the easy-phase.. the 'you love avocado! you clap along to music! you love fart sounds! you sign milk!' phase of things. Very black and white, no-trouble-deciphering. You, my boy, are very much entering the gray phase of matters, that all us adults exist in. SCARY! Your emotions change in very intense complicated ways, hourly. And it's very clear a lot of the time how nonstop your  wheels are turning. Let's just get right to it...
* The other day, from the backseat of the car while we were driving somewhere, you said 'hey mommy, I know how to spell nothing!'..  (me) 'ok, spell it!'...  'N-U-F-N. nothing (nuffin)' EXACTLY.
* You LOVE to inform me of Avery's antics. If she's doing something troublesome, you absolutely live to tell me about it. It's a concept I can 100% understand, as a fellow firstborn child. When your younger sibling is about to get into trouble, it's just good business that you be the one who helps it along. So, one time while I was cooking dinner, stupidly giving Avery the benefit of the doubt and not having her contained somewhere (pack-n-play/exersaucer..), you started screaming 'OH! MOMMY! AVERY! LOOK!'.. your frantic-ness was too intense to even form whole sentences, so I knew some bad shit was about to go down. Avery had used an ottoman to assist her up on top of a glass-topped side table, and she was perilously perched there with a very concerned face of 'this was a good idea at first, but now I don't know what to do heeeeelp!'..  So I picked her little adventurous hiney up and praised you for alerting me about it. You glowed, obviously. It's a fine line though, because coming up in elementary school years, you'll quickly learn that no one likes a tattler. During playdates, you'll often run over to me and say something like 'he pushed me and I told him to stop and he didn't!' or 'he's going up the slide very dangerously, but I'm not' .. And while sometimes, it's helpful to be alerted of such things, a lot of the time it worries me that you're on a slippery slope to becoming the class tattle-tale. You mean well, of course, but it's something we're working on..  I think I say 'just worry about yourself' about a dozen times a day. But then I also am way too dependent on you to inform me of Avery's thrill-seeking whereabouts.. so it's probably not your fault if you're a little confused! Sorry.
* You find such joy in the simplest things. Just this morning, you went to go get dressed after breakfast, and 10 seconds later you came running back out of your room, still in Superman pjs, squealing - 'look! I'm in blue pants, a blue shirt, AND blue underwear! I'm a blue boy!!' You laughed and laughed as if this were the greatest thing you'd ever discovered. You love to find different shapes in your food.. you'll eat some bites of a cracker or something and hold it up and say what it looks like, and man oh man, it always looks exactly like what you say it does. You get so excited when I add something to your plate at mealtimes that is not normally added.. like a pickle spear or something, and when you sit down and see it you clasp your hands together and scream OH BOY! It really takes so little.
* You take great joy in the responsibility of pushing Avery in the stroller. When we're about to go on a walk, you always ask me 'can I please push my baby?'.. as if this isn't the routine every time, and when I say yes (because I'll take any opportunity to come off as an awesome mom) you get so excited. And you know to hand the stroller-reigns over to me when we cross the street, never any questions asked.
* You recently had a short 1-day bout of diarrhea. It had been a while since you had ever had it, the last time being so far back that you had obviously forgotten what it was like, and you were scared. You called me in (you've been doing your business without my knowledge or assistance for a long time now) to help you wipe, and you were crying and shaking, not because you were physically ill, but because you were scared of what just happened to you. You called it 'dynamite'. And that intense fear of having 'dynamite' again had such a bad mental effect on you that you refused to poop for almost 2 days. This.. was not a fun time. You refused to eat and literally laid in the floor of your room, moaning and whining and saying how your belly hurt, refusing to go do the deed. We tried everything short of bribing you to just GO, but eventually you went (yes, I totally did give you Miralax water to help things along..), and you practically cackled laughing when you were done. You ranted out loud, saying 'I was so scared of the dynamite! but it was normal poop! I had nuffin to be scared of!!! hahahaha!!!' Oh yes. You talked about this for days, I kid you not. How you were scared to poop and then decided to be brave, and it was all ok. I hope you can see how this lesson can be applied in many areas of life. Life's too short to be afraid of a little dynamite.
* You can spell like nobody's business. Which makes communicating to your father very difficult. Once you have your own child who is old enough to know what's what, you will understand that it's just best for everyone to SPELL things. Don't even THINK of uttering any buzz-words such as cookie, ice cream, movie, bath, bedtime, etc etc..  It's a sad new chapter in life when you can no longer successfully pull the wool over your own kids eyes. Not sure how, because we never taught you (oh hell no, we don't teach you how to spell the buzz-words), but we spelled the word 'Wii' the other day, and you perked up and asked us if we were talking about the wii, and seriously can I play it right now, please oh pleeeeease??! It's totally game over at a certain point when you can't spell things in front of your own kid. At one point, when you weren't a star-speller, you would simply ask us 'what does that spell? why are you spelling that?'.. SO, I would give an equally simple answer, 'we spell things because we don't want you to hear what we're talking about.' This simple reply seemed to please you, because you said OK! and went about your business. Those days are over, but it was nice while it lasted.
* You are an expert cleaner. I think you find it somewhat virtuous to get a room as tidy as possible. Of course, it's never just out of the blue.. but when I ask you to pick up a room, you whip that room into shape! Sometimes, as I am pouring praise onto you, it's mixed with a bit of embarrassment because the room truly looks more tidy than if I had attempted it myself. This is a very handy trait, my love, for your sister is a walking hurricane of destruction, so you bring great balance to this family.

You bring much love, too. We LOVE YOU!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

14 months.. and then some

Dear Daughter,
So, the other day, I called your father in a bit of an end of the day worn-down frenzy.. rehashing the day's chaos in what I thought was a perfect description of you. I told him 'Baby. It's like we're raising a baby T-Rex. We're feeding her, encouraging her to grow, and get stronger by the day, knowing FULLY that she's going to turn on us someday. She's going to turn on us HARD.' Can we just think about that for a moment? Can we just call this blog post a day with that, ok? The end! It's been fun, bye!
Love, Ma
No? Ok. I'm serious though. Aside from the small weak arms, you are a little baby T-Rex. You destroy most everything in your path. You let everyone within 100 feet of you know when you are displeased with something. It is incredibly, painfully obvious that you gain strength by the day. It was humorous when you started to stand up in the middle of the room, unassisted, not holding onto anything. You'd stand there for maybe 5 seconds and then drop. But you didn't just stand there... you stood there, laughing maniacally. As in, like a MANIAC.
You have many nicknames around here. We regularly call you The Baby Beast..  when Andrew and I are playing (or ok fine, I'm resting my eyes while he's kicking ass and taking names at Angry Birds on his iPad..) and we hear you waking up on the baby monitor, him or I always say 'sounds like the Beast is waking!'.. We call you little stinker quite often, because you are. And toot. SUUCH a toot. And lately, there's been a lot of 'Danger-Baby' being referenced. Of course there's 'Baby-Saurus' being tossed around all day.. that's just a given. Are you getting my subtle hints to your very specific and very unlike your brother personality? Are you, DANGER BABY?? On days that you exhaust me, and there are many, I try to laugh about it. I try to say 'hey thanks! you make me a more well-rounded parent! you are so very thoughtful!' Yes, you are thoughtful every day.
I shouldn't forget to mention to 'Smigel' though..  a reference to a bear-walk you use when you REALLY want to get somewhere quick, and walking would be too risky and crawling too slow. You become all-limbs, and well, you remind your father and I of a cave-dwelling Lord of The Rings character. You get it honest in this fam.
Your brother is getting way more confident with how rough he can be around you - pouncing on you sometimes, and trying to get you to roll with him across the room. I supervise as best I can, because I don't think you're quite old enough for me to NOT supervise any kind of rough play..  but I also try really hard to just let the chips land where they may. You really take the roughness like a champ, something I know for a fact that he wouldn't have at the same age. No one was around to rough him up, and he was our tender delicate firstborn, so if he bumped a dimply knee on the coffee table, there were tears a plenty. You? You (regularly) fall off things that aren't meant to be fallen off of. face-first, usually upon a puzzle piece or Lego. And you fail to bat an eye. It does concern me how you feel such little pain..  but I try to reason with myself that this is likely just a second-born trait. Your survival skills have simply been tested much earlier in life!
You have fully entered the very frustrating very tiring 12-18 month tantrum-y phase of things..  being VERY insistent with any given demand, and putting a string on unintelligible syllables together to tell me said demand, and when I choose to not let you play with the butcher's knife you're demanding, you flail. You hit. You scream. You basically lose your everloving 14 month old shits all over the place. Sometimes.. I will admit, I laugh. I don't ever let you see me laugh, I turn my back, but it's just funny. This little indignant person going ballistic over the craziest things. And I do realize that sentence can be applied at any age up to and including 4.
And even though most of the time I ignore the bulk of your acting-out, for you are 14 months old and saying your first-middle name combo really is a waste of breath, sometimes I do say 'Avery!' in a shocked exasperated tone. And you CRY. SO HARD. And I think it might be the cutest thing in the entire universe, and I love it, and I do not feel bad about it because I get to comfort you and siiiiiiigh...  greatness.
Speaking of unintelligible syllables, you also own some words. Of course there's Dada. Your ultimate favorite. He who does NOT wipe your bum 5 days a week, nor shake the endless sticky food-debris from your person thrice daily..  but is still pretty awesome, so we'll let it slide. You scream Dada at every opportunity, and bellow it when you see him. And when he points at me and asks 'who's that?'..  you humble me with an indifferent blank stare, and looking somewhere randomly to my left.. as if, No, I do not know this selfless saint of a person who ensures my daily survival.. Next question, I'm hungry! You'll say Mama if we show you Elmo though. So, ok. You say Bu-bu for Brother, which lately has been honed with a little bit of a Bru-bu... which, cute! Up until last week you'd scream Momomomomomo for Water (why I do not know)..  but it's morphed into Yayayaya. Maybe it'll be Wawawa next week, which would force me to finally recognize your genius. There's Bird (Ba!) Ball (Ba!) Dog (Da!) Cat (Ca!) Car (Ca!) Grandpa (Caca!) Cracker (Caca!) Mum-Mum (Mumu!!) Puzzle (Pu-pu!) Book (Boo!) Fa! (Flower or Fan!) Belly (Ba!) You can point to your belly.. which is pretty much the cutest thing ever. I'll ask you where your belly is, and your head will whip downwards, your huge big cheeks becoming even more huge, and you have this look of 'it's down here somewheres..'  You grab your hair when I ask you where it is. You stick your fingers in your mouth when I ask you where your mouth is. You slowly locate your feet when I ask you where they are. You grab and inspect your long little fingers when I ask you where they are. You sometimes get your nose. You give dainty precocious high-fives. You do 3-piece puzzles. Sometimes when you're having issues with a particular piece, you'll take another piece out, and try to slam that problem piece in that spot..  you are a problem-solver! Even if it's on a completely wrong crazy path, you make the effort, which I love. You think it's the greatest thing to simply hand me something, because I emphatically say Thank Yooooou! So you'll find something small, a random toy or something, bring it to me, and then look up at me with this sweet expression, waiting for me to thank you for giving it to me. CUTE. And oh my WORD, how you dance. You got this trait from my mother..  no doubt. I recently said that out loud, in front of your Grandma, how you inherited your dance moves from your other Grandma, and she corrected me saying that she can dance, too..  but, NO. Just, hands down a thousand times NO. I want you to feel connected to my mother when you dance, because that's what she did. Every day, at every opportunity, she danced. Humiliating us girls in later years, but thrilling us in early ones. I remember having afternoon dance parties (Michael Jackson comes to mind) around Kindergarten age..  It's what I remember most vividly about her, and what I adore most about you. Your arms start flailing wildly, you turn your waist to the beat, you bop your head and I am just made the happiest mother in town.
I'm sorry this post is so belated, but you do so much..  I can't keep up anymore!
You challenge us and delight us and we love you so so so much.