I don’t think I can tell you how much I am enjoying you at this age! When you were a little baby, you were so cute and sweet in many ways I almost wished you wouldn’t grow and change because I thought I’d miss that stage too much. I couldn’t imagine you would be any more sweet than you were then. I knew it would get easier (that it HAD to get easier!) but I wondered what would be lost as you matured. But the truth is it just keeps getting better and better. I now sometimes think of you at four, seven, or ten years old and wonder if parenting you could be anywhere near as rewarding then as it is now. Hard as it is to imagine, I now believe that life with you will continue it’s present trajectory of wonderfulness, even as we are sure to face the various inevitible challenges of growing up along the way.
You love to discuss all the different parts of vehicles. We hear “It have wheels on it!” exclaimed often.
So what is so fun about this particular age? For one your capacity for self-expression continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Of course I’ve always felt that I’ve known you extremely well, but now I know so much more about what is going on inside your head and heart. And it is delightful. You are funny, and fun-loving, sensitive, affectionate and loving, and oh, so imaginative! Nothing in our home is ever as it seems anymore. A chair is not a chair… it is a garbage truck. Your wagon is a lawn mower. Cords, straps, strings, etc. are seat belts. (I love that you are super concientious about keeping them from going around your neck.) And when you are in full garbage man mode (which is often!) almost everything is “ew, yucky!” and the garbage truck needs to eat it. The only things exempt from this treatment seem to be the library book What Brothers/Sisters Do Best and the baby doll we bought you back when rinsing your hair in the bathtub was cause for much anxiety. These things you soberly declare “Not ew yucky! This clean!” I think you are doing well at preparing yourself for the roll of big brother.
Playing with play dough is definitely among your most loved activities.
Sharing the love. 🙂
This month riding your bike has become one of your favorite activities. It used to be that you would just kind of walk along dragging the bike along with you between your legs. Now you sit and glide and have learned to steer around obstacles with pretty impressive precision. You are still using your little quadracycle that is really too small for you, and I think you are ready for your balance bike, but we have an issue with your helmets. The toddler helmet simply won’t fit over your head at all and the youth helmet just slides right off the back of your head. So for now I’m content to let you just ride the bike that is closest to the ground and not apt to tip over. You are so funny coming down the small hill on the sidewalk yelling “I don’t have a helmet! I don’t have a helmet!” You definitely inherited your father’s saftey-conscious gene.
You love to go play at IKEA! The play kitchen is by far your favorite. (You’re getting one for Christmas. I think I’ll enjoy your reaction almost as much as you’ll enjoy receiving it!)
One major development with you over the past month has been that you have been learning how to manage situations that make you feel anxious. Dogs have been a long standing source of fear for you. Up until now the mere sight of a dog, even a small one on a leash far away, meant that you had to be picked up and carried, wimpering until the dog was long past. Then all of the sudden, one day as we were walking past a PetSmart on dog adoption day you opted to continue to walk with me holding hands instead of having your Daddy carry you safely by all the commotion. You kept saying to yourself, “I be okay, I be okay.” I was so proud of you! Since then you use that tactic for self reassurance fequently. I hear you tell yourself you’ll be okay at times when I haven’t even been aware there was anything amiss in our surroundings. Not only are you okay, little Eli… you are doing fantastic!
The other situation this new level of maturity became apparent this past month was when we ran into a neighbor family on the sidewalk. For some reason though they are among the nicest and friendliest of people they have always struck terror in your heart. This time though, not only did you say “Thank you” to the lady when she complimented you on the car you were playing with, but you allowed us to be invited for a visit inside their home! There you ate the cut up apple she prepared for you, remembering your manners, and lasted for about a 15 minute visit. I was so pleased and frankly astounded. They have always wanted to help us watch you from time to time and we trust them, but it hasn’t been possible. Perhaps now it will be.
Enjoying a soy ice cream sandwich on Thanksgiving. By evening you had tasted and loved your first piece of pumpkin pie!
Keeping you away from dairy because of your allergy was never an issue as far as you were concerned. All I had to do was tell you the desired item had milk in it and would make you all itchy and you wouldn’t want it anymore. Until Thanksgiving weekend that is. All of the sudden there was sobbing and much distress everytime you couldn’t have something. With the whole holiday season upon us we knew this was going to be an ongoing issue, so we decided to let you challenge the allergy again as we have quite a few times (unsuccessfully) in the past. We figured either you’d have a reaction we would have to weather over the next 3 or 4 days and the experience would then be fresh in your mind as Christmas goodies came your way, or we’d find you’d finally outgrown the allergy. Well, it would seem you have outgrown the allergy! You are gleefully scarfing down pizza and pumpkin pie. I am giddy at not having to scrutinize every label quite so closely anymore. I think you are still a bit sensitive, or maybe just not used to digesting dairy protien so we are limiting the amount you get quite a bit, but I think this Christmas will be much more enjoyable for you from a culinary standpoint this year!
When childcare fell though for us at the last minute before my prenatal appointment this month you accompanied us to the doctor’s office. You really enjoyed the experience! I don’t know if it was seeing your sister on the ultrasound, seeing someone else being on the examination table for a change, or the fact that there was a garbage truck picking up the trash from the building’s dumpster as we were walking in. Since then you keep asking to go to see the doctor. At church you climbed up an outdoor staircase and started to climb on top of the 6 foot high wall, and when I told you to get down please because I didn’t want you to get hurt and have to go to the hospital you almost lept off immediately. “I want to go to the hospital!” you kept saying for quite a while after that. Before the week was out you got to do just that as I had a bit of pregnancy trouble. Unfortunately (for you) you slept through the entire thing! You did get to see the hospital when you came back to visit me later that evening and to pick me up the next morning, though. Now you want to go back, and to be honest, I wish you’d quit saying that, because I don’t! Not for a few months anyway!
Sleeping though all of the hospital excitement.
The outcome of our hospital visit is that I am now on bedrest. This is quite difficult for you, and for that I am very sorry. Even so you try to be so helpful and bring me things I need, and take things from me to throw away, etc. You also give me a lot of cuddles and snuggles, which I just adore! Hopefully things around here will normalize soon, but even if they don’t I know you will handle it just fine.
Due to my being on bed rest now our Christmas plans are a bit up in the air right now. I so hope we’ll be able to take you to see all the relatives in Tucson, but we will just have to see how the situation develops. At least if we don’t go you are too young to know what usually happens and won’t be as disappointed as you would be if you were older. In the meantime you are loving the whole Chirstmas thing as you are finally old enough to “get it”. You are so excited about the Christmas tree and will look at it and say “My Christmas tree!” For a boy who previously wouldn’t speak a word to any stranger, you now have a lot to say if they only ask you if you have a Christmas tree. Then it’s “It have lights! It have o’naments! It have a star on top!” When you say the last part you put your fist on top of your head for emphasis. And the best part is that you don’t even yet realize that Christmas means getting presents. You’re just loving the beauty and specialness of the season. Yep, regardless of where we spend it, Christmas this year with you is going to be so much fun!
I love you so very, very, very much!