|Two peas in a pod|
As I did last year on your birthday, I tried to crystallize some aspects of YOU as you are at three years old. It’s a poor attempt, because you’re already a complicated guy, but hopefully one day you can read it with interest.
· You’re an excellent big brother—not jealous when Col needs attention, eager to try to entertain him both when he’s happy and when he’s angry, quick to present him with your toys to “play” with, and declaring at least once a day how much you love your “bruzzer.” It melts my heart. I know it won’t last, so I’m trying to capture it in my memory and in pictures.
· Your sense of time is developing, but it’s still got a long way to go. Everything before today is “yesterday.” Everything in the future is “tomorrow.” Various durations—hours, minutes, months—escape your understanding. The main surprise during the last few months has been you linking counting to elapsed time and sequentiality. For instance, you’ll say, “I’m going to count to seven. When I get to four, it’s time for dinner. When I get to five, it’s time for PJs. When I get to six, we can brush teeth, and at seven, it’s time for bed.” (Why seven? Why do events begin at four? Who can fathom the toddler mind?)
· You. Remember. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Example: the other day we saw deer outside in the snow stripping the bark off trees and talked about what animals eat in cold weather. Two days later, you were playing with your PlaySkool Nativity scene and had the angel climbing a palm tree. When I asked what the angel was doing, you said, “She’s eating the bark.”
· You like reading Bible stories for kids. The David and Goliath episode is a favorite right now (although I have mixed feelings about its lessons). And especially this month, you’ve been sensitive to Jesus’s birthday coming right before your own. I’m praying we can find a Sunday school in Oxford as excellent as the one at our church in Newark.
· You walk on your tiptoes in stocking feet. Like on the knuckles with your toes curled under. It’s weird.
· Your imagination games continue to improve by leaps and bounds, facilitated by your expanding vocabulary and increasingly complex syntax. On the way home from drop-in daycare near Ah-Bee and Pakka’s house this week, I asked whether you played with anyone and you told me, “Yes. I played with a boy named Owen. He was littler than me. We made presents for Ah-Bee and Pakka and opened them, and inside Ah-Bee’s present there was a pogo stick. And when we get back to Ah-Bee and Pakka’s house, she can use the pogo stick to jump in the snow. But that might make a big hole in the snow, so you have to be careful not to slip, okay?”
· You take a nap in the afternoon and go to bed at eight, and while you’re awake you have insane amounts of energy. Sometimes you channel this energy positively. See this video for an example from April:
· When we chastise you or we say you can’t do something (like send Col flying in his swing), you pout cartoonishly—head down, shoulders slumped, lip out, shuffling feet, obstinate “hmph” noises. It’s hard not to laugh, because I have no idea where you learned it, but you’ve got it down pat.
· You interact eagerly with kids from one to five years old wherever you find them: church, museums, libraries, and of course childcare centers. Sometimes they’re a little put off by your penchant for pretending you’re (variously) Spiderman, Batman, Mr. Incredible, and Luke Skywalker, but the cooler ones go along with it. (Also, when adults ask you your name, you prefer to give one of these pseudonyms.) You’re getting better about grabbing toys away from other kids when you want to play with them, but it definitely still happens.
· You sometimes love doing crafty stuff like painting, making sticker pictures, folding “origami,” and cutting paper. At other times you don’t have the attention span. You like coloring in rather than just coloring.
· Most of the time you have a great attitude and it’s easy to make you laugh. (One surefire way to get you in stitches is to feign ignorance of the next item in a sequence: “One, two, three, seven” is an absolutely hilarious utterance.)
· But you’re still a toddler in many ways, with tantrums and illogical desires and fears. I sometimes catch myself being too hard on you because although you speak clearly and seem to reason, you are, after all, only just three years old.
The bottom line is that your behavior is frustrating at least once a day, but I absolutely adore you and love spending time with you. I can’t wait to see what the year ahead holds for you.