Friday, January 18, 2013

Oh Three: A letter to B

Oh B. Oh 3. Six months ago  two and a half, likening it to southern summer storms that come and go without warning, replaced by brilliant sunshine. Three is more like the pacific northwest---wake up cloudy, go to bed cloudy, with maybe a few rays of sunshine poking through now and then. And yet...beneath the grumbling and the sulking, something is emerging. Toddler is giving way to genuine chub is all but gone, your knees no longer soft and dimpled, but scabbed and dry like a little boy. You are our little comedian, talking nonsense or calling us by the wrong names, and laughing hysterically over it. You're an easy audience, too, finding the simplest things uproarious, like when I crumpled your shirt up and told you to toss the basketball into the hamper---this one got snorting laughs and you had to relay the story to daddy (?).

You are shaping up to be an intellectual. You love books, doing puzzles (we're up to 40 piece ones), and listening to music. Also jumping and running. But little interest in balls or cars. You like watching and "helping" in the kitchen. You mostly eat well, except on the days when you subsist on air, but always ask (because it could never hurt!) for cake, ice cream, doughnuts first thing in the morning and before bed (we almost always say no),

You are, at heart, a good kid. You want to be good. You love it when we are happy, and you try so hard to behave. At school you are the model child, sitting when its time to sit, eating quietly, falling directions. But at home... oh dear. Its just hard for a little monkey. And, as is developmentally appropriate, you are pushing us, testing boundaries, wanting to exert some little control onto a life that is mostly laid out for you. Wake up when we tell you to, quickly get ready, go to school, come home and immediately eat dinner and get ready for bed. Four stories a night, alternate mommy and daddy reading. Bath every other night (we did relent on that one, you used to get one daily). Go to the toilet every 2 hours. So you stand your ground where you can. You refuse the toilet. Sometimes for so long that you have an accident. Demand daddy instead of mommy (never ever ever the other way around, you are absolutely attached to daddy right now) and poor daddy never gets a break. Refuse to get out of bed in the morning, and then jelly-leg your way through the morning routine so that we are literally dragging and wrangling you around. Not want to get in the bath and then not want to get out. Demand 5 stories and sob when we say no, because good lord we've been reading for 30 minutes and its 8:30 and WE want to finish cleaning the kitchen and go to bed!

You love your brother, I know this...when friends & relatives joke about taking him home with them (oddly people do this frequently, he is super cute), you get anxious. "No. Don't take L. I WANT him". Yet you are often frustrated by him destroying your half-done puzzles, or ripping the book out of your hand, and you lash out. You hit him sometimes, knock him down, pull his hair. Then you feel bad about yourself and lash out some more. Finally you apologize and kiss the top of his head. I think you will like it when he's old enough to actually play with you, instead of simply destroying all of your games. When you see each other after a while apart, you both light up and give each other big hugs.

We took the side off your crib last weekend. You didn't ask us too, and in fact, when we asked, you told us you wanted your crib. But we figured it was time, and its going...OK. At bedtime the freedom is a bit much and you get really hyper and run around for a while, and you are having more trouble falling asleep, sometimes crying out for "more water", "put the blanket on again", "one more hug". But you sleep all night and we actually have to wake you at 7:30 in the morning (despite L being up and LOUD from 5:15 on most days). You nap nicely after lunch at school but never ever on the weekends. We've stopped trying and just enjoy the extra time with you (and put you to bed at least an hour early on Saturday and Sunday nights).

It must be hard being three, and it is sometimes (often these days), hard mothering a three-year-old. But its also a lot of fun. Many times recently I'm laughing harder than I've laughed in years, at the things you say and do (yesterday you asked if a toy in your book was a boy or a girl. we didn't know. so you pretended to pull something out of your "pocket" and fiddle with it, and declared the toy was indeed a boy. Apparently you were looking it up on your phone. Ummm wonder where you learned that...). I'm so excited to see what's ahead for us.

1 comment:

  1. This is lovely, and perfect, and so true to life. Thanks, B, for making your family so happy.