You are officially in the home stretch to three (insert disbelief face here!).
This last quarter-year has been a dynamic one. You have been making huge leaps developmentally, and while we are amazed with how much you are learning each day, the growth comes with frustration — for you, and then by proxy, for us. Your brain is working overtime — so many questions, more complex thoughts, first real fears, and you are talking ALL. THE. TIME. You are hyper-aware of when you are and aren’t capable of doing something yourself — and are super frustrated when it’s the latter.
Your growth this quarter has translated to interrupted sleep — we are working through a sudden and intense fear of sleeping in your room by yourself. What started as freaked-out meltdowns at both naptime and bedtime have thankfully, progressed to a point where you can now calmly get yourself to sleep for a nap, and at nighttime, with us out of sight — something we took for granted before! You do wake up at 2am to the dot most nights and after trying several methods to get you back to sleep in your own bed (some gentler, some firmer), we’ve called a truce and opted for SLEEP over everything else. For now, you end up sleeping with us (thankfully, you go right back to sleep and are a pretty decent sleepover companion). Neither your dad or I are thrilled with this arrangement, but for the short term, we’re riding it out and focusing on the fact we’ve navigated two of the three get-to-bed scenarios. Paci and “brown blankie” continue to be necessary bedtime companions.
You tell us all the time that you are big, and brave. You like to point out the things you can do because you’re a “big kid”, and it’s so awesome to watch you work through things that I KNOW you are intimidated by, but you try anyway. Somewhere in the break between winter and summer swim lessons, you developed a fear of being submerged underwater for more than a split second. I sat at a swim lesson with you recently and watched you come up from a turn at diving for rings with your teacher, and you looked back at me through the glass, stiff-jawed and holding back tears, determined to be tough. (I was so proud of that brave moment!) I’m happy to report a few weeks back into it, and with the addition of goggles, you can’t wait to get to the pool for your lesson.
You continue to be a huge lover and snuggler. Depending on time of day and mood, you prefer to be as close as possible, and ask us to “snuggle me!” with a blanket. You do these funny little sigh sound effects and smile at us and close your eyes in happiness. Those moments make up for the frustrated ones!
You want to be the number one helper ALL THE TIME. We can’t go to the car without you announcing, “Only Crew can be the door holder! I will open the door!” and you want a hand in everything that is going on. You are no happier than when you have a special task or job to do that is all yours. You LOVE to help cook and clean, and we’ve established that Mom gets a turn and then Crew (and then Mom again) so that I can ACTUALLY accomplish some decent vacuuming or complete a meal. I love that you’re developing some skills and vocabulary around the kitchen — even if you can’t actually muscle it, you know how to use a can opener and you have a set of kid knives that you use to help me chop veggies. We’re learning the basics of measuring ingredients (“Fill it up to 1!” were your exact words when I said we needed 1 cup of water the other day), and you can actually crack an egg with precision (and then pick out any pieces of shell you drop in, while announcing, “we don’t want any shell in there!”). I don’t pretend to be a fantastic cook, but I do love that it’s something we can enjoy together.
You suddenly seem so big boy to me in how you play — rougher and louder. I love that you love to be active, and while you do get screen time (you’re obsessed with Blaze and the Monster Machines!) you will drop it in a hot second at the promise of going to play outside or doing an activity with us. You’re into Legos if we’ll build something WITH you, continue to obsess over garbage trucks, and love anything the park has to offer — the climbing rock walls and ladders are particularly popular with you right now, especially when you can do them unassisted.
You love school, your class of friends, and your teachers, and can actually recount brief bits of your day to us now. You sing songs you clearly learned at school (and are confused if we don’t know one of them and can’t sing along) and sometimes you surprise us with something we didn’t even know you had learned, until it comes up randomly at home — just the other day at the park we were talking about “today” and “tomorrow” and you started referencing days of the week. So we asked you what came after that day, and low and behold, you knew your days of the week — in order — neither of us knew you had any idea!
You’re beginning to express bashfulness and embarassment — if we giggle at something you say or do, you either laugh along like you get the joke, or shake your head and roll your eyes to not look at us. You’re trying to string together much more complex sentences as you get more detailed thoughts across — but sometimes you mix up your phrasing, leaving us to ask, “what are you saying? tell me again?” and you realize you’ve not making sense and do the same shaking of the head, and mutter total babble under your breath as if to say, “oh forget it” ha!
You’re repeating a lot more now (for better or worse!) and picking up on our key phrases. When you had an accident at the park a couple weeks ago, I took you to the car to change, during which you sighed and looked at me, then said…”I’m a hot mess!” 🙂 Another fave is when you grabbed my face the other day, pulled me in close and said, “Mommy, you’re the cutest!” Man, are toddlers good for your ego! 🙂
Swim lessons are going great and we have no plans to stop them anytime soon. As opposed to the baby-level classes which seem to get pretty repetitive, it’s fun to see you at a point where you’re making real progress and learning skills. You love to plug our noses and instruct us to close our mouths (something your coach asks you to do at the start of each class, to practice breath control!)
I love that you are picking up on things we love to do. You will sit and watch golf on TV with Dad (truly watch! and yell “get it in the hole!” lol) and when a toy camera showed up in a happy meal recently, you went full-throttle into taking pictures of everything. It cracks me up that you will pretend to show me a playback and say, “Look! There’s Crew and Mommy in dat picture!”
You continue to live joyously and love fiercely and I’m more aware than ever that that is exactly what the world needs right now.