Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dear Moe (35 Months)

It is very hard to believe that you’ll be three years old next month, my love. It doesn’t seem like it’s been three whole years since you came into our lives, and at the same time, we can’t picture our lives without you.

We had a lovely Christmas, despite both your grandmothers being out of town for the holiday.

For the first time, we left a cookie and a note for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. I put the note on top of the cookie, but you were very concerned that Santa might not see the cookie, so we moved the note and you were much happier about the whole thing. The next morning, when you discovered that Santa had eaten your cookie, it certainly made an impression, but I’m not sure you weren’t a bit miffed.

You’ve greatly enjoyed having a fire in the fireplace. Daddy lit one on Christmas morning. You paid no attention to the sudden arrival of presents under the tree or to the bulging stockings on the couch. You were happy to just sit on your panda stool and watch the flames in the fireplace. We had to point out the gifts to you. 

You are a very lucky little boy - people were very generous. We opened gifts over the course of the day (and in fact, over the course of the holiday), and we were very gratified to see that gift-opening never lost its charm for you. You were never complacent, always grateful and pleased with your gift, and happy to thank the person who brought it for you. (Your reactions were also awesome. “Oh wow!” “How lovely!”) We had a late Christmas celebration with Granny and Grandma, so just when it seemed that the gift opening was finished, there were more to open! A week after Christmas, when you finally opened your last gift, we told you this was the very last present under the tree. You opened it, enjoyed it, thanked Granny, and then wrapped it all back up again and put it under the tree so you could do the whole thing again the next day.

Mark and Janine had a lovely little pre-Christmas celebration with you. They brought you a whole whack of crafting supplies! You literally covered yourself in them and laughed, rolling joyfully like a strange little lottery winner rolling in dollar bills. Except you were rolling in packages of foam shapes. You had a wonderful cuddle with Uncle Mark (you melted his heart), and then you were quite happy to have Aunt Janine carry you upstairs for your nap. You put your head on her shoulder and sighed contentedly. And then, after they left, and I was rocking you in the rocking chair, you suddenly said, “I love Uncle Mark, Mummy.” (Aunt Janine is still green with envy over that one.)

You greatly enjoyed meeting a few new playmates over the holiday. We went to Kanata to visit some old friends, and you met a little boy named Damian, who is a year older than you are. You both played very well together, and I was proud of you. We also had a great visit with Ruben and Jessie, who live in Newfoundland but who come to Ottawa occasionally to visit their grandparents. Jessie and Ruben’s daddy grew up with your Daddy, and they played together when they were your age. It was wonderful to watch you play with Jessie and Ruben. We wish they lived closer so we could all play together more often.

The month wasn’t without illness. I brought you to work with me on Christmas Eve morning, as is my workplace tradition. You had a nice time, but you didn’t really seem to be yourself. That evening, you were sick to your stomach several times. Over the next day or so, it became clear that you had the flu – coughing, chills, fever, and generally feeling horrible. Then Daddy got it. Then Daddy’s flu got better, but he got strep throat. Then I got strep throat. It was a pretty rotten holiday, health-wise, but you helped us create some lovely memories in between feeling terrible.

A sore throat and a cough meant that you got a lot of spoonfuls of honey, and you turned into a little honey monster. Even well after you got over your cough, the requests for honey continued. We had to wean you off of it – you were like a little twitchy Pooh Bear.

Speaking of Pooh Bear, we introduced you to The Tigger Movie this month. It’s the story of how Tigger goes looking for his family, only to realize that his friends are actually his family. We had some nice discussions about chosen family, which is a topic very close to our hearts. So you started asking about who your family is. You would look at me suddenly and ask, “Mummy, are you my family?” and I would reassure you that, yes, I am. A few days later, we went to Uncle Ted’s house for a breakfast party. I was pointing out all the people there who are our “chosen family”. When Aunt Jen picked you up for a hug, you asked me, “Is she my family, Mummy?” and I told you that she was indeed. You looked right at her and said, “I love you.” I don’t think she’s been quite the same since then. Then you looked at Uncle Ted’s mom, Ginny, and informed her that she was your family. That wasn’t even a question, apparently. We are inclined to agree. (It may have had something to do with the fact that she gave you your first whipped cream beater.)

One change that has occurred over the past month, really only in the past couple of weeks, is that you call me “Mummy” a lot less and call me “Mom” a lot more. It made me really sad at first because I wasn’t expecting the change this soon, but I’m getting used to it, and it just makes me enjoy the “Mummy” moments even more, when they do happen.

We’ve given a word to one of our newest challenges: dilly-dallying. You have learned what it is, and that we really don’t like it when you do it. We are currently trying to recover from the inevitable post-holiday behavioural backslide, and we are focusing on a couple of things, including not dilly-dallying. We are also focusing on doing one thing at a time. If you are playing with the tablet, the TV will be turned off. If you want to play with Play-doh, your cars have to be put away. We are also scaling way back on the TV – when we were all sick over the holiday, things got kind of out of control. 

Your concept of time is interesting. Anything in the recent past happened “this morning”. Anything in the farther past happened “when I was bigger” (by which I think you mean “when I was smaller” or “before I was bigger”). Another sentence you’ve picked up is, “We don’t often go there,” when talking about any destination. For example, I’ll say, “Why don’t we go to the library today?” and you’ll say, nodding thoughtfully, “We don’t often go there.” (We go about once a month.)

You’ve also picked up on the fact that there is something that makes girls and boys different from each other. You told me quite earnestly the other day that you are a man, and I am a woman. You were not interested in hearing my correction that you are a boy. You were adamant. “I a MAN, Mummy. I a man.” Ok, then.

We do call you our Little Man. And we love you so much. You are a delight to spend time with, a pleasure to bring to visit people, and even though being almost-but-not-quite three is bringing all kinds of new challenges, you are still an amazing little person who brings joy to everyone he meets. 

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