Friday, March 13, 2015

Dear Moe (January and February 2015)

Hello, Bean. I’m sorry this letter is so late – we’re just about halfway through March! January feels like it was so long ago. We’ve had a great couple of months, and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you. 

One of the things that have made me so happy over the past few months is your amazing progress in reading. Your school readers have become so simple for you that we invested in a set of Usborne Phonics Readers for you, and I’m so impressed with how well you can read them when you put your mind to it. Obviously, your preference is that I read them to you, but we eventually reach a détente and you do a fair bit of the work. Even when we are reading our Jack and Annie chapter books, you often recognize the words while I’m reading them and will interrupt and ask, “Does this say _____?” while pointing to a word. You love leafing through your Pokemon and CHIMA encyclopedias, and surprised me the other day by pointing to a word on the globe and asking, “Does this say Mexico?” (It totally did.)

One of the Jack and Annie books introduced us to Louis Armstrong, so I took a few minutes to show you some videos of him playing the trumpet. You loved them and wanted to watch them again and again. Another one asked the question, “What are you good at? What do you love to go?” and you answered for yourself, “I like to sit and watch the fire in the fireplace.” 

You have also declared that you would like to be a nurse when you grow up. I think you’d made a great nurse – you are very caring and helpful and are great at taking care of people. You enjoy sending hugs and kisses via text message photos. You are affectionate and loving. You pretty much singlehandedly made cupcakes for Valentine’s Day (with some assistance from Grandma), and generously gave them with people you love. 

You worked hard for over a month on printing your name on Valentine cards for every person in your class. (You even wrote one for Asha the hairdresser because we were going to see her on Valentine’s Day.) We were asked to work with you on your printing in the evenings, and that proved to be a great project for you. Now you choose three “sight word” cards from your POP Sight Words game and practice printing those. 

We made some changes to your room after Christmas – Daddy built you a TARDIS. The “door” is a shower curtain from Grandpa Will and Grandma Anne, the lights inside are from Uncle Mark and Aunt Janine, and they also gave you your own sonic screwdriver. You don’t use the TARDIS a whole lot right now, but we’re hoping that it will become a nice safe hidey hole for you when you need one. 

You greatly dislike going upstairs by yourself, even to the bathroom. You fight it every step of the way. 

Some of the games you’ve enjoyed playing over the last few months include: 

  • “Ninja thief” where you sneak around the house “invisibly” (“Don’t look at me!”) and “steal” things, which you bring to your ninja hiding spot under the dining room table; 
  • Cooperative board games like Race for the Treasure and Hoot Owl Hoot; 
  • Other board games like Mario and Luigi checkers, Spuzzle, Spot It Jr., and My First Carcassone; 
  • Various Wii games Grandma borrows from the library for you to play at her house; 
  • Your first X-Box game, which is a Cars racing game. (It was pretty funny to hear you tell Uncle Mark – the king of racing games – that you’d show him how it’s done.)

It was a birthday party extravaganza for a while – Nathan’s birthday party was in January, then Koen’s, followed by Connor’s, and then yours in February. You certainly didn’t suffer from a shortage of cake. Your own birthday celebrations stretched out over a week! 

We all got snowshoes for Christmas, and I had lovely visions of us heading out on happy treks through the snow every weekend. It has been so insanely cold this winter that we got out on them once. And you spent most of that time playing in the back area with Emmett (who was also wearing snowshoes) – you guys didn’t snowshoe much, you just played while wearing snowshoes. I’m hoping for a better record next winter. But you know, you are your father’s son sometimes. I have to be careful when I plan for us to go outside because once you’ve gotten into the house and settled in, it can be like pulling teeth to get you to leave again. It can be frustrating, but at the same time, I’m glad you love being at home. 

Your behaviour in school has changed over the past two months, and I suspect it’s because you are finally really comfortable there. But you’ve been what your teacher calls “hands on” with other students, playing somewhat roughly. Usually, it’s out of joy or excitement, but occasionally you’ve lashed out in anger. We are working to remind you that there are times and places for “hands on” play, but that school is never one of them. You’ve also gone back and forth quite a bit with potty training regression, which has been frustrating for everyone, but we’re trying to be kind of laid back about it because we don’t want to you to stop telling us when you’ve had an accident. (In the interest of accident prevention, we have put the DS away for a few months.) 

You completed your first swim session at the Salamander level, and we’ve signed you up for more lessons at that level for April and May. You’ve made great progress, but need to work on coming up for air and then being able to go back under. 

We’ve signed you up for another session of gymnastics, but after this one we’re going to take a break for the summer. We decided this for two reasons: we’ll be away so many weekends and you’ll miss classes, and you are losing your ability to focus on the coach when in a group. Your teacher at school has noticed this too – you are really easily distracted when in a group and have a hard time focusing on instructions. We’ll keep working on it. 

You are still wonderfully affectionate and loving. You play hard, wearing out the knees in your pants, and hug and kiss with as much enthusiasm. You are still a wonderful admirer of beauty, which I hope continues, and enjoy listening to music over dinner. You are fun, love being funny and cute and silly, and you bring much joy to our lives. Sometimes I get sad that you’re getting so big, but every new stage is fun in its own way. Keep trying to be a good, caring person who “fills buckets” of the people around him. We love you. 

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