Sunday, December 14, 2014

Letter to (Three Year and Seven Month Old) Graves

Dear Graves, 

I'm a little behind on your letters and I have so much to tell you! 

First of all- Cookie's wedding! You were the most precious ring bearer ever and you took your job suprisingly seriously for such a silly little guy. 

You just stared at Cookie with this mesmerized look all night. I told Conrad that some guy was staring at his wife and it was a little creepy. She was so beautiful and your weren't hiding your feelings one bit! 

One of the most special moments later in the evening was seeing the groom sitting at a table visiting and motioning for his mom to sit on his lap. They snuggled a little and it was such a precious moment between the two of them. A couple of years ago when you were a baby, I had a conversation with some friends about that stupid saying "a son is a son until he takes a wife; a daughter's a daughter for the rest of her life". It devastated me to think about the possibility that one day we might not be particularly close, but I knew it wasn't uncommon. I teared up realizing that it wasn't a certain fate.

Mississippi was full of many other adventures- trips to see Granny's, eating snacks on Minnie's counter, and playing with lots of old buddies. You had the best time visiting your cousins and dressing up in an old Big Bird costume Granny had made. 

You and Annie staged your own little wedding while we were at Mickey and Minnie's. After y'alls big smooch, there was a small reception and then onto the beach for your honeymoon. You spent time relaxing in your "bathing suit" (twenty five year old Colonel Reb boxers) that the bride picked.

It's funny to watch you observe things. Cookie and Con brought y'all some shells from their honeymoon and you told us that one resembled "bery long shredded wheat".

While we were staying at Mickey and Minnie's you also got scared of the half naked Jim Morrison poster in Cookie's room. Annie told you "Bud it's just art. He can't talk or anything. Just try not to look at him anymore".

The trip was wonderful, but there were hard moments. One day you just lost it in the car, full on scream sobs. I truly thought you were hurt. I quickly got off the phone with Papa and asked you what was wrong. "I don't want to live at our home in New York. I want to be with Mickey. You know the house with stairs? I just stay in his Mickey house." That's the part that hurts the most.

You also told me, regarding Mickey, "He your Rob Papa. I got a Peyton Papa." I love watching you make connections. 

And a bit of TMI but Mick kept y'all one night by himself and he wiped his first bum ever, excepting his own. Minnie said "only for his little boy!" 

Besides wonderful times, and sad times, we also had a couple of scary times. One evening I heard you crying and went to check on you and you had an elastic string wrapped TIGHT around your neck. Because we left you unsupervised for a like two minutes in a not totally baby-proofed house. Terrifying. As soon as you realized you were safe (I was still unwrapping it) you said "I'm soooorry". You know better. But impulse control is not your strength. You are almost never defiant (Annie frequently is) but you are sooooo naughty. Remember when you jumped in the lake there, too? I hope you survive your own antics. Precious boy, you are your own biggest hazard. Maybe four will bring more wisdom. I really thought three would. 

The next day you proved me a little wrong about exercising self-control.. We visited Batte and you came up with the idea of tucking your hands in your jon jon so you wouldn't be tempted to touch things.

That said, you also fell down the stairs head first (you managed to catch yourself and I was a little in front of you with two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches). Obviously the nurse lanyard was a good bit scarier but my nerves were shot and it was getting exhausting. (I feel like I should clarify that we've loved being home and it's been every bit worth it. Actually, that pretty much could be applied to your entire life.) 

"I have TONS of accidents"- this from you one Sunday morning. You, who at three and a half is actually, finally, potty trained. Except when ypu uncharacteristically teetee in the bed and I put a diaper on you. And you poop in it promptly upon waking up. I'm thankful you're so cute, so sweet, and SO happy. TMI I know, but so much of your life is right now.

Papa had to get back to Brooklyn to work, but we had stayed on a bit and I was a little nervous about the plane ride with you. You did great, though, besides getting upset when your ears popped and not wanting to wear a seltbeat some of the time. You even fell asleep on the longer leg of the flight! 

We had a wonderful Halloween and you loved it so much. You enjoyed trick-or-treating but I think the decorations were your favorite. 

We also ended up getting rid of your baa on the trip home after you fell asleep a few nights without it and then told us you didn't need them anymore. Poor guy, though, you thought you'd get them back "at our Brooklyn home". You cried and cried for while and said "Okay, I'll never take a nap again" (which has been mostly true). But we made it. The nights have really been easy. I was mostly worried about naps. But we had a good 3.5 years of them. I was also worried about your morning snuggles. You were waking up like a fire cracker at my parents'. Turns out, I think that was just the allure of grandparents and you're back to morning cuddles. And this happened just the way we wanted it to- you said you were ready to be done. Once you decided, we gently pushed. But it was much easier than I predicted.

One thing that's really hard with you is that it's difficult to know how much you know about things since you hardly ever seem to be paying attention. One morning Peyton was reading the kids a story and you were the couch the whole time, per usual. The story mentioned the main character slipping on "yak butter". Peyton did not stop and make a point of this. Much later that night you slipped off the toilet and almost fell into the potty water and said "WHOOPS! Yak butter!". THIS IS WHY I CONTINUE TO READ TO You WHILE YOU RUNS CIRCLES AROUND MY LIVING SPACE. It seems to be an exercise in futility, but THEN THIS.

I love watching you with your papa and sister. One day you told us that"I have a creature power suit that change me into a helps me pick up heavy things and help people." Which is exactly what you see your papa doing all the time. So thankful for both of you! 

I came in y'alls room the other night because you were screaming about "having a bleed". Annie told me that"He was messin' with Hippo's nostrils and then he just started digging in his own nose." Hilarious, as always! She then told you "I'm your nurse. My name is Cookie." After that, she started barking at you to hold yopur head up and be still. It will be amazing if you find another girl who will care for you like this and put up with you. Of course, you're a charmer and a flirt and ridiculously sweet, so I think he will. Usually how it works, right? Ask me how I know ;)

Great example of how you are not really (usually) defiant, but you're SO mischievous: you stuck your hand down your own pants and "tricked" your sister by telling her to smell your hand, that it smelled really good. Papato Annie: "That was wrong, but you should have had enough sense to know his hand would smell like a booty". Another night you convinced Annie to try tasting her own boogers and then she worked herself into a frenzy over needing to brush her teeth again.

The other weekend you had a rough day. You hit your head, pinched your finger in a door, and bit your tongue in the span of about fifteen minutes. I was trying to do dishes so your nurse (Annie) took over on the third incident. She brought you blanket and cuddled you in her lap. I was saying what a kind little girl she was and she said "You know, he's a very kind brother. At lunch when I was fussing because you said we couldn't have more than one brownie, he offered me his". Y'all are so good to each other.

Graves, you are such a fantastic, special boy. You bring so much joy to my life! 

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your smocked robot outfit is a 3T. The pants are a little long and I had them rolled so you could play. 

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