Sunday, January 11, 2015

Letter to (Three Year and Eight Month Old) Graves

Dear Graves,

We've been having some great adventures lately. The night before Thanksgiving we went and saw the Macy's balloons being blown up and on Thanksgiving day you cooked a bunch with Papa. Early in December, you and Annie enjoyed participating in the Children's Tableau at Calvary church. You could be be anything you want in the impromptu live nativity- even a tie clad fox, which was your choice costume. "Revend Jake" as you call him shared the Christmas story so beautifully and we had communion and there was a little party afterward. It was a special evening! We also went to a special native american storytelling at the Children's Museum. We ALL loved it and you were so still and quiet! 

You wore some suspenders for the first time and your thought you were hot stuff in them. It's also been really cold and Papa has been stuffing you in the carrier in your puffy coat. One evening we forgot to put Annie's old leggings on your and half your baby legs were exposed because it hikes up your pants. I felt so bad! 

Speaking of the carrier, I decided to try the stroller for ballet several weeks ago since there weren't any connections (not as many stairs as a lot of trips). Verdict: it makes me way more nervous on the stairs, it's about equal in stress to my body (those stair trips aren't easy, but it's obviously less work overall), but it's way faster. We did miss a train I know we would have made had I been able to fly down the stairs like I can when I wear you, but the trade off is that the wait time on the platform for the next one was exponentially more manageable. I am thankful for a fifteen dollar stroller and a two hundred dollar carrier that both do their job really well. It's clearly a mixed bag and something I'll just need to evaluate case by case. Until May. Then I'm strapping you in your carseat, blasting Springsteen in the Buick, and stopping for a Sonic drink. 

Also, since we've been back from Mississippi, I've taken you to the park without a stroller/carrier and without a diaper. The former was clearly the bigger deal, but both are huge milestones!

As an aside, you are totally potty trained. So much so that you only teetee "like a Papa" now (meaning standing up). We did tell you that you are not allowed to do that in public bathrooms. Boys are something different all together. Whew!

Here's a funny story about you: I love street murals. They are one of my favorite things about Brooklyn. We saw one of a very interesting, alarmed looking, sort of creepy lady with extremely wide eyes. She was a little strange, but I loved her. You looked at her and exclaimed "her eyes!" Papa said "What about her eyes, Bud? How do think she's feeling?" And you said "Fustated". I wonder if that is my frustrated face?

You are certainly not lacking in the area of confidence. You tell us often "I'm fantastic" or "I'm awesome" or "I'm amazing". You also like to tell us that you're growing "as tall as a beanstalk". 

You recently got a little haircut. Perks of having your hair girl from the South as your house guest: your little boy looks like a little boy instead of like a hipster styled by the Russian barber. Which is what happened last time I got it cut up here.

You love for people to sit in your lap rather than (or I should say in addition to, you still love to be held) the other way around. As in; Annie, me, Papa, anyone. 

You've given up your naps entirely. Occasionally you will take one and it throws you so off. You took a nap the other day and at midnight you were still up and "putting a ponytail" in your sleeping sister's hair (thankfully she's a HEAVY sleeper).

I think you miss Mississippi like the rest of us. One night awhile back you thanked the Lord for "our house...the one with the ladder and the dirty slide...we love it. But we don't slide when it's dirty".

You LOVE to cook with your papa. The other morning you were saying "Ow, oww, ow" -  imitating the egg being mixed into the batter this am with each stir. You also told me they were babies and I asked you if it hurt them and you said "yeah, but we hungry".

You also love baths. So, some people are guilty of using the TV as a babysitter (we've been at times). But I think we're much more guilty of using the bathtub as a babysitter. Awhile back we had a dreary day in Brooklyn and the you and Annie passed the two hour mark of playing with dinos in the tub. We had recently stopped joint baths, but y'all wanted one so bad today. I was going to suggest swimsuits, but Papa insisted underwear would be sufficient (he used to bathe with Annie in his boxers for funsies when she was about your age). And that's how we've done baths since that afternoon. 

Annie is; as always; you teacher, encourager and best friend. A few weeks ago y'all were looking at a "Find Curious George" book Minnie sent. I heard her say "Yeeees! Very good job, Graaaaaves!"

One night, she and Papa had a special date planned. I enjoyed my night with my sweet boy so much. We watched a Charlie Brown DVD, read your favorite books, snuggled a LOT, had some really good conversations, and ate graham crackers and raisins for supper. I'm surprised I didn't have any bruises (you're about as rough as you are sweet) and bedtime was HARD without your night party playmate, but it was such a great night.

You are learning more than you let on and that's one of my constant struggles these days. I usually let you sit with me and Annie and play with manipulatives during her math time. Now that you rarely nap, I can't make you stay in his room any longer than what it takes for me to have a break and Annie and I to do English (and I'm selfishly still clutching the me time). Anyway, awhile back you made a squarish object with popsicle sticks and then said "Look, Momma, I made you a quadrilateral" (something I've NEVER directly talked to you about). This was such a happy moment because I'll ask you to count a group of three or more objects and you will literally look at me, hard laugh, and say "I don't know how, Momma". I'm always trying to decide if you're teasing (I think mostly), being lazy (maybe a little), being defiant (I really don't think this is that), or is slightly delayed (again, I really don't think so, but I'm prone to irrational anxiety). You amaze me sometimes. And then I feel silly, because you're an extraordinarily amazing kid.

I love you so, so very much, Graves.

Momma (and Papa) 

P.S. Your t-shirt is one of Papa's literary tees. You love them so much. 

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