Saturday, March 28, 2015

Letter to (Three Year and Eleven Month Old) Graves

 Dear Graves,

It's been such a fun month with you. We celebrated the Chinese New Year at the Met and you had such a great time watching all the performances (although you are STILL telling us- almost a month later- how upset you are that we ended up not going to the actual parade). We've had a good many relaxing days around the apartment, too. You love those! You enjoy cooking with Papa so much and last time he was off and we stayed home you and Annie did a science experiment with him! You got a knight costume for Valentine's Day and your are obsessed with it. 

Mostly you love to wear as little as possible, though. It will be eleven degrees and every picture I take has to be cropped or strategically positioned (or I have to dress you for it) because all you ever want to wear is superhero underwear.

You are so big. You actually wore pants and a little sweater (not a jon jon) to church the other day. You are still asking to be called "Big Boy Baby Graves".

You are as busy as a bee (or a beehijer- your favorite animal from inside your own imagination) but you are so good natured and appreciative. He told Papa awhile back "you did a great job, Papa!" (at helping him with a craft). One Valentine's Day you also told us thank you for your little presents and when we took you guys out to eat you said "Y'all! Y'all! I'm really enjoying this!". Annie is mostly polite but it doesn't occur to her to validate and affirm people the way you do.

You're catching onto things, though. You didn't want any chicken spaghetti tonight (you're not a picky eater and it's one of your favorites and later realized that). I asked you what you felt like and you said "well, not just random stuff either". Heads up, Papa. Stop just putting "random stuff" on our boy's plate!

You recently figured out that I don't really want you to actually sleep during rest time so now you "threatens" me that you will fall asleep if I don't let you out. You love pretending to be asleep and then jumping up and yelling "SURPRISE!". 

You've also been joining us at about four every morning. And lately you've been building a mini "nest" (like the one in your closet) basically in your sleep. You snore just like your Papa and you're the BEST snuggler.You're also just beautiful to watch. I don't regret saying yes to you for one minute. 

You're the sweetest boy. You and AP were watching Winnie the Pooh a few weeks ago and I heard some whimpering. I went in to check and bless your heart, you had big tears glistening in your eyes. Because Rabbit had told Tigger he could never bounce again. For a moment I just soaked up your sweet sensitivity and cuddled him. But then I thought about how often our culture tells little boys like you to "Stop!Bouncing!" Being honest, I have a little bit of that control freak Rabbit (and anxiety ridden Piglet and and chronically depressed Eyore) in me (wish I could just be Kanga). It was a good reminder that stifling your bouncy spirit would be just as bad as stifling your sensitive one. And I needed it- especially during the long, dreary Winter days that bring out the Rabbit, Piglet AND Eyore sides of my temperament.

You are making real progress on the "things that could kill or really hurt you" front. When you hear a train and you're not in the carrier or a stroller, you immediately squeeze my hand TIGHT. And the other day I picked you up to wash your hands in the sink and you started fussing and said "KNIFE!" because one was in the sink. I realize most kids probably have these epiphanies like two years earlier than you, but I'm SO PROUD of each one.

You are such a funny, funny guy. Annie dropped a piece of ice on the floor and was SOBBING about having to pick it up. Papa goes "You're just going to have to suck it up". And you said "If she sucks it up, she'll get diarrhea". We are so lax about eating off the floor but we've been really consistent with telling you that if you eat stuff off the sidewalk or train platform you will very possibly get diarrhea. Guess the warnings are working.

We've had several amusing trips to The Met with you. You love to point and loudly announce that you are noticing the penises in the statue garden. You call nipples "pinkies" and we got an earfull about all the pinkies you see there as well. 

We actually recently Gave y'all some basic "birds and the bees" info tonight and you kept pressing imaginary buttons on an imaginary bus and yelling "Next stop VAGINA!". I was sort of terrified of the next time we'd have to use public transit.

I let y'all color Valentines for Mickey and Minnie and then dictate them to me. I loved how yours wasn't remotely coherent. It said "This blue card is for Mickey because it's a boy picture. We love our kittens surely much and we don't want them to teetee in our bathroom. Thank you for our Mickey and Rob". 

One fun thing about you is ALL the words you make up. Annie never really did that.  One of my favorite of your made up words- used most often in relation to the back of his beloved crocodile, but can be used to describe anything rough and bumpy- is "gribbally grabbally". I so wish my grandmother was still around to talk to him about going to the "Pig-ally Wig-ally" for groceries.

The other day you said you were doing "starfish-fasha-bihadjer" exercises (usually Papa does jumping jacks and calls them "starfish" then "pencil" to teach you and Annie what to do). Then you started running around the couch repeating "bacon fulled the bastard!" and mixing in random phrases about "vasoli" "axel" "Christ on the cross" "God" etc. . Look, you talk about Christ on the cross constantly. If there's a bastard full of bacon mixed in, I'm okay with it. 

Speaking have become fascinated with crosses. Not like necklaces- literal, actual crosses. A few weeks ago you ran away from us at the train station (not on a platform, praise God) and we had yet another discussion about things that can kill you (cars, trains, ect.). You said "Or a cross could kill Jesus". Another day saw the cross at church and asked me a bunch of questions, the majority of which had to do if it was a REAL cross and and an OUTSIDE cross (I finally figured out you meant one used to actually, you know, crucify someone). You also spent a good few minutes asking our beloved priest, Ben, about the significance of it currently being cloaked in purple. In an earlier conversation with a stranger, I caught myself getting nervous you'd bring up your latest fascination. Because let's face it, when it stops being a necklace and starts being an instrument of torture, things get weird real fast. The more I think about it, though, the more I realize that I'd much rather spend my days talking about the gory details of the cross (and the glorious details of Easter morning!) with you than spend them on the things I'm prone to- behavior modification and moralism. 

Graves, we love you so much more than you can ever imagine.

Momma and Papa

P.S. You spider t-shirt is a 3T and your jeans are a 2T. 

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