Saturday, October 24, 2015

Letter to (Four Year and Five Month Old) Graves

Dear Graves, 

I'm behind on these, so this is kind of like your end of Summer letter. We've had a great time and a lot of adventures. Near the top of the list was probably our night excursions to the park. Papa would get y'all to go up the slides and called them the "dark, dark cave". It was magical. One night while there you said "Aw these mayfwies, they so cute, ahhh!" "They're my specialest toys", while five or so crawled on your hand.

Also, on a recent trip from Clinton (Clinton! It's like a half hour drive) you had to tee tee on the side of the road on the way home from CLINTON (less than half an hour). We did the thing where you open two doors to form a stall beside the highway. Basically, you and Annie are recreating my childhood and it's just delightful.

Also, when you're too loud for the library- the monkey grass outside is always a welcoming spot. Sigh.

My consignment goals have changed a lot in the six years I've had children. This time I've tried to spend a fraction of what I used to and as you guys get older I'm trying to think about what YOU care about. I got you this cool monster shirt and it was a little more than I wanted to pay for a used t-shirt, but you told me "this is so awesome" and then you named them each and told me what kind they are (i.e. cave monster, google monster, alien monster, water monster). Also, you put it on before I had a chance to wash it and I just didn't fight it- I guess I've changed in a lot of ways!

I also got you some pjs (the dress code for homeschooling consists mostly of jammies). There was a point in my life where I'd buy ahead even cute pjs if I found them. Well, I got some several years ago in a 5T for you.  Annie found them when I was sorting stuff after we moved home and was obsessed. Of course, I told her she could wear them this Winter and you were disappointed he didn't have any. I grabbed these 4T ones at another sale you started wearing them that week despite the fact that according to Papa, with our new AC unit, "82 is the new 80". I won't be surprised if there's a picture in matching dino jams on our Christmas card.

As a somewhat related aside, entryway rugs make great royal robes for tiny kings. 

Also, Papa Mad Men-ed his hair to go out one night and you wanted in on the action. I know I'm biased, but you were the cutest thing ever with YOUR date, "Snugglie" (your stuffed bunny rabbit). 

One night I told y'all we might go to the grocery store after we picked up Papa, and you let me know you were "afraid you'd bump into things at Kroger" and needed these "insoles" (shin guards) to protect you. I'm sure the cleats you wore had a purpose, too. Also you brought a green eraser and the stuffie named "Mayfly Mayfly Gorilla". The only thing that makes this story better? the anxiety you were giving your sister because you threw up in your mouth multiple times from "eating too much toilet paper". 

A fairly large villain (he hits just above my knee) moved into our house recently- The Joker. It's hysterical because you love him during the day but insist he stay in our room (or better still, the laundry room) at night. He is a little frightening, to be honest.

I love watching your friendships. You and Jude have become such good friends in your own right. Boy friendships are so different and you sometimes have a hard time in social situations (which surprised us so much because you really do seem, in a lot of ways, to be our more extroverted child). But you and Jude have really formed your own little friendship lately, after years of playing side by side. So, so sweet to watch!

You are so sweet and silly. You ask me almost nightly "Momma, will you please tuck me in my pillowcase?" but usually you end up out of it before you fall asleep. 

I almost tripped over you going to the bathroom one night. Bless your heart, you wander without your baby gate. Also? I just went ahead and took you to our room because babies don't keep. 

I also caught you sleeping totally upside down laying over a stool one night- snoring like a freight train.

Awhile back, I heard a little voice say "I just wanted a bell pepper" one night. I thought "that's strange they both said they were finished with supper and that sounded like it came from the den". Came in and found you sitting on the couch chomping on one. I was a little annoyed because one: eating on the couch and two: there was a cut up one in the fridge. But I guess I can't be TOO angry when you were devouring a bell pepper with such joy.

In a lot of ways, Annie is more like me but in some ways, we're alot alike. Annie, her namesake papa, and her Mickey get up ready for the day and ready to read, learn a language, and study Scripture, respectively. You and I wake up hangry, annoyed at the world, and some mornings not without a few tears. 

You have a new catch phrase- "I don't mind". You say it all the time (for example, I say "it's rest time, go to your room" and you say "I don't mind"). It is so indicative of exactly who you are. And I know I've said it before but praise God! We have enough people with Big! Opinions! In this house. Of course where it does bite us in the butt is with discipline because, with almost any consequence, you guessed don't mind.

Also, remember when you named your dinosaur Podcast? Papa brought home a couple of dragons from the "under a dollar" bin. Graves's first name suggestion was "Consequence". Love and Logic parenting fail.

An example of how consequences don't really phase you- during rest time one day you ate a bunch of soap on your own accord. To the best of my understanding you thought it would turn you "night glo" and to your credit it is bright green and I guess looks pretty enticing if I can get inside the mind of a mischievous four year old boy for a minute. I'm assuming this is why you also used his toothbrush to cover your hair in it, though the conversation didn't get that far. The silver lining to having a kid like this (besides the laugh track that's become the never ceasing playlist of our lives)? Not a word of protest when I turned you upside down in the sink and scrubbed your head with cold water. But you're a hard egg to crack.

Awhile back, I heard this exchange:
You (after Papa told you that you couldn't play with toy guns until you understood more about actual guns): "I know everything about everything"
Annie (without missing a beat): "WHAT'S A HABITAT?"
You (in a very matter-of-fact way): "A kind of raptor."
Annie: (laughed, shook her head, rolled her eyes...she was done for the day)
You, the overconfident statesman, who never fears being wrong. She, the overzealous prosecutor, determined to find and expose all the wrong in the world.

I was thinking about Brooklyn recently. I tell people all the time that if you doesn't retain a single memory, I have absolute confidence it irrevocably changed your worldview for the better. It will be with us forever!

You love babies more than ANYTHING. You tell us often that you want to have "a hundred thousand babies". But truly I think your number one career ambition is to be a papa. Awhile back, I came in the room and your were rocking a baby doll in Minnie's old cradle and singing to her. I will never, ever understand anyone who would discourage something as beautiful as this. Even if they believe strongly in gender roles, I can't understand any harm that could come from it. I was so thankful for the countless times Papa rocked you and your sister as babies and I certainly don't think it made him any less of a man. I will continue to praise your nurturing spirit whenever and wherever I see it.

 Also, you found the Gerber Baby on your church underwear and got so excited and said "oh, I found my child!". Guess Avocado had a lost sibling we didn't know about 

Recently you started saying "Mommy" and I asked you what happened to Momma (as an aside, if Papa refers to me as "your mom" AP becomes indignant) and you said "Oh, I just thought 'Mommy' was a cute little name". And you, Sir, are certainly a cute little boy and we couldn't love you more.


Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your outfit is a 4, we are back to wearing Converse to church on occasion, and apparently I'll let you have a Tupperware full of raisins in your bed in order to try to get a good picture!

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