Friday, October 23, 2015

A Letter to Periwinkle at Three Years Old

Dear Periwinkle,

In less than two days, you will be three years old. Three years ago, I was searching for apple cider donuts at Dunkin, complaining of an aching back, cleaning the house, and eagerly awaiting your arrival in 3 weeks. Little did I know it’d be only 36 hours. Little did I know how completely my world would change.

And so here we are. You are so smart and conversational, I often forget you are only three, rather than thirteen. Your logic and reasoning skills are rather astounding (though I may be biased) and absolutely adorable. You informed Boomer he could not come in the playroom because he did not have fingers and thus could not play with the toys. You negotiate more time before bed, more cookies, more pears, more trips to the library, more stickers, with the ease of a studied lawyer. You are an expert at dealing with an Indigo meltdown, often giving way in an attempt to soothe him. “Okay, Inno. We can watch Mickey first, then Daniel Tiger,” even though it is your turn to choose. My heart swells with pride when you do that, seeing your empathetic soul. When we brought the cats to the vet and they were crying in their cages, you started crying along with them, begging us to let them out. The cats barely give you the time of day, and yet your heart ached for them. 

You are sweet and loving, yet still fiercely independent. “I do it” has turned into “Let me do it myself!” but your stubborn pride is the same. Often, you will turn back to me moments later, “Can you help me?” on your lips; but more and more often, you succeed where once you struggled. It is bittersweet seeing you accomplish more and more on your own, my girl who from minute one pushed away from me to look around the recovery room in the hospital. You still take in so much of what you see and hear, recalling it days or even months later when I think you must have forgotten by now. 

You handled moving (again) like a champ. You transitioned into your new shared room without issue, and this past month you transitioned again into your big girl room with little struggle. In the morning you proudly announce, “I slept in my room all by myself!” If only falling asleep all by yourself were easier, but we’ll get there.

You have taken to preschool like fish to the water (although swimming lessons this summer were a failure—things to work on). I love seeing the worksheets sent home, with your circles around all the letter A’s and B’s, your scrawling handwriting as you learn to trace letters and now words. I have no doubt you soon will be reading me stories instead of vice versa. I’m so very proud of all you are accomplishing. You are also pretty much potty trained, which is awesome. Just . . . awesome. Keep it up!

This year has been so much fun, seeing you experience everything around you and seeing you turn from a baby into a little girl. I’m in complete denial that you are old enough to not be in diapers, old enough to pedal your tricycle and help me bake cookies. Old enough to remind me to stay within the lines when I’m driving (I always do), and to tell me that a stop sign is an octagon, not a hexagon. But you’ll always be my baby girl.


A Letter to Indigo at Three Years Old (YIKES!)

Dear Indigo,

We got into a routine, you and I (and Daddy too, though he less willingly) over the past month or so. Every morning around 6am—though sometimes 3am, if we’re honest—you would pad into our room, give a plaintive, “Mommy…”, and I’d lift you into our bed, put you between us, and fall back asleep as you snuggled in. And kicked Daddy in the face. I often wouldn’t even recall you coming in; I’d just wake up with you beside me. Sometimes I’d try to cut you off if I heard you getting up, try to bring you back to bed, to no avail.  You took my hand one time, said “Come on, Mommy,” and led me to my bed, snuggling in even closer than normal. It was adorable. When we informed you that it was time to move to your big boy room upstairs, you bawled like the three-year-old you are soon to be. “Can I still come in your room in the morning?” I reassured you that yes, just call for me and I will get you. But it hasn’t happened yet. You seem quite content in your new room. Which breaks my heart just a little bit.

Yet when I see you building giant towers, doing puzzles, or when you tell me a fantastical story about a dinosaur and a monster, I can’t help but be happy to see you growing up, learning, using your imagination, becoming more YOU with each day. You are still my quiet, snuggly boy with a biting temper (literally, you randomly bite; please stop). You still seem to feel things deeply, like when you began crying about preschool and how different and loud it was, how it scared you. Such feelings I hadn’t really processed that you had yet. Such big feelings for such a little boy. 

I often wonder what is going through your head as you stare out the window at dinner, watching the birds and the trees. Or at night, when you lie in bed, eyes open, staring into nothing, thinking, thinking, thinking, taking forever to fall asleep. What huge thoughts so occupy your little world? From the beginning, you have been my worrier, concerned about the world around you, even as your sister stared it down and said, “Bring it!” I have photos of you, weeks old, with huge, worrying eyes. You are more like me than you yet know. I am a worrier. I, too, stare into the night thinking, thinking, thinking. I like seeing that we are alike, but I wish it were in other ways. Try to live life a bit more freely, a bit less worried. You are surrounded by people who love you and will protect you, for as long as possible, so don’t fret . . . yet.

But you also feel joy deeply, with your big, whole-body, infectious laughter. I love that laugh more than almost anything in the world. Your eyes light up and your entire face along with it. I hope to find more ways to make you laugh instead of worry. 

You love playing pirates and are pretty good with a lightsaber. Your obsession is Paw Patrol now, not Elmo or even Mickey Mouse. You can sing the theme song and say all the catch phrases. You take my phone and call it your Pup Pad and summon the Paw Patrol “to the lookout!” I love it. 

This week you guys discovered Wall-E. You get so anxious for him, jumping up and down and yelling at him to run, to look out, to go faster. You run in and out of the room, barely able to take the suspense, but you love every minute of it. One of these days I'll catch it on video, before it all becomes old hat. Seeing your excitement makes me so happy.

You love running around outside, especially if it’s away from me as you look back with that devilish grin you got from your father. You enjoy reading books (repeatedly) and going to the library. You are doing great at preschool, learning to identify your letters and numbers, and to write them too! You love pasta with sauce, bananas, pears, and grapes. We’re still working on the veggies. You are doing pretty great with potty training, and I’m so excited to get you out of diapers once and for all. You still won’t pedal your tricycle, because it’s just easier to push along with your feet, but I know one day you’ll wake up and simply get it. You love playing in the sand at the playground, less so going down the slide. I’m wondering if you have a fear of heights. You love your sister, too, and it’s the best thing ever when I see you working together on something instead of fighting over it. You are good at sharing, once reminded. You like to help me around the house, and I let you, even though it’s really no help at all. 

In short, you are a three year old. My little three year old baby boy. Happy Birthday.