My special Tobin,
Your dad and I think you’ve been on a growth spurt lately. You’ve been eating a lot, including many healthy foods. You had a salad for lunch with spinach, peas, bell peppers, pineapple, and strawberries. You’ve also fallen into the habit of taking naps, which I thought we were long past. That means falling asleep later, which means your brother often falls asleep on the bottom bunk waiting for you to fall asleep. He prefers to sleep in the top bunk, where we typically move after you’ve fallen asleep on the bottom. You, however, sleep better when he’s down on the bottom with you.
Photo by Denny
When you’re by yourself on the bottom, you usually need me or your dad to come snuggle you at some point during the night. That doesn’t usually happen with your Bubby’s with you, but sometimes it does, and that’s a double-whammy. It’s getting pretty hard for me to wedge myself between you and extract myself when you’ve fallen back asleep. We really need to get you out of that habit before Little Potato shows up.
You’re excelling in other areas, though. You’ve been doing great in your swimming lessons. The course catalog indicated that three was the minimum age to sign up, so I was surprised when the person at the registration desk told me you were too young. It turns out the minimum is actually three and a half, but they gave us special permission because I said you were comfortable in the water. That you are—if anything, you’re a little too brave, quick to dunk your head and jump off the side of the pool. Your just-turned-three status hasn’t hurt you any in swim lessons, though. Your teacher, Randi, says you’ve been doing well and improving from lesson to lesson. I just signed you up for another session, so we hope you can continue your progress. You look really cute flailing around with your kickboard.
Photo by Denny
Construction vehicles remain your favorite things to climb on, talk about (except maybe Doctor Dreadful’s Alien Autopsy, but more on that later), and look at. There’s some reworking happening at the park across the street, and you love it when your dad takes you down there after hours so you can check out the enormous excavator. He also took you to an event last weekend at the Children’s Museum called “Move it! Dig it! Do it!” You got to explore in a lot of different big vehicles, like a skid loader, a cement truck, an ambulance, and a fire truck.
Photo by Denny
You were playing nicely with Play-Doh just now, so I thought I could sit down to write this. Now I see you’re licking the Play-Doh, and you won’t listen to any of my admonishments to stop licking it. Gross, but I’m pretty sure it’s non-toxic.
You remain funny, articulate, and expressive. You do great gestures and eyebrow work. You’ve taken to miming certain words or concepts, not because you don’t know how to say them, but just (I think) as an opportunity to be creative. For example, when you talk about Dr. Dreadful (again, more on that later) and the fact that you might be too young for it, instead of saying the word young you’ll slowly lower your hand toward the floor, elevator-style, to indicate shortness.
Your current favorites: cashews, Wild Kratts, pepperoni pizza, veggies and ranch dressing, listening to your brother read to you, taking showers and baths, getting candy from vending machines.
Your current un-favorites: using the potty (I don’t even know, man), Dr. Dreadful’s Alien Autopsy.
Dr. Dreadful’s Alien Autopsy is a game/activity Miles got a year or two ago. It mostly involves mixing together various ingredients to make candy that looks like alien guts. You found the box downstairs a while ago, and it intrigued you. The instructions were missing, so I looked online to see if I could find them. Easily enough, I found a website dedicated to the product line. A video auto-played, and it was full of mad scientist style cackling and lightning bolts and spooky music. You hated it, freaked out, and refused to do any of the candy-making activities.
And yet, ever since, you’ve been talking about it nearly nonstop. Every day we have about ten conversations on the topic. “Why is Dr. Dreadful for big kids? Why not for [elevator hand] kids?” “Is that candy disgusting…or gross?” “Why didn’t I want to eat that candy?” I think Dr. Dreadful has replaced the big kid in the park with the Nintendo 3DS as your emotionally challenging obsession. I don’t think hiding the Dr. Dreadful Alien Autopsy kit will get it out of your mind, either. We met that kid in the park once and you talked about him for months. There may be a lot more Dr. Dreadful discussion in our future.
Photo by Denny
You were the first one in the family besides me to feel Little Potato kick. We were snuggling up in bed one morning and your leg was against my midsection. Little Potato chose that moment to do some serious leg work, and it was pretty fun for you to feel it. Now, when we talk about it, you mime frantic kicking. It looks a lot like what you do in the swimming pool.
You have such a curious little brain, a strong little heart, and a wiggly little body. You are hard to contain in all these respects, but you are almost always fun to have around. I love how resilient you are, how the little setbacks of life don’t faze you (as long as nobody tries to mess with your strategies for getting in and out of the car). You’re a fun guy, Tobin. I’m fond of you.