My sweet(ish) Tobin,
Not that these letters are ever on time anymore, but at least I have a good excuse this month. Hoo boy, have we had a week. You had your personal worst sickness of your whole life, one that your dad and I think is the worst one any kid in our family has ever had. It was an all-out spew fest, both upper and lower. You couldn’t keep anything down for the first day or so, not even water. Fortunately it abated somewhat and I stopped being worried about dehydration, but it continued for about four and a half days altogether. You were crabby and lethargic and generally miserable. I’m so glad you’re doing better now, able to get back to school and your normal creative fun.
You’re really into imaginative play these days, especially with your Imaginext toys. I think I’ve written before about how you like to watch videos of people playing with the toys, which is kind of weird, especially since it’s usually adults. But you’ve used some of the plotlines from the videos as springboards for your own play, so I guess it’s not totally worthless. You like to play with the Joker’s Funhouse, the space station, the Eagle Talon Castle, and all the dinosaurs. Unlike your brother, who gets uptight about the Joker and Spiderman interacting because one of them is D.C. and one is Marvel (don’t ask me which, but he knows), you have no problem with crossover. Your knights go into space, which sounds like just the kind of adventure a knight would enjoy, if he had the technological resources. Mubby and Skitter are coming to see us this weekend, and Mubby has promised a couple of new Imaginext toys. You are absolutely quivering with excitement.
The Imaginext toys are in your bedroom right now, because we had to clear out the basement due to a destruction/reconstruction project. It’s handy for you to have them there, so maybe we’ll leave them. You can just duck away and go have some playtime. Sometimes Miles plays with you, but other times you’re happy to just sit there and make up stories for your action figures and dinosaurs. Callum isn’t much of a playmate yet, but he does love to look at you. You’re still a great brother to him, sweet and mostly gentle. You love to hold him and talk to him in a sing-song voice. I’m sure your name or some version of it will be among his first words.
One of your favorite things to do after I pick you up from school is suggest that we go on a lunch date to Panera. I try to say yes to that once a week or so. It’s not too far out of the way and it’s not too busy at 11:30, and you’re always happy to have a tub of cream cheese and a few bites of bagel. Other days we go to Hy-Vee and pick up a slice of pizza or beef and broccoli for you. Other days we come home and eat leftovers or your usual favorites, pasta or waffles. Breaking bread with you is a fun thing to do.
We’ll have to find out what time Panera starts serving their lunch menu, because your schedule is going to change a bit in the fall. We’ve known for a while that Willowwind would likely be ending its half-day program, so we applied to the preschool program at Hoover Elementary. We found out last week that you got into it, which is great news because it’s reasonably close to our house and has the best hours of any of the possibilities we considered. Rather than 11:30, it ends at 11:00 every day. That’s slightly less convenient, but it’s better than the programs that go through the lunch hour. I like having lunch with you, and you’re only three. It seems early to ship you off every day with a sack lunch when we could be eating together. It’s also free, which is going to be a significant boon to our budget. We haven’t visited it yet, but we’ve heard good things. There’s a parents’-only visiting day next month, and unless we see something that’s truly alarming, that’s where you’ll be starting in August.
Unfortunately, Ho0ver is slated to close in the next few years, so once Callum is old enough for preschool, we’re going to have to figure out something else once again. So it goes.
I’m not going to tell you that every minute we’ve spent together lately has been perfect. You’re truly, madly, deeply three. That has led to some departure from your previously sweet and relaxed nature. I think you’ve had more temper tantrums in the last couple of months than in the whole rest of your life up to that point. Sometimes you just roar with rage. The fact that you haven’t been feeling well probably doesn’t help matters, but it can be pretty hard to deal with you when you get absolutely irrational like that. Sometimes you freak out so hard you pee your pants. I think it’s just because you get so overwhelmed with emotion that you lose control of yourself, but it does feel suspiciously like an act of hostility. It will pass, I think. Miles went through it too (though not the peeing part—that’s new and fun). We’ll get beyond it just in time to start round three with Cal. So it goes.
We had a fun family get-together at the Honey Creek resort at Lake Rathbun a couple of weekends ago. Our main purpose was to celebrate Aunt Dorothy’s 95th birthday. She’s an aunt by marriage on your dad’s side, but I feel a special connection to her because she was friends with my grandmother, whom we refer to as Maw. You never met Maw, but Dorothy is still lively and bright. I hope she’s with us long enough that she can tell you stories about Maw. You also had fun with Nana and Papa, Aunt Shannon and Uncle Mark, and lots of other family members. The hotel was very nice, though unfortunately we had a couple of snafus that left me sleeping in a not-huge bed with you and Callum, and an alarm went off twice in our room during the night. It was not the most restful sleep I’ve ever had. We still had fun, though. You and Miles had a blast at the indoor water park, and we had a fun walk by the lake with Papa. You also enjoyed the fancy cookies Dorothy’s granddaughter made for the occasion.
I think if we can survive this half-year, Tobes, our family will be under control. Of course, Callum can’t walk yet. That will create a whole new set of challenges. But I’ll save speculation about that for his letter. This one’s for you, my little firecracker. May your frustrations ease away; may your health be good; may you never stop thinking it’s funny to stuff something in the back of your pants and pretend it’s a tail.
Even when you drive me crazy, I love you more than I knew I could.