I normally pride myself on my punctuality. All I can say to excuse my tardiness on this post is that it’s been a busy week. I’m almost surprised you haven’t called me on it. You’re getting to be a stickler in many ways. You get grumpy when I change the lyrics to your favorite songs, which is a bummer given my love of song parodies. You sometimes correct perceived inaccuracies in the world, even when you’re totally off-base.
A: (handing you some Play-Doh) Here you go.
M: This is blue Play-Doh.
A: Yep, it sure is.
M: Actually it’s white.
Either you are trying to see whether you can slip it by me, or you don’t know what the word actually means, but it’s pretty funny either way. I interpret it as you exerting some control over your environment. You’re old enough now that you realize you have an impact on the world, and you want to maximize it. You like helping with household chores (sometimes). You’re always quick to haul out the broom when a mess gets made, though more often than not you’re the mess-causer. You help me cook, and you did an excellent job picking apples on our trip to the orchard the other weekend.
Whenever we eat an apple, you want to make sure that it’s one you picked. I used the last of those in a pie to celebrate Nana and Papa having paid off their farm, so I might have to try to pass off some of our store-bought Honeycrisps as orchard-fresh. If you ever catch me in a fib, though, I doubt you’d let me off, so maybe I should stick to honesty.
I can tell that everything about you is getting more complex these days. You’re talking in long sentences with multiple ideas, and it’s really funny and interesting to hear your observations. One of the best ones from recent days, which I documented elsewhere on this blog, involved you pointing out that our neighbor’s curly white hair looks like a sheep. You’re also thinking more and more about words and letters and sounds. You were jumping on the bed the other day, saying, “Bah-bah-bah-BOOM!” over and over. At one point, you stopped mid-bah-series, and said, “Hey, that starts with B.” You’ve also invented a new letter. We were reading a book with a character named Shelley, and you listened and thought about it for a while. Then, after a few readings, you announced, “Shelley starts with chef.” It took me a few repetitions before I figured out what you meant, but it turned out you decided there was a letter kind of like F, only it made a sh sound. So…chef it is.
The greatest controversy in our household these days is naps. You hate taking them, even when you obviously need them. I often find you yawning and rubbing your eyes while you yell, “Miles doesn’t want to take a nap.” It’s gotten so that if you take a nap, you’re up till crazy hours, but if you don’t take a nap, you’re a major grump in the afternoon and evening. I’m sure you’ll grow out of them entirely in not too long, but my strategy now is to think about what we have planned for the night and whether it would behoove you to go to bed early or have more energy. Then I make my decision about whether or not to wrestle you down for a nap accordingly.
You have had some wonderful evenings lately. It’s been an unusually warm couple of weeks, which has meant lots of playground time after Daddy gets home from work. You’re so much braver on the playground equipment now, going up and down the stairs and flying down the slides. You still get a little intimidated by other kids and dogs, though that’s getting better. You’re learning to play with other kids more, especially when you see the same ones at the playground. Overall, though, you still prefer the company of adults. You particularly like quiet, calm adults, like our friend Danny.
Danny came to visit earlier, and the two of you had a lot of fun playing at the library together. In fact, the next two times we went to the library, you asked, very sweetly and hopefully, “Is Danny going to be there?”
Fortunately, you love the library so much that it’s still fun even without Danny. You took immediately to the concept of borrowing and returning books. I was a little nervous that you wouldn’t want to return the ones that became your favorites, but that hasn’t been a problem so far. Your favorite authors right now are Robert Munsch (especially the books of his that are illustrated by Michael Martchenko) and Laura Joffe Numeroff. Whenever we start in on one of those books, you announce the author and illustrator. You also like to carefully analyze the pictures and ask questions about what’s going on in them.
Another thing you’ve done lately is ask us to cuddle you like you’re a “tiny little baby.” We’ve been talking about little siblings, not that there’s one on the immediate horizon, and the idea seems to have sparked something in you. You’re mostly a big boy, especially when I remind you that babies can’t eat hot dogs and waffles and noodles and grapes, but it’s still nice when you do the tiny little baby cuddle now and then.
Your dad, who is home with you this morning on one of your regular Daddy-Miles mornings, tells me you’re not feeling your best. You had a rough night last night and seem to be experiencing some gastro-intestinal distress. I’ll be home soon, sweetheart, and if you need to be a tiny little baby on my lap all afternoon, that’s just fine.
If you’d prefer to be a big boy and go to the playground and zoom down the slide, that’s cool too.
I love you any way you are, my Scoop. Oh, wait; you prefer to be called Waffle these days.