My dear Callum,
Your little brain is working so hard lately. Your latest discovery is the fact that the letter S and the number 5 look a lot alike. I was wearing a shirt with writing on it that included a couple of S’s, and you poked them and said, “Mommy five shirt.” It took me a while to figure out what you meant, but you were specific enough that we got it sorted out. We talked about how that was actually the letter S, and now that’s your favorite letter. The last couple of bedtimes, you’ve insisted on holding the magnetic S that usually resides on the magnet board in your room. Some kids cuddle teddy bears, but you prefer a hard little magnet. We had dinner the other night in Solon, a nearby town, and out the restaurant window you could see the huge letters of the SOLON monument the town erected for their sesquicentennial some years ago. You got so excited about “big S-5!” that we had to go explore the area. That was fun until you ate some dirt and I had to take you back to the restaurant to wash your mouth.
The emerging springtime has given us more opportunities to play outside, and boy is it hard to keep you out of the creek behind our house. You’re still unsteady enough that I’m reluctant to let you play down there unless I’m physically restraining you, and that’s a pretty tiring process. It doesn’t help that Tobin is pretty adept at creek-splashing, and it drives you crazy not to do everything he does. We have a summer coming up that might be a little frustrating for everyone, but there are some activities we all can do. The library has free movies on Monday afternoons, and the big boys are trustworthy enough that I can take you to another room to play if you get too squirrelly. You have not yet mastered the art of sitting still through a movie, whether at home or in a theater. That’s not too big a problem most of the time, but I feel bad when you get disruptive and people have paid good money to see a show. That’s another reason the library is a good choice.
We’ll have the fountain for hot days and the playground for medium days and frozen yogurt for pretty much any day we’re downtown. I hope we can get out to the Friday Night Concert Series now and then, as well as the various downtown festivals that happen throughout the summer.
Photo by Gary Clarke
Our trip to Nashville was lots of fun, and you kept up with the big boys just fine. You’re still small enough that the specifics of a destination don’t matter a whole lot to you. Anywhere you can have playtime and plenty of cocktail hours is okay by you. You didn’t nap most of our trip, because there was always something fun going on, and you slept great every night. Since we’ve been home, you’re back to napping a few times a week. That has its pluses and minuses, since a nap makes you a more pleasant person in the evening, but it also makes it harder to get you to sleep at night. You’re in a transition stage in many ways, and transitions can be tough. I do have to give you credit, though: the eight-hour drive was a lot better this time than last time. It’s nice that you’re old enough now to be distracted by music, toys, and stories. You’re also in a front-facing car seat this time, which has to be a lot more interesting for you because you can watch the landscape.
Photo by Denny
You still require a lot of attention and energy, but that comes with the territory and I’m mostly happy to do it. Sometimes life gets a bit overwhelming, especially with your brothers’ crazy activity schedule that leaves very little time for relaxation and reflection. That’s one reason I sometimes can’t resist putting you down for nap, even though I know there will be hell to pay at bedtime. At least at bedtime, your dad is around to contribute to the hell payment plan.
You love to play with your toy kitchen and all the food toys. You’re also very into Play-Doh right now, although you prefer to rip it into little shreds rather than form anything representative. You like pouring water (or juice, if anyone was foolish enough to leave a cup of juice within your reach) from one cup to another, and I’ve more than once heard you yell “Big uh-oh!” That’s when I gather up the towels and hope it was nothing too sticky. I’ve cut back on letting you “play coffee” after you dumped about half a pound of organic, fair trade certified ground coffee directly into the water reservoir of my coffee maker.
Next year, Tobin will go to school full-time, and it will be just the two of us most of the time. Something tells me I’ll find it exhausting, but when that stage is over, I’ll miss it. As I said to your dad the other night, when I picked you up and smothered you with kisses after a couple of hours away from you, “I need a break…until I get one.”
You’re delicious, and I love watching you learn and grow, even when you do gross things like eat dirt (or Play-Doh). I guess that’s what a little scientist has to do: test the world and figure out what’s an S and what’s a 5, what’s tasty and what gets you hauled into a bathroom for a mouth-rinse.