The will has emerged. You’re still a nice little guy overall, but you’ve discovered the strength of your body and are learning to use it to enact your brain’s desires. We switched you to a forward-facing car seat earlier this week, because you’ve been falling asleep on our drives to Kinderfarm, which ruins your afternoon nap. I figured you’d be less likely to fall asleep sitting up and facing forward, and so far it’s been working pretty well. At least if I see you starting to doze off in the rearview mirror, I can grab your ankle and wiggle it around to wake you up. You get excited when I tell you it’s time to get into your big-boy car seat. You call it khaki and you love it.
The downside is that if you happen not to be in the mood to get into it, it’s a lot harder to force you in than it used to be. Today you really wanted to stay and play at Kinderfarm. As I tried to put you in the car, you grabbed onto the door and wouldn’t let go. Then when I finally managed to get you in, you arched your back and tried to climb out of your seat. You probably could have done that with your rear-facing seat too, but for some reason, this new configuration has brought out the physical side of your protests.
Photo by Gary Clarke
We hadn’t switched you to that seat yet during our recent trip to St. Louis, which is good because you had a good nap in the car on the 4.5-hour drive. You had a fever our first night there, but that didn’t stop you from having fun. You especially loved the ramps at the City Museum and the fish at the zoo. You also had a great time bopping along to live music we stumbled upon at a Mexican restaurant near our rental property. You love to laugh at your big brothers, and they love to entertain you (most of the time).
We’re almost done with Tobin’s soccer season, which will bum you out because you love the playground at the park adjacent to his practice field. It’s hard for me, because I really want to watch Tobin play during his games, but you mostly just want to go on the slides. You recognize the word soccer and immediately reply with “‘lide!” when you hear it. I try to divide my time between watching Tobin while he plays and taking you to the slide when he’s sitting out. It won’t be long before you’re out there kicking the ball around, though hopefully you’ll have a little more focus than you do now.
I got out the Max from Where the Wild Things Are that Miles wore when he was your age, and I hope you have fun wearing it this year. So far you haven’t wanted to keep the hat on, but maybe when you get the whole suit with the fluffy tail, you’ll see the value of the entire ensemble. You’re probably going to want to go out trick-or-treating with your big brothers, though for the time being I strictly limit your candy consumption, as much for choking-prevention as anything. You do a good job with the occasional Dum-dum lolly (which you ask for by name), but I don’t want you to know about the existence of Snickers yet. When Miles was your age, Halloween was the first time he had any candy. We had to convince him to try Smarties by telling him they tasted like children’s Claritin. You require no such persuasion, since you’ve been pilfering your brothers’ parade spoils for months now.
It’s definitely candy season, so we’ve been working on brushing your teeth more consistently too. Your brothers’ dentist said it was okay to put regular fluoridated toothpaste on your toothbrush, even if you can’t effectively spit and rinse, as long as it was only a tiny dab. You love that, since it means using the same toothpaste as Miles and Tobin. The tough part is getting you to let go of the toothbrush when we’re done. Most of the time I’m too distracted with other bedtime tasks to get it away from you before you dash off to your next activity, and the brush ends up in the bottom of the Lego bucket or something. So hygienic, I’m sure.
Your current favorites: pepperoni pizza, chicken, rice, grapes, your board books (especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar, due to the presence of ice cream, This Little Chick, and Cat the Cat, What’s Your Sound?), saying bye and/or night-night to everyone in the family before bed, baths, saying thank you to the bakery employees at Hy-Vee after your free cookie, trying out new words, and dumping out all the toys your dad and I try to put away. I think this drives your dad especially nuts, since he likes to tidy things up in a very organized fashion, and you have very little respect for that position.
The house is in chaos most of the time. That’s the way it goes.
The cooler days are coming, my little guy. Your big brothers have been requesting hot chocolate, and while I can still satisfy you with marshmallows for now, I know it won’t be long before you notice that they have something you don’t and you’re dumping cocoa all over your tray.
Photo by Denny
Let’s keep sliding together.