The Callum Chronicle #36

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:26 am

Happy third birthday, my sweet Callum.

I think it started when I would wrap you up in one of your novelty hooded towels after a bath.  I’d get you all snuggled up and hold you in front of the mirror and marvel over what a cute little racoon you were.  I started doing it when you were a baby, when you probably didn’t even recognize yourself in the mirror.  Somehow that habit translated to non-bath times, and even now, whenever I get the two of us in front of a reflection, you squeeze in for a big hug.

Last night, as you stood on the chair by the dining room table admiring your sparkly number three, you caught your reflection in the windows that face out to the back yard.  I’m glad I was standing there next to you, because you jumped into my arms and admired what a cute big boy you are.  I can’t deny it.

This has been a busy month.  Of course we had the holidays, which bustled with activity.  We had family parties and friend gatherings and, during their winter break from school, a lot more time with your brothers.  This was mostly positive—you guys had some good play time together, but also some squabbles.  I admit it’s nice to enjoy the peace and quiet with you now that they’re back at school.

You’ve been very cuddly and loving lately, at least to me.  You give great, squeezy hugs, and sometimes you mash your face so hard against mine you knock some sinus sludge loose.  You love to “help” in the kitchen, which I try to let you do.  It can be frustrating because it makes everything take about three times longer, plus we have to manage the inherent dangers of kitchen work, but you really love it.  Your dad noticed that our last water bill was noticeably high, and I think that’s because I often let you stand at the kitchen sink and mess around with the faucet while I’m cooking.  It seems like a low-threat way to keep you occupied (though you sometimes get over-enthusiastic about the sprayer), but maybe it’s not a good financial decision.

We’ve been suffering through a cold snap lately, so you haven’t gotten as much outdoor time as you would prefer.  We’ve gone outside on a couple of the less-frigid days, and you find the snow medium-interesting.  You haven’t really caught on to snow balls or snow angels or any of the more hands-on snow activities, but you like how weird the yard looks.

We’ve been making some shifts in how the bedrooms are set up, and I’ve been trying to get closets and drawers cleaned out.  You helped me sort baby clothes yesterday for Goodwill.  I’m keeping a few of my favorites, but mostly, after they’ve been worn by their third kid, the clothes are pretty stained and beaten up.  I hope the fine folks at Goodwill can find some use for them.  You were happy to let the baby clothes go, because you’re very sure you’re a big boy who needs big boy clothes.  In fact, you correct me if I call you a little boy.  This is just a language preference, though.  We had one attempt at having you sleep in the bunk bed with Tobin, and we had to abort that mission before it even started.  You’re still happiest cuddled next to me.

You’ve been having a lot of fun doing art projects lately, from painting to Play-Doh to coloring.  You were hanging out with me at your brothers’ school yesterday while I did some office volunteer work, and a staffmember kindly brought you a coloring book and crayons.  They must have been Rose-Art and not Crayola, because you were not impressed with the color depth.  You prefer the intensity of markers.  You still did some nice coloring, and you sat still for almost the whole time I was working.

I cannot say the same for our recent trip to the movies.  The big boys were getting antsy at home, so I took the lot of you to a matinee of Coco.  I only ever take you to movies that are A) obviously geared toward children, B) free or reduced price, and/or C) well past their opening date.  You never stay in your seat for long, so I don’t feel so bad when you need a lot of trips in out and of your seat if the only other people in the theater are families (who presumably understand what toddlers are like) who didn’t pay too much for the experience.  You did like the popcorn quite a bit, though.  You even ate some off the floor before I could stop you.  You haven’t shown any evidence of dysentery yet.  My fingers are crossed.

I was thinking about how I would characterize your personality, and at first I thought I’d say you are on the serious end of the spectrum.  On the other hand, I think your sense of humor has been developing lately.  Some things just tickle you, and you have a great chortle.  You saw a silly picture of Miles on my phone, and you laughed and laughed.  I even caught you laughing in your sleep the other morning.  You do seem to be on the more calm and thoughtful side, but you’re also brave.  With two big brothers as role models, you always think you can scale any height, cut with any knife, and scoop any quantity of chocolate-covered pretzels out of the bulk foods bins at the store.  You can sometimes entertain yourself for a while.  You honestly do better during my daily exercise when it’s just the two of us.  You play with toys, have a snack, or try to jump with a jump rope.  When the big boys were here, you’d get into arguments over who was playing with what.  Without competition, you do pretty well.

Your current favorites:  hard-boiled eggs (“card-boiled eggs”), eaten whole like an apple; Peppa Pig, both in storybook and video form; playing drums with Lincoln Logs as drumsticks; organizing the toothbrushes and lotion bottles on the bathroom counter; playing with water and anything else in the kitchen; climbing onto things you shouldn’t; and making enormous messes of all kinds.

Your messes often happen at the dining room table, which is our main cookie-decorating and art-making station.  The reflection in the window isn’t clear enough to show the crumbs on your face or the paint smeared all over your shirt, but we don’t need sharp definition to see your sweet little body cuddled against mine.  Sometimes you share your mess.  I’m just glad you still want to share your love.

May your next year be full of adventure, learning, and non-staining markers.

I love you so much, Callum.





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