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Posts Tagged ‘Video killed the blogity star’

Remember how I wrote about things getting measurably better in my last post? Within 12 hours of hitting publish I came down with one of the worst sinus infections that I’ve ever had in my entire life and spent the next two weeks in some state of misery or another. After a whopping week and a half of feeling like a human again I was plunged right back into throwing up {this time all the mucus from the infection, because OF COURSE you wanted to know that} and the headaches brought on by the incredible sinus pressure just would not let up. All of this occurred during the epic week of dance rehearsals/recitals and school programs and preschool picnics so that was EXTRA fun. At least all the decongestants and anti-inflammatory meds helped a ton OH WAIT NEVERMIND I can’t take any of that shit while pregnant. So I wallowed for a week, taking only measured doses of tylenol, which by the third day had stopped bringing any relief. I tried to be a good little hippie, trying home remedies of hot packs and steam but they produced exactly zero results. Finally over a week in Bill called the nurse line to ask if I could at least try some musinex to get rid of some of the pressure but no, instead they made me come in and I was given antibiotics for the infection and vicodin for the pain. I am feeling…better…again…for now. Unfortunately the nausea is still sticking around so getting anything done has been hard but with the end of preschool, dance season and another karate belt graduation down, it’s definitely time to do an end of the year wrap-up of Mr. Sir.

*Preschool ended last week. Honestly, if I hadn’t gotten sick I would have switched Keaton to a different class at his school. He went through a year of preschool before this so he already understood the aspects of the routine and structure of a school day and also the social aspects of being with other kids like sharing and sitting quietly for group times. This group he was in just so happened to be on the young side, with many of the kids not even being three at the start of the year which is not something I was expecting since it’s not how it was structured when Rowan went there.

Though Keaton always got great reports, the class as a whole struggled throughout the fall and academically {yes, I know it’s preschool, but still, it’s not daycare, you expect a certain degree of learning to take place} Keaton was ready for way more focus which he didn’t receive until much later in the year than we anticipated. We talked about switching him to the afternoon class after Christmas, which definitely would have provided that, but knowing how sick I get during pregnancy we didn’t want to uproot him from something familiar during an already tumultuous time. I’m looking forward to next fall which will hopefully give Keaton a little more of a challenge and have a smoother start all around.

Mad chicken scratch, uh, I mean, handwriting skillz.

 

AAAAAIIIIIIIIIYYYYYYAAAAA

*Karate continues on as a fun outlet for physical activity. When I was sick I missed Keaton’s belt ceremony from purple to blue so last Friday when he went from blue to red, we were all very excited to attend. There are only two more belts to be had in the preschool program so by the beginning of 2013 we will probably have to start making some decisions about which activity Keaton wants to pursue as karate is expensive once you’re in the regular belt program and so is…

* Dance. Oh, dance, the bane of my existence {and checking account}. So, Keaton’s year at dance went really well. While he likes karate, he like likes dance. I know he’s four and this is bound to change but right now it’s his favorite thing to do. We took him to one of Rowan’s competitions and the boy was hilarious in between dances, putting on his own dance show for us to the dulcet sounds of “Every day I’m shuffling” and “I put my hands up in the air sometimes” {yes, I know those aren’t the actual titles but those are the parts that stick in my head and won’t fortheloveofchristalmighty come out for days and days on end sweet jesus please someone save me from this fresh hell.}

The "WERK IT" gene is strong with this one.

So anyway he had his first recital two weeks ago and it was equal parts adorable and hilarious. He’s never been up on the stage before so Bill and I were a little nervous how he’d react but he did great at the dress rehearsal {video below} and even better at the recital. He lost his way to his colored “X” on his way out for his jazz dance at the recital so there were a few tense moments where I thought he’d spend the entire dance wandering the stage but once he found it the audience cheered for him and he jumped right into the moves with a big smile. I got to pick him up right before intermission and I ran into Rowan’s teacher, who runs the competition lines and she gave Keaton a high-5 and told him he did great and that she’d be seeing him at summer dance. “Oh, SHOOT, he can’t do it in June, he’s got science camp.” I said, thankful for the legitimate excuse. “You can come in and tape and we’ll see you in August,” she said. “We’ll see!” I replied, the realization of two competition dance tuitions sinking into my brain. “Yep,” she smiled, walking away, “see you in August, Buddy!”

There are no words.

Honestly I don’t think he {or I} will be ready for competition by this fall {or ever, possibly} and he has a year of wiggle room since the youngest comp line is pre-k and kindergarten so I have a feeling we’ll be putting him back in the same class he was in this year but we’ll see, I might let him try the August workshop and see how it goes because I am a GIANT SUCKER for twee little boys shaking their booties on the dance floor.

Here is his rehearsal video, as we’re not allowed to tape the recital shows. It is very crappy quality and I’m sure is only truly enjoyed by those of us who share Keaton’s DNA, but still, for posterity’s sake I’m including it. {You can’t make out faces but Keaton is the fourth from the left once they find their places… just look for his hair, which I’m pretty sure you can see from outer space.}

*Keaton still loves sword play and baseball and riding his bike. We got him his own razor scooter a couple of weeks ago which has brought him much joy along with many scrapes on his knees.

*Rowan’s preferred method of showing displeasure or negative reactions was pure, unadulterated anger. Tantrumy anger, quiet, plotting anger, seething anger, both rational and irrational. She got mad but she was not ever a pouter. Keaton? Is a pouter. It drives me BANANAS. And not a little pout, but full on arms wrapped around his chest until his hands are practically touching in the back, head thrown to one side at a slightly upward angle, stuck out lip that sometimes utters a whining “It’s Not Fair”, if the situation demands it, along with a “Humph!” Keaton’s been pretty dead on about hitting developmental sticky patches close to the half-year marks, so we’ve seen a very unwelcome upswing in this behavior as of late and while not-pregnant-christy tried to be patient and help him work through his hurt feelings, pregnant-christy tells him to “get over it” as I eat my pickle from the couch.

*His imagination is really blooming; the intricate storylines he and his sister come up with during quiet play time are truly impressive. He used to just follow Rowan’s lead during these elaborate scripted games but now he’s adding his own flair which sometimes goes over well with Queen Bossy Pants, and sometimes not. I love it when they feed each other lines, going back and forth with “Now you say this…” “And then you say THIS!” Sure these two can be giant assholes to each other but so much of the time they are so amazingly close, sharing mischievous smiles over jokes we grown-ups aren’t privy to, creating their own “secret dance move hand shake” which isn’t much of a secret since they do it right in front of me but is adorable none-the-less.

It makes me sort of sad for Sammy Davis Junior Junior. Although I know his/her siblings will love him/her, this baby won’t have a sibling close in age to share the years where magic is not only completely possible in their eyes but entirely, emphatically REAL. By the time this baby reaches three, Keaton will be nearly 8 and Rowan will be 10 and the age of logic will have firmly set in… so a true partner in play/crime just won’t be a reality for this kid. I know there will be other positive aspects about having older siblings that will most likely more than make up for it but when I hear the giggling and love between Rowan and Keaton I just feel so lucky, so happy that they so completely have each other.

Buddies 4 Evah. Or at least until someone steals someone else's toy.

*Keaton is standing on the precipice of four and a half and while he continues to grow and learn he still looks way too small to me to be staring down five years old. A few days ago he asked to put some temporary tattoos on. I helped him with the first two and then got up to grab something and when I had come back he had cut out the desired tattoo, removed the plastic, placed it where he wanted it, held the washcloth in place and was quietly counting to thirty. “Whoa, good job, pal!” I said when I saw his handiwork. “Now I want this one!” he said and when I went to peel back the clear covering he said, “No, Mom! I can  do it!” As he hastily grabbed the tattoo from my hands I realized that yes, he was perfectly capable of doing it on his own.

“I guess you’re right. Jeesh. What do you even need a mom for anymore, budders?

“Nothing.” He replied promptly, without looking up and without emotion.

I tried to explain what “rhetorical” meant to him after that but he was too busy being all grown up to listen.

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As in, fifty months of Keaton Sir. {Well, almost, but since I know I’ll be too lazy to post on a Saturday you’re getting the early edition.}

Keaton has been trying on his Fourness as of late and while he is still the comic relief that is so very much needed in my life right now, he is also 64.7% more pouty, whiny and snotty than one {namely *I*} would hope for. This behavior peaked at the end of December, early January and thankfully seems to be waning a bit.

In the poor boy’s defense he went through a major development leap and it manifested not only in his behavior but in his eating, sleeping and bathroom habits as well. He quit eating regularly and all of a sudden got very picky about food in general. He went through a two week period where he could not get himself to sleep for hours after lights out and then woke up from bad dreams about “monsters stealing my toys”. And the hardest one of all, after two plus months of being completely night trained, he started soaking his bed every night, multiple times. After attempting sticker charts, incentives and the like again, we saw that he just somehow lost his ability to control his bladder at night {something that he seemingly had mastered so I just don’t get it} so we gave up and succumbed to the Evil Pull-up as I packed away all the cloth diapers into the far reaching corners of the Closet of Death and Doom. This last week we’ve attempted underwear at night thrice, with mixed results, so we’ll see.

Other than these little hiccups, things are going pretty rad for our Budders. His current best friend in this entire world is his sword. When he’s home he wields it against unseen warriors and monsters that take the form of the back of our couch, the wall or any number of sinister looking stuffed animals. He practices his footwork and flips {and here ‘flip’ is used very loosely because hurling oneself harry-nilly, willy-carrey though the air and into the ground with no regard for ones head parts just doesn’t sound as cool as “flips”}. In repose he shoves it into the side waistband of his pants where it stays until another battle is nigh. Also? We must call him Peter The Magnificent, as we’ve moved on from warping our children with LOtR to the works of C. S. Lewis.

Ignoring most of the major plot points, Keaton instead stands in wait for a sword battle so he can fight along with Peter.

He also has grown fond of the sword fighting in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, asking to be called Captain Jack Hook Sparrow while sporting his "Pirate Boots" courtesy of pink fluff, Justice and his sister.

He does do a pretty bad ass pirate face, if I do say myself.

When taking a break from the nobility of a sword fighting king or the scoundral-hood of a pirate, he chooses the only logical pastime I can think of…BOOTY SHAKIN’:

 

Preschool’s going okay, I think. Due to the district’s odd January schedule Keaton only had one day a week for the whole month which sort of sucked as far as getting the momentum built up to learn new skills. After Christmas Bill and I decided to really push letters and numbers with him as he still had trouble recognizing some of them. After a month of this he seems to have all the capital letters figured out and a majority of the lowercase. For whatever reason recognizing numbers was a little more tricky. The kid can count just fine and count one to one correspondence just fine, he just has trouble recognizing the letters on paper and for whatever reason still has a hard time telling apart numbers and letters in general- so if I ask if Q is a letter or a number, he quite possibly will be completely stumped. I have to be honest…I have no idea how to handle this as it was just not ever an issue with Rowan. I never even had to teach Rowan any of this at all, she just picked it up in the natural course of things and never looked back. So we’re just incorporating a lot of letters and numbers into our everyday routine and hoping he’ll figure this shit out by Kindergarten. He did chicken scratch out his name for the first time after Bill worked with him which was a huge step and he was so proud of himself.

On Tuesday Bill and I enjoyed a day out with our boy for a preschool field trip to the Children's Theater to see Harold and the Purple Crayon.

He had fun but I think his favorite part was the giant cookie we got him at my favorite bakery/cafe in St. Paul and really, can you blame him?

He is doing great in dance and seems to really like it. We were asked in to observe for the first time last week to see the first part of their dance and ohmysweetlord those little boys were so adorable. I seriously fear Death from Acute Cuteness at his recital in May. Karate is also going well, as evidenced by a certain young sir receiving another belt on the color spectrum of ass-kicking:

His green belt combination was pretty awesome.

And then he was officially bepurpled.

We were all pretty excited about it.

A couple of weeks ago we managed to get snow instead of rain which lasted a record week and a half before melting. We did manage to make the most of it while it was here though…

Looking professional at the top of our hill. Unfortunately the longest he's stayed upright on the thing is about 4.7 feet.

Other than that?

He seems to have just realized we've owned a dog his whole life and has spent weekend mornings playing tug of war and fetch with Luna and her bobo, much to Luna's delight.

Legos are moving from the bottom of the pile of toys to near the top, though I'm not encouraging this one because I'm still trying to recover from the last of the tiny motherfucking princess shoes and something tells me legos are going to be worse. We Gunters value sanity over fine motor skill development.

And while he has regularly turned down getting his nails re-painted over the last month, he did ask for ponytails a week ago, which made my tiny, cold heart smile.

So many things have changed over the course of his fifty months but Keaton remains one of the sweetest, funniest, happiest and HAMMIEST people on planet earth. We love you, big guy.

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Okay, I’m so sorry to do this but I need to document all this Christmasy crap in one big she-bang of a post. I promise it’s not because I want to torture you, Internet, although my reasons are mostly selfish. With the economy the way it is, I need a little insurance for mine and Bill’s future so I need fully documented proof that I was a super awesome mom to my kids so when I’m making my case for the fancy nursing home in the Bahamas, they might overlook all the ways I warped them and focus on all the Christmas magic. Essentially, this post is my retirement plan. Who needs stocks and a fat 401k when you can just write a blog post? You don’t need to say it, I know I’m a super genius.

So we went ahead with the advent activity calendar and about halfway through it? I’M TIRED OF DOING ALL THE THINGS. Because we are doing things. All of them. But after the fact I’m always glad we did them so here’s the run down and many lazy Instagram pictures of how we’ve been spending the season…

This year I put each activity in a decorative hodge-podge of envelopes I found hanging around the house. I conveniently just tucked in the flap so I could cheat depending on how lazy/ambitious I am on any certain day.

Day One: Get Christmas tree and decorate house for the season.

I already told you that this day didn’t go exactly as planned. Since we were stuck at home, and all the decorations were tucked conveniently in the back corner, Bill and I spent the morning digging through and organizing the Closet of Death, which was…not fun. What was fun was being able to donate bag after bag of old kids’ clothes and so many old coats and toys and afterward we had our bright, shiny closet back {which lasted all of one week before it was so stuffed with Christmas presents that it looked like a war-zone again}. Rowan was sick so Bill and Keaton went to get the tree, only the tree farm guy forgot to give it a fresh cut. Realizing his mistake he looked up our address {which they have because we are a part of their CSA} and he popped over to give it a cut. Only Bill and Keaton had stopped somewhere else and weren’t back yet and I had been busy with the closet and taking care of a very sick Rowan and it’s entirely possible that I answered the door to this poor guy with a white shirt and no bra on {trust me, this was a lot less hot than it sounds since I hadn’t showered in, well, awhile.} Anyway, it was very sweet of him to come but I think I scared him out of making house calls for a while. After a very long day the tree finally made it up. Here are our favorite ornaments…

This is my favorite, hanging on every Christmas tree for all my 31 years. It's the only one I won't let the kids touch as it is precious and liable to break due to its extreme old age.

I'll give you one guess as to whose favorite this is. And if you get it wrong you're kicked off this website. Forever.

*Sigh.* Keaton has displayed his undying love for this ornament by playing the "Who rang that bell?" sequence 4,896 times. Last year he broke off and lost Dorothy and this year the Scarecrow has been re-glued twice, as evidenced by the pool of glue at his feet. Tinman, Lion and Doorman? Your days are most likely numbered.

Bet you don't have a Grandma Walnut Butt Face on your tree. But if you did it would be your husband's favorite.

Our December 2nd Activity: Make Hand/foot print Rudolph.

It was mostly fun to see the differences in my kids' shoe size, most notably how flippin' wide Keaton's feet are compared to his sister's. I had to paint in an area of hers so Rudolph didn't look anorexic, which would be a great topic for a Lifetime Christmas movie but not so much for my wall.

December 3rd: Write letter to Santa. I transcribed Keaton's for him and Rowan got as far as making fancy, twirling lettering for her opening and then gave up saying "Santa's smart, he'll figure it out." I told her Santa is going to bring her Bare Essentials moisturizer and a nice bottle of Malbec if she doesn't finish that letter soon.

December 4th: Celebrate a special Christmas-time birthday.

Done and Done…the afterparty…

December 5th: Write a Christmas Story together. This being one of those numbers where everybody adds a line. Here’s ours…

One day in Christmastown Rudolph was sad. He was sad because one of the other reindeer wasn’t sharing his jingle bells. He asked the reindeer to share but he didn’t. Then he just ran home and went up to his bedroom and got a book out and read it and then he went to bed. The next morning he woke up to the beautiful elf chorus singing his favorite song. The song was about sharing and the Christmas spirit and it reminded him to spread good cheer. And then he looked and saw a letter and he opened it up and it was from the other reindeer. And then Rudolph went to the fair and bought a shiny new red nose. When he got back to Christmastown he ran into Santa. Just then the Bumble came out, snatched up Santa and Rudolph and then the Bumble took them back to his cave and started a fire. But they had a key and they unlocked the door and they runnnnnned back to Christmastown. Whew, that was close. When they had returned they found out the reindeer who wouldn’t share got eatened by the Bumble! They were so sad that he got eated that they wanted to make another reindeer but they couldn’t! They made a robot reindeer instead. His name was Snarfles. THE END.

December 6th: Go to a special Christmas concert. Rowan’s teacher asked her to do a reading when the previous kid they asked got stage fright. I was so nervous for her since she spent the majority of the previous week whispering because she’d lost her voice, and then once we got there and saw there was EASILY 1,ooo to 1,500 people packed in the gym I was just short of panicking but she did awesome. A mom of one of her classmates shot this great video of her doing her reading which I’m so thankful for since ours was shot with an iPhone from 7.32 miles away.

December 7th: Read Christmas books by the fire. This is my favorite. Fun, easy and comes with a decorative cat.

December 8th: Give toys to Toys for Tots. I slowly want to integrate more charitable activities into our advent routine, but want to make them meaningful. At this age it’s really hard to explain that some kids don’t have homes or enough to eat, let alone a pile of toys on Christmas morning. What do you say to a six-year-old who says, “But mom, Santa will bring them food and toys!”? I tried to explain that sometimes we have to be each others’ Santa but at this point my kids so thoroughly believe in the magic of it all, it’s hard for them to understand. So we’re starting small and I had them each pick out a Toy and place it in the Toys for Tots bin.

December 9th: Christmas tree sleepover! This one went a lot smoother than last year, as there was 8 times more sleeping and 78% less zombies. This night was actually our only unscheduled weekend night of the season and so far it has been the best. We all snuggled in with jammas and popcorn and had a Christmas Carol marathon, which included the Mickey Mouse, Mr. Magoo, and Muppets versions. This is one of my favorite Christmas stories- I’ve been reading the regular old Dickens’ version to Rowan. I sort of thought she’d get bored with it right away but she asks for it and is taking in the story through all that 19th century prose, which is really cool. So after the movies we snuggled the kids in for the night in their sleeping bags.

Best night-light ever.

December 10th: Go ice-skating. JUST KIDDING, THERE IS BARELY ANY SNOW AND NO SKATE WORTHY ICE. Instead I cheated and changed the card to “Spend time with cousins and family”. This year instead of a sibling Christmas drawing for gifts we decided to do a night of Christmas cheer. My brother hosted and we spent the evening letting the kids run around together while we enjoyed good beer, wine and each others’ company.

These two trouble makers decided that instead of spreading Christmas cheer they were going to spread dry kitty food. All over the basement. They were hereby confined to this chair where they watched Cars 2 as punishment. We maybe need to work on our disciplinary tactics.

December 11: Visit Santa Claus! Sunday morning the kids had their Sunday school Christmas program, which is a small affair of a few carols sung after mass. Afterward we headed to see Mall Santa, which was a little nerve-wracking since Keaton had a rough time sleeping the night before. We were able to coax him through the 40 minute wait and thankfully he did great once he was with the Big Guy {Rowan’s always been a pro at schmoozing Santa}.

We’ve had the same Santa for the last three to four years; he’s very quiet and peaceful, with a real beard and well, I’m sort of sure he actually IS Santa. He probably just likes to fuck with parents but after he finished up with the kids they were picking out suckers and he made eye contact with me and said with a twinkle “They sure have grown a lot this year.” I don’t know what it was- the tone of his voice, the look in his eye, but he seriously seemed like he KNEW my kids, or at the very least remembered them from previous years which would be very near impossible, considering the amount of kids that display must attract each season. Anyway, it was a good trick because he left me questioning if I actually am the one who purchases and lays out all that crap on Christmas Eve.

And {finally!} today, December 12th: Give food to the food shelf. This will be done tonight during Bill’s trip to the grocery store, where you can fill bags and leave them right there for the local food shelf, which will hopefully do some good this holiday season.

Overall this season has seemed more stressful than in the past {although I’m sure I say this every year}. With the amount of stuff the kids are in, plus special events for ballet, school, Bill’s work and church, it makes it hard to carve out time for special family activities. Every weekend has been completely booked and the time crunch to figure out shopping and such has been daunting. Plus with temperatures in the 40s all the snow is melting so it barely feels like Christmas in Minnesota. But. I’m ultimately glad we’re following through with our calender. Taking time out each day to do things together or think of others is something we should be more aware of at all times of the year, but especially at the time when that sort of thing tends to get lost in the tinsel and gingerbread. Now I’m off to see if there’s a way I can inject dayquil directly into my temples as the kids passed their lovely sickness to me and I’d really prefer to be hopped up on cold medicine when I attack the giant pile of laundry that’s currently requesting my presence.

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For various reasons we ended up at home a lot this October, which gave us time to relax and appreciate this, the spookiest of months. And while I didn’t exactly appreciate the stomach flu that marooned us at home last weekend, causing us to miss a hayride outing and a big Halloween party with the kids, I did like the extra time we all sat together with the lights turned off and the candles lit, reading out loud Poe’s The Raven, The Tales of Beetle the Bard, and a handful of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Since I was thankfully not afflicted with The Sick, I took some time out to document what our house looks like for most of October {not pictured: The one thousandy and eleven tiny and not so tiny random orange and black toys that accumulate in every corner of every room in the house, at least 57 of which I step on/trip over every day causing me to expend my most favorite swear words after doing so.} {Usually some combination of shit, fuck and damn, if you want specifics. What’s that? You didn’t want specifics? Too bad, that goddamn shit fucking hurts.}


Happy Halloween!

P.S.~ Don’t forget the spooky stories…

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Last weekend we went over to Bill’s parents’ house for a bonfire and when it was time for stories, this is the one Rowan told:

Last night was definitely less emotional than the first time around, and while I know this is most likely because we’ve all been through this before- as Rowan likes to say, she is already an expert kindergartener- it’s also because we all just feel really great about the exciting year she is going to have. And let me tell you, *HOLY MOTHER OF GOD*, what a HUGE difference that makes.

Still, as Bill and I sat down in the quiet house after getting the kids settled back into their early bedtime routine,  I was pretty wistful about the unfair swiftness of the passage of time and blah blah Bill rolled his eyes at me a bunch. My 43 inch, 36 pound girl-child will be set out into the educational world yet again, hopefully this time with all the tools and support she needs to have a fun, loving, successful year of learning.

Both animate and inanimate objects were excited to get dressed {in the real one's case, it was mostly because of the new shoes, duh}.

Can you blame her? Mary Jane's are a necessary and stylish part of any kindergartener's wardrobe.

Rowan was as confidant as ever, but still requested that Woobie ride along in her backpack. Just in case HE missed HER, of course.

Thankfully, in an act of mercy, Keaton doesn't start preschool until next Monday so I have my little pal to distract me from the decidedly quieter house.

She's going to do great. I just know it.

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Keaton, Sir! Last weekend you turned three and a half and I know mama promised you she’d drop the monthly check-ins when you turned three, since you are now officially a Big Giant Boy,¬† but I do feel I need to dedicate a post to you and all the awesome that you are. {Mostly, anyway. Part of you is kind of an asshole right now but you’re my little asshole and I love you. Normally I don’t really love assholes though so consider yourself pretty special.}

Let’s get the bad part out of the way first, shall we? Your mother, your stupid, stupid mother, somehow thought she had beaten The Three. In the months after you turned, I waited all quiet-like, pretending to read a book or tie my shoes, but what I was really doing was waiting for Three to rear its ugly head. I was, maybe not prepared- as part of Three is the unpredictability of which child you are going to get at any given moment, The Sweet One or The Jerk, but I had steeled myself for it. It was not if but when, and I was going in to battle ready. And then…The Three never came. You remained {for the most part} sweet. And polite. And easy-going. And malleable. And able to put your shoes on without using the phrases “NO! LIFE’S NOT FAIR!”, “I CAN’T, MY FINGERS FELL OFF!” or “YOU DO IT.” {That last one’s the least dramatic but the most infuriating, BTW.}

So you know what I did? I got lazy. After months and months of The Three being a no show I got comfortable. After all! It might just be easy with you~ you’ve always been a pretty even-tempered kid…maybe you wouldn’t turn on me. Rowan caught The Three at 14 months and it lasted until almost 5 and a half so maybe the universe was taking pity on me! I’d put in my time, right? RIGHT?

Wrong.

The Motherfucking Three caught up with us about a month ago and has settled its hooks firmly into you. One minute you were sweetly playing with your cars and when I denied you a second fruit snack, you through a fit. Huh, I thought. That was weird. I sat you on the step for a time out and then The Three came right out of your mouth and hurled itself at my chest. With a furrowed brow and tightly crossed arms it said, “I don’t love you very much anymore, Mama.”

What the…?

And then I knew. And I felt played by that stupid Three. Tricked. I gave you no reaction but a firm look and a promise to give the fruit snacks away to nice little boys {even though my heart was all sad face emoticon} but I knew any reasoning I tried was futile and five weeks later we’re still waiting it out. At least your Threes are mostly about whining, testing and pouting and less about Extreme XXL Competitive Tantruming like your sister’s were. Still. To say I don’t like them very much would be a solid, terrible understatement and you have 3 more days to figure it out because then summer will be here at last and The Three is NOT INVITED TO SUMMER, SON.

And now for the good, of which there has thankfully been plenty of over the last six months. You had a pretty easy going spring schedule. After soccer was finished every evening was free so you just had toddler class and preschool. You spent a ton of time with both your grandmas and your dad while I was busy hauling your sister around to dance stuff and somewhere in that time, out of necessity or just through the natural ebb and flow, you’ve become a much more independent bugger. You get yourself undressed most mornings and make a solid effort of trying to dress yourself. You pull your bag of cars down and play on your bed while I tame your sister’s hair in the morning. You sneak into the snack cupboard and stealthily open the fruit snacks by yourself, and then guiltily hold up the empty package to me when I come down the stairs, asking “can I have these?”.

Things I’ve learned about you this spring:

You no longer fit in the baby swing, even if I try to shove you in for nostalgic purposes.

You are so much more adventurous on playground equipment, climbing the big kid structures with ease, and jumping off precariously high surfaces, not caring one wink that you are giving your mother small heart attacks by the dozen.

You like to get a good running start before hitting the ball off the tee. Exhibit A:

You are a champion bubble blower and prefer to blow rather than pop.

You get really confused that tomorrow never seems to come. At bedtime you ask if it will be tomorrow when you wake up, and I assure you it will be. When I go to get you up in the morning you shout “Yay! It’s tomorrow!” only to have your know-it-all sister inform you that it is in fact NOT tomorrow but today again. I promise someday this will make sense, sir.

Your imaginary play scope has gotten wider, though you still always want to play it with a car.

You love Love LOVE to get your nails painted. And I’m so sorry those mean Kindergarten boys tried to make fun of you but the way you stood your ground with a Dude-they’re-painted-nails,-why-you-gotta-be-a-hater? attitude was pretty awesome.

You finished your first year of preschool which was awesome. This year was all about socialization and separation from mama which you have definitely mastered so I am excited for the fall at your new school when hopefully you can learn that you don’t count the alphabet and that K is not the first number of your name, which although hilarious to us, seems to draw some funny stares from other people. This is new territory for me because I never had to teach Rowan much of anything. She has a great memory which helped her learn letters and their sounds pretty much on her own and because she is a cognitively driven sort of kid, she picked it up fast. You on the other hand don’t have much of an interest in any letter other than K and even still don’t care much about the alphabet as a whole. You can count to 20 but you couldn’t identify any number higher than 5 when written down and you know what? I would have freaked out if you were my first born, wondering if I’d somehow failed you and I’d be searching google for some learning disability to label you with but thankfully you’re my second born and you know what? Call me lazy, but I think this whole number and letter thing will probably sort itself out sometime in the next year. If not, rest assured google will be there waiting for me with open arms.

Budders, your legs are lean and stretch down to the pedals of not a trike, but a bonafide big boy bike. Your arms, sans any trace of baby pudge, reach to pull you up to higher heights, then curl themselves around, flexed tight, with a balled fist to show how strong you are, a proud smile on your face. Though they still do when you deem it fit, those same arms don’t wrap themselves around me quite as much as they once did. Your a big three and a half year old now and you know what? You got this. We love you, old pal.

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This week is beach week at Keaton’s preschool so despite the 7 feet of snow piled up in my {air quotes!} “front yard” I dressed Keaton in his swimsuit this morning, and finally had an excuse to put him back in his rainbow¬†babylegs one last time which he is sadly outgrowing {as in too cool for, not too big for}. The swimsuit is new and has a tighter inside liner than he is used to so he kept shoving his hands down his pants trying to, ahem… re-adjust himself. Instead of helping him though, like any good mom would, I just giggled and let him figure it out.

This came to bite me in the ass however when I pulled him out of the car in the crowded preschool parking lot and he announced at the top of his lungs that “Moooooom! Somethin’ is buggin’ my weiner! OUCH MAH WEINER!!!!!!” There were probably more exclamation points in the sound of his voice but I’m blocking it out, out of sheer embarrassment. This is a very large, very Jesusy preschool. Thanks for bringing me down a peg or two, kid- it’s been awhile.

On a related note, after finally getting over his fear of Snow White {something my 66 year old mother has yet to do- seriously. She saw it in the theater when she was 5 and to this day WILL NOT re-watch it} Keaton’s been practicing his Evil Witch:

I think it’s coming along nicely. Better not break it out in front of Grammy though.

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