Bubbles, playgrounds, sprinklers and splash pads – repeat. We’re spending our summer weekends soaking up the sun and the water and the fun. How about you?
Happy Monday, gang. = )
I wrote this 7 months ago. Not sure why I never posted it, but my have times changed:
On Saturday morning I was woken from a dead-to-the-world sleep by a loud voice blaring from the monitor:
MOMMA! WHERE ARE YOU?! GO DOWNSTAIRS!!
By the time I stumbled out of bed, grabbed my glasses and made a pit stop he was down to yelling Momma! while alternating with whining. When I walked in his room the whining cut right off and he sat up and said “Baby little crying.” Yup, sounds like it, kid. It was a cheerful morning so after we grabbed his two blankets he waved at his bed, saying “By crib, night-night,” then told me “Go downstairs!”
We settle on the couch to watch “elephant, giraffe, monkey” – an episode of Chuggington that has the aforementioned trio. We discuss “monkey scared?” and “train scared?” because they do indeed scare each other before all is resolved. Before the 30 minutes was up, he turned around on my lap to implore “fruuiiits?” with a sweet smile. Fruits are fruit snacks. When I say OK he slides down onto the floor, saying “I beat you!” as he runs for his little table and chair in the dining area. Up he climbs on the chair, pulling his table to him with a squeal on the hardwood floors.
I bring over a packet of fruit snacks along with his milk and water. He already knows to look for the little slice in the wrapper to pull open the package – I showed him once, and that’s all it took. He happily starts eating his fruits as I putter around the kitchen, asking “Do you want a banana? Some toast? Some crunchy cereal?” Sometimes he’ll respond “No, no, nooooo” and be perfectly happy with just Fruits, other times he wants it all, and often eats it all. Lately he asks for “pbutter toast?”
After breakfast we head upstairs so I can take a shower. Our bathroom holds a loud dumptruck, 4 pull-back cars, a set of three stacking cars, and a plastic piano that plinks like no-one’s business. I once gave him a set of hair chopsticks to use with the piano so he opens my drawer at the sink to dig those out as I remind him “Just the sticks. The rest isn’t for you to play with.” I’m still amazed this usually works.
I shower with the door open while he plays, often narrating his actions or singing as he plays on the piano…
Now Forrest is almost 3. He has his own bedroom and big-boy bed, we have a relatively stress-free bedtime (hard fought and hard won, and NEVER taken for granted!), and when he wakes up in the morning he runs upstairs to find me. Usually before 6:00am. Sigh.
He gets his own fruits now from the pantry, and sometimes his own crackers. If he could reach the cereal he could take care of that too. Same with the milk. I’m not ready for his complete access to a jug of milk…
He has a funny sense of humor, laughs at the pratfalls in his cartoons, and deliberately makes the wrong sound for the animals in his books, or says things like “E is for apple!” and laughs. He writes his numbers and the alphabet already. I find that shocking, but he often wants to play with sidewalk chalk when we get home in the evenings and often wants to write letters so we do. He also started drawing pictures of his own things – a bat! and elephant with one leg! A hippo, and those are his little eyes! He lives for playing outside, and we can let him play a bit on his own now with monitoring and a willingness to sweep all the gravel off the driveway.
He’s growing so fast. Every day he changes a little and grows more and makes life connections. I miss him from 7 months ago, I miss him as a tiny little guy, but I wouldn’t change now for anything.
We love you, Forrest!
We’ve been fighting the good (ack!) fight: a mobile toddler in a real bed, who would rather do anything but go to sleep at night. We’ve tried being really stern, tried closing the door, opening the door, offering bribes, giving him an owl light he gets to keep if he stays in his room (he now brings it out, turns it off, and puts it away…), snuggling, not snuggling, letting him cry, ignoring him, the Super Nanny method (maybe I don’t have the patience for that one yet, the stubborn bugger), but it continues to be a fight weeks after we started. He’s a very active 33-month-old who would love to stay up late and sleep in (maybe, or get up at 5:45 because “It’s a little morning outside!”), just like his daddy.
One night purely by chance I put him in bed, turned my back on him and stood there, and he was silent. No complaints, no whining, no getting out of bed. Success! But part of me was sooooo not interested in waiting with him until he falls asleep because people! I have things to do after he goes to bed! Back to the above list of Stuff That Isn’t Working until I gave in and sat with him one evening last week, when it only took an HOUR for him to fall asleep. Maybe less, but that’s what it felt like. Fast forward to two nights ago when I decided Okay, I’m tired of the fight – the anger the tears the tantrums (often mine) – I’m going to embrace his desire to have me sitting there in the room with him AND do something for myself, so I grabbed a sketch pad and some pens and started doodling the letter A, inspired by this, and my need to do something creative (please Universe, now that I have a studio but I’m again too tired after above said trials to enjoy…!).
Well, it worked. After a few inquiries (“What you doing, momma?”), and having to put the owl light by me so he would stop playing, he went peacefully to sleep. Worked again last night, too. He still wakes up in middle of the night and comes upstairs to find me, but one battle at a time, please. Considering I could barely see owl light, the light of day revealed some fun letter forms develop more fully – yay!! Tonight I’ll play with C’s (must remember to skip a page if I use Sharpie again).
Eventually I’ll have an Abecedary under my belt. Hooray for multi-tasking!
If you have any toddler-to-bed tips, or lettering tips, please pass them on. = )
I’m not sure what time warp I’ve been in that allowed 3 weeks to pass without posting (Instagram, I’m looking at you), but wow.
I’ve been walking, snapping the occasional photo (bumper crop of wild iris this year like whoa), putting my studio back together, falling off the wagon of healthy eating and climbing back on again (hard to fit on there sometimes around the chocolate, but I try), and fighting with a 2-year-old about who gets to set bedtime. More on that later this week.
We’ve been on a playground tour to find the best slides and playgrounds in the area (and run off some energy on a weekend, please, oh please don’t give up your nap yet!), which has been fun but he doesn’t like the super-fast, super-wide 30-foot slide that’s closest to home. Not yet, anyway.
This was before he went down the first time (“Yah! Slide!!”). Daddy took him again but that was enough for sure. Do you know a lot of playgrounds now have these big net sphere things for kids to crawl on/over/through – see upper right – that are darn hard to get through as an adult? And that’s safer than a tire swing?
We’ve also been playing with chalk in the evening, drawing letters and shapes and “Momma, a jellyfish!” Evenings are tough for me – I feel like it’s a mad rush to get home, get some play in, get some dinner eaten, and get him to bed at a reasonable time to get him enough sleep to start again at 6:00 the next morning. Let me tell you, sleep is a hot commodity these days.
But there’s always a silver lining – the love in my household is strong and real and makes everything else fall by the wayside. Can’t beat that for anything.
What have you been up to these past few weeks?
Almost 2 years ago we sat in the front yard when it wasn’t quite warm enough to enjoy, for “9-month” pictures. I loved this orange top. His pants were too short. I forget how little hair he had, and how cute the pudge was, and that he would curl his toes in when he sat.
Last weekend while out running errands, grocery shopping, and living the weekend life, I decided an iced latte was a good idea. We pulled up to Human Bean, which Forrest recognized as where we had a “juice!” smoothie probably the weekend before, so I ordered a little one for him. Wearing his orange cape from Grandma, with his balloon from Fred’s and now a “juice!,” this kid was happy as a clam. I told him to dink his juice slowly, “or my head hurts!” he said. Yup. My heart was bursting wide open.
A couple days ago we were driving home, close to Human Bean, and Forrest said, “Momma, you want a coffee? I want a juice?”
“No, I’m good sweetie.”
“You want a coffee?”
“No, thank you. Not right now.”
“I want a juice?”
“No, night tonight.”
“I want a juice!”
“I know you do sweetie but juice is a treat.”
“I want a treat?”
(I had to choke back a laugh, smart kid)
“No, not this time sweetie. If we get it all the time it’s not a treat.”
Gosh I love this kid. Can’t wait to see what the next 2 years brings. = )