October 30, 2016 by 8junebugs
Dear Fireman Grayson–
Tomorrow, you will trick or treat as a Blue Angel again — your choice, but one I applaud and sincerely hoped you would make when I bought that mini-uniform last year. If you change your mind and wish to be a firefighter (also a great choice!), well, we’ll make do with the firefighter PJs Nana and Papa gave you.
You’ve talked a lot about Halloween and made up Trick or Treating games to practice. You’ve also talked a lot about what you would like for Christmas or your birthday. You’re looking ahead, my friend, and it tickles me to watch you think it through.
I wonder if part of this new forethought comes from the knowledge that your “teeny tiny baby brother” will join our family “after Christmas.” (By Christmas would also be acceptable.) But it’s broader than that — you ask lots of questions about times and the days of the week and months.
Every day, sometimes even before breakfast, you ask me if I’m “all done working,” and it breaks my heart. I wish we could have more adventure days together, and I know you would like to start every third day or so at Habitot. That’s just not how our life works, buddy.
These last six months, especially the most recent ones, I’ve been struck by how good a big brother you’re going to be. This is an assumption, for sure — I was an abysmal big sister and ignored your uncle Chris until he was old enough to learn to read. But you are tender and loving and curious with babies and kids who are smaller than you, and I’m hoping we can keep that going even when the baby in question is squalling and snaking my attention. We’ve gotten some good advice and some good books, so…fingers crossed!What I think will sustain you — and what I’ve been mentioning in when we talk about being a big brother — is that you will be the one to show your brother lots of new things, and you already love to explain and teach. You say you will teach your brother to run and jump and climb, and son, I believe you. We’ve been careful to remind you that babies are very small and boring and can’t do much at first, but I’m confident you’ll have him scaling the shelves even earlier than you did. I am also grateful to “Mama Emily,” the mom of one of your school buddies, for bringing her infant to pick-up and drop-off. Most of our friends have older kids or no kids, so your immediate baby exposure is somewhat limited.
Even so, you are now an active participant in this run-up to a family of four. You will “give my baby brother a hug” by hugging my belly when the impulse strikes. You make up stories about what he’s doing and what he likes, and sometimes you pretend that there’s a baby in your belly, too. And you love the app that shows, each week, how big your baby brother’s hand is right now. (You also argue with the feature that compares his size to a something you might recognize until we get to a comparison of which you approve.)
Truthfully, what you’re going to like most about a new baby in the house are the five or so months I’ll be off work. Also, Grandpa’s going to come visit!
Let’s see, what else? You decided months ago that you’d rather sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor than in your bed. We figure this will last at least until I put in a loft bed or bunk beds. Whatever works!
You still hate sleeping, but you’ve gotten pretty good about playing in your room until your clock turns yellow. You still wake up at night for a yogurt smoothie. I would say that this is just a habit, but you still eat so little — and are growing SO FREAKING FAST — that I think you really are hungry in the night.
You are as sweet and loving as you are exasperating; you’ll fight bedtime tooth and nail and then give me “the biggest hug EVER” and tell me “Mommy, I love it when you are here” before you fall asleep. Some nights, you’ll come up with a new “I love you more than…” statement, which started with me saying I love you more than all the stars in the sky, all the fish in the oceans, and all the puppies in the whole wide world. And then my heart breaks wide open and I’ve forgotten all about the epic battle to wipe off your feet before putting them in your PJs.
You’re pretty Mommy-focused these days. We’ve heard a few “I don’t love Daddy, I only love Mommy” assertions, which your father has taken in stride (after spending the day creating elaborate games and characters with you). All it really means is that you’d prefer it if I wiped your butt instead of Daddy, which isn’t really the slap in the face you think it is.
You are especially Mommy-focused when you’re sick, which has been a lot of the last month or so. It went on long enough that your doctor finally gave you antibiotics for a sinus infection…hard to diagnose and may be viral, but you do seem to be doing better, finally. It’s hard as hell to get medicine into you, so yay for hitting some sort of effectiveness threshold.
But while you were particularly, pathetically sick (and I was, too), we finally had a chance to watch “Mary Poppins” together, and that may have been worth all the tissues and all the popsicles in the world. You knew some of the songs already because I’ve sung them for years, but there’s nothing in today’s PBS for Kids lineup that really compares to a tea party on the ceiling.
This is the first real movie you’ve really watched all the way through. We tried “Pete’s Dragon” during a prior illness, but you turned it off when the bad guys showed up. You’re a sensitive little dude when it comes to scary people on screens, which is why you haven’t seen “Wizard of Oz” or “The Neverending Story” yet. I think “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” might be next. (Daddy and I need to vet some more recent movies — we haven’t really been paying much attention.)
Oh! Also! You’re potty-trained, at least during the day. You pretty much handle it all on your own without any reminders, and accidents are limited to the occasional Someone New Is Here and I Am In The Middle Of Something moments. You’re good about telling me when you need to go potty when we’re out and about, although we worry that you hold on longer than you should.
Overall, kiddo, you’re pretty great and I always wish we had more time together. More “good” time and less “running errands” and “burned out” time. Fingers crossed for some awesome Family Time adventures during my baby-related leave, buddy.
I love you!