As the saying goes, miss a week miss a lot. When you have a three year old missing a week might as well be missing a year. While I’ve been busy…well…being busy and while I have written…it has been mostly non- Junior related we have all missed out on the retelling of some great Junior three and a half year old moments. The time for retelling is upon us.
Naps are now rare and 110% is the new calm, 200% the new normal and 300% the new busy. Sleep is now the most precious commodity on the planet!
The park is one of our favorite places, all of them, “That one over there and that one over there, and hmmmm, that one over there,” as Jr would say, pointing in every direction as he talks.
Buildings we visit regularly are houses. For instance Jr’s Montessori School is in a community center. He refers to it as the teacher’s house. At the teacher’s house he tells me they have food, “apple juice and water and crackers and cheese and carrots and blech, I don’t like that,” describing something he is not fond of. He also tells me that is where they keep his friends!
Date night is now a rented family movie streamed digitally and some homemade popcorn cooked on the stove.
Last Friday we camped overnight…in the living room. I set up a tent and made a fire and we roasted marshmellows. Jr and I slept in sleeping bags in the tent. I didn’t quite fit and Jr insisted we zipper up the flap. Luckily it was one of those play tents with an opening to attach a tunnel to. I was able to sneak my feet and legs out the tunnel hole and fun was had by all. Mrs. Daddio had a good night’s sleep without me cramping up the bed and Jr fell asleep by the fire in his sleeping bag. When I woke in the morning wrapped up in my own sleeping bag my back hurt only half as much as I thought it would. That means we can do this all again some other time!
Here is one about me. I don’t like going to the doctor’s office. Either you go there and waste a whole bunch of time or you go there and they find something wrong with you. I don’t want either of those things.
Though still sweet and innocent and mommy’s and daddy’s little boy Junior shows tremendous signs of independence. He loves to help clean be it the floors or with the snow shoveling. If he is asked to wait, “just a minute” enough times he might just do something on his own or get whatever he wanted himself. He is not afraid to voice his opinion. He will move to the front of the line when necessary (a good trait for an only brother to posses) and has a quiet confidence to stay on task intrinsically. I believe of course, some of these traits are inherent to his character but I also wonder if our encouraging parenting and concentrated efforts to say yes more than we say “NO” has helped nurture his abilities to cope.
Jr has recently been transitioning from the, I will stick to what I am comfortable with stage to the, I am ready to start trying new things again stage. This is a great time for parents because finally new things can be introduced to his diet without too much controversy, new shows and movies (thank goodness for the break from Barney!) can be enjoyed and generally speaking discovery if encouraged leads to many bright eyed moments of joy.
I have discovered that when the time is right all children learn what they need to know. Eventually when they are ready they go potty all on their own. After all how many of your peers at work have their parents come by two to three times a day to help them go to the bathroom? If you keep the option open to them the same goes for most everything else. Eventually they will learn table manners, getting dressed, eating healthy, proper bathing and grooming skills and many other things all when they are ready intrinsically. As parents the important things to do are to stay positive and proactive and to ensure that opportunities to succeed are available.
Speaking of parenting, this is a reminder that we are in the 21st century. If the only thing you are teaching your child(ren) is a lesson maybe you need one yourself.
Now back to some Jr stories.
Mom often travels for work. This leaves Jr and me together, often for extended periods of time. Last time she was away he asked me, “Where does mommy lives?”
I told him, “Right here with us she is only just travelling for work.”
He seemed satisfied with that answer.
We have turned our fridge into a giant chalkboard. On one side I write the monthly calendar. When mommy was away I showed Jr what day we were on now and counted to what day she was coming home. He understood (not bad for three!) and every day after that we had to review the calendar. When the day of homecoming was near he insisted we had flowers and a birthday cake for mommy in the house, ready for her. And we did. We met her at the airport with flowers and balloons and in the fridge when we arrived home was waiting a great chocolate “birthday” cake!
He likes to talk on the phone…and talk…and talk. I think with all of the travel in our house and all of his non-immediate family living substantial distances apart from us phone calls and him being encouraged to take part in them has been a big part of his being a part of things. He seems to understand the concept of these great distances and now you had better have some free time available just in case Jr dials you up.
He loves the snow. When it snows here he helps me shovel the driveway and sidewalks with his little shovel. Afterwards I pile him onto his sleigh and pull him around the neighborhood usually ending up at one of the community parks where we play for a while. When we arrive home it is nap time…for dad!
Peace and love all.