Friday, September 15, 2006

Dear Little Pop,

Monday Night Football has returned with a vengeance and you have returned to your normal Monday Night Football routine. Honestly, as far as days of the week go, Mondays are not my personal favorites, but I have ONE thing that I look forward to each and every Monday in the fall and winter… It’s something special that I look forward to and hope you do it for years to come, too. Your MNF dance! Every Monday, when the opening strains of music sound, you blast into the living room and stare at the TV. Any time there is music, you do a little dance, right up until Hank Williams gets on to do his thing. During the official song, you and I dance like crazy people! We stomp our feet, jump around, and turn in circles as we dance together to the theme song. Once it’s done, you go off until it’s time to meet the players. Last year, you started saying “HI” to them as they were introduced. Bless your heart, you are still doing it. Thank you, baby, for making my Mondays the best days of the week!

In front of Mema's House, Labor Day Weekend, 2006

In a few days you will turn three years old. When my mother and grandmother used to say “It seems like only yesterday when…” I would roll my eyes and truly not get it. What were they talking about??? And then, without warning, you entered my world. And three years ago seems like yesterday. I have to say that I look at you, Mr. Big Boy, wearing “big boy” underwear, using the potty, having conversations with your trains, and I want to scream, “NO!!! You are still a baby! You can’t be this old yet!” But you are this old. You are no longer a baby or even a toddler anymore. Instead of tentatively taking steps, you are running full-steam-ahead

One day old... 9/26/2003

Knowing you is like having a birthday every single day because you are a gift and you constantly surprise me. Just this past Saturday, you asked your daddy if he would play football with you and he taught you how to throw your mini-football in a perfect spiral. Your love of all things athletic is so wonderful because I will never have to worry that you won’t get exercise. You love to be a couch potato, too, don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s Scamper the Penguin, Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues, Diego, Max and Ruby, Little Bear, Barney, Thomas, or Madagascar (or as you used to call it, “Adabascar”). You love putting in new DVD’s and playing them all by yourself. You have figured out how to hold your beloved cartoons so that they don’t scratch. You love your cartoons! So much so, that your Nana is worried about it. I assure her that you may like to have it on, but you are always playing, making up stories and scenes for your cars and trains, “reading” books to yourself, etc. You are always on the go.

Riding the Bob the Builder truck at the outlet mall

You are a compassionate soul. I heard once that the best way to ensure that your child is compassionate as an adult is to teach him/her compassion as a child. I’m not certain that your father and I can take full credit for it, but your empathy and compassion are astounding. A couple of months ago, I was not feeling well. In fact, I had a debilitating stomach virus that left me very listless and in a lot of pain. You would come by, give me a hug, and ask me if my tummy hurt and then tell me to feel better. In those moments, I did feel much better. And you love to hug the dog and cat. Well, to be honest, you love to “play” with them and that includes chasing, squishing, stepping on, and terrorizing them to a large extent. While the cat will just run and hide, the dog will sit and take it. And when we tell you that you have hurt Bubba, you will lean down, put your arms around him, and ask, “Are you okay, Bubba?”

Lately, you, the boy who really didn’t like long hugs, being held as a baby, or snuggling in general (you are just too BUSY to sit still), have come to love cuddling. You will come sit by me on the couch or climb into bed with me and say, “I want to cuddle with you, Mommy.” And the beauty of those moments overwhelms me and I look at your arm, encircling me, and I rain kisses down on the top of your blonde head.

Breckenridge, December 2005

And the shocks and the protests (in my heart) keep on coming. Last night, you did something that once again reminded me that you are no longer an infant. For a while now you have used a pacifier when you sleep (naps and bedtime only). A few weeks ago, when we were tucking you in, you handed your paci to your daddy and asked that he cut the end off. You were “too big” for a paci. Stunned, neither of us could do it and when we asked if you were really ready to give them up, you said no. Well, last night, you INSISTED on it. You said, “Yes,” when we asked if you were really ready and if you were sure. You then handed them to your father, and told him to bring back the cut pacis. I think you might have changed your mind right before he came back with the altered items, but you were so BRAVE! We watched your lip quiver and your eyes start to well, and we both told you how proud we are of the big boy you’ve become. Inside, I was bawling for you. You are SUCH a big boy and I am SO PROUD of you!
Just in case you thought that I might not be keeping track of such things, I’d like to give you a list of milestones you’ve covered this past year:
Count to 30 in English
Count to 30 in Spanish
Identify the numbers 1 through 20
Use several Spanish words correctly in conversation including: vamanos, adios, hola, and buenos noches.
Sing your A,B,C’s all the way through and also identify each letter of the alphabet
Tell me what color you get when you combine yellow and blue, blue and red, and red and yellow
Show your right hand or left hand when asked
Spell your name
Spell Cat
Spell Bob
Sing the following songs:
Baby Bumblebee
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
The Thomas theme song
The Alligator Song
Happy Birthday to You
The “Clean up” Song
The Bob the Builder theme song
Put on your own shoes and socks without help
Put on a shirt
Take off your clothes by yourself
Wash your hands
Hit a baseball
Hit a golf ball almost correctly
Throw a perfect spiral pass
Kick a soccer ball
Shake people’s hands and exclaim, “Nice to meet you!”
Sing parts of “The Eyes of Texas” and “Texas Fight” while flashing a hook’em.
Dance, do somersaults, jump up high, gallop like a horsey, run, walk, crawl, sing, yell, cry, giggle, laugh, and tackle the dog, your father, and me constantly.

Ahh, the potty training. We’ve received plenty of advice about the way to approach it, but what worked best for you were two things:

1) Just biting the bullet and putting you in regular underwear, and 2) Money. Quarters, to be exact. Every time you “poo-poo” on the potty and not in your pants, you get a quarter. Since this has started, you have had two accidents and only one of those involved your underpants (the other time, you were wearing a pull-up). It is safe to say that you are doing quite well, financially, and definitely have a future in sales as you are quite motivated by cold, hard cash!

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