Monday, November 19, 2007

A Letter to the Three Year Old

Dear Noah,

While the cliche' saying "it goes by quickly" might hold some truth, I am not particularly surprised that you turned three on Friday. In all honesty, it has gone by quickly so far, but also, in a way, it feels like years and years since you were born. I don't quite know how to reconcile all of this other than to just surrender to the fact that nothing with you has ever been by the book or cliche'. You my boy, are molded from some new brand of modeling clay. I have yet to meet any little guy even slightly like yourself. I would say this has proven to make great challenges for your father and I, and in the same breath I would say that you are without a doubt, amazing and kind and fascinating and funny and I wouldn't trade one ounce of you for the world.

Today was your three year old check-up. 30 pounds, 35 inches of little guy. As usual you gave the doctor a hard time,crying and kicking, turning beet red with anger as he God forbid, attempted to check your ears. But in turn, as always, when the exam was said and done, you proceeded to charm the women at the front desk with your chit chat and humor.One sticker, two stickers..and another. My God boy! Is there nobody that hasn't fallen under your charm spell? I get free babysitting at the large market down the street. The girls at the check out fight over who gets to ring us up, so they can whisk you out of the cart and lavish you with cookies, suckers and balloons all because they want to chat with this tiny guy. Just the other day one came running down isle four and found us at the back of the store. "Noah!" she shouted, scooped you out of the cart and told me to pick you up at the check out counter when I was done shopping. Then you were gone and I got to shop in peace. Several minutes later, as I approached the check out, I heard you burp from afar and yell "Excuse me!". Then you rounded the corner, Mylar balloon attached, Lindt truffles in hand. You are such a lucky boy. You asked me last week if you could "go see the girls" and I asked which ones and you said "you know, the ones at the market....the ones that pay us to leave." Ah.....those girls Noah, No, from the looks of it, I think they would pay you to stay .

This chit chattiness is your trade mark,when filling out a survey form, your teacher marked the box "Talks excessively" and then proceeded to write "That's good though!". You have spent the past year talking, talking to me, talking to your friends, talking to complete strangers, talking to yourself. You talk the minute you wake and never stop until the minute you sleep. Sometimes we put you down for bed and you continue to talk for an hour and a half. You have an odd way of addressing adults by their first name or by calling them "honey". "Hi Honey!" you shouted to your teacher upon seeing her once last month. Hmmmm.....yes funny, but no, not very appropriate. You tend to enjoy the company of adults and older children best. I think because they have a lot to teach you, and you love to learn. The things you say kid. Like last week, when you asked your grandfather, quite randomly: "Grandpa, do you know what continuity is?" Now how in the world will I keep up with a kid like you? In a year or two or three, you will be way beyond me. I am the Mom who failed algebra TWICE. I am going to need some backup.

Sometimes the adorable and funny chattiness, and slightly bizarre vocabulary for a two year old would came back to haunt us. You are an intense kid. I'm not going to sugar coat this, you are at times, more often than not, a VERY head strong, very stubborn, very difficult, very emotional guy. When you get in trouble we try to be consistent, we try to set boundaries, but my gosh, lately whenever we send you for a time out or raise our voices or take away a privilege, you turn and grin and say "Mom, you're just joking, stop kidding me!" WHAT!? It is hard as a parent to keep a straight face when such craziness comes out of her two year old, but this is a time when the great vocab works against us.

Something quite interesting to me has been the fact that this past year has been still, yet another large year of firsts! From a newborn to a one year old, you changed almost daily, and from one to two you also grew a ton, but I just figured a kid from two to three had less rapid development, less firsts, but I was proved wrong. To name just a few first that made me proud; your new found joy of bike riding! This summer you truly got the art of pedaling down, zooming around on your little red, retro trike. You got fast, too fast perhaps, but the freedom made you squeal and it brought me nothing but pure joy to see that happiness. Earlier this year your used the potty for the first time! For a year we had been trying and for a year you absolutely refused to go. Then one day you did go and we went crazy and jumped around and immediately went out to the toy store and let you choose a train. And refused to go for another six months.. Flatly refused to even SIT on the potty. You HATE the potty. And then once again, you suddenly went last week, TWICE and although not again since, I am thrilled because hey! Three times in 18 months is better than nothing, right? Between two and three you began to FINALLY, consistently sleep through the night. You go down to sleep so great (which I appreciate more than you know) it's just the staying asleep part we need to work on. You still wake sometimes at night, but just for a minute or two which isn't too bad. Now, if we could just ever get you to sleep past 7:00am...

One thing that you don't like is solid foods. And I'm not joking. For some reason or another, your food must be one color in order for you to eat it. It can't be anything mixed, like rice with peas in it for example. No pizza with toppings or hot dogs with buns. In fact, for the most part, you just like liquid food. Here is what you will eat two bites of on most days....yogurt, plain pasta, hard boiled egg. Oddly, you are in love with canned green beans. Today the doctor suggested seeing their nutritionist to figure out how to get you to eat. He's not too worried and thinks this is just your head strong personality coming through. Simply, you don't want to eat because I asked you to. Great. You also asked to try gum this year, after which I told you that you couldn't try until you are five. Somehow you believed me and agreed that gum was appropriate for a five year old. Regardless of all the food worries, you have been know to ask for a chocolate milk or two and I do so love a man who likes chocolate too.

One thing you like these days is letters and learning. To my great surprise you began reading simple words with me last week! Box, Bear, Balloon. Your teacher sure is doing a great job, she's taught you guys all of the letter's sounds and now you are on a roll. Reading before you were three! That's pretty neat stuff. I swear, you surprise me all of the time. Like today at the doctor's office. We were using our crayons to draw all over the long white paper that covers the exam table. It was a bit of a wait, and soon we had a great system of tracks and tunnels and bridges drawn for the trains that you brought. You asked me to spell "Thomas" for you so you could write it down. I laughed and proceeded to spell Thomas and expected to see you making a bunch of cute squiggles. To my amusement your indeed wrote out the word Thomas! "T-H-O-M-A-S"! Clear as day. So when in the world did you learn to write the alphabet? You truly amaze me kid.

I suppose I should wrap up my letter to you soon Noah, but let me say this; out of all your qualities, I think my favorite is your sweetness. As I posted before, when you said last week from the back seat of my car "Mom, I think I love you." It just darn near melted my heart clear away. You have been watching your latest favorite the "Elmo Potty" video two and sometimes three times a day, everyday! It is a 30 minute sesame street montage of Sesame Street characters talking about using the potty. Every time I hear the melody of the song "Trying, trying again" waft from the playroom, inevitably it is followed by your gentle "awwww.....look at that cute kitten, I want to hold her!". This is a perfect example of your sweetness, your gentle soul, and I love you for it.

Sometimes I baby you because I know you might be my only. Sometimes I want to hold on and keep you my little guy forever. But please know everyday just how proud I am of you Noah, as you grow and grow into such a wonderful big boy. An amazing, wonderful boy. You are my joy. I love you. Happy Birthday.



Twins-Plus-1 said...

Oh Lauren, that was beautiful and amazing. Noah is a very special little guy. The time he called me honey it melted my heart. He definitely has a special place in my life. You are very lucky to have an awesome little guy but remember how lucky he is to have you and Jon as parents. You are truly inspiring. Love to you all :)

Judy said...

Aw, I'm all misty-eyed now! What a wonderful tribute, Lauren!


Laura said...

Ohhh...that was just too sweet! Noah will love being able to read this when he is older. I hope that he had a great birthday! :)

Anonymous said...

I was doing research, and somehow your blog came up in my Google results. I read this article and it warmed my heart. Noah is a very lucky boy.


Anonymous said...

I came across your blog while searching for information on the lovely song "Trying, trying again"...

I hear the melody of the song "Trying, trying again" waft through my home quite often as I have two littles girls and another girl on the way...

What a beautifully inspired letter. I hope Noah appreciates this genuine out pouring of love when he is 30 something.