Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Forty-One Months

Dear Peeper:
You are forty-one months old today. That means that in one month, you will officially be three-and-a-half, although I've been calling you that, more or less, for a few weeks now.

It's been a pretty rough month for us here.

Of course, the worst part, for all of us, was saying goodbye to your Grandma S. You seem to have understood that about as well as one could expect, and whenever we talk about her, or about Pappy, you tell us "When somebody dies, you love them." And then we're all sad for a while.

A couple of times, Mommy's stopped by to see Pappy on her way to work, and dropped off some leftovers from our lunch. The other day we'd just sent him some lunch when you and I baked bread. You suggested, completely on your own, that we should send him some bread.

I think that's a great idea, but we'll have to bake more, because we ate that whole loaf the next day!

We've also been at least sorta-sick for the past month, with a cold that lingered, a throw-uppy (for you and other stuff for me) thing, coughing and congestion that hasn't let up, even with antibiotics, the cold revving back up for me in the past week or so and now you've thrown up again this evening.

Then there was the whole Mother's Day Out fiasco. On Honey, Mommy and I are so sorry about that. We got carried away, and went way too fast for you, and if we could turn back time and do it differently, we certainly would.

And, for a while there, I wasn't being such a great Mama for you. I was being very impatient, and getting frustrated and angry way too quickly and way too much. I realized that I was expecting too much of you, and after adjusting the way I was looking at things, I think I'm doing a better job now, and I think we're all a lot happier.

But it's not been all bad. In fact, when you were feeling okay, and not sad for one reason or another and not being yelled at by your crazy Mama, you have been - as usual - quite a delight to be with.

You have fallen even more deeply in love with your fairy tales, of all sorts, and have spent hours and hours reenacting them and creating endless variations on the different stories.

Your favorites are ballets The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and Firebird (which you saw on stage, once) and fairy tales, Rapunzel, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, The Princess and the Pea, Jack and the Beanstalk, and most recently, you've discovered The Elves and The Shoemaker, although that one hasn't yet entered your play. And, of course, there is still Sesame Street.

Your imagination is just amazing these days. You constantly have some sort of fantasy-play going on. If you're not specifically acting out a fairy tale, or Sesame Street sketch, or other story, you are pretending to be a character or animal.

I swear, I never know who you "are" from one moment to another.

And, Heaven forfend, I call you the wrong thing.

"Hey Honey. . . ?"

"No. I'm Baby Bear!"

(Or a kitty, or a puppy, or Rapunzel, or Prince Sigpweed, or . . . . )

The upside to this (other than how fun it is to watch, of course) is that you will do just about anything, as long as I phrase it in terms of whomever you're pretending to be at the moment.

One of your newest things, which I first noticed back in January when we were in Texas, but you've been doing a whole lot more lately, is that when you talk, you often echo the final sound of your sentence a few times under your breath. It's hard to explain but it's something like this:

"Let's read some books . . . ks . . . ks . . . ks."

(The ks (or x) sound is probably the one that you are most likely to echo, but you do it with other ending sounds, too.)

To be honest, it sort of freaked me out a bit at first, because you seemed to be doing it unconsciously, and it seemed rather tic-like.

So, I asked Mrs. T about it, because she's a developmental therapist and therefore, an expert on little kiddos and weird language thingies.

She said that you're just "playing with the sounds" and learning to isolate the ending sounds of words, which I already knew (from my time with Learning Center, and testing beginning readers) is a very important step in phonemic awareness.

So, yay you!

Within the past week or so, you're doing this more and more, and it's seemed more intentional or conscious, or like you're waiting to see if we notice. So, I've said, "Yes, 'books' does end with a 'ks' sound, doesn't it. It's spelled b-o-o-k-s and the k-s sounds like 'ks.'"

You are also starting to identify rhymes and make rhymes and make what you call "rhymes" but are actually words that start with the same letter, or sound alike in some other way, and you're getting better and better at identifying a word that starts with a given letter.

I wish I could have a video camera on you 24/7, because you are just cracking me up all the time. When you're not impressing the hell out of me. And sometimes both at the same time.

One night, I'd just gotten you out of the tub, and we were being vewy quiet, so as to not wake up the shampoo bottle pump that you'd just tucked into his widdle bed. I had you snugged all up in a towel on my lap, and you whispered, "Mama, I fink I wuv you!"

At the grocery store one evening, I was eyeing the clearance Valentine's candy, when youpicked up a heart-shaped box of chocolate and said, "Shall we buy this?"

Since then, the word "shall" has become a regular part of your vocabulary, but I'm pretty sure you think it means "may," because it's always in the context of "Shall we (thing you want to do)."

I should probably work on correcting that, but it's just so cute that I can't bring myself to.

In fact, you say lots of things that it doesn't seem that you "should," mostly because you've picked them up from Sesame Street or your various books, which use words that aren't "three year old words."

You're quite fond of "Here, Mama. Here's a splendid ___ for you!"

Of course, sometimes you say things that have no explanation at all. For example, who would've thought that a 3-year-old meltdown could include the sentence (repeated multiple times, very loudly) "Mama's a better clicker than you are!"

Mama: Can I have a hug?
Peeper: I don't wanna hug. Maybe later.

Mama: Let's put on your butterfly jammies.
Peeper: No, you silly old goose, they're flower jammies!

Another night, you decided (on your own) that the nice way to correct me (I keep thinking they look like butterflies) is "Excuse me, but they're flower jammies."

Much better.

The other day, you were playing on the bathroom scale, asking "How tall is Peeper?" (Then you made us get on. Not funny.)

I explained that it was actually "How much does Peeper weigh?"

So, a little while later, you picked up the forehead-scanning thermometer and said "See how much my forehead weighs."

A few weeks ago, you told Mommy, out of the blue, "You go to Sheetz and get mint M&Ms for me, and coffee for my mama!"

That would be really funny, if it weren't for the tears, wailing and gnashing of baby teeth that followed, when we told you that wasn't going to happen.

You've watched Teletubbies on YouTube a few times, and before you learned the name of the show, you called them "Dose babies with some things wrapped around dey heads."

One evening, you asked me, "Could you get someone to climb up this beanstalk?"

I turned around and saw that you were holding a green plastic slinky, all stretched out vertically. Beanstalk, of course.

Hickory, dickory dock. The mouse ran up the clock. The sun came out and dried up Hickory-Dickory.

Mash-up, 3-year-old style.

A few nights ago, you were playing with a phone. I offered you something to eat, and you told me, "I can't talk right now, I'm on the telephone." Then you returned to your "conversation" and said, "Sorry about that. As I was saying . . . ."

Can't imagine where you've heard that before.

Then you tried to call Mommy, but "She's not answering, I have to call her back. I have to get her voicemail."

Yesterday, we bought you some $2.50 flipflops at Target. As soon as we got home, you put them on and went out to play in the yard right now. It was about 50' out with a wind alert.

Mommy told you "It's too cold to wear them outside," and you replied that, "It's my idea," very much in the sense of "I will take responsibility for being cold."

I assume you get that from us saying "Well, it was your idea . . . " when you complain about being cold without your jacket, or shoes, or pants.

All in all, you're just amazing, kiddo. And I can't believe that you're almost three-and-a-half!

We love you, little Roodely-Toot.


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