Saturday, April 16, 2016

Letter to my son

Dear Son,

Mommy said, "It's time for a hair cut."  You replied, "My hair messy?"  Mommy said, "Yes.  And if you don't cry or yell, we will go get a toy."  Mommy made the hair appointment.  What Mommy didn't know was that Daddy had made a similar deal with you, "If you don't cry or yell, we will get ice cream."  When we got in the car, we realized that we'd have to do both and keep our word, if you behaved very well.

Just as we drove up to the hair salon, you tried to bargain, "Guys.  Can I cry just a little?"  We both replied, "No, no crying if you want a toy and ice cream."  You tried again, "Just a little cry?"  We stood our grounds.  You did great!  And we kept our word too.

The story about you trying to bargain about a "little cry" made me think of a post your Daddy put on Facebook recently that reads:

So Gregory's bath is finished and he's just in the tub marinating with his tub toys...
Me: ok Gregory... 2 more minutes.
Gregory: THREE more minutes!
Me: No no... 2 more minutes.
Gregory: two and a HALF more minutes??
He obviously gets his intelligence from mom because I didn't understand fractions or bargaining until I was eight.

At K-Mart, you enjoyed going down each of the aisles and looking at everything.  There was a large display from Star Wars and you said, "Star Wars!"  I was surprised.  I thought you'd pick out a truck.  You looked at a lot of the trucks, but ended up wanting the Octonauts.  You even saw that it came with a Volcano!  

Daddy remembered that we have strawberry swirl ice cream at home, so it was a win-win!

When you opened the toy, you were excited to play with the volcano that pops up so the volcano rocks go out. Mommy took that time to encourage the V is for Volcano project.  You did all the coloring of the lava and helped glue down the "V".  

Pointing to the volcano and holding your volcano toy, saying, "BOOM"

Update with the potty:  A few days ago your teacher asked Mommy, "Is Gregory potty trained at home?"  I said, "Yes, he is."  She said you aren't at school.  I think it has something to do with you having to wear a diaper, so why should you bother?  At home, you don't wear diapers.  

Case in point, the other day, you went to the bathroom.  I waited, because you were being too quiet.  Then I heard you say, "Mommy, Daddy, come quick!"  I ran.  You were standing next to the small potty, pointing to the big number two you did!  We clapped and cheered.  You didn't tell us you had to go, you just went to the potty, took off your cloths and took care of business.  This is great!

Another time, you said you had to pee before we went to the park.  You went to the potty and pee'd.... on the big potty... standing up... and forgot to lift the sitting lid... so there was proof of your attempts lining the seat.  BUT.. it's a move to the big potty - yeah!  So, yes, I can say with confidence that you are potty trained at home.  

You also have a new fascination with the bathroom in general.   You want to wash your hands, a lot.  I don't mind this.  But then... you want to put your toys in a plate of left over food or play dough and say that you need to "clean your toy."  You go to the bathroom, turn on the water, get soap and clean the toy.  Turn off the water and dry.  Okay, that's alright.  BUT... after the third time of doing this in a row, it makes Mommy wonder why.

At one point Mommy heard you say, "I'm going to clean the toilet."  Ummm, huh?  I haven't shown you how to do this.  I went into the bathroom soon after you and exclaimed, "NO! No no nononononono."  You were "cleaning" the toilet with the plunger.  I imagine there could be worse things, but at the moment, it was EWWWW.  WASH YOUR HANDS NOW.  (laughing after the fact)

We recently went to the Zoo.  You love seeing pictures of animals and with you relating more and more to things around you, it's the perfect time for you to enjoy what we have available to us for family outings.  Here are a few pictures:

"They all asked for you..."

Cool Zoo water fun

Kids park in the zoo

Ride for the carousel, still not tall enough to go by yourself (not that we would have you go by yourself even if you were tall enough right now!)

On this ride, the horse moved and your cried the entire time, wanting to get off.

We looked at the cool zoo area, but it was still cool enough outside not to go into it.

Then, the sweet lady at the carousel, Star, came up to us with a ticket.  She said, "Maybe he would like the carousel more if he was on one of the animals that doesn't move."  She pointed out the ones that stayed stationary and let us have a free ride with you.  At first you didn't want to get on the giraffe, but once the ride started and it stayed put, you enjoyed it.  That was very thoughtful of Star; her kindness is what keeps this world a beautiful place and gives hope.

You liked the gorillas nose!

Before we left the zoo, we saw a group forming around a snake named Ramona and listened in...  As it happens, one of Mommy's and Oma's friends, Lauren, was there as a volunteer at the zoo!

Lauren is the girl in the middle.  They are holding a large python and you touched it a few times (Mommy did too).  Lauren was thrilled to see you there.  She wrote on Facebook:  

I'm proud of Gregory for petting Ramona. I cannot imagine how strange a 12 foot, 60 pound python must look to the little ones. It is so interesting to see how the little ones have no fear- they are most likely to pet the snakes and roaches as long as the parents don't instill a reaction of fear or disgust. 

I like what Lauren wrote, because right before they brought the snake closer, I told you, "Mommy is going to touch the snake, okay?"  And you said, "Me too!" 

The white tiger is there - look near your shoe and behind the bushes.

You (and Mommy) loved seeing the peacocks.  There are two - one on the tree, one on the ground.

Another boy walked over to you when you got off of the bench.  You took a step forward, he took a step forward, both of you wanting to chase after the peacock.  Thankfully neither of you ran, but each of you encouraged the other to walk forward, sort of a "if you do, then I will" understanding.  Totally neat to see this when you are strangers.  You got closer to the peacock than this picture, but never close enough to touch it.

From the zoo, we went home and you took a short nap.  We had lunch and then went to the Jefferson Performing Arts Theater to see Alice in Wonderland.  

It was nice, because all of the actors were kids of a variety of ages.  They had three different Alice's to represent the "drink this potion to get smaller, eat this cookie to get bigger."  No great singers in the group, but the kids did great with the clarity of their speech and had fantastic facial and body expressions.  

You did wonderfully!  (It helped that Mommy had a stash of gummy lifesavers in her purse.)  You stayed awake for the entire performance and clapped at the right times.  You focused on the kids and didn't run yelling for the Exit door.  Whew, a relief!  Daddy said at one point, "Maybe next year we'll see you on that stage."  You shook your head, "Yes."  

Next picture is with you and EJ.  EJ is the grandchild of Oma's and Opa's neighbors.  You've gone to their home numerous times and played with EJ.  EJ also attends St Augustine's Episcopal Preschool too, but he is a year older than you, so you aren't in the same class with him.  You wanted a fireman's hat, but the fireman came on different days for different classes.  Sadly, the day the firemen were supposed to visit your class, it rained out.  I hope they get to come for a rescheduled event.

One day after a short nap, you were irritated.  Daddy said, "Come on, let's go outside."  Daddy taught you how to punch the punching bag.  Daddy said, "We do not hit people.  If you feel like you want to hit, come outside with me and we'll hit this bag together."

Mommy picked you up from school and you were playing with this puzzle.  You didn't want to leave until you finish it, which you did.  Ms. Maria said that you love this particular puzzle.  Your days at school are up and down, some good with playing with the kids, but other times... you put your hands out and say, "Go away."  Ms. Maria and Mommy and Daddy have asked you why you say this to your classmates, but you don't give an answer.  I'm not sure if you understand the feelings.

Guess who is back from Maryland!  Oma and Opa and Biscuit and they brought TJ for a visit too!

Poor Oma and Opa.... they have this adorable sweet baby to take care of, but he is teething.  I remember those days with you.  It's hard to watch a child go through something that is irritating and then not understand why and get even more cranky.  A teething baby is NOT an easy part of life for the child and the parent and the grandparent!  

 (You have 20 teeth, by the way, 10 at the top and 10 at the bottom.)  

I say Poor Oma and Opa... because as they are taking care of TJ, the school called and said you needed to be taken home.  Mommy and Daddy were both at work.  Opa picked you up.  The teachers said you went to a corner, not wanting to play and then had diarrhea.  They said a number of kids had come down with a stomach bug and that you had to go home.  At Oma and Opa's house, you played, ate well, had a solid bowel movement, ran, played with sand (see the below mess).... so it was a little bit of a surprise when you had been sent home.  (Sadly, Mommy learned a few days later that the same day you were sent home was the same day the firemen came back to your school.  You missed this and you were so upset about it!)

The next morning, Daddy took you to school.  I asked Daddy how you were with the other children, if you were going into a corner or not being sociable.  Daddy said, "No.  Gregory was running around playing with two kids that just showed up after we arrived.  He even hugged one girl, which was really sweet."  I don't understand the change in behavior at school.  Maybe one day you can explain it to me.

Pictures with your cousin, TJ

Love this next one - smile of "Yes, I am.  I'm standing!"

Ohhhh, guess who loves selfies!

Can't get better than this!

Oma shared something that happened when you were with them and not in school.  She said, "Gregory had sand all over him from playing, so I changed his shirt.  I put a muscle shirt on, the kind with no sleeves.  Gregory said, "This is a beach shirt!"   Then Gregory found a large towel and wrapped it tightly around himself.  He said, "Now I'm ready for the winter."  I was shocked!"  I am too.  You pick up so much without us realizing it.

When I picked you up from Oma's and Opa's house, I said, "Gregory, I like your shirt."  You said, "I want to go to the beach!  I want to go to the beach!  This is my beach shirt."

The other day, Daddy was teaching you the word, "Anticipation."  You wanted Daddy to slurbert you (raspberry).  Daddy said, "I'm going to get you.  I'm going to slurbert you.  Wait for it.  Wait for it."  You would scream and start to shake with excitement.  Daddy said, "That feeling right there, that's Anticipation."  Then he got you with the slurbert.

Well... the next day... Daddy was in his bedroom, reading his iPad.  You walked up to Daddy and pointed to his belly and said... "Antipa" (you can't say the entire word yet) and had the biggest smile on your face.  Then you walked up to him and gave him a slurbert on his belly.  Oh yes, you are soaking up the world.

This past Friday was the Youth Jr group gathering.  Mrs. Catherine said you did great.  You played with the kids, participated when they called you to the groups, ran, did art work, ate and ran some more.  Right before going to the Youth Jr group, we stopped at the grocery store to bring some carrots to the gathering.  In fact, in the car ride, Daddy said, "We are going to church."   You corrected him, "No, Daddy we are going to the grocery store for carrots first."  

At the grocery store, you saw a stack of balls.  Mommy tried to get a green ball.  You said, "No, I want the pink one."  It was under a bunch of other balls.  Mommy got a blue ball out.  You said, "No, I want the pink one."  Mommy fished out the pink ball and you were so happy!  Daddy was horrified. 

All the way to the car, Daddy said how kids will make fun of you, because you like the color pink and that's a girl color and we have to stop that.  Daddy is probably correct, but... I guess I just don't want to influence you this way, just because society is stupid.  However, I don't want you to get hurt by other kids saying foolish things because they were taught to be that way...  For this brief moment in time, love the color pink, okay?  (I think the main reason you like pink is because Mommy likes that color.)

While you were at the Youth Jr. group, Mommy and Daddy went to a pastry shop.  Mommy picked out a dessert that reminded her of the Hawaii vacation - because of the plumeria flowers.

When we went to pick you up, you had a gift of flower pens that you made.  I really love how the Youth Jr group does projects together and how you will climb up on the tables to draw and participate.  You have some much fun.  Whenever we saw we're going to Youth Jr group, you are ready and waiting at the door to go!

Today was cloudy with a mist in the air.  Daddy says, "It feels like someone is sneezing on us."  It didn't stop us from having a family adventure to Fountaineblue Park.

For $ 2.00 for anyone over the age of 3 years old, it's a great place to go!  The area is lovely with big oak trees and hanging moss, plus there's a small beach (we were able to make your "I want to go to the beach" wish come true), there's a water park (but it was too windy and cold to go into it), lots of places to run and explore and a playground area too.  You had a lot of fun!

You saw the sand and started to draw in it.

You were waiving your hands around.  Mommy said, "Gregory, put your hands down."  Stinker.  You smiled big and put BOTH hands up in the air!

Your defiant look!

Picking up sand and throwing it in the air.

You and Daddy racing on the pier

Because you love to climb - looking at Lake Ponchartrain

Had to take this next picture - it's a cool thing, even neater that the dog goes with them on the board!

You saw these pipes and climbed on (of course). 

You pulled yourself all the way up.  You squatted down (while still on the pipes) and then pulled up again and squatted down and went back up.  You said, "I'm exercising."

Father and Son

Daddy showing you some animal prints in the mud

 After the beach and walking the grounds, we went to the playground in the park.

No need for help on these steps.

You loved looking through the telescope

Climbing rock walls all by yourself

The playground is really cute with upper and lower levels

Even under the playground set, there are cool things to look at, such as drawings of dinosaurs!

After the playground, Mommy wanted to take pictures with trees.  There was an old twisted dead tree that looked cool and creepy... behind it was an old oak tree with limbs draping the grounds.  We went there for pictures.

You were content as could be to touch this tree.  You liked it.  Mommy thought she'd be funny and walk to the other side of the tree and play "peek a boo" with you.  After I took the above picture, I walked around the tree.... and SAW A SNAKE!  I screamed.  I ran.  The snake slithered back into the tree.  I thought, "Oh my gosh, Gregory is on the other side of the tree."  I told you, "There's a snake, we have to go.  NOW."  You thought the snake bit me because I screamed.

I know, after going to the zoo and petting a 60 pound python, what right do I have to scream at a yellow and orange long striped snake that was small.  But the python was being held.... I had no desire to hold a snake found in the wild.  I left it alone and it seemed to want the same thing, so we left.  

I would still go to the park again!  Just... maybe not get SO close to the trees :)

Daddy took the below picture - me running to get you away from the tree.

After the park, we met up with Oma, Opa and TJ at Ground Patti for lunch.

So sweet, giving kisses to TJ.  I love how gentle you are with your cousin.  You said, "TJ is my favorite baby."

Today was one of those dreary days outside.  A day that could easily have been slept away.  Daddy said he was glad we went to the park.  Mommy thanked Daddy for being open to going to various places, especially recently.  The weather isn't too cold and it's not the heat of the summer.  It's perfect for going outside and I love how you enjoy nature so much.   You are happy just walking around, climbing on things, playing with sand, just having fun in the sun (and the clouds).  Thank you, sweet son, for enjoying life.

Love Always,

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