Thursday, December 29, 2016

Letter to My Son

Dear Son,

We are ending another year, saying Goodbye to 2016.  This year your ability to understand what's going on around you has grown in leaps and bounds.  This Christmas, it wasn't just about the wrapping paper or the bright lights.  It was about Christmas, Baby Jesus, giving and receiving, Santa and being on the "nice" list, the consequences of your actions, writing letters to Santa (Oma was a big help in working with your writing skills) and singing joyful songs.

At your school Christmas performance, you sang loud and clear, did the hand motions (for instance, hands above your head for "antlers") and even deepened your voice to represent Santa.  Your teacher told us before how you do great with knowing the words to the songs and how loud you are when you sing... it's one thing to hear it from your teacher, but really cool to see it in a performance.

Your behavior at school is fantastic!  You rarely have your banana in the yellow.  Though one day when it did, you told Mommy, "My banana was in green, but don't go to my school."  Reg flag warning.  You knew it was a lie and you tried to cover by making sure I wouldn't follow up and see where your banana was.  I think that's sneaky smart.  You did confess though and Mommy told you the worst part was the lie.  You apologized.

You also added, "But Mommy, I did not push, kick or yell at the teacher."  (The yellow was because you and a group of other children didn't want to stop playing ring around the rosie.)  I replied, "That's good, but did you listen to your teacher when she told you to stop?"  You said, "No."  We talked about making sure you continue with good behavior and part of good behavior is listening to your teacher, your parents and your grandparents.  We explained how respect is important.

Recently you told Mommy and Daddy, "I don't want to play with kids who are in the red (banana in the red)."  We tried to explain that a child can make a bad choice, but is still a good person and to give them a chance.  (Last year was your first year in school and it was difficult for you to adjust.  Other children will go through that too.)  We asked you to be a good role model and help other children.  It's a big concept for you to learn, but it's never to early to start.  I'm always amazed at what sinks in with you.

You have some favorite sayings, that I'm realizing you are picking up from the iPad:
"Best Day Ever"
"Worst Day Ever" - said with major attitude when you couldn't come into Mommy's office
"Boorrrrinnnngg" - again, with attitude

Mimicking expressions is a new fascination as well.  "This is my angry face" offered with a frown and looking up with cutting eyes.  When you said something weird, Mommy replied, "Ewwww, that's gross."  You did it again and I gave the same expression.  I could feel you analyzing my expressions.  Will you become an actor one day?

Curiosity thrives well in you.  When you go to the doctor's office, you love looking at the pictures and asking about the body parts.  The ENT doctor recommended that you see an allergist specialist, because of the frequencies of sinus infections.  Dr. Harvey requested blood work and a scratch text (which will happen in the beginning of January).

Oma and Opa brought you in for the blood work.  It was the first time you had to give blood.  Oma said, "I have never been able to look at someone taking my blood.  But Gregory was curious and he wanted to watch.  Because he was so brave to watch the nurse take his blood, he made me brave and I watched for the first time too."  You did yell at the first touch of the needle and when the needle was removed, but the nurse said you did great!  Will you become a doctor one day?

You are a brave and observant boy!  Watching you at Izzy's birthday party... I was in awe of your fearless determination.

Izzy's birthday party was at the ice skating rink.  We don't have one around us, which makes Mommy sad.  Before the party, I told you how Mommy used to love ice skating when she was a little girl and how much fun it was...  I was prepared for you to scream and run from the cold rink when we arrived at Izzy's party location.

"I want to go on the ice!"  Before your skates were even on.  Izzy and Isaac showed you how to lean your body (almost laying down) on a crate while your Daddy pushed you on the ice.  Soon, you realized you could use the tip of your skates to propel you forward, while on the crate and you didn't want anyone pushing you.  Then, you watched as other children skated by, not laying on the crate, but standing up tall and pushing the crate in front of them for balance.  You did this too!

If you had stopped at this point, I would have been completely thrilled.  When you let go of the crate, my heart did a stop.  Would you fall?  Your legs were a little wobbly, but you only fell once.  After that - you didn't want the crate and you were moving forward, on the ice, all by yourself.... no assistance and you were determined that we "leave you alone!"  You even joined in with the other kids to do the "hokey pokey" dance and yes, you turned yourself around.. on skates... on the ice... by yourself!

I was in awe... to watch you learn and grow with such confidence in skill and gathering information about what other people were doing and self teaching yourself a brand new skill...  a skill that requires balance no less.. Mommy and Daddy didn't teach you one thing.  We were thrilled that you were open to the idea of laying on the crate and to push you.  That you went from this to skating on your own.... it was incredible to watch.  We were the observers to your ability to learn.  It was an education to us, as parents.

This has been a year of you soaking up the world around you with a level of comprehension that makes me want to ask you, "What are you thinking?"  You prepare us for changes too, with your questions.

I recently read somewhere that when boys get into the teen years, parents will wish they were still only talking about potty training.  As I've said in the past, you are fully day time potty trained since you were in school last year.

Before Halloween this year, we spoke with you about dry diapers at night.  You actually said, "I don't want to wear 'diapees' (that's what you call them) at night any more."  We told you, "If you have dry diapers in the morning for a week, we will try big boy underwear instead."

Each morning you'd go to the bathroom and say, "I have a dry diaper?"  Sure enough you had dry diapers, but we were nervous about the night time bed wetting.... so you stayed in diapers.. then, before Thanksgiving, you woke me up and said, "Mommy, I have to pee."  That was our cue.  You woke yourself up to pee.  That was the last diaper to touch your behind.  After that, you were proud to wear big boy underwear!

You haven't had an accident.  We do make sure you pee before you go to bed; you know this is a routine.  You have to pee in the potty before you get in the tub.  You have to pee in the potty before you go to bed.  It's worked like a charm!  I think a good part of the smooth process is that you were ready and you didn't want to wear diapers at all.

Another new task that Mommy is thrilled you've learned is that dirty cloths go in the hamper.  You said, "You need the dirty cloths to get washed, so you put them in the hamper so you know where to find them for the washer and the dryer."  You help me take cloths out of the washer and put them in the dryer.  I'm tickled that I don't have to hunt for your cloths around the house any more.  You know where things go.  It's a small thing, but it's an organization skill and one that you'll appreciate having when you get older.

Social skills are in full bloom.  If there's another child, you are eager to play with them.  Your teacher, Mrs. Becky, said that you don't have a specific "best friend" but that you play with a group of kids, but yes, you are social.  Mommy has asked you if you have a best friend that you play with the most, you say, "No."  After talking with your teacher, I felt that you were doing well.

Even on the playground in the local neighborhoods, if there are other children, you don't mind relating to them.  Just this week, Oma and Opa brought you to your favorite - the Pirate Ship Playground (it's the the one on Little Farms, but we renamed it because of the shape).  There was a six year old boy there and you played very well with him, keeping up with talking and running and climbing.  Opa said, "Gregory knows his way around the pirate ship!"

Your sense of humor is a daily force.  You LOVE to make people smile.  If you do something and I laugh, you ask, "That makes you happy Mommy?"  You love to make people happy... and sometimes you do super silly things... here's a post that Daddy shared on Facebook:

"So Gregory was getting out of the tub and we were both singing Frosty the Snowman on the way to his bedroom. As he's standing in his bed and I am toweling him off he's still singing... then.... He gets to the part of " and a corn-cob pipe and a button nose" yet he is pointing to his BUTT and NOSE. I laughed SO hard... how long has been thinking those were the words?"

I don't think you actually thought those were the words, because you sing it properly plenty of times... but you knew it would make Daddy laugh :)

Other times, you are tots adorbs in your actions.  We were at Oma and Opa's house.  You came up to me and demanded, "I need my iPad and I have to sit at the bar!"  What?  You normally don't ask for your iPad unless you are at a restaurant or you are tired and it's nighttime.  And sitting at the bar at my parents' house?

When I walked into the kitchen area, I understood...  there was Opa, sitting at the bar with his laptop. You wanted your iPad and to sit on the barstool next to Opa, doing what Opa was doing.  Can't get cuter than that!

Many people consider 2016 to be bad year for many things.... but for our family.. your growth, your laughter, your love... that surpasses anything negative.  2016 leaves us with morning hugs and raspberry kisses and sweet memories to treasure.  May 2017 continue with beautiful blessings to count.

Love Always,