Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Letter to My Boys

You, my tallish, lanky boy, are growing by the day it seems. The pants I bought you in early fall are now high-waters, and your feet are almost growing through the ends of your shoes. I'm afraid all the clothes I wanted to repurpose that were slightly too big last summer are now going to be too small by the time summer rolls around this year.

You're also getting smarter all the time and routinely come home telling me facts beyond your years. They're always posed as questions, like: "Momma, did you know Georges Seurat painted dots?" or "Did you know Orca whales have a nickname? Killer whales!" I'm loving that you're getting swept up in learning, and frankly, I'm learning some new things along with you. I'm guessing this is just the beginning of that. You're so, so good at math and puzzles and have already mastered some basic addition and how to put together the 5-12 age Lego kits by yourself.
Lately, you've been sporting a new, longer hairstyle and seem to really like it. It makes you look so grown-up, but it's already driving me nuts when it's in your eyes. Since you've got the straight-as-a-board hair that I had growing up, there are some gel tricks we're having to use to keep it out of your eyes as it grows. You love it though, and so do I, so I see it sticking around for a while.
You've been taking taekwondo classes for three-ish months now, and love it. You're actually getting pretty good at it and can even count to seven in Korean! You had a belt test a couple weeks ago and though you struggled with some anxieties about the multitude of people there to watch the test, you overcame your fear because you were determined to get that belt. You even got to break a board at the end of the test and have been showing it off ever since.
Speaking of anxieties, you've started fearing anything new lately, sometimes even in situations that you're familiar with. You've gotten clingier at daycare drop-off and have had this crippling fear come over you the last few times we've been to taekwondo, but you can't really articulate why, other than to say you're "scared," or "there are new kids." It's gotten bad enough that you can't even complete the class, but we're working hard to help you through it. Part of me wishes it was just that you didn't like taekwondo anymore, because watching you be so excited about going, and then be so overcome with fear that you can't participate—that's hard. Really hard. It breaks my heart, but we're trying hard to help you get through it and grow from it.

Lately, you've been more of a Momma's boy than ever, and I am loving every second. Since you were a baby, you've always preferred Daddy, and to be honest, it's broken my heart a tiny bit. But friends who told me that would change have been proven right because the tide seems to be shifting in my favor. The other night you actually said it, verbatim: "Momma, Bennett is a Daddy's boy and I'm a Momma's boy." So...there you have it. [Squeals with delight!]

Well, my big kid, that can't possibly sum up your last few months, but it's definitely the biggest happenings. I'm so very proud of you!

I love you more,

You are my continuously ornery, sweet, spunky little dude and you remind me daily how much you are like me. Every time I see your stubborn face, or hear you shout "No!" I have to remind myself that I was probably juuuust like you as a toddler.

You're continuing to impress with your physical abilities, which now include jumping all the way off the ground, climbing the outside of the stairs, and getting to places only your brother could reach a short month ago.
You're also talking more and more, and your vocabulary is starting to explode because you repeat everything you hear. "Yellow" is our current favorite because you ignore the "Ls" altogether and just saw, "Yeh-yo." You also point to objects and repeat the words over and over again until we say, yes, buddy, that is Daddy's robe (Dadee wobe), or a yellow bus (yeh-yo bushh), or whatever else it is you're pointing at. The way you say your name is also equally adorable because you say it so quickly that you somehow morph it into just one syllable. I'm trying to get it on video because I know it won't be long before that changes, too.

For Christmas, you got some new bath toys that are just foam letters and numbers that stick to the wall, and they've quickly become a favorite in the shower with Daddy. You've been playing with them so much that you even recognize certain letters as belonging to one of our names. "Bubba!" you'll say, and point to the letter "G" (you never call him Gavin, though you recognize it as his name), or "Momma!" when you point to the letter "M." It's impressive for a not-quite-two-year-old!
I feel compelled (again) to write about your obsessive love for bananas. It's gotten so bad we have to hide them from you now. If you could, you'd eat three or four in a single sitting and then not be able to poop for days. I really don't think you'd even care. Every time we do allow a banana, or something banana-flavored, like yogurt, you jump up and down and shriek "Nana!" excitedly like you're part monkey or something.
You're growing and changing so much lately that I can't wait to see what the next few months bring for you, little man.

I love you more,

Friday, January 10, 2014

Winter Gavinisms

After picking up a toy to play:
Bennett: "MINE!"
Gavin: "I'll give it back cuz I'm your best brother."

In the car:
Gavin: "Momma, can I have something to play with? I'm boring."

Another day in the car after daycare:
Me: "What did you do in Miss Stephanie's class today?"
Gavin: "Read my mind, Momma."

Finding an unexpected ladybug in the house:
Gavin: "Look, Momma! A July bug!"

Listening to Bennett mumbling in the car:
Gavin: "Was that a whole story or a half story? I'm confused."

Dealing with Bennett's habit of taking off his socks and shoes in the car:
Gavin, to me: "Momma...Bennett's licking his toes."
Gavin, to Bennett: "I'm never gonna do what you do."

And a first Bennettism:
Gavin: "Oh, brother!"
Bennett: "Oh, bubba!"
[giggles from all involved]

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Starting the New Year Right: Simplify

I loathe new year's resolutions. They always make me feel like a failure. You start out the year with this lofty goal in mind and then two months, two weeks...sometimes two days later, you've failed. Already. It's too much pressure.

I do like the thought of adopting something new though, or trying to continue the good stuff I've already been doing. Having a goal is like shaking off last year's negativity and donning the new year with confidence and purpose.

Last year, for many reasons, I felt stretched too thin. I was in this constant tug-of-war with things I wanted to do vs. things I needed to do. I was overcommitted and under-acheiving, which in turn, made me feel like a failure. I guess it's not just resolutions that can make you feel that way.

So my not-so-lofty, actually achievable, non-resolution goal for 2014 is to simplify. I'm not sure exactly what that looks like, and it may morph over time, but I know it's going to be full of shedding what's weighed me down and making room for more of the good stuff. And that sounds like a great start to a new year.