Lila took part in a study with the Children's Hospital this week and I would be remiss if I didn't remind you of River's similar adventure with what I fondly think of as The Brainulator Cap!
Awww... just look at my little science experiments....
As a side note, I was re-reading River's six month post and thinking how different things are now. Just take all that stuff about difficult sleep and lack of social life - imagine the opposite - and you'll have life with Lila. Somehow life with two kids is easier now than it was with one kid then. How's that possible?
These days whenever someone asks you how old you are, you hold up your fingers and say, "I turned three for my birthday in Las Vegas. It's a LONG way away so you have to take a plane." Your birthday was over two months ago, but the memory of that trip is burned into your brain still. I am both thrilled and terrified that you are at an age where you will start forming permanent memories. Up until now there was a reasonable expectation that most of the stupid mistakes I've made as a parent at least wouldn't scar you for life. No more.
You are so sharp and your ability to remember the minutest detail boggles my mind. That Las Vegas trip, for instance, still inspires you to talk about the hiking you did "in Red Rock with cousin Sydney" or "swimming in the pool at Oma's house." You love to tell about what you know, and you can go on and on about different kinds of dinosaurs ("a T-rex is a meat eater which is a carnivore") and trucks ("I call these twisty things in my trash truck spirals but Dadu calls them augers") and nature ("that plant is a shrub because it's short and fat"). Your vocabulary and comprehension of the mechanics of the world is unbelievable. Thankfully you still have a few adorable mispronunciations to remind me you're just a little kid (cimanon, quiwet time, and pre-tors are my favorite ones).
Physically you are way past toddlerhood - there is nothing uncertain or weak about the way you move your body. You are a skilled climber and love to run, spin and dance. Your little swivel-hip dance moves could give Elvis a run for his money. We spend lots of time working on art projects and your manual dexterity is getting so strong. In art class you've started creating shapes in the paint (mostly monsters) rather than just filling the page with color, and you work so hard at coloring in the lines at home.
Probably your favorite thing to do right now is spend time in the backyard with your dad. You help him with the yard work, have squirt gun or water ballon battles, or just play on your play structure. You love to be dirty and mourn the loss of your grime each night at bath time. If we let you, you'd always be in your pajamas (which is a trait you get pretty equally from your parents) and never cut your hair. You are such a hippy.
As you learn more and more about the world, I can see bits of your innocence ebbing away. You're starting to explore the idea of death in lots of different ways. You are so sad the dinosaurs are extinct and you talk all the time about a dinosaur land where they are still alive and you can visit them. When we play fighting games you make it clear that you're just pretending and you "don't really want to dead mommy."
This grappling with life and death influences your ideas about food too. You are connecting the idea that meat is dead animals and you've played with the idea of being a vegetarian like mommy. I don't push you, but I do want you to be aware of where all your food comes from - to think about it as a choice, not blindly eating whatever is put in front of you.
Still, you are innocent in so many ways. Most of our mornings begin with you crawling into bed with me and snuggling for a few minutes before you're off at breakneck speed for the day. Often, Lila is in bed too, and you attack her with hugs and kisses. I cannot tell you how much I love these quiet moments before the storm; it's my favorite part of the day and I hope you don't grow out of these cuddle sessions too soon.
I don't know if it's just a short period of peace or the nice weather or a real shift, but you have really mellowed in the past few weeks. From the time you were about 2.5 to just recently I felt like we were in a constant state of battle. You have been pushing and testing for so long, I forgot what it was like to just have a nice, playful day with you. But that's how it's been and it's is so unbelievably wonderful to just play with you and not fight all the time.
River, you are an amazing little boy. I can't imagine a more charming, smarter, more engaging kid than you. I know I'm biased, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. I love you so much.
I'm a work from home mom with endless sources of inspiration (including my husband and two kids).
The Wyrd Sisters chronicles my life, kids, and random thoughts. LittleSage is my design blog. Hope you'll check them both out.