Saturday, February 18, 2017

Interview with Moe: All About Mommy - February 2017

Q. What is something I always say?
A. "I love you" and "You're my baby."
(Note - I find this interesting, because it's Moe who often declares that he's still my baby.)

Q. What makes me happy?
A. Seeing me when you come home from work.

Q. What makes me sad?
A. I guess not seeing me for at least a year?

Q. How do I make you laugh?
A. When you tickle me.

Q. What was I like as a little girl?
A. I don't know.

Q. How old am I?
A. At least 38?

Q. What do I do when you're not around?
A. I guess, um, read sometimes?

Q. What am I really good at?
A. Many things. Doing the dishwasher, vacuuming, cleaning, folding clothes, running the dishwasher. I think that's all for now.

Q. What do I do for a job?
A. Go to work.

Q. What is my favourite food?
A. Bacon?

Q. What do you enjoy doing with me?
A. Playing with you, playing games with you, making up games with you, and playing on my DS with you. (Note - that last thing is something we've never done.)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Birthday Interview with Moe - Six Years Old

Q1. What is your name?
A1. (answers with real first name) 

Q2. How old are you?
A2. Six. 

Q3. What is your favourite thing to do?
A3. Watch Pokemon XY.

Q4. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A4. Just a normal person. 

Q5. What is your favourite food?
A5. Broccoli with ketchup on it. NOT RAW BROCCOLI. 

Q6. Who do you like to spend time time?
A6. Mummy and Nathan. 

Q7. What do you do really well?
A7. Watch TV. 

Q8. What makes you laugh? 
A8. I don't know. 

Q9. What is the best time of the day?
A9. When I get to spend time with Mummy.  

Q10. What are you afraid of?
A10. Hmm. Nothing?

Q11. Who is your best friend? 
A11. Nathan. 

Q12. What do you like to do with your family?
A12. Give my Mom and Dad hugs. 

Q13. What do you love to learn about?
A13. Talking in sign language. 

Q14. Where do you like to go?
A14. Grandma's house. And inside my TARDIS. 

Q15. What is your favourite book?
A15. My Pokemon book. (Pokemon Visual Companion) 

Q16. If you had one wish, what would it be?
A16. I want to make everything free. (When asked for clarification on "free": Like, not needing to buy stuff.) 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Interview with Moe: All About Mommy

Moe turns six in two days. I asked him these questions, without any prompting. 

Q. What is something I always say?
A. I love you. 

Q. What makes me happy?
A. When I give you hugs. 

Q. What makes me sad?
A. When you want me to go to the bathroom and I won't go. 

Q. How do I make you laugh?
A. When you show me something funny, like a video or a picture. 

Q. What was I like as a little girl?
A. Maybe wearing a pink t-shirt? And with long hair?

Q. How old am I?
A. 24.

Q. How tall am I?
A. 10 cm. 

Q. What is my favourite thing to do?
A. Give me hugs. 

Q. What do I do when you're not around?
A. Clean the house. 

Q. What am I really good at?
A. Giving me hugs. 

Q. What is something I'm not good at?
A. Maybe having to make dinner every night? 

Q. What do I do for a job?
A. Clean the house. 

Q. What is my favourite food?
A. Hmm. Broccoli. 

Q. What do you enjoy doing with me?
A. Playing with you. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dear Moe (Fall 2015)

Dear Moe,
It’s been almost four months since my last letter. You are happily settled in Senior Kindergarten, and seem to be enjoying school. I was concerned at how you would do without your buddy Nathan, but you’ve settled into a routine with other kids. You did miss Nathan at first; one day in September or early October I asked you what your best thing was that day, and you said, “If Nathan were still at my school, my best thing today would have been playing with him outside.” It kind of broke my heart. But it seems your class dynamic is quite different this year; you all tend to play together in large groups, rather than pair off into intense friendships. You seem to be happy, which is fantastic.

We have had four months of busy Saturday mornings, with a swimming class and then a Judo class. You have worked really hard at swimming, Moe, both in terms of listening to the instructor and improvements to your skills. It has been lovely to watch your confidence bloom. This was, I believe, your third kick at the can for Salamander, and you’ve made great progress, but were quite disappointed when you didn’t pass the level again. But we had a chat with the head lifeguard, who explained to you the different things you need to work on to pass, and reassured you that it’s not about passing or failing, it’s about having fun and improving, which you are definitely doing. You’ll be out of the pre-school levels anyway, and in Swim Kids 1 because of your age.
At the start of the swimming term, it was clear you were having trouble listening to the instructor. After some discussion, it became clear that you really just wanted a chance to play around in the pool. We developed a system where on days that you were a really good listener during your lesson, we would inquire with Bambi and Simon about whether we could swim at their place the next day. Your instructor also heard your plea and incorporated more play into the lesson, which helped a lot. There was once incident where you threw a life-jacket into the pool at the end of the lesson, and Daddy came down hard on this lack of respect for your instructor. But you took your licks (no screen time), and apologized to Rebecca on your own the following week. I was proud of you.
You certainly enjoy Judo when you are there, and Sensei Tina says that you’re an “okay listener”… “most of the time,” which I’ll totally take because I know how easily distracted you can get. Judo has been great for you in terms of your independence – you are expected to get dressed on your own and sign in by yourself. Parents are not allowed in the dojo, and I think that’s fantastic.
Lately, your favourite toys are your Beyblades, a small collection we have managed to grow thanks to friends whose older kids are ready to say goodbye to theirs. Beyblades are hard to find these days! But you love spinning them (sorry, “ripping” them), doing “battles” and seeing how long they will spin. You also enjoy building things with your Lego, like a park where your Lego kitties can play. (A Lego kitty is two square pieces staggered on top of each other. Bonus if you can find little triangle wedges for the ears.) TV is all about Paw Patrol and Lego Ninjago, although you have recently discovered Slugterra, which I find baffling.
You do love playing video games. We set up the Xbox 360 in the basement when Daddy upgraded to Xbox One (more on this later), and you’ve enjoy hanging out down there on a sumo sack and playing various Lego-based games. The big obsession for a while was Lego Dimensions on the Xbox One, which Daddy threw himself into heart and soul. But I have to say, it is pretty cool to watch you explore Middle Earth with Marty McFly while Batman and the Doctor tag along.
In November, we participated in the Extra Life Game-a-Thon in support of kids at CHEO and you were in heaven having a whole day to play video and board games with people you love. You were also great about helping us raise money. We’ve been giving you an allowance since September, and you donated all your charity money to the cause, as well as a bunch of your pocket money. We were very proud. Uncle Mark might have walked into a bit of a dust cloud when you solemnly handed him your sandwich bag of coins.
In order to get your allowance, you have to participate in our “clean-up time” on the weekend, and take care of a few basic tidying tasks during the week. It’s been going very well, and the house looks a lot better now that we have this designated time to work together on tidying things up.
Halloween was lovely this year. We did two volleys of trick or treating: we did some time around our street with Emmett, Theo and his friend. They moved so fast from house to house that I thought your head would spin. You worked hard to keep up! Then we went over to Aunt Janine and Uncle Mark’s street where you took your time at each house. You’d ring the bell, say trick-or-treat, thank you, and tell them, “I’m the Golden Ninja from Ninjago Masters of Spinjitsu,” and stare at them smiling until they waved at you while slowly closing the door. We had to explain that it’s up to you to end the conversation and walk away. It was pretty cute.

Your costume did double duty this year when you wore it to Geek Market, which was a big highlight for you. You came with your pocket money in hand, hoping to find a certain Pokemon stuffie, and lo, you found a tiny Squirtle that became your baby for the next month. You do take good care of your stuffies, my love.

Speaking of stuffies, we introduced you to an old friend of mine. You met Maddie, who I have had since 1996. She’s a lovely little cow, though verbally dyslexic (she says Oom instead of Moo), and she was very happy to meet you. You treat her very tenderly.
You’ve been reading on your own for some time now, but it’s been incredible to watch you this fall. You read voraciously. You read on the toilet, you read the cereal box, you read our text messages as they come in and you’re playing on the tablet (that was a rude awakening), you read signs while in the car, you read whole books while in the car, and you read in bed at night. (You have this head lamp thing I bought in an attempt to get better light for cross-stitching – it makes you look like a demented miner, but it works and you love it.) You’ve moved on from Chirp to Chickadee Magazine, and are very comfortable with Level 2 readers. You can do Level 3, too, if you are interested enough.
Christmas is around the corner, and your excitement is delightful. You have been enjoying the Playmobil advent calendar Grandpa Will and Grandma Anne sent you, and you wrote and posted your first letter to Santa. Your joy when he wrote back was wonderful to behold. And when he sent you that video message, you were pretty amazed. I wonder if this might be the last year for some of the magic, though. You told me in November that you don’t believe in Santa anymore, but I could tell you weren’t terribly confident in that declaration. I told you that it was up to you whether you wanted to believe, and that Santa was real for anyone who did. A few days later, you said you believed.

Most of the time, my love, you are a delight to be around. But there was a period this fall where we really had to crack down on your attitude, and in particular your tone. We also had to explain to you that there was a reason we weren’t spending as much time playing with you… the way you were speaking to us made it less than fun. There has been a great improvement, and I find this encouraging. I know these phases will come and go, but it’s reassuring that we can still turn it around with a bit of work.
Your recent attitude improvement isn’t the only reason the house is a nicer place to spend time these days. We did a huge junk purge in September, and got rid of so much stuff that the basement is finally liveable, and the living room and dining room are much less cluttered. We have been working hard to maintain this, as it makes me happier and more patient, which in turn affects you. You’ve been a real trooper about moving a lot of your toys out of the living room, and I appreciate it.
I love our time together. Whether it’s reading together, playing Doctor Who Yahtzee, chatting in the car on the way to Judo, listening to Elizabeth Mitchell together in the morning, or cuddling at bedtime, you make my day complete. We love you so much, and you are growing more awesome every day. We didn’t think that was possible, but it seems to be. Overall, you are a thoughtful, caring little boy. Thanks for bringing such sunshine into our lives.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dear Moe (June, July and August 2015)

Oh, my bean, what a great summer we had together. It went by so quickly.

We had some lovely play dates. As school was coming to a close, I asked you if there way anyone from your class or from EDP that you wanted to connect with over the summer for play dates. You asked me to reach out to Jojo's parents, and are we ever glad we did. You had two wonderful play dates with Jojo, one at each end of the summer. We had a glorious park date just before school was out, and then we had an end of summer extravaganza celebration with Jojo and her family at Midway Family Funpark. We all had a wonderful time! We love Jojo's parents, and plan to get together with them again. If you and Jojo want to join us, that's super. ;) The two of you play really well together.

We enjoyed a lovely visit from Aunt Natalie, Uncle Darin, Caspian, and Darin's family from South Africa. Caspian absolutely loved playing with you and pretty much thinks you're the best thing since sliced bread. He just wants to do whatever you are doing; it's lovely to watch you play together.

You had lots of experience playing with little people this summer. We took Dorothy on an outing to the park together, and you were wonderful with her. You also spent a few weeks with Robin, and got to see the “day care babies,” as you call them.

We also had some great times with Emmett down the street, and a lovely park date with Wyatt, at which you showed a real talent for softball. 

We had a couple of great backyard playdates with the O'Donnell's, including celebrating Hattie's first birthday. You loved the set-up of sliding down the slide into the wading pool. (We're glad you play well with the O'Donnell girls, because we're adopting their parents, too.) You got to show off your excellent slip-and-slide skills at Keira's birthday party, too – they added soap to the mix, which made it even more slippery!

You did three weeks of day camp this summer: two weeks at Starr Gymnastics and one week at the RA Centre. We will definitely send you to the RA Camp again; you had a great time, and we can even have you in swimming lessons at the same time. Daddy especially enjoyed the four minute commute to pick you up.

Your reading has only improved this summer. You can read entire books to yourself as a means of amusing yourself. Jojo and her family introduced us to the Library Moose and the TD Summer Reading program, and we blew through that log book in no time. We read some great chapter books this summer, including Emma and the Blue Genie, Captain Awesome, Kung-Pow Chicken, and the first three books in the Wizard of Oz series.

Although we didn't go on as many bike rides as I would have liked, we did get you up on your bike and you continue to improve. You even got the hang of starting yourself off a few times, and shouted happily, “MOM! I don't need you anymore!” which was kind of like a knife to my heart when taken out of context, but I was very proud nonetheless.

We had two really, really wonderful trips this summer. In July, we went to Maine with Granny, Uncle Mark and Aunt Janine. We went to the beach every single day. Unlike in past years, you were right into the waves from the start. You still won't swim in the ocean, but you are all about playing in the waves and jumping over them. It was fantastic to watch you. It was a fun-filled week of ice cream, sand-castle building with Uncle Mark (and “making natural,” which is what you called the drizzly towers made out of very wet sand), playing at the arcade, your first round of mini-golf (you could not get over how your ball disappeared like magic on the last hole), walking the length of the beach to get fried clams, kite flying, and collecting rocks and shells. You and Granny built a lovely rock garden in the front yard with your booty.

Our second trip was in August when we flew to Halifax to spend a week with Grandpa Will and Grandma Anne. Your bond with Grandma Anne is something to behold. You stuck to her like glue... until David came home, and then you stuck to him like glue. ;) Our week in Halifax was really lovely. We did a day at the beach where Heather and her boyfriend buried you in sand up to your neck (and you loved it), and you played with the boogie board in the waves. (By this I mean that you played in the waves while holding the boogie board. You did not in fact play WITH the boogie board, but one thing at a time...) We went to the Citadel and you did the Parks Canada Explorer program and we counted canons, hunted for gunpowder, tried on hats and watched the firing of the noon-day gun. Then we walked down to the Discovery Centre, where we had a blast in the bubble room, built a wall, and played with the whisper dishes. It was all very hands on and very fun. We went to the Busker Festival at the Halifax Harbour, which was super crowded, and one of the highlights was listening to a guy play AC/DC's Thunderstruck on the bag-pipes. We had a great time at home with the family, too. You and Heather harvested her herb garden, you had a ping pong tournament with Heather, David and Grandma Anne, and you loved showing off your ninja skills to Grandpa Will. When you said you wished you could be a ninja in real life, Grandpa told you he was actually a wizard and could grant you that wish, but he was missing his magic wand.

The highlight of the Halifax trip was the visit to Upper Clements Park in the Annapolis Valley. It's such a gorgeous location, and it was amazing to see what you could do this year as opposed to last year. You played mini-golf, were all over the slides, had a great time on the rides, but interestingly were not feeling up to crossing the rope bridge as you did last year. You were good for the log flume again, though, and we had a great time.

Late in the summer, we started using screen time coupons, and they have been working well. You can earn 15 or 30 minutes of screen time for being a good listener and making our jobs easier. We also recently started giving you an allowance, contingent on you doing some basic chores.

You made some really great observations this summer, some of which I have recorded here:
  • At one point, I asked you if you'd had a big poop or a small poop, and you said, “I had one big poop and then a whole herd of poop.”
  • While driving in Halifax, we were listening to CBC Radio One, and you exclaimed, “Oh, let's listen to this! It's the same voices that are on Granny's headphones!”
  • You discovered Minecraft and spent a few days walking around the house whapping things with a sword, declaring you were “mining” them.
  • Also due to Minecraft, you spent some time pretending to be a baby ocelot. You were saying “oshawat” at first (it was like a Minecraft-Pokemon mash-up), and that confused us, but we figured it out.
  • You were game to visit the Animals Inside Out exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature, and I did my best to hide my squeamishness. But when you asked, “What's that?” and I had to respond, “That is... a cat's brain, eyeballs, and spinal column,” you looked at me for a moment and then said, “I think we should a visit a different gallery now, Mom.” Your sensitivity was appreciated.
And suddenly, it was September. You started senior kindergarten a few days ago, and French immersion. You've only had two days of school, but you seem to be positive about it all, and I'm looking forward to watching you learn even more this year. 

Today we began our fall activities with swimming lessons and judo on the same day, and it went better than I could have imagined. You loved your first judo class with Sensei Tina, and you are excited to go back.

I hope you had a wonderful summer, Moe. We loved spending time with you. We often forget that you are only five and a half – you are well spoken, such a great reader, and very observant. You still love to snuggle, have a great sense of humour, and a mischievous smile. I can't wait to see what the fall brings. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dear Moe (March, April, May and half of June 2015)

My darling boy, it has been too long! The days and weeks are just flying by and I am not finding time to record notes from our adventures much less write them up. But you are thriving and that's what counts.

Your friendship with your buddy Nathan has really blossomed this spring. You two have been pretty much inseparable in the classroom, but in April, when Granny went to England for a few weeks, you spent time after school with Nathan and his family for a few days a week. Obviously, we wanted to reciprocate, so we have invited Nathan to join us on a few of our adventures.

One of those was attending a show at the Centrepointe Theatre called The Great Rhythmobile Adventure. It was like Stomp, but for kids. The two performers made music using all kinds of things - garbage cans, basketballs, plastic bottles. The two of you had a great time, and you were both really good listeners. Nathan's parents often trade off with us on weekends, either taking you for a chunk of a day or sending Nathan our way. It's a great way to keep you occupied! (However, you are starting to understand that this won't last forever, or at least , not in the same way. You know that Nathan and his family are moving to Stittsville this summer, and have started asking if we could change houses and get one next door to them. It will be a sad day when they move.)

Spring finally came and the snow melted, but it was slow to warm up. One of the ways we amused ourselves outside was with the remote control car that Bambi and Simon gave you. We ran it all around the dead end at the end of the street, and you had a great time both running the car and chasing it.

We went to Kemptville for Easter and got the balance bike out for the first time this spring. I injured my ankle in April, so we haven't done too many balance bike rides since then. I'm hoping we can get out for more of them soon. Lately, though, you like to spend your after school time outside in our yard - either playing with Emmett or "playing with your balls," which is how you describe playing with your collection of four inflatable balls that we keep in the backyard by the basketball net.

Daddy organized a table top gaming day at O'Grady's in April (for International Tabletop Day) and we had a great time playing all kinds of board games. Many of your friends came, too, and had a great time playing games for kids. I love how our passions are rubbing off on you.

You discovered a passion for art this year. Ms. Nicoll did a unit where you studied famous artists and then made art inspired by their work, and we heard more about this unit than any other one you've done in school so far. It began with a lot of colour work and culminated in an art gallery night where we came to your class and saw all your work hanging on the walls. Daddy, Grandma, Granny and I all came and we were amazed and delighted by your work.

For me, though, the best part was when you and I went to the National Gallery of Canada for a playdate with Lhotse and Natasha. I was pleasantly surprised as how "not unengaged" you were in the more traditional galleries, and how very engaged you were in the modern galleries.

At the end of our visit, you and I stopped in to the bookstore to try and find a birthday present for Granny. She loves jigsaw puzzles and art, so I thought a puzzle of a work of art might be a good plan. I asked you to help me pick one out. We saw some nice ones by the Group of Seven, but I worried they might be too easy for Granny (she likes a challenge and I like to drive her crazy). Then you spotted something from across the room, and ran over and pointed to it. "Hey," you said, "this is by Mr. Kandinsky! Let's get this one!"

And lo, it totally was by Mr. Kandinsky, and we did get it. I was so proud.

Your television tastes continue to evolve, for better or for worse. I'm all over your love of Wild Kratts and Ninjago, but hope you get over your passion for the old 1980s Mario Brothers TV show soon. I did have a somewhat emotional moment when you watched The Princess Bride for the first time. You seemed to really enjoy it, and didn't even mind that I was saying a lot of the words along with the movie. You've also recently discovered Lego Star Wars on the Xbox. You caught on pretty fast, I must say. Your current favourite song is Puff the Magic Dragon.

By far the biggest highlight of the spring was Mark and Janine's wedding. You were a gem during the ceremony, were super patient during the photos, and did very well during the reception (thanks to the tablet). Then Grandma came to get you and brought you home, and she slept over while Daddy and I had our first night away since you were born.

You were not quite sure what to make of Aunt Janine's dress. First you asked, "Does Aunt Janine look funny?" which really isn't that unreasonable a question, since you are used to seeing her in jeans and a t-shirt. Then you redeemed yourself by saying that her dress was very poufy, which was, I believe, intended as a compliment. :)

Our summer travels began early when we went to visit Samantha and her girls on their dairy farm in Sawyerville for Victoria Day weekend. You had a wonderful time "glamping" in the camper trailer. You played in a shallow river, fed sheep, played with bunnies, enjoyed their play structure, and sat by a campfire until sunset. It was a wonderful weekend, and you have asked several times when we will go back.

Skills assessments have begun in school, and I'm very proud to confirm what I already knew: you are a very strong reader and love to play with words. You were able to read words off the Grade 3 vocabulary list! And I often think of the way Grandpa Will used to make up nonsense rhymes and it makes me smile to see you doing the same thing.

You have just about completed your swimming session, and you did finish your gymnastics session. You'll be doing two weeks of gymnastics camp this summer, but that will be it for you and gymnastics. You have started to get pretty bored of it. So we are signing you up for judo in the fall - we visited the dojo together and you watched a bit of a class and are interested. I hope you'll enjoy it.

The past few days have been very exciting. We got you the next level up from your balance bike - a two wheeler with pedals! You are already making great progress (so great that I can't keep up with you and Uncle Mark's back will probably be stiff tomorrow). I'm sure that if we keep doing a little bit a day each day that the weather is good, you'll be tootling around the neighbourhood on your own very soon.

I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep up these letters, my love, but I'll try! They are such a nice way to record who you are and where you are with your development. Let me tell you a bit about that. You love to learn, and are eager to help in any way you can. You are chatty and excitable and still have to work on not interrupting us. You are kind and loving and can be quite thoughtful. You get distracted easily when it comes to mundane tasks like dressing yourself. You are fantastic at making up games to play. You bring comfort to friends who are having sad days. You are funny and sweet and overall a wonderful person. It's lovely to spend time with you. Keep being the great person you are, and keep developing into the amazing boy you're becoming.

We love you as far as a TARDIS flies. Maybe even farther.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Dear Moe (January and February 2015)

Hello, Bean. I’m sorry this letter is so late – we’re just about halfway through March! January feels like it was so long ago. We’ve had a great couple of months, and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you. 

One of the things that have made me so happy over the past few months is your amazing progress in reading. Your school readers have become so simple for you that we invested in a set of Usborne Phonics Readers for you, and I’m so impressed with how well you can read them when you put your mind to it. Obviously, your preference is that I read them to you, but we eventually reach a d├ętente and you do a fair bit of the work. Even when we are reading our Jack and Annie chapter books, you often recognize the words while I’m reading them and will interrupt and ask, “Does this say _____?” while pointing to a word. You love leafing through your Pokemon and CHIMA encyclopedias, and surprised me the other day by pointing to a word on the globe and asking, “Does this say Mexico?” (It totally did.)

One of the Jack and Annie books introduced us to Louis Armstrong, so I took a few minutes to show you some videos of him playing the trumpet. You loved them and wanted to watch them again and again. Another one asked the question, “What are you good at? What do you love to go?” and you answered for yourself, “I like to sit and watch the fire in the fireplace.” 

You have also declared that you would like to be a nurse when you grow up. I think you’d made a great nurse – you are very caring and helpful and are great at taking care of people. You enjoy sending hugs and kisses via text message photos. You are affectionate and loving. You pretty much singlehandedly made cupcakes for Valentine’s Day (with some assistance from Grandma), and generously gave them with people you love. 

You worked hard for over a month on printing your name on Valentine cards for every person in your class. (You even wrote one for Asha the hairdresser because we were going to see her on Valentine’s Day.) We were asked to work with you on your printing in the evenings, and that proved to be a great project for you. Now you choose three “sight word” cards from your POP Sight Words game and practice printing those. 

We made some changes to your room after Christmas – Daddy built you a TARDIS. The “door” is a shower curtain from Grandpa Will and Grandma Anne, the lights inside are from Uncle Mark and Aunt Janine, and they also gave you your own sonic screwdriver. You don’t use the TARDIS a whole lot right now, but we’re hoping that it will become a nice safe hidey hole for you when you need one. 

You greatly dislike going upstairs by yourself, even to the bathroom. You fight it every step of the way. 

Some of the games you’ve enjoyed playing over the last few months include: 

  • “Ninja thief” where you sneak around the house “invisibly” (“Don’t look at me!”) and “steal” things, which you bring to your ninja hiding spot under the dining room table; 
  • Cooperative board games like Race for the Treasure and Hoot Owl Hoot; 
  • Other board games like Mario and Luigi checkers, Spuzzle, Spot It Jr., and My First Carcassone; 
  • Various Wii games Grandma borrows from the library for you to play at her house; 
  • Your first X-Box game, which is a Cars racing game. (It was pretty funny to hear you tell Uncle Mark – the king of racing games – that you’d show him how it’s done.)

It was a birthday party extravaganza for a while – Nathan’s birthday party was in January, then Koen’s, followed by Connor’s, and then yours in February. You certainly didn’t suffer from a shortage of cake. Your own birthday celebrations stretched out over a week! 

We all got snowshoes for Christmas, and I had lovely visions of us heading out on happy treks through the snow every weekend. It has been so insanely cold this winter that we got out on them once. And you spent most of that time playing in the back area with Emmett (who was also wearing snowshoes) – you guys didn’t snowshoe much, you just played while wearing snowshoes. I’m hoping for a better record next winter. But you know, you are your father’s son sometimes. I have to be careful when I plan for us to go outside because once you’ve gotten into the house and settled in, it can be like pulling teeth to get you to leave again. It can be frustrating, but at the same time, I’m glad you love being at home. 

Your behaviour in school has changed over the past two months, and I suspect it’s because you are finally really comfortable there. But you’ve been what your teacher calls “hands on” with other students, playing somewhat roughly. Usually, it’s out of joy or excitement, but occasionally you’ve lashed out in anger. We are working to remind you that there are times and places for “hands on” play, but that school is never one of them. You’ve also gone back and forth quite a bit with potty training regression, which has been frustrating for everyone, but we’re trying to be kind of laid back about it because we don’t want to you to stop telling us when you’ve had an accident. (In the interest of accident prevention, we have put the DS away for a few months.) 

You completed your first swim session at the Salamander level, and we’ve signed you up for more lessons at that level for April and May. You’ve made great progress, but need to work on coming up for air and then being able to go back under. 

We’ve signed you up for another session of gymnastics, but after this one we’re going to take a break for the summer. We decided this for two reasons: we’ll be away so many weekends and you’ll miss classes, and you are losing your ability to focus on the coach when in a group. Your teacher at school has noticed this too – you are really easily distracted when in a group and have a hard time focusing on instructions. We’ll keep working on it. 

You are still wonderfully affectionate and loving. You play hard, wearing out the knees in your pants, and hug and kiss with as much enthusiasm. You are still a wonderful admirer of beauty, which I hope continues, and enjoy listening to music over dinner. You are fun, love being funny and cute and silly, and you bring much joy to our lives. Sometimes I get sad that you’re getting so big, but every new stage is fun in its own way. Keep trying to be a good, caring person who “fills buckets” of the people around him. We love you.