Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dear Hank

Dear Hank,

You turn three today. And I'm not surprised in the slightest.

Honestly, you've astonished everyone in the last year by only being two years old. Most people guessed you were three, some even guessed you were four or five, but no one suspected such a verbal, capable, physically-able child with gigantic feet to be a mere two years old. Which is pretty much the same thing I wrote in your letter to you last year. So really, it's about darn time you turned three!

This past year has brought a lot of depth to your character.

  • You started caring about friends and getting excited to see them at various play dates. Blake and Asher and Dax and Drew are your go-to's right now, but you have a pretty good memory for faces and names when you want to remember them. 
  • You have started fighting back with emotional warfare when Johnny pushes your buttons. Johnny will say something kind of mean to you and you'll respond in kind, "I'm going to scratch you all over and put you in the trash so the garbage truck can come and take you away!!!" (said with all the vehemence a pissed off 2-year-old can muster... which is a lot). 
  • You've gotten really good at negotiations and compromise... when you want to be good at it. Your daddy loves to tell the story of you and Johnny going down to Twin Trails park with him and how you both wanted to ride the push-tricycle. Johnny wanted to ride it all the way to the park and half of the way back, but you said that it would be more fair if Johnny rode it to the park and you rode it home. You've also gotten pretty good at getting a few more minutes at the park/museum/friend's house. I'll say, "Okay guys, do you want to leave in ten minutes or fifteen minutes?" And you'll respond, "Um, how about seventeen minutes?" I nearly always agree. Because what's two minutes in the grand scheme of things?
  • Your memory and ability to tell me things you remember is incredible.
  • You will nearly always answer questions truthfully, thus I've learned (often the hard way) that if you tell me Johnny went that way because he wanted to see some flowers, then I should believe you. Because you have yet to be wrong about important things like that.
  • You've gotten adventurous when trying different foods that you haven't been interested in previously. If Daddy or I are eating something different from what you have, you'll often ask for a bite.
  • You have become a little more cautious. You broke your arm this year and have become a little more careful... though I think I may be the only one who notices this change. Everyone else still thinks you're reckless.
  • Your favorite movie is now Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. And you will watch it over and over and over.
  • You can now build with LEGOs and have even put together a tow truck kit with a little guidance from me. Pretty impressive, actually.
  • You can ride a big boy bike with training wheels. Really really fast.
But some things haven't changed.
  • You still like me to cuddle with you when you fall asleep at night and you'll often come into bed with me, Daddy, and Amy early in the morning. 
  • You LOVE Oreos. Obviously.
  • You still enjoy pulling my hair out. Despite my begging and pleading with you to stop.
  • You are still obsessed with all things construction. Workers. Trucks. Earth movers. Tower cranes. Caution cones. All of it.
  • You love to make messes. And think destroying things is HILARIOUS. 
  • You are still thoughtful and kind about certain things, like making crafts for other people. You were so excited to give Daddy his Father's Day card that we made at a play date. Same for the Easter crafts for Grandma and Grandpa. And the Valentine's Day card for Daddy. 
Seriously, kid, your personality has really grown this year. Every day I see more evidence that you "have your own head" as the Germans say. You have your own thoughts about certain things and can be stubborn and impossible to persuade about them. But then everything else? You go with the flow. 

Just an indication of how different you are this year from last year can be seen in your party planning. Last year, I said, "Do you want a construction party?" and you said, "Yeah." Then I went down the list of people to invite and you just said "yes" to all of them. This year? I asked what kind of a party you wanted and you said "Lego party." I tried to persuade you to have a Play-doh party or maybe a balloon party, but no. Legos it is. Then we made the list of people to invite and you came up with 75% of the names yourself. And then you even turned some people down when I suggested them! Not something that would have happened last year, but I love that you've become selective with the people you want to be close to you.

And I love that you have strong opinions on things. Really, I do. Yes, it's exasperating when you want to have Oreos for dinner and NOTHING ELSE WILL DO, but I know that eventually your insistence on such trivial things will change to be insistence on things that matter. 

I also love that you have a sense for fun. You can have fun anywhere doing practically anything. You're game for all sorts of activities from learning to throw a frisbee to painting a canvas. It makes you a lot of fun to be around. 

I hope that ability to find fun wherever you are never changes. And I hope that you are persistent in keeping fun in your life, no matter what you are doing. 

Oh, Hank. I love you so much. Even when we have a tough day, know that I love you and still think that I'm incredibly lucky to be your mom. And hopefully, at the end of those tough days, you're still okay with being my son. :) 

I love you buddy!


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