You grew up a lot this summer. Your appearance changed so much, mostly because you’ve now lost your two top teeth and your two bottom teeth. You sent the tooth fairy to the poor house this summer! I loved pulling your teeth with you. You would go through the usual, “Is it gonna hurt?” questions. When I was finally able to convince you that no, it would not hurt, you would let me pull the tooth out. It probably hurt you for a half of a second, but once you saw the tooth in my hand, you immediately went into denial. “It’s not out! It’s out?” We almost had a disaster when you nearly swallowed one pulled tooth, but thankfully you gagged it out. Blood makes you gag, too. These tooth-pulling moments were intense.
Another reason I think you grew up is because you now take the lead and do things or complete tasks you wouldn’t have six months ago. You’re not afraid to run back in the house to grab something, or to walk to the trash dumpster alone. You don’t mind being the first to do something you and Ella and Nolan have never done. You were the supreme leader at Splash Kingdom and even talked both Ella and Nolan onto the little slides. I think you enjoy these moments and it makes you proud of yourself.
Your reading has improved so much over the summer. I can’t say that we read a book every day or that I read a good night story every night. Most days and nights we did this, but you also read on your own and without being asked to do so. You just read everything. Signs, texts, odd papers laying around the house, etc. You love to read books especially, and I have even found you reading to your brother and sister.
For the past couple of summers we’ve gone swimming off and on. No one that I am close to has a pool, so it had to be either the lake, a hotel, or a birthday party for you to get exposure to swimming. Undeterred by this, you have proclaimed for three summers that you know how to swim. I would always have to go behind your back and let others know that could not, in fact, swim as you proclaimed. Well, things changed this year. We went to the lake. We went to Splash Kingdom. Aunt Shanna got a pool. We visited Aunt Waynette. You swam at least twice a week. You learned to really swim. We went to Splash Kingdom once at the beginning of summer and once towards the end of our summer, and the difference in your swimming abilities was incredible. You were a much stronger swimmer the second time at Splash Kingdom and you could slide down the “Volcano” without being rescued by the lifeguard. I am so proud of you.
Hello, Miss three-year-old! You are a very sweet little girl. Your favorite thing to do is to play with Riley. You really look up to your big sister. Anywhere she goes, anything she does, you want to be right there with her.
You had a wonderful 3rd birthday party at Sonic. I had so much fun watching you open your presents. The first gift you opened was a cute outfit from Vicky. You were not impressed with clothes and made the most awful face to show your displeasure. You threw the clothes down and quickly moved on to the next gift. Your face lit up when you saw your Frozen cake. You were so proud to be three years old. I love to watch you hold your three little fingers up when someone asks how old you are.
Potty training you has been a completely different experience from potty training Riley. She caught on fairly quickly and had few accidents. But you, Ella, you just do not care to be potty trained like that. There are much more important things you could be doing besides using the potty. You are perfectly happy to have a wet hiney. My friend Teresa gave us about 50 pairs of panties. I thought she was crazy, but let me tell you, they have all been used.
You have very few behavioral problems anymore. We do have standoffs, but you’ll realize I’m not budging and give in and do what I ask you to do. When I tell you to pick up your toys, you’ll answer, “I don’t know how.” Things like that. You’re just a little bit stubborn. And who likes picking up their toys anyway?
Mister, you are definitely a handful right now. You have no idea that you’re only two and can’t do a lot of the things your sisters are able to do. Not to mention, you make ten times the messes that they did or do now. If it can be spilled, you spill it. If it can be broken, you break it. Constant. You are constant.
Maybe it’s just because you’re a boy, or maybe it’s because you are a natural athlete, but you can swing and throw like crazy. Your swings are intense, and you land them. Your throws are hard and fast. You love to carry your “football game” (just a football) around with you. You play with balls all day long. If it’s long and skinny, you use it as a bat or golf club.
You also had a great birthday party. It was a swim party with just family at the Villages. I think you loved the attention and loved your gifts. When we sang the “Happy Birthday” song, you sang right along with everyone.
You’re growing and getting stronger. Just the other day you ran into the living room, and I sat there a second marveling at how well you had just ran. It’s a real run and not a baby tip-toe type thing. You are definitely Mama’s Boy and love my attention. “I won’t you.” All day long. When not wanting me, you want what I’m eating or drinking.
And anyway, do you kids know how much I love you? If I could give hugs and kisses all day, then I would. I try to make sure you have healthy meals, clean clothes, clean bed sheets, giggles and smiles all day long. I hope one day that you understand why I have two jobs that sometimes keep me away from you. When I’m working, you’re always on my mind. I would be incomplete with you. I love you so much.