Ugh! Is it spring yet!? The calendar says yes, but if I look outside, I’m reminded it’s not all butterflies and green grass just yet…
I picked the right year to move up from Boston – they got slammed with snowstorms and sooo much snow this winter, but man is it really dragging on up here. We still have snow on the ground, it even snowed this morning. There are brief glimpses of spring though… birds chirping in the morning, muddy rutted dirt roads, and with spring comes celebrating Avery’s halfway thru his third year.
(Ice skating at the town common)
I still catch myself calling him a toddler sometimes, and other times I wonder what happened in the blink of an eye – when you’re a parent, time seems to drag on during those tantrums and fits of fussiness and crying, but when they start doing circles around you, you wonder when that happened and actually wish they were tiny again and you could cradle them in your arms. He’s not a baby, or a toddler, he’s a kid. He’s in (pre)school, he has friends (real ones, not just the kids of his Mom’s friends), and he’s growing into his own person.
(homemade donuts – Avery approves!)
Oh how I wish I could just swaddle him up and rock him to sleep again, but man is this a fun age. You’d think by now we’d run out of ‘firsts’ but now that he’s older, he can and wants to do new things… he loves baking cookies with me, or prepping a salad for dinner. We even trust him bringing plates (one at a time!) to the dining room to set the table for dinner. He’s such a big boy!
(Celebrating Grampy & Uncle Todd’s Birthdays-Avery picked out the pink cupcakes)
Dinner is still one of our favorite times as a family. I remember back when most the pictures I took of him were of him in his highchair, because otherwise he was crawling around and I couldn’t get a shot that wasn’t blurry! Now Avery sits in his own chair, and complains about the food on his plate. We ‘Talk about our days’ as Avery calls it, every night at dinner. I can’t even ask him how his day was at school because he says its not dinner time yet. At the table, Avery goes around asking about our days.
“How’s your Day, Mimi?”
“Mimi had a good day at school. Guess what I did today?”
Avery always asks with a big smile and silly face. For a while, every night Avery would tell us he had gone to Parc Safari that day (We went last September). He’s still working on the concepts of ‘today’ ‘tomorrow’, etc. but man is it cute to hear him ramble on….
(Weekend fun shopping with Grampy, making cheerio necklaces and cookies!)
And does he ever ramble! Avery talks and talks and talks. It’s pretty hard to get a word in these days, especially if he’s throwing a fit. Yes, life with a three year old is not all fun and games. When he was a baby, it was all about eat, sleep, diaper changes – just keeping him alive and growing was the goal! Then he became a toddler and it was about colors, and numbers, and making sure he’s talking and walking.
Now that he’s growing into a little boy, a kid, it’s about parenting, teaching him right from wrong and guiding him to become a little gentleman. So, when he refuses to take off his boots himself and flops on the floor like a runner after a marathon, or when he chucks a dinosaur at me while I’m driving down the highway during a 4-hour car ride, or when he refuses to eat corn off the cobb, because corn on the cobb is delious, but off the cobb it becomes enemy number one, well, that’s when parenting kicks in.
(Baths are still one of Avery’s favorite parts of the day)
Avery is Avery. He wants what he wants, when he wants it. He knows what he likes and wants and doesn’t like and doesn’t want, and man does he vocalize it. He tries to negotiate…
“Avery you have five more minutes of the movie, then it’s bedtime”,
“10 more minutes?!”,
“No, Avery 5.”
“OK Three” :)
I didn’t say he was good at it.
(We love making new train tracks – Avery’s favorite train is Percy)
Oh and when he doesn’t get his way, he puts his foot down, or throws something, haha. He is stubborn and defiant, and at times has quite a temper. And although he tells me he loves me many times a day, oh so many times he’s glared at me and told me “I no like you” or, “you made me cry, Mommy!”, and man does he know how to tug on those heart strings. I hate seeing him upset and especially cry, but teaching him lessons is part of parenting, and I know it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Like when he’s giving me a hard time putting his winter clothes on to go home from school and he kicks me and gives me a disgusted look. Well, then he loses his jelly bean treat (We stop and get Mike and Ikes at the hardware store nextdoor most days, if he has a good day). And man does he throw a fit, and the tears, oh the tears, and wailing – the whole sha-bang. But if there is one thing I’ve gained over the past three and a half years, for some many reasons other than just being a parent, is patience, and staying calm and collected. I hooked Avery into his carseat, tears streaming down his face, and sat with him for a few minutes talking about jelly beans being a reward, and how kicking was not nice, and he knew he did something wrong and he looked so dissapointed in himself – he knew the conversation was coming to a close and said sorry before I asked him to, and know what he did? He pulled my head in and asked to give me a kiss. Parenting is hard work, but soooo worth moments like that, that give me clarify that I’m raising a fine little man!
(Avery loves trying to play board games like Scrabble and Yahtzee with MiMi and I)
And now, onto the fun stuff! Avery has always been go go go! He’s always been on the move and wants to try everything. We’ve been ice skating, snow shoeing, sledding, and have kept busy inside this winter, all in hopes of curing our cabin fever. The latest fun activities Avery has been thrilled with… a box, some sticks, and a ball of yarn.
So, we visit my grandparents every Monday, and there was a ball of yarn on the coffee table, for Gram’s cat, Missy. Avery took it upon himself to make this yarn into a game, and proceeded to tie all the furniture up and before we knew it, the living room had become a giant cat’s cradle! So, we gave Avery a ball of yarn at home and he sure keeps busy!
Grampy had some scrap wood, so he made a set of sticks for Avery that he stacks and makes houses with, so much fun!
Grampy came home with this gem (little kid or big box?) and Avery has since made it home, and shared it with friends.
I’m not surprised that his two favorite things right now are not actual toys and were free – he used to love playing in cupboards with tupperware. But he still does love his toys… trains and cars mostly. He does like to color and do art projects. Our latest project is making a piniata for Easter!
Avery kept asking when he could smash it, haha. We are having family over for the holiday and he’s been told, and tells others when he shows off the piniata, that he can ‘smash it’ when his friends come over.
Avery is becoming his own person. He has likes and dislikes (strawberries, yum. green beans, oh no!). He has an opinion about everything, and he is such a sponge. He doesn’t forget anything, and the questions have started – Yesterday he asked me “Why is it raining Mommy?’ Now how far do I go with that for a toddler? Just tell him it’s coming from the sky or explain precipitation and weather…. oh man I have to brush up on my 3rd grade science and weather unit from 1995!
We get to do so many fun things together tho that expands his knowledge of the world around him. Just last week, he and Grampy planted flowers and veggies and he is sooo proud that they are growing now and waters them.
At three and a half, Avery is amazing. He always surprises me, makes me laugh, smile, and yes, at times I feel like throwing my hands in the air and giving up, but that only lasts a few seconds – every parent needs a time out for themselves for moments like those (Like when he’s called “Mom, Mommy, Mooooom, Momma!” so many times!
(Riding back from Boston, MiMi’s driving, and Avery sound asleep – so sweet when they are sleeping!)
My favorite thing I want to remember about him being three right now is saying good night and I love you. After his bath and pjs are on and teeth are brushed, he tells everyone good night. Avery says ‘I love you’ and Mimi started telling him ‘I love you more’ back, and then it became ‘ten more’, and ‘100 more. Now when Avery goes to bed, we wait in anticipation to hear what his response would be. It’s always so darn cute and the other night my Mom and I were laughing so hard that I had to write it down, so here are a couple from the past few days
“Good Night, Avery. I love you”….
“I love you one hundred miles ago!”
“I love you one hundred and a half!”
Now I’m off to Friday Night Pizza and a Movie, and I’m sure I’ll have much more to share in the coming months from my growing little wonder :)