Monday, December 8, 2014

Tater Tot, 3 years old

Dear Tater,
Several times a day, I throw my hands in the air and wonder aloud what am I going to do with you. And at the same time, I remember there was a chance you would not be a part of our present and future, and I wonder how we could have ever lived without you.  In the wise words of Jerry Maguire, you complete us, little one.
Love, Mama

Top 10 Challenges
10. Taking you to a restaurant is torturous at the moment. With your tiny appetite, you are done eating before he rest of us have had our first bite. Then it is a decision whether to entertain you away from the table or risk you flicking plates, utensils,and beverages on the floor out of boredom and spite. We love takeout right now!
9. Mealtimes at home are similar, but as you may be safely excused from the table, you then clamber up next to someone and try to poke their food or get in position for a piggyback ride.
8. You just gave up your binky, and boy do we all miss it!
7. You often get bored during big brothers' screen time. If there is no singing and dancing, it doesn't capture your attention, and you don't understand why you should be deprived of your playmates while it is on. In a desperate bid for attention, you snuggle up, sit on their laps, sing your heart out, and when they respond unfavorably, you get louder.
6. You have about a zillion things you take to bed. White noise, Bonky, Hippo, Llama, Monkey, other one Bonky, other one Bonky, and yes, other one Bonky. The entourage is getting ridiculous.
5. You love toiletries. You try to brush your teeth when we're not looking, lather yourself (and the couch and baby dolls) with lotion, are always sneaking into purses and backpacks checking for Chapstick and hand sanitizer. Lately, you take crayons, chalk, and markers to your face, insisting that you are putting on makeup.
4. While we have worked out a truce about your hair (20 min of combing and styling in exchange for a video of your choice), you don't always agree to leave it in place, and we've gone through a dozen hair bands a day because you have snapped them all out repeatedly.
3. You treat art supplies like a tapas bar.
2. You have 1/3 of your two year old molars, and we all pray for a swift end to your teething days.
1. When tired, you morph into a crazy gremlin.  I mean, you don't actually look frightening, but you go from this sweet funny child into a feral wild cat. Sometimes, we'll warn each other, "Watch out, she's in beast mode."

Top 10 Things I Love
10. You still love to snuggle, which is very welcome after your active brothers who became too busy to snuggle past 12 months.
9. You love to sing and dance. Your favorite song on the radio is "A Sky Full of Stars," in which you just belt out, "Starry sky, starry sky!"
8. Your voice is crystal clear, tiny, yet kind of deep. You can pronounce words like rhinoceros and blurt out sentences like, "Spork has a big appetite."
7. You are starting to enjoy story time more and have your favorite books. Karen Katz books and the Olivia series are current favorites.
6. You love to play picnic and "Baby Joy is sad," which is based on a SuperWhy episode. You make one of your babies cry, and we have to figure out what she needs. When it is just you and me, your play is very smooth and calm, and it is fun to hear your thoughts and questions.
5. You are fearless. Several times, parents have come up to me on the playground or other public play space and marveled to me that you encouraged their reticent children to try something new, when begging or demonstrating by their own parents or siblings was to no avail. But the cheerful eager way you attack a play structure or new challenge must be addictive. Let's hope this doesn't extend to hopping on motorcycles as a teenager!
4. You love to take a pad of paper and briskly ask, "What would you like?" Your restaurant's specials are always chicken nuggets, fries, and Diet Coke.
3. When given a choice, you smile so broadly your cheeks might split open, sway back and forth, and murmur, "Ummm...ummm," before settling on a decision.
2.  When we get home from a car ride, you often pretend to be asleep so I will carry you inside.  I'm all too happy to oblige.
1. You love, love, love your brothers.  You are more generous with your toys than I've ever seen a child of your age (provided the person asks you politely for a turn).  You beg the Nugget for cuddles, and when Spork is sad, you sometimes rush to give him something to calm him (which never works but A for effort). You refer to them proudly in the possessive and run squealing to them after any separation, "That's MY Spork, that's MY Nugget."

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