Monday, July 6, 2015

Spork is Four

Dear Spork,

How can you be four already?  I barely got to know the squishy baby you were, then all of a sudden you were a toddler, then here you are!  Four and proud of it, shell-shocked mama and all.

Top 10 Challenges of Spork at 4
10. Questions, a lot of 'em.  They say the average four year old asks about 400 questions a day.  You are anything but average.  You ask about 400 questions on a single errand.  "Where we goin'? When we comin' back? What we havin' for lunch? When Daddy comin' home?  When Nugget comin' home? He gonna watch? Why you turnin' this way? Where we goin'? Why you slowin' down? What we havin' for lunch? Why sissy got that toy? Why you blow your nose? Where you puttin' the tissue? You gonna put it in the trash? How much boogies you got out? Can I see the boogies?" (This is all before we get out of the neighborhood)
9. You are the ultimate routined child.  You like things the way they are, and we better not change how we do things or else we bear the wrath of Spork. 
8. Your fingers are constantly seeking sensations, and we get that's an important soothing mechanism for you.  But it is a bit uncomfortable to be your object of comfort at times when your fist is kneading inside my back pocket or you attempt to put your head up my skirt.
7.  You still wake up pretty grumpy, which means when you fall asleep in the car, we're all in for a treat.
6.  You wake up early, dark early, and you sing songs.  We love your singing.  We love it slightly less at 5:30am.
5.  No matter what fun things we are doing, what you really want to be doing is just sitting on the couch watching "wideos".  You tell us so, repeatedly.
4.  We have finally retired your bibs, but eating is still a messy affair.  You especially love to lean over and wipe your chin on whoever's sleeve is nearest you, and you will sometimes jump up from a spaghetti dinner and run to greet Daddy enthusiastically when he comes home in his nice work clothes, and he has to dodge you (lovingly).
3. When you get overexcited or anxious, your instinct is to bury your head in my pants, then start crashing head first into furniture.  It's cool, let's just get a handle on this before you start your college interviews, hmmm?
2.  Your default setting is "whine". 
1.  "Spork is one of our loudest friends," your teacher told us at conference time, in her best Miss Lippy voice.  Oh yes, we know. At this point, you can't maintain an inside voice if your life depended on it, but you're trying!

Top 10 Things I Love About Spork at 4
10. You don't create art as often as you used to, but when you do sit and make something, you are careful and precise.  Your brush/marker/crayon touches the paper with a lot of purpose and concentration, it is so fun to watch!
9. You are always whipping up something in your kitchen, be it fixings for Tater's picnics or a hot pizza for your "guys".
8.  You lack manners in most areas but when I set food in front of you, you always remember to thank me.
7. When we read books together, you let all your muscles go slack and snuggle/lean into me.  You love books and could read for hours.  You also love to choose your own books at quiet time.
6. Your dancing brings a big smile to my face.  You throw your whole body into the music, and your moves are all your own.
5.  You are a tattler.  That might seem like a negative thing to some, but with the siblings you have....let's just say I am thankful for The Spork Alert.
4.  You remind me to schedule down time.  As an extrovert mama, sometimes I need a reminder to dial it down a notch and make space and time to breath and recoup.  You insist on it, and that's good for all of us.
3. You have such a zest for life!  I am so thankful I can type that now and so sorry that it took so long for us to figure out and meet your needs, Spork.  It's as if SPD were this unhappy fog that has finally lifted and let out this sweet boy who was trapped inside its clutches.  You are happy, silly, smart, funny, goofy, affectionate, strong, and you can be assured that your mama will keep fighting to give you the power and the tools to put SPD in its place.  And on the days it gets you down, I will build pillow forts for us to hide in and find you something safe to smash.
2.  Your play is so funny.  You can play cooperatively now, but after awhile, you slink off to be on your own with "some guys".  The guys can be Imaginext, Little People, stuffed animals, plastic dinosaurs, sometimes even lint balls, you really don't care.  You bring them to life with your dialogue and imagination, which is always out loud.  They always get into some kind of scrape, but always turn out ok.  You barely notice the outside world while you play this way.
1. You are forming a very special bond with the Nugget, now that you're less a toddler interloper knocking down block towers and are now a co-conspirator. I love to see you two cuddled up in the tent whispering secrets and splashing in the wading pool devising new games.

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