Three and a Half

9 Jun

Dear Lucas–

Today you are three and a half years old.  You don’t know this, because if you did, you would be begging for cake — specifically a Paw Patrol cake wherein you could select the exact piece you want to eat (which happens to be the fictional piece of cake that has Marshall the fire pup riding his fire truck on it).  You are quite confident that this is the exact cake you’d like for your fourth birthday party, and I’m sure you’d take it six months early if you knew about “half birthdays.”

And it’s that level of specificity that best describes you at three and a half.  You know what you want. Exactly what you want.  You certainly did not want that color of yogurt yesterday, or the shirt that I picked out for you to wear. You did want milk, which we didn’t have, because child abuse (clearly, based on the resulting tantrum). Also, your M&M pancakes had cruuuuuussssttttt on them (better described as melted chocolate from aforementioned M&Ms) and you had obviously requested the non-crusty pancakes. Life is rough as a threenager and you let us know regularly that you just aren’t going to stand for our nonsense.

Another, more charming, hallmark of your three-and-a-halfness is an incredible imagination.  I was making dinner last night while you were playing around my feet.  You had a toy rocket and an oven mitt, and were chatting away — mimicking full conversation between the rocket and the oven mitt (who were brothers, duh…), and their parents (who were played by your hands).  Every time you shouted “Mama! I need you” I responded… and each time you assured me that it wasn’t me you were seeking — that was just the oven mitt calling his mama (better known as your right hand, duh…).  I quickly learned to just go about my business, pausing periodically to check in on the riveting family discussion playing out under our kitchen island. It’s those periodic pauses that I love so much about this age.  I love to watch you play, and I love to listen to your imagination at work.

I’m often amazed at how much of your own person you are — it sounds ridiculous, of course you are, but you are 100 percent your own guy.  You’ve got strong opinions —  something I love even if it drives me crazy — and convicted likes and dislikes.  You have your own group of friends, tiny little humans who are so happy to see you each morning at daycare, and whose voices ring out with “bye Lucas James” as we leave each afternoon.  You know so much, including that oatmeal is a grain, which you pronounced definitively at breakfast Saturday morning.

Because of all that you know, can do, feel — I often forget that you are just three and a half years old.  In so many ways just sloughing off your toddler skin and finding solid ground in your preschool shoes.  You still cry to be held and cuddled when you are scared or hurt.  You love to listen to books.  TV shows and movies are major delights, and getting three skittles is a super special dessert after dinner.

You’ve been a big brother for almost a year now, and you are fairly well settled into your role.  You often exclaim, “isn’t he cuuuuute” when we pick Benjamin up at the end of each day.  You don’t find it so cuuuuute when he plays with your toys and we are working on modifying your version of a “brother hug” from a WWE choke hold to a more nurturing act. All in though, you assimilated to the role of big brother with an incredible ease.  From the moment you laid eyes on him, you were sold, committed to forever playing the starring role of “best big brother” in our family unit. Benjamin is pretty sold on you too, and I’m not sure if I ever smile bigger than when I hear you two laughing together in the backseat of the car while I’m driving.

These days you are loving lots of things.  You love almost all fruit and many different kinds of yogurt — they are some of your favorite snacks.  You are also a big fan of pasta – especially when I let you choose what kind we’ll have, dinosaur chicken nuggets, cheese sticks and craisins.  Your favorite color is orange, by quite a wide margin, and you like most other colors aside from pink and purple (which have been reserved for me, you say). You ask to go out to eat quite a bit, and pronounce it “rest-are-naut” (rhymes with astronaut), even though you are content for me to pack all the things you’ll eat while there.  You are totally potty trained during the day, but still in pull-ups at night, despite your best negotiating to wear underwear.  You choose your underwear with great care and like to show it off to anyone who will look — this is particularly fabulous in public restrooms. Playing outside and in the basement are top choices for passing time, and you have loved taking soccer this past year.

All in, my sweet Lucas James, you are a delight.  I tell you all the time that there has never been another like you.  I’m so glad that you are ours.

I love you to the moon and back,
Your Mama

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