Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Bear is Turning Three!

It's hard to take a photo of him that's not an action shot.
This is him holding a paper dog puppet he made
and saying "Woof woof."

A. His Schedule – We try to put him to bed at 8 a.m., but he has a lot of energy, and it’s doubly hard to get him to fall asleep when he and his brother are sleeping in the same room, because they keep each other up. The boys now share a bedroom, although one of them will sometimes sleep in our room, which is a treat for them, and also helps ensure that they actually do fall asleep at a decent hour. He usually wakes up on his own around 6:30 a.m. Although he takes an afternoon nap at school, it is quite difficult to get him to take one at home, and sometimes we give up. His favorite thing to do when the days are long and bright (yay summer!) is to go across the street and ask if Nina can come play. She’s around six years old, and we think Bear may have a crush on her. Then again, she’s a nice kid, so maybe that’s why he’s so crazy about spending time with her.

B. His Size – He is an even 30 pounds. He’s still pretty skinny (but not un-healthfully so) but he grew around 5 inches taller this past year. He’s now tall enough to ride things at places like county fairs.

C. His Personality – Bear is easy to love but very hard to handle. He’s cuddly and loving and can be so sweet. He’s got a great sense of humor too. He’ll put on a mask to try and get us to laugh, or try to make a joke, etc. However, he’s also very stubborn, and can get very mad at us if we don’t give him what he wants. When he’s upset, he’ll say things like “I’ll never be your friend again!” He’s a difficult kid to watch because he’s always getting into something – something dangerous, or messy, or destructive, or a combination thereof. He’s not completely fearless, but he’s close.

D. His Favorite Things
  • Colors: Red, green, yellow, and pink
  • Shows: He loves watching the movie The Hobbit, especially the part where the dwarves and elves have to fight the spiders – he generally seems to prefer watching movies (like Boss Baby and Lego Batman) to shows
  • Toys: He doesn’t really have a favorite toy although he likes things like swords, his toy broom and mop (which he uses like swords), art stuff (he loves to paint), makeup, Play Doh, and anything that his brother was playing with first
  • Time of Day: Probably the morning
  • Bedding: He still loves his white-and-blue fleece moose blankies, but he also has a multi-colored throw pillow that he exclusively uses as his bed pillow – in the morning, he’ll drag both his blankie and his pillow onto the couch, and he’ll drag them back to bed at nighttime
  • Foods: He claims his favorite food is meat, but he also eats a fair amount of yogurt, be it Danimals yogurt smoothies, or strawberry-flavored yogurt sticks - he also really likes fries and chips
  • Activities: He likes painting, but he also likes roughhousing, playing with his brother, and being outside, such as when he's gardening with his dad – he also still really likes taking a bath – one other thing he’s particularly partial to is sitting in people’s laps, be it mine, my husband’s, or his grandma’s
  • Animals: Dogs and birds – he loves pointing out birds to us, and will literally point and say “Look, a birdie!” outside
  • Heroes: He likes Batman, but he also really looks up to my husband

E. Things He Does Not Like
  • Not getting his own way – I realize this might be true of all kids, but it is powerfully so with Bear
  • When foods are mixed together – he likes things separate and “clean” (for example, he called the meat in Shepherd’s Pie “dirty”)
  • His carseat – he tries to nab a chance to sit in his brother’s instead
  • When we’re in the car and we stop at a red light

F. What He’s Thinking About
  • Currently, he’s really looking forward to his birthday, and he says “My birthday is taking forever”
  • He’s pretty good about being able to express himself in words and sentences
  • He claims that a boy named Nicholas at his school is picking on him – The daycare said they’d keep an eye on it, but given that Bear is sometimes pushy with other kids, I’m not sure if I entirely believe Bear’s side of it, which is that “Nicholas is mean to me, and does this to me,” :: imitates punching himself in the head ::
  • He’s been potty-trained for daytime since February, but he still wears a Pull-Up at night, even though most mornings it’s bone-dry

G. Surprises – I’m somewhat surprised that he’s almost the same size as his older brother, even though they’re 21 months apart. I’m also surprised that there’s so much of my husband in him. The only thing about him that reminds me of myself is that he has pretty good fine motor skills, and has an interest in art.

H. The Best Things – Life with Bear is complicated. Sometimes, he can be so hard to handle, and so indifferent to my feelings or the feelings of others. But other times, he can be phenomenally cute and caring.

I. Family and Friends – Bear had a great time in New England recently playing with his cousins. He also really enjoyed the company of Aunt Denise.

J. What I’m Doing Differently This Time Around – I can’t say that I’m doing anything differently with Bear than I did with his brother, except possibly that I’m putting more effort into allowing both boys’ friendships with other kids to develop. It takes effort to make sure that they’re forming friendships outside of daycare, but it’s worth it.

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