My Little Independent Man
This photo makes me so happy:
I can't explain why, exactly. It's partly his beautiful, shining face looking up at mine, it's partly his obvious pride that he's DOING SOMETHING HIMSELF, and it's partly something intangible... maybe a sense that oh my god, I created this amazing being (with Al's help, of course).
There are times when I forget how old the Beaner is, and when people ask I have to pause for a second to figure it out (sort of how I have to pause when people ask *my* age—on the one hand, I think 39 because I've had it in my head for a while now that I'm turning 39 this year, but on the other hand I think 36, because that's how old I feel. I never seem to come up with 38, my actual age). I keep thinking, for some reason, that he's 3-going-on-4, when he's really 2 years 8 months (today, in fact). I have actually answered "he's 4. No, wait! Sorry, he's two and a half" before. Maybe it's because most of his clothes are size 4T? And because I'm a total bat?
Things that remind me he's only 2 years 8 months:
- He still wants me to snuggle him to sleep at night (and as often as possible during the day, too).
- He now sometimes bursts into tears—which used to be reserved for I'M INJURED—when he doesn't get what he wants.
- He can't tie his own shoes, and he still has trouble with buttons.
- He hasn't mastered spitting after brushing his teeth, despite months of demonstration and practice.
- His insistence that he can't do things, and that I must do them for him.
Things that make me forget he's only 2 years, 8 months:
- The 4T clothes, as mentioned.
- His manners, which tend to melt everyone within earshot when he uses them (sometimes he forgets).
- The rapid expansion of his imagination, and the complexity of his pretend scenarios and dialogues.
- His singing of Howard Jones, OK Go, and Arlo Guthrie/Wilco songs (as well as the ones from his Music Class CDs)—in tune, and often with the correct lyrics.
- His desire to tell me everything that happened to him each day. This will SO come in handy when he starts school; I plan to get the scoop on his school day on the walk home.
- His desire to run with the big kids, and to mimic them so accurately.
- His insistence that he can do things himself, and that he doesn't want my help.
As you can see from the last bullet item in each list, he's definitely on the brink of something; it's like he's tottering between toddlerhood and childhood. Now that I think of it, I haven't described him as a toddler in a while; it seems almost as inappropriate a label as calling him a baby would have been after he turned two.
Riding his trike back from Capogiro, July 19, 2007