Dear Owen: a letter at three years

owen-1-9591 dear_07

The other day, I was sorting clothes for the season when I came across these tiny elephant footie jammies, stuffed into a random bin. And there, surrounded by piles and piles of clothes, I stopped and looked. You had worn these jammies often as a newborn – from shoulders to feet, they were barely as long as my torso. It is crazy to me how much life and energy and personality has sprung out of that tiny body, now three.

Lately, we’ve been saying that you are such a little boy now. We see your feet, all stretched out, your long skinny limbs, your head full of bushy blonde hair, and we laugh as you say, “When I’m a daddy, I’ll have hair on my arms,” and then we show you the soft blonde hair of your own arms, and you smile broadly. Your body is growing into all the little boy things – your run from room to room in our house, and find creative ways to spider climb from one piece of furniture to the next. You are crushing wiffle balls “over the fence!” into the parking lot next door, and crouching in the dirt like all little boys have for all time over a worm or ant you’ve discovered.

Owen, this year, you have shown us the true meaning of having a toddler. At times, you are amazingly fun to be with. You tell jokes, “Hey! I’ve got a good one: The duck went swimming!” or “City Kitty Mitty Litty!” You appreciate puns. You get excited about art projects and games and forts and books and basketball and movies.

goliath And then, without notice, you are scrunching up your eyebrows and nose, lips pursed in what we call your “crabby face,” and you are saying NO! in a Goliath voice and kicking while we try to pull shorts on you and crying uncontrollably because it is time to come inside the house for lunch or, worse yet, put on your shoes. We ask you to say hello to someone, and you are stomping your foot and making weird mouth noises. You HATE being put on the spot to say anything. You have learned the true toddler art of working bathroom runs and extra drinks and snuggles and stories to extend your bedtime. You are at your worst when you’ve just woken up or are hungry or needing to poop, naturally.

When asked to do something, almost 100% of the time, NO or the mysterious “Nosta!” is your intial response. Or better yet, I’ll say something like “Time to go potty,” and you’ll crabby-face up and yell, “No YOU go to the potty!” or you’ll come back with an angry, “Don’t be the Doc!” which is some mixed-up line we think has its origins in Winnie the Pooh. My favorite though, is when told no or turned down in someway, you go to another room of the house and console yourself by singing about the injustice, musical style (ala Frozen), usually to the tune (and including the lyrics of) “Why Can’t Little Guys Do Big Things Too?”

Most of the time, I turn away and hide my laughter. Sometimes I cry. Or hide in the kitchen and eat a cookie.

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