Dear Connor: Month 36

Welcome to three!

Truck

Three is so much older than two. Even just this past month has been a big transition: you prefer booster seats to high chairs in restaurants now, sometimes you’ll drink from a real cup at meals instead of a sippy (this has been a normal thing at daycare for almost a year now, but not at home), you like to “play” board games, and you love underwear (even if you only wear them for an hour a day).

You speak in full sentences now, and tantrums are definitely on the downswing, partly due to your improved communication skills. You’re also just maturing, so your brain has fewer Baby Neanderthal freakouts nowadays. Not to say you still don’t have the occasional major meltdown, but at least they’re fewer and farther between than they used to be.

Cranky After Lunch

You got your first fat lip this month — you tripped in the classroom at daycare and bit the left inside of your upper lip as you fell. It looked pretty nasty for a few days there, but you didn’t need to go to the doctor. You also discovered a love of popsicles, thanks to the nice teachers at daycare giving them to you to keep the swelling down.

Your visit to the ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) was this month — two visits, actually, since you had some wax stuck in your ear at the first visit, and we had to give you prescription eardrops for ten days to loosen it up so the doctor could see in. Your tubes have come out, as expected — your left one is still in your ear canal, but the doctor got the right one out (along with a pea-sized chunk of earwax) at your second visit this month. At your annual well-child visit with the pediatrician, we asked whether we should be worried about (or at least on the lookout for) the return of ear infections this winter, since your tubes are no longer in place. She pointed out that you’ll be able to communicate with us better now, so you’ll be able to tell us before things get too bad.

The nurse at the ENT was looking at your chart on the computer and said to you, “You are NOT two years old! I thought you were four!” I explained to her that you were almost three, but she still said you were so big! When I got the follow-up in the mail from the ENT a few days later, it said that you’re in the 99th percentile for your height and the 75th percentile for weight. Along with your chattiness, that explains why everyone thinks you’re so much older than you are!

You love going to the doctor and the dentist — possibly because it’s something different from the normal routine; possibly because you get a sticker, a toy, or a lollipop (or a combination of those), depending on which doctor you’re seeing. You have to be the only three-year-old who asks if you can please go to the doctor today, and gets upset to the point of tears when Mommy says no.

You know all your letters, and you can count to 29, although you sometimes skip a number in the mid-twenties if you’re distracted (which is most of the time). Mommy learned from one of her co-workers that knowing all your letters is actually a five-year-old skill, so I guess you’re a little bit ahead of the curve. You can also read a few words, like your name and “stop,” although you always spell them out first. Thanks to Dora the Explorer, you also know a few Spanish words, like por favor (please), de nada (thank you), abre (open), salta (jump), and the numbers one to ten.

Playing Games

Speaking of please and thank you, Mommy and Daddy have been working with you on asking nicely for things that you want. Sometimes you’ll even ask nicely without being prompted, but most of the time we have to remind you. Even when we need to prompt you, though, it’s soooo cute when you say, “May I have a string cheese, please?”

You continue to get better at realizing when you’ve done something to make Mommy mad or frustrated. It’s super awesome to have you reach out with a big hug and say, “It’s OK, Mommy. Big hugs. I’m sorry I made you mad.” Granted, sometimes it’s also infuriating, because I WANT TO BE MAD AT YOU, but you’re just too dang cute. Sometimes.

Everything isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, of course. This past weekend, Mommy failed to remove the diaper cream from your room first thing in the morning, and Mommy got out of her shower to hear you declaring, “My hands are pink!” And so was your carpet and your clothes. Daddy got some carpet cleaner at the store, and that helped, but it might be stained forever (or until we get a professional carpet cleaning someday).

Also this past weekend, we tried having some underwear time in the morning. It went well until you pooped in your Batman undies.

You: grunting while standing on the loveseat
Mommy: Do you need to go potty?
You: Nope.
Mommy: Are you pooping?
You: Yes!
Mommy: whisks you off to the potty

You haven’t been as super excited about your underwear as you were last month, but we’re hoping that you’ll come back around to it. In the meantime, we keep asking if you’d like to have some underwear time and taking you to the potty if you ask (whether you’re wearing underwear or a diaper). You do tend to ask to go potty when we’re in restaurants, just because it’s fun to sit on a big potty somewhere that isn’t school or home.

To you, up until very recently, all pictures were selfies.

Once you got your own camera for your birthday, though, you began to discover the joy of taking pictures of people who are not yourself. This makes Mommy very happy, and I really hope that we can share the joy of photography together as you get older.

Mommy on the Bench

You were looking forward to your birthday for weeks. Every now and then, you’d declare, “I want a party! With Grammy and Uncle Matt.” Because we always plan parties and get-togethers at our house to start when you get up from Quiet Time, you’d sometimes say, “I take a nap, then I get up, then I have a party, with cupcakes and presents.” Of course, when parties do happen, and you know about them in advance, Quiet Time inevitably turns into Nap Strike.

When Party Day arrived, you insisted on wearing your Party Shirt (a Hawaiian “aloha” shirt). Ever since we had that first get-together at the “new” house when you were not even two yet, you equate aloha shirts with parties, which is kind of funny and awesome. You had Daddy wear his Party Shirt, too.

In attendance were Mommy and Daddy (of course), Grammy, Uncle Matt, Cousin Nate and his kids Caitlin and Andrew, Aunt Bonnie and Aunt Connie and Cousin Noah. Andrew and Noah are a bit older than you — I believe they’re six and nine — but you had a great time playing with them, anyway, especially when you all sat down with your new Playdoh Fun Factory. (They also enjoyed playing with your Little People Parking Garages and your Batcave.)

Your favorite presents right now are your VTech tablet from Grammy, your Big Wheel from Mommy and Daddy, and the train set that the Sheetses got you (they couldn’t make it to the party, but they came over the next day). Who knows what you’ll fall in love with tomorrow or next week, though.

Here’s a slideshow of photos from your party. You had a great time — even not counting the presents, I’ll bet you’d love to have a party waiting for you every weekend when you get up from your nap.

PS – I think I’m going to start writing these letters to you every six months instead of every month. I’d rather use these to touch on how you’ve changed over time, and who you’re becoming, and save the day-to-day cuteness and tragedy for regular posts to the blog.

I hope you read these notes someday and get a better glimpse of what your life was like before you can remember. You’re turning into such a sweet little man, and I look forward to seeing what the years ahead will bring.

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