The "terrible twos" have their reputation, but it's the private opinion of Mamas that the threes are worse. You've managed to evade both phases so far, and I'm counting my blessings. I'm trying to enjoy you at this age as much as possible because I have strong suspicious that you are about to turn into a classicly obnoxious little boy soon. A few days ago, you said to Daddy: "You silly bad guy, why'd you pop my balloon?" Your first name-calling, and I suspect poop-jokes aren't far behind. Poop, poop, poop.
You're still sassy as hell sometimes and I guess I wouldn't change it. Sometimes at night you get a bee in your bonnet about not liking one of your animal friends and you decide you don't want it anymore. You call out for me to take it away and I call back "If you don't want it, just don't play with it!" A few minutes later you'll come stalking out of your room, throw the toy on the floor of my room, and march back to bed.
You're sleeping in your tent most of the time now, on a bedroll that Grandma and Grandmpa gave you. When I tuck you in, you like me to give everyone a kiss: Bumper, Woody, then you. After that come the animals in your tent: Whale, Mama Monkey, Baby Monkey, Giraffe, and Elephant. You've gotten a little manipulative: if you're trying to stall bedtime, you ask for another kiss, or for me to give the animals another kiss. Nice try, buddy.
A few days ago I left Jack at home with Grandma and came to pick you up at school alone. I know it's important to spend time with each of you alone, and I really enjoy the chance to talk with you without interruption. I stood there waiting for you, and you noticed me and ran to me with you usual "Mommy!!!!" But halfway through your run you slowed down, stopped, and demanded to know where Jack was. You walked all the way home in a funk.
You're loving preschool, and I'm so glad. You leave the house happily, don't fuss at all when I leave you, and you're happy and content when I pick you up. The kids are all different ages and nationalities, and though you're still a loner a lot of the time, you definitely have a fan following. Nikola is a few months older than you and adores you - he's always trying to hug you, drag you along, or wrestle with you. You put up with all the hands-on stuff for a little while, and then you just walk away. I'm so grateful that you haven't picked up on his physical play, and it's funny to see you being so haughty about who you choose to play with. Because you're so content to walk away and play by yourself, you've got nothing to lose!
You are a caring, sweet boy, especially when it comes to Jack. If I accidentally leave the gate to the upstairs open, you always stop Jack from climbing and slam the door shut. You cover him with kisses and hugs, maybe a bit too much. When he's crying, you run across the room to dance for him or tickle him to make him laugh again. You're giddy with glee when you guys roll around on the floor like kittens, rubbing your heads against each other and grinning.
One night at the beach, you picked the movie "Born Free" to watch. I forgot about the guy stalking around with a gun the whole time, and you picked up on him right away. You told me you didn't like him and wanted to know what he was doing, why he had the gun. I told you that sometimes people just felt like they needed to have a gun, and you nodded knowingly and said "Yeah, so they can squirt things."
I could wish you could always be so innocent, Natey, but I know it's not to be. I'll wish instead that you keep your good kind heart and always use it to guide you forward.
I love you,