Forty Months Old!

Or three and a third years old, for those counting in years.

“What are you going to dress up as for Hallowe’en?” Liam asked us excitedly at dinner the other night. HRH and I looked at one another, and we both grinned. It’s been ages since we did costumes (would they have been for the last superhero party, or the final Hallowe’en party t! threw?). Suddenly here was our son encouraging us to do the Hallowe’en thing, because as far as he knows everyone dresses up at Hallowe’en. We have no time to do new costumes for ourselves; any costume-creation effort will be focused on him. So I gave my costume wardrobe a quick once-over in my mind and said, “I think I’ll go as Belle.” “Oh, Mama,” he said, “that’s a great idea!” HRH has decided to make himself an Incredibles t-shirt to wear to school, so I think that will be the extent of his costume. As for what the boy will be wearing, we are not yet sure. There is the pirate coat we planned for last year that never got made, and apart from that he has alternately decided to be Dash from the Incredibles, Mr. Incredible, and a diesel locomotive. I suspect we will have to set a deadline for a final decision. This year will be the first year he goes out trick or treating, and I believe he expects us both to go out with him (because again, as far as he knows, everyone does it!). Must check with the upstairs neighbours to see if they would be good with handling kids at the door while we go out for half an hour.

Over the past couple of months he has developed an odd use of the third person to describe himself and his actions, as if he is narrating the activity of a character in a story. “Mama, said the [kitten/robot/fish/whatever he is pretending to be today], what are we having for lunch?” he’ll say. It’s interesting.

He’s sleeping really well, anywhere between an hour and a half and two hours of nap in the early afternoon, and ten hours at night. And he’s so close to making it through all those ten hours at night completely dry. Sometimes he manages it, sometimes he doesn’t. And when he doesn’t it’s usually the wetting that wakes him up just before our scheduled wake-up time, and he’s so upset and frustrated. (Jury’s out regarding the classification of the amount of frustration connected with the wetting, and the amount associated with being jolted awake before he would wake up on his own.)

School continues to go very well. They call him their sparkplug (familiar, what?), the one whose enthusiasm and energy gets everyone else active and involved. He plays with the older kids, then goes to the younger kids, and then to the kids his own age, and integrates seamlessly into each group; apparently he’s the only one who ranges between groups like that. The CD player was being fixed when he started school, but when it came back and they did a unit on music he was right there, attentive and interested. It’s his favourite thing there, or at least the one that keeps his attention the longest, we’re told. He brings home new songs all the time (not that we recognize them, because although he is enthusiastic he is not necessarily reproducing them correctly), and loves songs with actions accompanying them. The other day he was making odd vowel sounds to the tune of Frère Jacques, one of the tunes they adapt a lot at preschool, then saying someone’s name: “[vowel sound] [vowel sound] Heidi, [vowel sound] [vowel sound] Heidi…” It took me a half hour of hearing him sing this to himself while playing before it clicked and suddenly it made sense. He was singing the morning welcome song ( “Where is Ashley, where is Ashley? Here she is, here she is!”) in French. Ou est Heidi? Aha.

His food preferences have no consistency that I can see. He refused applesauce for months, and has enthusiastically eaten bowls of it for the past two weeks. Every time I made homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner he’d cry and ask for plain noodles, but last night he dug in to the bowl I put in front of him with gusto and even had seconds. At breakfast he asks for a mélange of Rice Krispies, Cheerios, Shreddies, and organic kamut flakes in various combinations. Cold pancakes are still a great snack. Oatmeal is back. Apparently he wasn’t eating well at school lunches, pushing things around his plate and saying, “I don’t like it,” but that’s been worked out (part of it was low appetite leading into the cold then the tummy bug thing, part of it was a sudden discomfort with the schedule, yet another part was that he was having huge breakfasts and enthusiastic mid-morning snacks and thus not hungry at lunch). The deal at home is you eat three big bites of what’s on your plate and if you decide you don’t like or want it, you can politely refuse the rest, but we’re not going to make you something else. Generally it’s not an issue, and if it is for some reason, he learns that being hungry later isn’t so much fun. We’re not in the least concerned that he won’t eat enough; that will never be a problem!

In general he’s still a cheerful, inventive, imaginative boy with great enthusiasm for just about everything. He loved bringing his carrots into school to share with all his friends there, and told them that he helped plant them, water them, and harvest them. He and Gryff have been celebrating the turn of the season by galumphing up and down the hall, chasing one another. Falling leaves mean playing in piles of them, messing about with sticks, and finding very cold bumblebees to tuck into the garden in hopes that they will find a warm place in which to hibernate. Decreasing hours of daylight means getting ready for the day in the morning when it’s still dark, and going to bed when the sun has gone down. “Maybe it will snow from those clouds!” he says eagerly. Everything is interesting and fun. And it’s good to have someone discovering fun things around.

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