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Rock climbing

It's so self satisfying.


Home grown

September, 2008 compared to November, 2009

He takes showers instead of baths, he feeds all the pets by himself, including maneuvering the basement stairs alone, and he answered the phone the other day with incredibly adept politeness. And, when he sets the table before dinner, he insists on handling the chore solo from start to finish, including getting the silverware from the drawer. A year ago that wasn't possible without the aid of a stool, and I could have sworn that was true even last month, but now it requires just a little help from those tippy toes. Getting the mail all by himself has been another of his shining moments.

And now you'll expect me to go on about how time flies, about how hard it is to see him growing up, or about how poignant a thing this growth is when it's happening to your own offspring, etc. & etc. Instead, let me just say that showers use less water than baths, that it's a real load off to have another person in the house who can help with chores without our assistance, and that from now on the telemarketers had better watch out.


Meet Mouse

It has been on my mind for a while now to share this with all of you, and having just written about Friendship at (the age of) three, I think now would be ideal.  You see, friendship isn't always what meets the eye, and I'd like to introduce you to Mouse, Calvin's very special, very invisible, friend.  Mouse has been part of our lives for a few months now, and his presence kind of snuck up on us.  When Calvin first mentioned him I lumped him together with all the other imaginary beings, usually animals, that Calvin had cared for briefly on a regular basis over the past year or so.  It had not been uncommon to hear him fixing meals in his kitchen for the "mama chickadee" or the "daddy finch" or the "baby bunny" but a few things should have stood out to me from the beginning: first, that Mouse was, well, just Mouse, not a mommy or a daddy or a baby; and second, that "Mouse" appeared to be a moniker as opposed to a species (Mouse, according to Calvin, is big, and, other than his gender, that is all I really know about him).  But even if those things weren't unusual about Mouse, his recurring nature, visiting our house or our conversations almost daily over the past few months, has set him apart in our minds as that childhood gem–the imaginary friend.  And let me tell you, I love Mouse–he's everything an imaginary friend should be: Calvin cooks for Mouse when he is hungry, tucks  him in when he is tired, makes sure he gets his medicine when he is sick, and his vitamin when he's not;  Calvin comforts Mouse when he (Mouse? Calvin?) is afraid, and encourages him when he is frustrated; When Mouse wants to do things that are dangerous (ride in the car without his seatbelt) or bad for him (eat a doughnut) Calvin admonishes him and offers a better choice.  But, you ask, how do any of those things make Mouse a good imaginary friend?  They don't.  They make him the perfect imaginary friend because Mouse is clearly helping Calvin mirror the good values that he (Calvin) sees in the world, and work through the things that he (Calvin) is most concerned about.  And the best part is that he is not doing it alone...and yet, he is.


Little helper

When we moved into this house a year ago Calvin was still too short to reach the bathroom sink by himself, even with the aid of a step stool.  But kids grow, and they also become desirous of independence, so last week (and when I say last week I truly mean throughout all of the week, but that's another story) Jon replaced the hard to maneuver single knob style faucet in our downstairs bathroom so that Calvin could easily wash his hands all by himself.  Calvin was over the moon about this new measure of selfdom.  This morning, while I was tidying the kitchen a bit, he called to me from the other room to say that he wanted his diaper changed and that he was "all ready for me."  And if I wondered what that could possibly mean as I stopped my chore to go join him, my wonder turned to terror as I rounded the corner to find a trail of liquid from the bathroom to the play room.  I could only begin to imagine what that fluid could possibly be, but my terror turned to inner laughter when I found him in the play room, clean diaper in one hand, and a number of dripping wet wipes in the other hand.  My little helper.  He truly was ready for me to change his diaper, and I must have missed the sound of the running water in the bathroom while I was running in the kitchen.  Something that I have found to be true is that with that sense of independence comes a desire to help in ways that only a toddler can, an observation that is a great source of pride and happiness for me (even when my work increases tenfold because of it).



Learning to put them on got a lot easier with the introduction of velcro, but you still have to get them on the right feet all by yourself.  Or not.