Sunday, October 07, 2012

Samuel: 43 Months

Dear Sam,

I think that this month could be summed up in the phrase, "naughty naughty numpkin pie!" 3 1/2 has been a time of, ahem, challenging the status quo and authority structure. Our disciplinary tactics have taken a dramatic turn in recent weeks, ending up with me sitting on you in a parking lot, waiting for you to listen and obey. Oh, the depths to which we sink as moms.

Now, granted, we've had some rough times lately. Lots of transitions, plenty of changes, a mom who's been much too sick to do much of anything, a sister who's struggling to find her own way in Kindergarten. All of these things work to the surface in one way or another. Changes and transitions mean grieving what was and adjusting to what is. This is so hard to do, even for an adult, with handles and experience and (somewhat) stable emotions. Basically, it's like you're living in a snow globe, and every few days someone comes along, turns it over, shakes everything up, and then we spend the next several days waiting for all the pieces to settle into their new spots, all while anticipating another big shake.

And with rough transitions come rough nights' sleep. Your nighttime routine in the past month has included at least one of the following: 1) sneaking into our bed after we've gone downstairs. Exhibits A, B & C:

Confession: In my desperation, one night I booby-trapped our room (empty water bottle on the tile right inside the door), hoping to catch you in the act. That night you actually stayed in your bed, and I was the booby, knocking over that stinking water bottle, sounds echoing across the quiet room. 

2) waking up in the middle of the night with bad dreams, then tossing and turning for 45 minutes before finally falling back asleep (not that I was keeping track or anything), or;

3) waking up at 5:00am, coming into our room, to MY side of the bed, and insisting it's time to "go downstairs."

Needless to say, we're all tired and in need of a good night's sleep. Memo: sleep through the night. In your own bed. Past 6:00, preferably. Thanks.

Another parent to boys recently shed some light on your recent antics: impulse control. TOTALLY! You are insatiably curious, super smart, and your impulsivity plays out in a multitude of surprising, frustrating, crazy-making ways. You can't help but sneak another piece of candy. You can't help but reach out and pull your sister's toy from her hands though she did nothing to provoke it. You can't help but pour out the shampoo in the bathtub for the 1,000th time, even though you've had consequence after consequence for wasting product and making a slippery mess. ARGH. Impulse control, be gone.

Our little guy with the speech issues is talking up a storm these days! It seems I can't get you to be quiet! :) Your speech teacher insists you're making great progress and I can hear it most of the time, in the way you work hard to enunciate individual sounds. It's all good unless you are telling a story, and then all your words run together in a fast jumble of consonants and vowels and excitement and energy and JOY and SINGING in stuttering, sputtering, loud, exuberant chaos. When you are telling a story, it's just anyone's guess as to what you are actually saying. But it is quite entertaining, even if incoherent.

And then there were TWO. You and your big sister/cohort/partner in crime have had a good three and a half years of los dos amigos. But before we know it, you're going to be a middle child. There will soon be THREE Joyce children filling up our house with toys & joys, laughter and impulsivity.


But if we're going to have another baby, I hope we get one that's a perfect combination of the two I already have. It's already been decided that you're the two cutest kids I know, not to mention in possession of the greatest (also, BIG) personalities. This baby will be no wallflower, not in order to keep up with the best big sister and big brother around. I hope that this one, like you, loves to snuggle. I hope the new baby gives kisses liberally and with gently puckered lips. Would you teach the baby how to enjoy life with reckless abandon? How to make a boat or rocketship out of any piece of furniture? Promise me you'll pass on your love of building, your joy for all things structural, your passion for legos and playmobil. Teach your baby to pray, because I can't imagine our nightly routine without those big words, big emotions, and genuine affection.

But feel free to keep mum on sleeping advice. Mkay?

Until next month, big buddy,


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