Posted on September 11th, 2012
I think 2012 was the fastest summer in history. Cliché or not, I don’t know where that time went. It seems like it was June yesterday… and yet, there’s been lots of summer weather, lots of time at the park, lots of splashing and sand-playing, lots of ice cream. I know we did the whole thing.
I can’t deny that it revolved in a large part around my little boy, who seems more and more grown up all the time. There’s no way I can call him a toddler anymore. Even his intonation is more worldly than it was a few months ago.
This three-year-old business is pretty fun. He’s learning to imagine, pretend, role-play, socialize. We’ve had some good times.
Back at the end of May, my school did their annual humongous barbecue fundraiser, and it was a big day for E, because he got to see a fire truck up close. Like, actually get inside it!
You might notice that in that picture he is also wearing a backpack. It’s a Spider-Man backpack, brand-new that day; Daddy got it for him on clearance for $5, not realizing E would immediately be obsessed with it. It seems he had an unexpressed wish for a backpack, because when he’s at the babysitter’s he walks the other kids back and forth to school – the BIG kids – and they all have backpacks, of course. He was SO PROUD of that thing, and so adorable we could hardly stand it.
Then there’s the ice cream. But only plain chocolate – he refuses to eat any ice cream with “food” in it (nuts, brownie pieces, marshmallows… NO FOOD!). We’ve taken an embarrassing number of ice-cream-on-face pics from this summer… but hey, that’s our prerogative as parents, right?
Other things I will remember as being his obsessions this summer:
The T-Rex Ramp he got for his birthday,
playing Plants vs. Zombies with Daddy, on Daddy’s phone (NOT proud of this, sigh),
and going for bike rides! He has gotten so good at gliding along on his balance bike, it amazes me – and he’s also very good at being safe, proudly wearing his helmet, and stopping where he needs to stop (and waiting for Mama to waddle and catch up to him).
He also enjoys his markers. He really wanted to use Daddy’s Sharpies, but we told him we would get him some washable markers that were okay for him to use. He was excited about that. As soon as he got them, he set off for the bathroom… to wash them.
He has also been spending a lot of time “reading” to himself with his MeReader – another birthday present. In fact, he’s starting to memorize lines from the much-abridged Disney stories. I first realized this when we were at Family Camp, and I left him alone in the cabin for a moment. He said he would be fine, playing with his cars, but when I got back, he’d come outside: “I was worried that I didn’t see you, so I ventured out and wanted to find you.” Ventured out?? Turns this phraseology comes directly from his Winnie-the-Pooh book.
So now I know that when he’s playing and I hear him say epic things like “Just when all hope was lost…” or “He plots his rise to power…” it’s from Aladdin or Peter Pan or 101 Dalmations. (Otherwise I’d be freaked out.)
Then, there are little things people teach him to say because he sounds hilarious saying them. My jaw dropped when we were having a normal chat about swimming and he inserted, “I beg to differ.” (That one had Auntie Em written all over it. Not that E gets what it means or when to use it.)
With some of his turns of phrase, I haven’t figured out where they came from. Just a lot of listening, I guess – it’s been clear for a while that he logs away basically everything he hears (scary!). Examples:
The thing is, as in “The thing is, Mummy, I don’t know where my pajamas are.”
It seems a long time, as in “It seems a long time since I played with Laura.”
Certainly, as in “Certainly, I want to play with the loop-the-loop!”
Awkward, as in “I just dropped a carrot – that was really awkward!”
Splendid, as in “Your bread and cheese looks splendid!”
Shocking, as in “That’s pretty shocking, Mama, when you opened the door.”
I’ve also heard him use the word absurd, but I’m pretty sure he has almost no clue what it means.
A few other gems:
When pretending that his dinky car had a flat tire: “I can’t fix it. I don’t have any plumbers!”
One of his many random “What if” questions: “What if a cat got in that birdhouse?” (“I don’t know, how would a cat get way up in there?”) “It would fly, with its amazing paws.”
When told it was bedtime: “No, it’s not bedtime, Mama – the sun is high in the sky!”
When I was trying to explain how a bar of soap gets smaller, clumsily likening it to when he eats up a bowl of O’s, he offered: “It’s like rain that evaporates.” (I was gobsmacked. I’ve tried to ask him about evaporation since then, to see if he actually understands the process based on a couple conversations about puddles, but he isn’t forthcoming.)
Soulfully, after I asked what he would like to play with: “I don’t know when my heart wants to have fun.”
Mysteriously, the first thing he said upon waking up one day, with a dreamy grin on his face: “Mama… I wish we could spin.”
The best was when he woke up one morning after an overnight at my parents’ house: “Mummy, are you okay sleeping by yourself? I’m going to let Daddy be at school and you sleep a little bit. I’m just gonna go downstairs and see Grammie and Papa.” (Thanks to Daddy, Mama has been allowed to “sleep a little bit” many times during this pregnancy. )
Oh, I almost forgot – he’s learned what chillin‘ is. The perfect summer activity.