Three Minus Two

Dear Love Bug,

It’s been forever because of sheer exhaustion. I’ve missed writing about at least a million noteworthy things (tackling playground climbing walls entirely on your own, attempting to dress and undress yourself, conversations about cemeteries and rainbows), but I’ve just been too tired, too distracted, too entirely consumed by The Project.

Well, The Project launches tomorrow, and then it’s kind of out of our hands for a while. Our house–my home for a decade, the one we brought you back from the hospital to, the one that’s witnessed all these firsts of yours–is going on the market. Tomorrow. It seems surreal, especially since it’s mostly empty and doesn’t really feel like “us” anymore. I also can’t find anything I’m looking for, which is particularly frustrating. As is having to prep it for potential showings each morning while getting you out of bed (increasingly challenging with each passing day, and you’re just turning 3, not 13), dressed, washed, fed, and out the door so we can all get to our respective day jobs on time.

Once it’s under contract, and please, please, please God, let that happen as quickly as possible, we’ll begin looking for our forever home. And when I say forever, I mean literally I want to take my last breath in that house, as I will never ever do this again. I haven’t even really let myself think about the house hunting, as I’ve been so focused on the house prepping and selling. But that’ll be the next step: finding a house we fall in love with and can be comfortable in, one you can grow in without feeling cramped or discouraged from spreading out. We’d love a big backyard and lots of green. Our souls need it, at this point.

While all the house prep has been going for the past six or seven weeks, you’ve slowly crept your way toward 3. And here we are, two days out. I’m much less prepared for your birthday than I’ve ever been in the past, but I guess we’ll wing it this year. Daddy and I have taken the day off of work again this year to spend your day with you, and it’s just as well, as your camp/school is closed. You say you want to go to the Science Center, which is your recent most favorite place ever. So that’s what we’ll do, topped off with present opening and Carvel cake eating and then dinner, most likely at IHOP, which is your most favorite restaurant ever.

Your party is Sunday, and I’m so thankful I bought a bunch of decorations off of another mom, as there’s been no bandwidth for crafting. It’s going to be a highly commercialized, exceptionally unstructured party. And it’s Paw Patrol themed up the wazoo, which I know will make you happy. I even snagged a Paw Patrol pin-the-badge-on-Chase, which I hope you’ll want to participate in. You’ve been very into birthday pinatas lately but not so much into pin-the-tail games. Maybe it’s the blindfold aspect.

I’m looking forward, for a few sweet hours that day, to doing nothing but focusing on you, my big-hearted, super-social, loquacious 3-year-old. You deserve it.

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Go trademark it!

Dear Love Bug,

You’ve been asleep for hours on your magical blow-up toddler bed at Nonna’s. I think it must be made with chloroform because you power down the second you crawl into it and you’ve been known to sleep for 13, possibly 14, hours in it. 

I’m tucked into the futon in the basement, where I’ve slept the best sleeps of my life. May we both wake up refreshed because I’m exhausted. Not only have I been packing, painting, and yard sale posting for a week straight (The Project progresses), I’m flying solo this weekend because Daddy’s at Man Camp. All I can say is props to all the single parents out there. 

That being said, you’ve been particularly delightful lately. I mean, you’ve been amazing. Not perfect, by any means. But just so good. Is this the ramp-up to Three? If this is what your fourth year looks like, I say gimme more. I’ve heard from many, many, many people that 3 is worse than 2. I’ve had a hard time envisioning what that might look like because 2 has been difficult bordering on disaster. I kept wondering how it could get any worse. But now I’m wondering if you just had a particularly terrible 2 and maybe 3 won’t be so bad?

Some examples of your turn toward awesome: 

  • You feel remorse. You’ll still throw things on the floor, but then you’ll realize this isn’t OK and you’ll actually apologize and then pick them up. 
  • Bedtime has been miraculously drama free. You’ll maybe try to bargain for another book or some extra cuddles, but when we say it’s bedtime, you pretty much roll over and go to sleep. 
  • You tell us you love us all the time. And if we say it to you, you say, “I love you back.”
  • The physical manifestations (biting, hitting, kicking) of anger have all but disappeared. I don’t remember the last time you lashed out at one of us violently. Today, you got mad and kind of stomped around and then turned to me and said, “I’m frustrated!” The other night, out of nowhere, you said to me, “I’ll never ever pinch you again.” (It wasn’t like you had just done it or anything–you were just sitting there.) I was like, “Uh, thanks!”
  • Not always, but when I ask you to do something, you’ve begun to say, “OK, Mamma.” 

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, don’t get me wrong. Last night at Sorrento’s, you flipped your pizza over onto my purse and ruined it, for example. But we are trending in the right direction. 

Also, our conversations have become so smart. In the car on the way down here, we were listening to your CD, and “This Old Man” came on. You know, “This old man, he plays seven, he plays seven up in heaven, with a knick knack paddy whack give a dog a bone …” You listened intently and then said, “Mom, what’s heaven?” I had instant sweaty palms. “Uh, it’s a place,” I responded. You chewed on that, and I steeled myself for a follow-up question that never came but will soon enough, I’m sure. You’ve never asked about song lyrics like that before. 

And then this evening, you requested Team Umi Zoomi, your new obsession, and Nonna got it loaded up on Amazon. We wound up talking about the delivery method, and you said, “No, Amazoff.” It took me a split second, but then I got it, and I was speechless. How clever of you. Go trademark it. 

Love you like crazy, kiddo,

Mamma