Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ben at 3½

You're three-and-a-half, but you say that you're four when people ask you how old you are. You insist that you answer this way because that's what size clothes you wear, but really it's because you're always trying to find a loophole so that you can be the same age as Tommy. The other day on the playground, a few people asked you how old you are and you said, 'size four!', and of course, they thought you meant that you're four years old. You didn't bother correcting them.

You're a fun-loving little guy and you're usually happy and cheerful. You're still just as physical as ever, and you often get along well with other kids who like to be physical, even if they're one or two years older than you. You're still adventures on the playground, as evidenced in this video, which is just a small glimpse at your skill as a monkey:

Books: You're not really into books, but you'll sit and listen when it's time to read a book. You're enjoying Daddy's reading of The House at Pooh Corner and A Cricket in Times Square.

Food: Peanut butter and honey sandwiches remain your favorite food.

Shows: Since the television hasn't been on in months, (except for a rare occasion when other kids are over and we put on a movie at night), I'm probably going to retire this category, at least for summer time. Ever the warm weather came, I decided to keep the TV off so you kids could find creative ways to spend your time and not keep begging me to watch a show. It worked, and you haven't asked me to watch a show in quite awhile.

Toys: Tools, anything that can be made into a tool. Drums, and anything that can be made into a drum. Tinkertoys frequently become hammers or percussion instruments. But mostly, you play outside and find things to do and games to play with your brother. You really love Tommy and much prefer to do whatever he's doing.

Activities & Skills: You're able to ride your bike completely on your own now, and you don't need us to help you push off. You love to sing. Frequently throughout the day, you'll find a few sticks (see Tinkertoys, above) to bang together and will parade through the house singing praise songs. You can only remember a few words of most praise songs, and then usually inaccurately, so your songs end up sounding something like this, "Nothing our God can do!.....Nothing our God can do!....Nothing that we do!..." (The real song goes, "My God is so great, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do!")

Behavior: You used to be incredibly stubborn, especially when it came to obeying a simple instruction like, "Clean up your blocks." You seem to have left most of your stubbornness behind in your second year. 

These days the behavior issues we have with you are more about the heart. For instance, a little while ago we had a situation where a boy hit you with a stick. He was disciplined by his parent and then he apologized to you, but you refused to forgive him. After praying about it together and talking about it, and then praying and talking some more, you eventually forgave him happily. But getting to that point was a lot more work than I was expecting! 

New things: You recently started pronouncing your "L" sounds correctly and clearly. It's sad in a way, because it means no more hearing the words "bwankie", "wuv", or "pwaybround".

Other stuff: You don't like to do work. If I ask you to put to do what you think is too much work around the house, you'll whine and say, "But my aaaarms don't wooooork!" or "I don't know hoooooow!" We're working on this. You also don't like to walk long distances, but you've gotten a lot better about this in the past few months.

You like to help in the kitchen and you're getting really good at cutting fruit and vegetables with a butter knife. Often I'll give you a pile of carrots or zucchini to cut and you slice everything up for me. You're also learning how to make scrambled eggs.

You really love people. One day you told me, "Mommy, I like to say hi to people because I love them." I believe you! You always say hi to people wherever we are, whether it's a really strange-looking man on the sidewalk downtown or an employee stocking shelves at Target. You're friendly to everyone and ask them about themselves. I have a feeling you're going to be a compassionate and friendly man when you grow up.

You insist on looking at books upside down. You know the right way to look at books, but you like them upside done for some reason. Whenever I fix it for you, you turn it back the way you had it.

I'm looking forward to your 4th birthday, because you'll finally be four and then I can finally stop lecturing you on the importance of telling the truth. Unless, of course, you start insisting that you're five, since you were already four. 

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