Earlier this summer I cleaned out area under our porch to make a play area for you boys. You noticed there was a little square of cement on the ground and dragged a couple of lawn chairs in front of it. You invited me to sit in one and then walked over to the cement stage and proceeded to put on a little performance of spontaneous song and dance. I clapped when you were finished; then you had me take a turn on the stage while you watched and then applauded.
The most common phrase I hear from you these days is: "Mommy, you cute." I'll say "Thank you, Liam. You're cute too." And you'll grin and say, "Mommy cute, Liam cute!" Sometimes you'll throw in other people too: "Mommy cute, Daddy cute, Sowen cute, Liam cute, Briar cute!"
We went to a free craft day at Home Depot. The final product was supposed to be a ring toss game, but you decided you wanted to make an airplane instead. I was so proud of you for being creative and doing your own thing.
Another, more wearying thing, that you feel compelled to dwell on these days is the subject of poop and bottoms. I'm assuming this is a combination of your having recently potty-trained and also being a four-year-old boy. Like most boys, you find flatulence to be the height of humor. We went to see a hypnotist at the fair this year and there was a sequence in which he made many long, loud bathroom noises into the microphone. You literally screamed with laughter each time, so much that the children sitting in front of us kept turning to look at you.
Along that vein, though, you were a sweet little potty trainer. It took a couple of months for us to get the whole thing down, but we got there! When you had accidents I would have you wash out your underwear in the toilet. You did this blithely, rhythmically splashing the underwear in the water while cheerfully singing the little song I had made up to make the task a little less unpleasant: "Ewww, ewww, icky poo. Icky, sticky, yucky goo. Ewww, ewwww, icky eww. Wash out all that sticky poo!"
One day Daddy was helping you wipe your bum after going potty. He wasn't feeling particularly cheerful about the task, but then you turned to him and said, very sincerely, "Thank you, Daddy. Thank you." Melted Daddy's hearet.
Speaking of the fair, your favorite thing this year were the horses. You kept (literally) oohing and aahing at the size and strength of the Clydesdales.
You have a real thing for babies. Every time we encounter a baby you have to point her out and coo over the baby's cuteness. If it's a toddling baby, all the better! Then you can herd the child around and protect her from any potential dangers. You shepherded a baby around at a park one day for probably a good forty-five minutes.
One recent evening you insisted on sitting by me at dinner time. You ate half a slice of bread with cream cheese, then put your head on my lap and fell asleep. I carried you to a chair and rocked you, heart beating against heart. I breathed in the smell of your hair and savored the warmth of your heavy limp body.
You also fell asleep playing in the back yard. Briar reports you napped like this for about an hour.
Sometimes in the morning I will wake up with you in bed with me. You will stir, put your stubby little arms around my neck, and say, "I wuv you, Mommy." Best way to wake up ever.
You went back to preschool after Labor Day this year. Things seem to be going well so far. I wish you could tell me more about what you do at school, but you always seem cheerful about it. You told Grandma that your favorite thing about school is playing with a ball. Sounds good to me.
These are some pictures of your first day:
Waiting for the bus...
waiting some more....
It finally came!
In your seat!
Showing Daddy the paper hand you made on your first day.
In the kitchen you are my number one little helper. Any time I cook something, you're there with your chair, wanting to put things in the microwave, add ingredients to the cookies, saute onions, and sprinkle cheese. I love having you with me in the kitchen. It is such a delight. Sometimes you like to "help" me mow the lawn too by chasing along behind me with your plastic wagon. It is the cutest thing.
One of your favorite past times is reading stories while eating bananas. You'll actually come up to me and ask, "Stories and bananas?" Little monkey.
This is what B (Daddy's mommy) wrote about you in a family email after her visit to our family:
"At the end of each book Liam would say, "Amen". I told Abraham and Rachel that I wouldn't want to be Liam's older sibling because he's rather loveable, like an irresistible teddy bear. At first he wasn't especially friendly towards me and didn't want to get close, but he got over that in a couple days. He's a happy-go-lucky little person, and so different from his brother. (I say "little" but actually the boys weigh the same.) Liam enjoys life. He's like a little ambassador for happiness, reminding us that we should all be happier than we are."
I must note here, however, that you are not 100% sunshine, smiles, sweetness, and rainbows. In the course of a single week, you threw all your underwear out the bedroom window, flushed a book and a roll of toilet paper down the toilet, and dumped all of the hand soap and all of my eye makeup remover down the sink. You also have a tendency to run around in public settings, giggling wildly while I try to chase you down. You are a miserably picky eater who cries when I put an offensive food on your plate. And you can be stubborn and whiny if you decide to be. Lately you've been trying to convince me to do everything for you with the argument, "But I'm widdle!"
That said, Pumpkin Pie, you are such a light and a joy in our lives. I feel so honored to be your mama and pray often that I can help you be all that you were meant to be, as I believe your were meant for great things. I love you so much.
P.S. Just a random funny: I came home one day to find that Daddy had dressed you in these:
The tag is hard to read so I'll just tell you that the size is 0/3 months.
Here you are, posing in them.
("I don't like to brag, but I can still fit into the pants I wore when I was a newborn.")