A Letter To My Son - Transformation From 3 to 4 Years Old

Son,

Age 3.25 - 3.75 was pretty rough...you were going through a lot (moving to a new house, starting preschool, finally being forced to poop on the potty instead of saving it til you put on pull-ups for bedtime...).  I had prided myself on not regretting ANYTHING when it came to parenting you, up until your 3.5 mark, when spanking seemed to be the only thing that would get through to you a couple times.  Pregnant and emotional, I dropped down into meditation pose during one of your worst tantrums, closed my eyes, and chanted "Ommm."  It kept me from crying too much, and got you to quiet down too!  One of your loveliest moments was backhanding a bowl of something right off the table...ahh, sweet child!

Right around your 4th birthday, the stars aligned and you matured a bit to the point that asking you to put on your pants (blue/white stripe silky ones will ONLY do) didn't send you into a tailspin for 30 minutes.  It was truly life-changing for Daddy and I.  Picking out suitable clothes (white undies ONLY in January, blue ONLY in February) and getting you dressed no longer took 45 minutes, and you actually started putting on your clothes YOURSELF a bit at a time ("Hallelujah! Hallelujah!", hear the angels singing?)  A little hiccup right after Sister was born (to be expected), but that only lasted a month or so. 

You, my beautiful first child, are an absolute JOY these days...literal joy.  Daddy and I are able to now enjoy your unbelievable personality without so many little issues clouding the energy.  You joyfully run upstairs to get on your clothes, wash hands usually without being asked, help grab diapers/wipes without being asked, act as host to our visitors with lovely cups of water and snacks, tell amazing "crashing" stories, love your sister with every ounce of your heart, say "Oh, sure!" or "Oh, yes!"  when asked to do something.  It's really mindblowingly refreshing for Daddy and I, I must say.  Gram, Gramps, Yaya, Pops, Great P and Aunt S have also witnessed your transformation with awe.  You actually sat at Gram's dining table the other night with the family and had all eyes on you as you captivated everyone with a story - unbelievable!  Quite a change from 6 months prior when you would whine and cry and flop on the floor kicking if 2 pairs of eyes landed on you simultaneously.  And I won't go into detail about the day we ate at Ruby's early in Mommy's pregnancy when Papa almost gave his 86-year-old heart an attack trying to get you to walk like a normal child as he and I half-dragged you kicking and screaming across the parking lot. 

It is a rarer and rarer sight these days to see you meltdown, when just 6 months ago we held our breath and braced ourselves for it many times a day.  Daddy and I really struggled with how to teach you good behavior and emotional awareness while still allowing you autonomy.  It's crazy as a parent to realize you're tiptoeing around or walking on eggshells to avoid possible meltdown scenarios...you feel like your child has become the ruler of your household and you know it's just not right but you're stuck in the muck, so to speak.

So that brings me to today...you jumped on your Skuut bike, tore down the sidewalk, and came back not once, not twice, but 6 times with little yellow dandelion flowers for me and Shelby.  You have picked flowers for me EVERY SINGLE DAY that we have played outside, and it truly brings tears of joy to my eyes.  You are earning quarters for doing chores (feeding the dog, pulling weeds, dusting), offering to hold Sister so Mommy can do the dishes, and picking up on many iffy words ("Mommy, is 'idiot' an ok word?"....thanks, Ice Age).  You are finally laying in bed and falling asleep on your own while Mommy gets Sister to sleep, and you are simply blossoming into the sweetest boy in the entire universe.  I love you more than all the "moosh and tars" my beautiful son...thank you for choosing me to be your mommy.

I am, forever, your Grateful Mommy.


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