You are now thirty-seven months old. As usual, you have kept us on our toes. So has Mother Nature – our beautiful valley has been on fire for most of this month. The day before the fires started (from a stunning lightning storm) we all went biking on the Sage Hills trails. It was the first time all three of us were on wheels together and you, my dear, rocked it. Two days later, we could see walls of flames sweeping across those very hills. Tragically beautiful. You’ve been very worried about “your” trails ever since.
With the fires came smoke, and with the smoke came extremely hazardous air quality. This meant no outside play. For the record, I think it’s FAR more dangerous to have the two of us locked up in the house together for days on end than to be outside in the smoke. Tempers were short. When you get mad you literally throw yourself against the wall, belly flop on the floor, hit, kick, throw, scream, and rage about. It’s something to behold. My tantrums look pretty similar, but I have a tad more flair.
The silver lining to the fires and poor air quality (aside from your apparent albuterol highs) is that we got to take some pretty fun trips together in search of clean air. You’re great company on a road trip. You “read” your books for long periods of time, you have an eagle eye for spotting interesting things along the way, and you make up wildly hilarious songs.
Boo and Heeed were the first to take us in (after I promised to teach you that cops are bigger heroes than firefighters). You loved playing with the dogs and riding on the lawnmower. We even got to watch pumpkin chunkin with trebuchets and visit the reptile zoo. In a word, AWESOME. I love listening to you and Boo talk about anything and everything. Watching you work your way into the Big Man chair to nestle under Heeed’s arm reminded me that you’re still a little guy under all of that big boy bravado.
After a few days back in the smoke we drove over the passes again to stay with Ang and your three “cuzzies” for a couple of days. You love being around those kids. So much so, that I almost feel bad for not providing you with siblings. AND THEN I REGAIN MY SANITY. You harassed the girls, and tried to sleep in their room. You and Hawkeye had jumping contests and played with cars. You all sprawled on the couch like a pile of puppies. Little Bear, you thrived in the chaos. But you didn’t sleep. At all.
From there, we rented an old farmhouse with Erin, Justin and baby Liam. Your dad was able to join us for the weekend and we relished every moment! The house was on a working farm and you fed the calves, pigs and sheep. Sheer delight. We visited (and were kicked out of) a pumpkin patch. T-bird paid us a surprise visit. The whole weekend was beautiful, relaxing, and full of clean air. Our lungs sung! On the way home we took you mountain biking and you impressed us with your enthusiasm and moxie. Your skills will surpass mine far too fast.
Roper, you are a VERBAL NINJA. You’ve learned that you can stop us in our tracks, make us laugh, and yes, stab us right in our hearts with just your words. The power! You play and experiment with language and rhyme. I have to admit that the writer in me is stoked - even when you’re using your words for evil - because dude, you have mad craft for a little guy.
Some of my favorite quotes from this month:
- After being reprimanded for deliberately and defiantly coughing right in our faces. “My heart grew so big that it blew out of my mouth.” I have to give you points for creativity on that one.
- Out of the blue, while we were at Boo’s house. “Mama, why don’t you trade in your vagina and get a penis so you can be like daddy and me?” So. Many. Reasons.
- Screamed from the back of the car. “I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, and I’m FRAGILE!” Me too. Only now I have a 38-inch-tall tyrant screaming at me from the back seat. NOT HELPING.
- To Erin, when we were staying at the farmhouse: “I’m growing up right now. Like a little flower.” Most kids grow like a weed. You grow like a flower. If you didn’t sweat straight testosterone, I would read more meaning into this.
- Near Stevens Pass, while we let you steer the car by yourself on a back road. “I need some MUSIC!” Because driving a car isn’t enough for you, you need a soundtrack. Incidentally, this activity isn’t recommended for three-year-olds. But it was safer than it sounds. Stop judging. STOP.
- When I tried to get you to eat the gummy bear in your hand so you could continue biking: “You carry your friend in your belly. That’s not very nice – he can’t see in there. I want to carry my friend in my hand so he can see.” I will carry all of your friends in my belly if you don’t watch it.
You will repeat high-fives until you get a satisfactory slap, you love riding your bike after dark with a headlamp, and you dress up as Superman to run errands. You sound like a maniac when you laugh and you’re always up for an adventure – which is good because I’m always planning one.
You were on the cover of the Wenatchee World again. I think it’s safe to say you’re a media whore – I might start renting you out. Little Bear, there is something about you that captures and engages people. I always tell friends you’ll either end up famous or infamous, we’re not sure which. I won’t lie; you are a difficult child to raise. You’re smart, stubborn, destructive, manipulative and FAST. But you make up for all of that in spades with your giant heart, sweet disposition, quirky sense of humor and complete-party-package personality.