Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dear Noah 4years 2mos

Dear No-no (my name is really Noah, just Del calls me that),
You're more and more complicated - a sweet sweet thoughtful, inquisitive, inventive growing boy but also a stubborn, contrary, persistent growing boy!
Yesterday you enthusiastically cleared toys off of the floor in the living room, putting each back where it belonged. An hour before you sprayed water in the house with the hose (that you were not supposed to be using) and refused to come in the house to wipe up the water because you were "too busy right now". Sometimes after refusing to clean up a given mess you say with apparent shock at your own brilliance: "I have an idea! You can help me!!" See, brilliant!! (Really trying to resist using sarcasm - it's hard - but really really important given your concrete age appropriate thinking).


You have started saying: "Sorry, I'll never do that again, I'm sorry that I did that." It's hard to know how to respond to this! We have not encouraged you to say "sorry" - instead we often ask you how you can help "solve the problem". I'm okay with apologies as long as they aren't empty and following an apology with "I'll never do that again"... sounds like an empty promise but I resist saying: "of course you'll do that again!" But maybe you are genuine and I should have more faith. Often the behavior you're apologizing for isn't repeated, now that I think about it.

When you're not involved in a behavior that is followed by an apology and a promise you are asking "how come....?" I think this is your version of "why?" and, as noted maybe a year ago, we felt like this phase was a long time coming. You've always always been inquisitive but usually figure things out yourself. Two days after you got your bike for your 4th birthday you explained to me that when you squeeze the thing near the bike handle it uses that wire to squeeze those things - see them there? - on both sides of the tire to make it stop moving.


And now that inquisitive mind is asking, asking, asking. How come there are no knights in this country? How come the sidewalk hard for big people but it is for kids (upon further questioning I discovered that you reasoned this because kids fall and have booboos on their bodies from the sidewalk but big people don't - clearly the sidewalk is not quite so hard for big people)? How come the wind stays still? How come? Did you hear me? I said: how come?


This month you've been exposed to some not so stellar experiences but you're taking it all in stride, as is your typical response - with a couple extra "how come?"s thrown in for good measure. You spotted our neighbor smoking. I don't think you've ever seen anyone smoking before. How come? The neighbor explained that it was a very bad habit that was unhealthy. How come? I explained that sometimes people don't make healthy choices for their own body and right now that's what the neighbor was doing. How come? Sometimes you make unhealthy choices with your body - like when you hit your sister, is that a healthy choice? No... how come though -why is she doing that? Let's go inside.
You also have had no less than 3 bloody noses. How come? (You didn't ask, but I'm asking!) I have no idea. They have been minor, I think. Funny that they are coming at this humid humid time. Someone suggested that it might be because there's been such a drastic change in the heat/humidity lately?
We have new neighbors (different from the smoking neighbor) who have four kids with the youngest being Del's age and the oldest being 11. They want to play with you all.the.time. This is fun... except there is a fair amount of yelling and perhaps physical aggression towards the kids that we hear from our house.... how come he's crying?... another tricky one to answer.
One of these children ran over to our car as you and Del were buckled in thrilled that you were home. I explained that we were going to a friend's house. He asked if we were going to McDonald's. I said no but he insisted on telling you enthusiastically that that was where we were going promising a happy meal as well. I gently explained that you didn't know what McDonald's was (and therefore wouldn't provide the response he was hoping for) while you insisted we were in fact going to "Iris's House".


So, my confident, inquisitive, observant, stubborn son... those questions are keeping us on our toes and your stubborness/confidence may frustrate your momma but it also makes me confident that you will be just fine when discovering the world outside of our family norm. It's nice to have faith in you. Thank you for that.
I love you Mr. Man,

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