September 3, 2012

Dear Danilo,

You turned 3 years old two months ago, and when Papa took you to the grocery store to pick out a cake for you and him to eat, you picked pink.  That's right.  Pink cake and pink icing.  You crack me up, kid!  And anyone who is as boy as you are can afford to pick whatever color cake you want.  Boy oh boy, are you into your trucks, trains, and airplanes.  Lately, you talk most about cement trucks, steam rollers, "diggers," backhoes, tractors, cranes and anything else found on a construction site.  You regularly ask me to pull over by the construction sites on the way home from the gym to watch for 15-20 minutes.  And when it's time to leave, you cheerfully holler, "Goodbye truck!!  Thank you!!"  It's seriously the cutest thing ever.

You are WAY into band-aids and tonight you had one on your "belbow" (elbow).  You like to nurse any injury you can as long as it brings you attention, a bear hug from mama, and doesn't actually hold you back from playing.  I'm going to be sad when you start saying "elbow" instead of "belbow" and "excuse me" instead of "mooks me."  It's so darn cute it's very hard to teach you not to interrupt us when saying it!  You have lately begun to let us know when you think our tone is out of line, or we're being too harsh with the dog.  Sometimes you are right - which is the mostly humbling thing a parent can experience, let me just tell you - and sometimes we have to have a discussion about being bossy and who's the mama or papa.

You LOVE books and are more and more into them now that you are following story-lines more in depth.  Your preferred language is definitely English, but you catch a lot more in Spanish than we seem to give you credit for, and last month when Tita was here for 3 1/2 weeks, you two had no trouble communicating with each other.

You ask "why," and tell long, detailed stories, recounting events in the correct order with (usually) the correct details.  You are particularly good at telling how loud the trains in New Mexico were and how you hold your hands in a diving position to swim.  Speaking of swimming lessons, you can float on your back in the water for a full five seconds unaided, though not comfortable or relaxed.  You are able to blow bubbles with your face and ears submerged and you are comfortable with a swim cap and goggles and kick-kick-kicking across the pool.

In or out of the water, you are fantastic at make-believe.  Today you were so convincing when you told me to hand you the water hose from your bedroom wall that I reached right up and grabbed it.  And then I got into the "boat" that you ordered me into and started "moving the water" (rowing) just like the captain directed!

You like music and you love to sing at the top of your lungs.  You can sing the words (some of them) to the Bob the Builder theme song.

You are pretty good at cleaning up, as long as I fire directions at you fast enough so you don't have time to get distracted and lay on the praise thick between each direction.  Oh, except that you insist on cupping your hand like a back hoe in order to pick up every. single. toy.  So, it sometimes takes a leeetle longer.  And sometimes I have to threaten to put the "digger" on time out.  So then you make believe unattatch the digger from the crane and change your method of picking up toys, thankfully.

The bedtime routine has settled down again (phew!) and is usually pretty smooth.  You love it when we gently touch your back with our fingertips just before falling asleep.  You also ask for this when you wake up early and crawl into our bed until we're ready to get up.  It cracks me up, because you wake up and fall asleep just. like. me.  It's sort of ridiculous, but at least we understand each other and you are gentle with me in the morning.  With Papa?  You are not gentle.  Which is hilarious to me.  Not so much to him.

Tomorrow is pre-school orientation and Thursday is your first full day of pre-school.  I'm a little baffled at how we got here already.  Because yesterday you were barely crawling.  You're ready for it, though.  I'm excited to see how you will grow and learn through this new experience and the friends you will make.  You often ask to go to Jazzercise to play with friends, or to church to run around the sanctuary at top speed chasing Wilson and Lillian before and after church. So I'm certain pre-school will be a big hit.  You are starting in the class just younger than you - that's the only opening right now - and so everyone should be just about your size, since you are a head smaller than most kids your age.  Not that you let that phase you one tiny iota.  But I think this will be a good place to start.

You still crawl up into my arms when you are tired or sad.  You wrap your arms around my neck and rest your head on my shoulder.  This morning during a sleepy bout of Bob-The-Builder cartoons, you hugged my arm and said, "I love-a-you too, Mama!"  And then I fell to pieces on the floor.

I love you, Bubba.  Oh, how I love you, too.