March 2, 2014

Dear Danilo,

3 and 1/2 Minutes with Danny:

Dear Danilo,

You are 4 years and 9 months old. Last May you were 3'1.5'' tall and 30 lbs.  Last Fall you were 3'4'' tall (the pic below must be a little off from 'cuz I got those measurements from the pediatrician) and 32 pounds, which means you grew almost 3 inches and gained 2 pounds in the last 6 months.  It also means you are skinny as a bean pole, but what's new? You've been that way since you were born. You have light skin and wavy, thick, coarse Latino hair... though it's nowhere near as curly as Papa's.

Here are some of my favorite conversations with you in the last year:

5/9  "What you're funny about Mom??" You say this whenever I laugh at something on my phone or the computer.

"Where it is?" In May, you asked this approximately 2 billion times.

You - "Let's have mac 'n cheese."
Me - "no, we're having hamburgers."
You - "Why?" .
Me - "Because that's what we're having."
You - "But why, Mom?"
Me - "Because... Danny, I think I've had enough questions for today."
You - "No, you haven't."  ....Oh, Lord, have mercy.

In June, you started to recognize ”your letter” (D) and you point it out whenever you see it. Now you can spell and write your name. You can count to 20 except you often forget 12 and 15 and you know 5 letters of the alphabet (A, B sometimes, D, G, N, Y and usually Z).

6/25 ” Danny what do you want to be when you grow up?”
And with not a bit of hesitation, you said, ”Superman.”

You call fig nutons, ”my favorites.” "Mom, may I please have some of my favorites?"  ..and yes, I think of Smeagle every time you say it.

7/10 ”Mom, you could feed Gianni a lot A Lot A LOT so he could grow up right now and then we could go outside and I could drive my truck and he could ride with me in my truck? We could do that Mom? That's a good idea.”

7/15 You handed me the instructions to the fort-building kit and said,  ”those are the strushkins.”

Yes. You were fishing in snow boots. Hey, your feet stayed dry.

7/30 You chose the grocery store to voice your observation of difference of race. RIGHT as 3 or 4 black people walked by, you asked me ”why those black people have green on?” Um, way to make that observation buddy. I about had a coronary right there in the frozen foods aisle, but we managed to recover well. After that you told me how it's dangerous because they were so sunburned. ”Well, yes buddy, but sometimes God makes people with very dark skin. Isn't it beautiful?” ”No.” ”Oh, well I think so.” ...and then I crawled into a hole in the floor. Glad that little growth milestone is past. Sheesh.

Then on another aisle, you asked me something that I failed to hear. ”What, honey?”
You said, ”Oh never mind.”
”What's with saying never mind all the time, Danny?”
"It sounds cool, Mom.” you said. Oh no. Are we there already? Are we already at cool? Sigh...

7/31 First thing in the morning:
”Papa, Mama's not being nice to me.”
”Danny, Mama's not being mean. It's just that I get cranky when you try to drill my forehead while I'm sleeping!”
And Papa cracked up.

8/5 Sitting outside eating lunch, you said: ”God, we don't need the weeds.  Hey God, it's us! Right here. The ones here. In the Colorado Springs house. We don't like the weeds, so just don't send them, okay? Okay.” ...uh, I think I know why we have weeds.

These two pictures were taken that same day:

I think you were feeling extra audacious that day.

8/8 Oh my son of a handyman: You were writing on walls to mark where to paint, hammering the nice wood furniture and chiseling out the grout between the tiles around our fireplace. Heaven help me.

8/8 You asked me for the "food card."  You know... the card I give the lady whenever we buy food at the grocery store or at Chik-fil-A.  Makes sense to me!

8/30 We picked up crutches for me, in preparation for a minor surgery on my foot, only you pronounced them SKILLS. You said,  ”You could put them under your arms and move all around with your skills!”

That day while running errands, I said to you in the car, ”You're awfully quiet back there.”
”I'm just looking at the struckshin site," you said.

In September, you made this drawing of a person:

9/4 You came up with a solution to changing clothes for bed or getting dressed in the morning, which you don't like to do.  You'd rather just live in pajamas 24/7. Referring to sweat pants, you said, "These clothes can change into anything. They can change from pajamas to clothes and from clothes to pajamas."

9/10 "Snovered" was your word for, "snow covered."

That day, in your room, you were playing with your stuffed animals in your tent and I discovered that if you have a wolf that is a hand puppet, you can put food inside it and then it can go outside the tent to poop. Fabulous.

9/13 You said, "Did I do that? I guess Gianni did it."

9/15 We actually had this conversation:
You: "Mom, I'm tiiiiiired." (Do you hear the whine?) "I want dinner right nooooooow."
Me:  "Danny, I'm tiiiiiiiiiired.  I wanna sit on the couch and just read right now."
{silent pause}
Me: "Can I do that?"
You: "No."
Me: "Ok, I'll keep making your dinner."
You: "Ok, I'll just play with my trucks and the beans. I'll be fine."
Me: "Thanks, Danny."

You adore being a big brother.  Goodness gracious you adore Gianni. 

9/23 You asked me why we put our rings on the small dish in the kitchen. I explained that it's so we don't lose them.  You said that when you get big, you're gonna go to the store and get a ring too. I told you that when you get big, you'll get married and a girl will give you a ring, and that Mama and Papa got our rings for each other.  Eight hours later, at bedtime, he asked me if God got married. I said not yet, but He wants to marry all of US.  He thought that was HILARIOUS!

You used to wake us up like this every. single. morning.  You'd cuddle first and it would inevitably turn into WWF style wrestling.  Man, I miss that.  You seem to have outgrown it now... but I'm hoping you decide to cuddle with us again when Gianni gets big enough to come crawling into our bed in the mornings.

In October, Tita came to visit for 3 weeks from Costa Rica.  You LOVE being with her, but you had a hard time feeling left out of Spanish conversations.  You pick up quite a bit, but you just aren't speaking any Spanish. But that's my fault, kiddo. My fault entirely. I was proud when you could recognize some frustration at being left out and expressed anger to me in a productive way.

A few weeks later we discovered that the teachers aid at your school speaks Spanish and she started speaking to you and encouraging you to learn some Spanosh words. Now you talk about how to say things in Spanish! You call her your teacher who teaches you Spanish.

10/30 You've officially got your first crush.

Nope. Not Grammy.

Nope. Not Tita. 

Gracious how it breaks my heart in half! Her name is Sianna. She's got fluffy blonde pig tails & she's pretty much the cutest firecracker on planet Earth. She's in your preschool class and you want her attention whenever she's around. Today you arrived at preschool, dressed as Spiderman for the preschool costume parade. As we got out of the car, gathering this and that in the parking lot, you said, ”Mom. Sianna is gonna see me soooooo SERIOUS in my Spiderman.” Just before dying a thousand deaths inside, I said, ”Buddy, I bet she'd be more impressed if you are just mind to her.” ...pause... And then something to the effect of, ”Mom I'm always kind to her. But she will see my Spiderman today!”

A week or so ago you said she was your girlfriend. I'm not sure if you were saying "girl friend," or if you were just repeating something you've heard me say to women as I invite then to bring along their girlfriends to a facial. But either way my heart skipped a beat and I about had an aneurism. Let's hold off on girlfriends ok?  At least until you're 21. Or 49.

On Halloween night, you said, ”I'm hungry for dinner. Or candy.”

11/1 This month you surprised me and showed me that you have mastered scissors. You cut out a card-stock Christmas tree all on your own, following the lines... not an easy feat!

11/23 ”Buddy, you don't have socks on today.”
”Nope. Because I like these [shoes] with naked feet!”

You wrote your name and drew this picture, for your Grandpa Warren's birthday.  I helped show you how to do the letters, but you did them all by yourself:  

You love to drink coffee - real coffee - and you can thank your Papa for that. You recognize the Starbucks logo - you can thank me for that.

Instead of behind, you say a-hine. 
Instead of backpack, you say pack-pack. 
Instead of computer, you say per-cuter. 
Instead of forwards you say forth-ards. 

11/29 I said to you,  "Buddy, quit squishing your brother!! He's still smaller than you. ...not for long. But he still is for now. So get off of his head!!" The two of you are already starting to wrestle.  You ADORE him.  You are pretty good at watching out for him, except when it's YOU he needs to be protected from.  In which case I say the words "Be gentle!" or "Get off of him!!" approximately 13 million times a day. But I'm probably being over-protective. I think you could sit on him and it wouldn't matter. You're 4 years older than him, but you're only 14 more pounds than he is.

Several weeks ago you earned your very first allowance. You did all of your jobs on your to-do chart and you earned 10 quarters. We gave you 3 jars. One for spending. One for saving. One for giving. You have to put at least 1 quarter in each jar, but beyond that, it's entirely up to you. You are excited to have money that you are completely in charge of and money of your own to take to the store and spend. Last week we took your give jar to the store and you picked out a painting book for a little girl who just found out she has type 1 diabetes. I'm pretty excited to see where this goes, kiddo. And proud that the give jar is the first jar you dug into to and put to use.

Sweet boy, my most favorite thing about this stage that you are in is that I have become your first love. It won't last forever, but for right now, I am your favorite girl.  You love to cook with me, sit with me, play with me and just hang out with me. It's not uncommon for you to look over and say, "Hey mama. I love you." And then I melt into a puddle on the floor. You are truly helpful these days.  You take your dishes to the sink, sweep the floors, wipe down the table, get yourself dressed, hang up your clothes, and you clean things like nobody's business.  You are a master negotiator but you are also polite, smart, resourceful and funny. I adore you, little man.