|At Tybee Island - May 2016|
|backyard summer fun - June 2016|
|Enjoying his morning smoothie with his friend Mouse! July 2016|
|Oatland Island Wildlife Center - July 2016|
|Shopping! August 2016|
|Oatland Island Wildlife Center - July 2016|
|First day in the 3-year old classroom - a little nervous! - August 1, 2016|
|Morning selfies - August 2016|
|sweet brother snuggles - August 2016|
As with every month and year of Grayson's life, I both rejoice in the progress and will it to slow down! I both miss my baby and cherish my big boy. Time passes by in an instant. I marvel at how little I remember of the minute details of his baby years. After a rough night with Adam, I think back on the many (gosh, there were MANY) rough nights with Grayson and it hardly seems real. Like the blurring, hazy memories of a dream. I'm desperate to slow it all down long enough for me to commit it to memory. But alas, time refuses to submit to my demands! So, I write it here and hope that it helps! :)
Grayson started school in the 3-year old class this month. We were a little sad about this transition because we love the teachers in the 2-year old class. And they love Grayson, too. But as with most milestones in Grayson's life, he handled it like a champ and any worry or anxiety was for naught. Other than a few fussy, tired evenings during the first week, the transition has been seamless!
In many ways, this current stage of life is my favorite thus far. Grayson is smarter than ever and learning new things every day. The things he remembers says amaze and excite me! I love that while watching the scene with the wolves in Beauty and the Beast, Grayson said, "I know about wolves. I saw them at the zoo with Leland and Cody." We continued to have a quick conversation about the wolves and other animals we saw at the zoo that day (about a month or so ago). I love that Grayson knows songs. Like, really knows them. This morning I started singing a song from "Dora the Explorer" (that junk just lives in my head these days!) and Grayson took over and finished the song for me. I love that he can explain things to me. He can tell me that he's crying because he hit his toe on the door or because Daddy picked up a dead bug to throw away (it's not always logical. And it doesn't always happen right away. Sometimes we spend several minutes trying to get him to stop crying long enough to tell us why.). I love that he can actually tell me what he did at school and what his favorite activities are (currently - riding bikes!). I love that he is learning how to recognize emotions and be empathetic (to a degree). He tells me when he thinks Adam is sad. He tells me when one of his friends was sad at school. His teacher told us that he tries to comfort the other kids when they are upset. I love that!
Doing things with Grayson is more fun than ever, too! Simple errands can become a fun adventure. He rarely complains and we can turn mundane tasks into something interesting. On Sunday we went to the jewelry store to have my rings cleaned. While we waited, Grayson and I looked in awe at all the sparkly diamonds, and then searched for Mickey Mouse among the display of bracelet charms. He even helped me shop for clothes, expressing an opinion on what clothes he liked and didn't. When I tried on something he particularly liked, he would say, "Ohhh! Look at Mommy!" like I was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
He also enjoys helping with tasks around the house. He is usually great at cleaning up his messes, and he will let you know if you try to put a toy away in the wrong place. (I wonder who he got that from! Hint - it's not me.) He likes to help me prepare Adam's bottles for the next day by sticking the labels on them, helping me carry empty bottles to the sink, and if I'm feeling brave...helping me pour the milk. He likes helping us cook and even though it may slow down the process, we try to let him help however he can.
In addition to being smart and fun and helpful (oh, and hilarious!), he is also super sweet. He still loves to snuggle. Sometimes it's easy to forget that he's still a little guy because he seems so grown up. But he still needs his moments of cuddling to cool down from time to time.
Speaking of, yes, it's an awesome stage, but it's also tiring and frustrating at times. With all his blossoming language, skills, and independence comes strong opinions, testing boundaries, and asserting himself in ways that are not always welcomed! He not only remembers fun facts and events, but also special treats or changes in routine that were never meant to be regularly repeated. For example, Scott brought him a donut in the car on the way home from school once, and for a week Grayson seemed to think we were just hoarding donuts under the car seats and refusing to share them with him. He would first insist that we did have donuts, even though we told him we didn't. "I think we DO!" Then, when that got him no where, he would cry.
Tasks and errands are more fun, but they also have the potential to be exhausting. While he was really sweet and well-behaved for most of the time at the mall on Sunday, after a while he ended up crawling in and out of the dressing room under the door, running away from us and weaving in and out of clothing displays, and shouting and laughing very loudly. I was trying to try on shoes, Scott was wearing Adam, and suddenly we had to try to chase down our almost 3-yr old who moments before was being a model child. He can flip that switch so easily!
His independence is helpful and exciting, but it also means that he wants to do everything by himself. And if you try to help him when he doesn't want your help? The good Lord be with you because he will scream bloody murder! And if he's REALLY worked up, he might try to hit you or kick you or just jump on you. And if you happen to also be holding Adam? Yeah, it can go downhill fast!
But at the end of the day, he's still the best almost-3-yr-old I know. The age has its challenges, as it does with every child, but for the most part he is handling it all very well. He has big emotions, and I realize it can be tough to learn to regulate them. Even though he tries our patience and drives us nuts sometimes, Scott and I are both so in love with him! We have both ended up in tears recently at the thought of how quickly Grayson is growing up. It's crazy to look back on memories that don't seem that long ago, like our beach vacation last summer, last Halloween, and our trip to Disney last December, and realize how much bigger and more advanced Grayson is now. How has so much changed in such a short amount of time?! How is it that just 8 months ago he was being rocked to sleep before going down in a toddler bed with a pacifier and now he sleeps on his own in a full bed?? How is it that just 7-8 months ago he was still in diapers and now he's potty trained?! Or that just a year ago we were counting the number of words in his sentences and getting excited about 7 or 8, and now he can carry on full conversations with us?
It's all hard to believe, and it's all bitter sweet. But despite the many challenges, the joys outnumber them by far! And I think I'll be okay, until the day he outgrows the snuggling! ;)