I'm watching it go. And I'm noticing so many recent changes, and trying to pretend they don't all add up. I'm finding myself ignoring the otherwise-exciting fact that you pronounced an "r" the other day. And (*gulp*) the fact that you'll start preschool this fall. Above all, I'm not-not-not-not-NOT thinking about the fact that you'll turn four in just four more months. Four!!! I mean, four is not a "toddler" anymore. Not even if I pretend it is (like I've been doing with three). Four is unequivocally a "little kid." Four means that alllllllllll those baby days - lovely and hard, blissful and exhausting, and everything in between - every last one of them will be over. Just like that. Those very same baby days that seemed so sure in the beginning to last forever will be gone forever instead.
And so even as I'm trying not to think about it, I am. I know it's coming and I know what's ending. And briefly, before the baby/toddler "you" goes, I want to document just a little more of the best of what I've been so blessed to have as mine. So that someday, when I'm missing my baby, I can pull this out and make the memory of you as vivid as it can be.
- Everything yellow. Yellow KEENS, yellow bumblebee backpack, yellow candy. I like to think it's because it's the color of Mommy's hair, which you love to run your fingers through and you used to love to wrap around your thumb and suck. But it's more likely because it's the color of "beedoo," your baby blankie.
- "Beedoo hugs." When you put Beedoo on my shoulder and then snuggle up, sucking your thumb.
- The epic searches for Beedoo. The crushing panic of the times I thought he was lost forever, and the immense relief when we find him. The fact that these searches have made a big impression on you - years after one epic search in Harvard Square (9 months pregnant with your sister), you'll still comment randomly that "Mommy tried SO HARD to find Beedoo."
- The time in the car when you said that "Baby Kwehr's favorite color is pink." I said "And what's your favorite color?" You said "Yellow ["weh-woh"]. And what's your favorite color Mommy?" "Purple." "No, Mommy, you like blue and purple!" "How did you know that?" "Because I love you."
- When you didn't want Daddy to go to work, and I explained that he had to make money. You ran and got your piggy bank and gave all your money to Daddy, hoping he wouldn't have to work.
- Later, you inexplicably gave it all to your baby sister. She still has it. You have a few toys that you never share (ever), but you often blow me away by sharing candy, ice cream, and lots of other things with her.
- My ferocious little man, the protective "big" brother. When we brought scooters to the park and your sister (18 months) was being crowded by older girls who liked her scooter, she started to cry. I then heard a roar (seriously, a roar) from the top of the playground and you came flying down the slide shouting "NOOOOO! NO DAT IS KWEHR'S, GET AWAY!" Boy were you ready to fight for her!
- Every other amazingly sweet thing you've done as a big brother, including reaching your arms up to "take" Claire from me when I drop you off at the gym childcare and everything in my older post "Sibling Revelry." Insisting on sharing a room with her during our current visit to Nonna and Papa's house.
- The time in Madison that you had a blast helping Papa clean the porch with water pressure. After, when he fell asleep on a lounging chair in the porch, we watched you trying so hard to also get comfortable and fall asleep in a chair - only problem was, yours was a small, hard, plastic one!
- "Listen Claire, we love you but you can't do bad things to people."
- The one and only time I caught you singing - it was "The Frozen Heart," aka "Ice Worker's Song," the manly intro song to "Frozen."
On a more humorous note...
- As I approached a red light: "Mommy tries SO HARD to go fast!"
- Saying that Daddy helped you build your big boy bed.
- When you first started talking, you would "seal your deal" by saying "Okay? Good." after everything. ("I'm going to have a lollipop. Okay? Good.").
- Every night at dinner we have you say grace and you say the same thing: "Dear Jesus, thank you for this wonderful day. Thank you for Mommy, and Daddy, and Baby 'Kwehr.' Thank you for [insert random things within eyesight]. Please help me to be a good boy. Please help me to not come out of my room again or mommy will take away my diesel engine. A-men."
- "Listen Mommy, you have THREE MORE MINUTES in the grocery store!"
- Interrupting your dad, who was telling you to go back to bed, by waving your hand and saying "Listen, a porcupine turned the light on."
- The time you thanked your father for coming to "your" house.
- "Mommy, I'm sorry I was grouchy like you."
The journey we've been blessed to be able to take with "baby Matthew" ...
|In the womb at 40+ weeks, 9 lbs 10 oz.|
|Most magical day of our lives.|
|8 months. Note that your head in these pics is practically as big as mine.|
|Just turning 1 year old.|
If we pretended we were asleep, you would crawl up on us and kiss us to wake us up.
|1 year 4 months.|
|1 year 8 months.|
|1 year 11 months.|
|1 year 11 months.|
|Just turned 2 years old.|
|Just turned 2.|
|2 years old.|
|2.5 years old.|
|3 years old.|
|3 years old.|
|3 years old.|
|3.5 years old.|
|This week, 3 years 8 months.|
See what I mean? Hello, "Little Kid Matthew" - I'm excited to get to know you.