Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Griffin 3.5 going on 6

When asked how old he is, Griffin will give you a variety of answers.  The accurate answer is 3 1/2, barely.  He might tell you he's almost 4, which is not the case or he'll give you another random number 5 and up, which also clearly is not accurate.  The highest I've heard him go is 13.  He may also tell you he's almost in Kindergarten.   Which will be true, in a year and a half.
I so love his desire to be more independent, to be old enough, big enough, smart enough to do certain things.  But I don't want my baby to grow up, so I'm going to try to remember what he's like as a 3, oh sorry, 3 1/2 year old.
 
Griffin started preschool this year.  He has Mrs. Lindemann and he loves it.  He loves everything about it.  But most especially, Julia.  He and Julia didn't spend a ton of time together this summer, so when they were reunited in preschool, it was like they had to make up for lost time, and yet they haven't missed a beat.
 
Griffin loves his family.  When he talks about people, he talks most about his family.  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.  They are his people.  It stressed him out when his homework assignment for preschool that was a "get to know you" page asked for a picture of his family, and I told him they really just meant the people he lived with.  He wants everyone to be in our family.  He is so inclusive and inviting.
 
Griff also has a love of nicknames and abbreviations.  He most recently nicknamed the neighbor boys, "the neibs" (pronounced Nabes).  "Mom!  I'm going to go check if the Neibs are outside!"  He likes to shorten almost anything or anyone's name.  And it is most definitely a term of endearment.
 

He's got a lot going on inside that white curly head of his.   He's really into his numbers and letters, and wants to know or guesses what everything starts with.  He also counts everything and can even articulate patterns, "Mom, when I turn 4, Hattie will turn 2.  When I turn 5, Hattie will turn 3...etc."  I've seen him go all the way up to "When I turn 11, Hattie will turn 9."  He loves to ponder "What's faster....a cheetah or an airplane?"  "What's stronger...an alligator or a tree?"  Mom, if dragons aren't real, can they have Jesus in their hearts?"
All of the sudden, out of nowhere, you stopped being a toddler and became a preschooler.  I understand that your timing was perfect in this transition, but I wasn't ready for it.  We frequently joke that you are not allowed to get big and that you must stay my baby forever.  Even though you desire so much to get big, have more responsibilities and do more things, I think you secretly love that you'll be my baby forever.

You went to a neighbor's birthday party this weekend.  I let you pick one treat from your party favor bag.  You beat Hattie and me home and when I walked in you were chewing on something.  I asked Dadda what you were eating and he said, "nothing."  I said, "Griffin, what are you chewing on?"  You gave me the sneakiest little look and said, "It's just chocolate crumbs."  As if those didn't count as anything!?  You are hilarious.


Your sense of humor cracks me up.  I can hardly remember any of the things you say, but you are funny.  Really, really, funny.  Perfect timing, perfect delivery, perfect wittiness, funny.  I can't wait to take you out to dinner when you turn 16.  Oh yes I can, remember, you are supposed to be my baby forever?

In the midst of the rough and tumble, competitive, racing, sport playing, tackling, ball hucking, Viking cheering boy you are, you have the sweetest heart.  The way you look at me, at your dad, at your sister and brother....it gives me lumpers.  From the moment Hattie was born, you have been her biggest protector and instant friend.  I don't know why or how I forgot all that, but I got to see it again when Archie came into our lives.  Your love for your family is so powerful and sincere I can barely talk about it (thankfully I can type it).
You always want a chance to hold Archie, even for a moment.  You come racing out of your bed if you forgot to say goodnight to him.
You already give him thoughts and feelings about how much he loves you and you frequently tell me what he wants and you're usually right.
 Don't get me wrong, you have your difficult moments.  Usually when you're tired or hungry.  But even in the midst of a breakdown, you're easy to reach.  You're a softy.  If I can get in a hug, you're back.  You respond so well to my empathy and you are so reasonable for a 3 (and a half) year old.  The other day Cooper ate your special shark cookie, and all I had to say in the throws of a hug was, "I'm so sorry that Cooper did that, it makes me sad too that he ate your cookie."  And you were fine.
My words will never do justice to the specific joy you bring to our lives.  I feel so privileged to know you and get to be your mom.  With each milestone you've hit, your personality and being flourish even more and I am so proud of you.  If you have to grow up and get big, just promise me you'll always stay my baby.

While I was putting you to bed the other night, we were all done with stories, songs, prayers, etc.  We were just lying there, and I thought you might be sleeping.  Just before I was going to make my move for the door you said,

"Mom, I really like...." 

"What honey, what do you really like?" 

"You." 

The moment my heart exploded.  Griffin, I really like you too.

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