Charlie, Evie and Ford

Charlie, Evie and Ford

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Charlie: 3 Years Old!

I cannot believe that my baby boy is three.  He is growing up way too fast and seems SO much older all of a sudden.  He has turned into a wonderful little conversationalist and has the funniest sense of humor.  So far, three has been pretty great for Charlie.  He still has tantrums every once in a while, but for the most part, they have disappeared.  Although he sometimes has a hard time listening and following directions, he really does want to be good and hates to disappoint me or Clint.  Even if he doesn't want to do something, he really responds to logic and as long as I explain the reason he needs to do something, he will almost always comply.  Charlie is a great little companion and we spend so much time just visiting about our world.  We are in the middle of the "why" phase right now, and this is definitely testing my knowledge.  Charlie and I google things constantly and I have learned more about trucks and dinosaurs than I ever thought possible.  He is wearing big boy underwear now, is helping out around the house, and--what Charlie is most thrilled about--can pump his own legs on a swing.  In general, Charlie is just much more independent and easy.  He sleeps in a big boy bed with no rails, he doesn't need a booster seat, he drinks out of a real cup and uses real utensils.  He is much more resourceful these days and has even figured out how to fix his own train tracks, find his own lost toys and books, etc.  I love this independence, and Charlie is so proud when he figures something out all on his own.

We have been working on manners, and Charlie is doing really well (for the most part--when he is showing off or over-tired, his manners turn absolutely terrible :).  He says "please" and "thank you" very consistently now (as does Evie, but her please is more of a loud, shrieking "PEAS!" when she wants something I don't want her to have :), and says "may I be excused?" when he finishes a meal, carries his own plate over the sink (a mixed blessing at times, but I'll take it).  The thing I am most happy about is that he often seems very genuinely grateful for things, even the small things.  Every once in a while, he will just be so thankful about something, and I will get a very enthusiastic "THANK YOU MOMMY!"  My favorite moment of gratitude recently was when he was eating chips and nachos from Mi Cocina and turned to me and said, "THANK YOU Mommy for this wonderful dinner!"  He instructs Evie on manners as well.  One day, they were conspiring to get goldfish out of me, and I heard Charlie tell E, "if we want goldfish, Evie, we just have to say 'please!'"

Charlie still loves reading as much as ever, and stays up late at night "reading" in his room. Clint and I always laugh when we see him on the monitor at 9:00 at night, kicked back in bed, with a big book propped up in front of him.  We read lots of Richard Scarry, Peter Rabbit, dinosaurs, Thomas, and Curious George.

We have been loving swimming this summer, and thanks to all the lessons we've been doing, Charlie is doing really well with his swimming.  He loves to run and jump in the pool, he has a very dramatic dive, he loves the diving board, and he is very proud of the fact that he can now swim with his face underwater.  He has absolutely no fear in the water, which is nice for him, but terrifying for me.  We have had some very stern talks recently about telling me when you are swimming to me!  In general, Charlie is very daring and loves any physical challenge or adventure.  This has resulted in more than its fair share of bumps and bruises. :)

One of Charlie's most defining features is his social-ness (is that a word?).  He loves big gatherings of people--whether it's a birthday party, a family gathering, or just a big, random gathering of kids at the park.  Charlie makes friends wherever we go and will strike up a conversation with anyone.  I always hear him walking up to people and asking "what's your name?" or (if appropriate) "why doesn't your truck have a trailer hitch on it??"  He is very interested in his friends and family and we spend lots of time talking about them, what they're doing, what they're saying (a favorite topic of speculation), where they live, and who lives with them.  There is no shyness to him.  Unlike Evie, who takes a while to warm up in big crowds, Charlie charges in without looking back and we usually have to drag him out at the end.

Charlie loves pretending right now, and he is almost always in the middle of some adventure.  Sticks are always turned into guns, his scooter and trike are usually police cars, fire engines, or trains, and our walks always turn into bear hunts.  I have been attacked by a "big bad T Rex" more times than I can count, and then five minutes later, presented with a handful of baby lions (just don't stop pretending to hold them--Charlie will yell that you are dropping the lion cubs on the floor if you open your hands before you've passed the lions on).

It's impossible to talk about one of our kids without talking about the other.  Charlie and Evie spend all of their time together, and although they do fight from time to time, they are so sweet to each other and have so much fun together.  Evie absolutely worships Charlie, and he is really surprisingly sweet with her.  I love to see them spontaneous hug or hold hands--there is just nothing sweeter.  Their favorite thing right now is pretend, and Evie tries her best to play along, even though you can tell that half the time, she has no idea what she's doing.  But it is so cute to see her pretending to eat food, running around the house and pretending she's in a train with Charlie, hiding in a hideout and whispering with him, etc.  They love to run into Charlie's room, dive into his stuffed animal pit, and then hole up in his Thomas tent and hide from me.  I love hearing their little giggles when I am looking for them.  Charlie does get frustrated with her baby ways, though.  They were playing airplanes the other day and Charlie (of course) got the airplane and Evie got the baggage cart.  Charlie watched, exasperated, while Evie "flew" the baggage cart around the playroom.  Finally, he turned to me and said, "Mommy, please tell Evie that baggage carts don't fly."  He likes having a sister, but has been talking more and more lately about wanting a brother.  Today, he said enthusiastically, "When Evie gets older, she will become a brother, right?"  Evie has been talking more and more and Charlie thinks that her words for things are endlessly funny.  At first, he was very curious why she said "tank u" instead of "thank you," "mak" instead of "milk," etc., but now that he's figured out, his favorite game is to tell us things that he said when he was a baby (all inaccurate).  A sampling from our ride home from church: "When I was a baby, I called propellers 'houses.'" "When I was a baby, I called trees 'bees.'" "When I was a baby, I called Evie 'Jeebie.'" "When I was a baby, I called dishwashers 'pishwashers.'"  Never gets old, does it?

Charlie has been really protective of Evie (aside from those times when he is trying to pummel her) lately and it is so sweet to see.  He becomes a worried old man with her--when she walks to close to the street, he runs over and worriedly shepherds her to the curb; when she climbs on the table or the countertop or some other precarious position, he yells for me to come help her down; when she is crying, he runs over to kiss her, take her a paci, or whisper sweetly to her until she feels better; and when another kid takes her toy, he will take off after him. :)  Evie was having a tantrum the other day and I found Charlie lying on the floor next to her, stroking her back, and whispering, "it's ok, sweetie, don't cry...shhhhh..."  I love seeing him being this sweet about her--it helps to makes up for the times when he just turns around and hits her for no reason at all (and may explain the worshipful way she looks at him :)!
Favorite foods: PB and J, macaroni and cheese (don't call it "mac" and cheese, for whatever reason), green grapes, pretzels

Favorite colors: purple (he will never tell you this is his favorite color, but he loves it--he always gravitates toward purple things :), brown (this is what he says his favorite color is, and he really does love brown too), green, red, and camo (is that a color?)

Favorite vehicle: Ranger

Dream job: Fireman

Favorite stuffed animal: John Henry, his stuffed puppy

Favorite pastimes: reading, swimming, playing in his fort, playing at the park (much to his consternation, there is less of that during hot Dallas summers), swinging (on his swing or his glider), playing in the sandbox, playing chase (or any game involving an element of surprise or fear :), playing tickle monster, playing basketball, baseball, football, or soccer, playing with his train table, pretending with his trucks or animals 

Favorite ride-on toys: scooter and tricycle--he is a maniac on these!

Favorite concept: Still "big-ness."  Ever since he could first talk, Charlie has been obsessed with things that are "big" (e.g., "big truck," "big bop," "big cheese," etc.).  For some reason, "big" has always been synonymous with "good" in Charlie's world and that still hasn't changed.  He is a very "big boy," and is very interested in the rate at which he is getting bigger.  He still always wants the biggest, fastest toy, and is very impressed with anything that is big, fast, or, ideally, both. :)

Favorite TV show: Thomas the Train (but favorite train?  Gordon, the biggest and fastest engine, of course. :)

Favorite animal: Lion (particularly, the daddy lion)

Favorite dinosaur: T Rex

I see the face below all the time--this is Charlie's quintessential "explaining things" face.  I'm sure he was telling me why he needed to be done taking pictures because he had to go run and jump. :)
Our wild and crazy 3-year-old!

As wild and crazy as he is, one of my favorite things about Charlie is his sweet, sensitive side.  He can always tell when something's wrong and is the best little friend and comforter at those times.  I get many spontaneous hugs and "I love you so much!" every day, and that just makes life so much sweeter.  The other day, I was feeling so tired in the afternoon and decided to rest on the couch for a few minutes while Charlie and Evie played with their trains.  I had closed my eyes for about 2 seconds when I saw two little blonde heads climbing up next to me.  I couldn't help but laugh when Charlie exclaimed, "here come two little kids who are missing you!"  I love going in to his room to get him up in the morning.  He always pops up and exclaims, "How was your night, Mommy?"  But my favorite is when he rides his scooter far in front of me down the sidewalk when we are taking a walk.  He always screeches to a stop at the end of the sidewalk, lays the scooter down, and turns around and runs back toward me, arms outstretched, with a big smile on his face.  That bear hug and "I love you!" is just the best ever.  

Current Stats:

Weight: 33 pounds, 3 ounces
Height: 3 feet, 2.25 inches

Charlie, we love you more than we ever thought possible.  You are the best BIG boy in the world!

1 comment:

  1. That is one VERY sweet and precious "big" guy! He (and his Evie) are quite the dynamic duo!