Tag Archives: 3 years

Kids and bribes

Curly told us recently that he wants his next birthday party to be at a farm. His next birthday, when he turns 4. FOUR. We’re happy to do a farm birthday party for him and we have a regional park close by where kids can get up close and personal with some animals, so that should work out (as long as the weather cooperates, which for the first day of May, you never know…)

Still, it is amazing how much of a kid he is these days. A kid who picks out his own clothes and gets them on all by himself, although sometimes he says “I did it!” and we have to not laugh at the fact that his pants are on backwards. A kid who turns lights on and off, hangs his coat on a door knob or holds it until we’re ready to hang it up for him, cleans up his toys and makes sure everything is in its right place, cuts up his own food, can handle most trips to the bathroom (at home) by himself, reads along with books and sings along with songs, talks incessantly from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to sleep, says “I want to give you a kiss” or “I love you” or, unfortunately, “I don’t like you” or “Don’t come in here,” who asks how our days at work went, tells us what he did at school, makes plans for the future, asks what time it is or what the weather is like, wants to take a dance class, sets up indoor picnics with his stuffed animals, etc, etc. A kid, and a really awesome one at that.

Now for the other part…Nutella and I are going on a week-long cruise in 8 days. Without him. Kind of a second honeymoon to go with our recent legal marriage. We’ve been planning the trip for 8 months. Nutella’s parents will be watching Curly at their house half the time, and a wonderful family friend and her boyfriend will be staying at our house and bringing him to school for the other half. About 2 weeks ago, we told him we were going on a “work trip.” This was very necessary not only to prepare him for our absence, but because if we dared to tell him we were going on a vacation without him, and a cruise at that (since he’s already been on 2), we would never live it down. So work trip it is, and he is perfectly fine with that news. Well, for the most part. A couple of times within these past 2 weeks it would hit him and he would start crying about the fact that we’re leaving. Which led us to promising to bring back presents for him, and that helps a lot lol. There is an episode of Danie.l Tiger that talks about parents leaving for date nights or work trips or whatever, and the main message is “Grown-ups come back.” So we’ve been stressing that to him and the fact that it’s only one week and he gets to have fun with grandma and grandpa, too. And, let’s face it, part of it is to assuage our own guilt. But we are SO looking forward to this trip, and new adventures, and freedom and all the time we can just spend together in paradise. So yes, grown-ups come back…feeling super refreshed and with armfuls of presents ๐Ÿ™‚

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Warning: Lots of talk about the subject of death, some of it specifically relating to Caemon, ahead.

Ever since we explained Caemon’s death to Curly, he has been quietly ruminating on it and conversations concerning death have popped up in very unexpected ways.

Last weekend, we were watching the movie Pocahontas, and at the end when John Smith is shot and has to sail back to England, Curly began crying. I said, “I know this is sad and hard to watch, but he’s going to be ok. But I’m sad for him, too.” Curly replied through the tears, “I’m not sad about that. I’m sad because Caemon died.” My heart broke again upon hearing him say that and we held each other and cried together.

One morning when I was bringing him to school, he commented on how one of his friend’s parents drove a minivan. I told him that parents with more than one kid usually drive bigger cars. He went on saying “maybe you’ll have another boy”ย  to which I replied, “Nope…just you. You’re the only kid we want.” Then he said, “Maybe you’ll have another boy when I pass out.” It made me laugh for a second until I realized he didn’t mean pass out, he meant pass away. I asked him if that’s what he meant and he said yes. I told him he was going to live a long time and he did not need to worry about that. That he’s the only kid we’ll ever need.

He’s been trying to understand how sick someone must be, especially a child, in order to die. We’ve been stressing how rare that is and do our best to reassure him. He hasn’t so much asked what happens after you die, although we’ve told him that the body stops working and different people believe different things about heaven, etc…although it got so confusing so quickly that he moved on to another subject.

It is interesting how pre-schoolers process things. In this case, interesting and also very sad.

Magical Place

We are back from our trip to FL. On the way down, we split the 13 hour drive into a 5 hour drive and an overnight stay with Nutella’s sister the first day, and an 8 hour drive the next day. That was perfectly fine. For the 8 hour drive, Curly watched 3 movies total, had lunch when we stopped, and slept for an hour (he doesn’t really sleep in the car which can be very difficult…). But now I feel like, 8 hour drive? Pshaw, no problem! But the 13-hour straight-shot drive back home was um, not so good. Curly was ok, it was just really, really long. We did the bulk of it after it got dark out (arrived home at 3am!) so Curly did sleep for a large portion, after watching 2 movies and eating dinner. But it was too much driving to consider doing again without an overnight stop. Good to know.

The trip itself was lovely. We had a nice visit with my parents. We took many modes of transportation (bus, boat, monorail), all of which Curly loved. We spent time at the Dis.ney marketplace, boardwalk and hotels which were all done up for the holidays. We ate a nice dinner out with my folks. And they got to spend a lot of one-on-one time with Curly the day they watched him while Nutella and I were able to enjoy Ep.cot together. So it was nice vacation and a good break from the cold weather. Curly was thrilled to be able to see Cinder.ella’s castle and pictures of his favorite characters everywhere. He has no idea at this point that there are theme parks. We’re saving that for when he turns 5.

Upon our return, we spent New Years eve with good friends/fellow bloggers and were able to put Curly to sleep at their house with no fuss. After ringing in the new year an hour early, heh, we transferred Curly to the car to go back home, and even though he was awake during that time, he was simply just quiet and slightly bewildered and then slept in the next morning. It’s times like that when I especially see what an easy kid he is.

Next up is our legal wedding on Saturday, for which we picked up our license this morning. It was quick and painless, and there were many supporters there cheering for us. Curly is excited and wedding-obsessed. We let him try on the new outfit we bought for him to wear, but when we told him he had to take it off so we could wash it first, he totally lost it…big tears streaming down his face. He kept saying “I want to wear my wedding costume!” It was almost comical. We had to promise him that we’d buy him nicer, preppier clothes to wear on a more daily basis, lol. Our little fashionista.

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Ready set go

In 5 days, the Vermillion household will be driving to Florida. 13 hours. Since we all have next week off from school and work, we decided to just bite the bullet and go visit my parents, who have recently started settling in there. Airfare is insane and now that Curly is a more focused and distractable 3.5 year old, we figured he’d be ok during the long car ride with some breaks here and there. Also, thanks to Nutella’s parents, we got a Kind.le Fire for Hanukkah which we’ve loaded up with movies and apps, so that should keep him occupied. Wish us luck!

Speaking of Hanukkah, this was the first one that Curly really got excited about and interested in. He loved helping to light the candles, reading the same three books about Hanukkah over and over (and over and over), and of course, opening a present every night. We went to two Hanukkah parties and he also did a lot of Hanukkah-related activities at his daycare-preschool (not Montessori), so we really feel he got a lot out of it. Of course, now he knows Christmas is coming up, and while our family doesn’t celebrate, we’ve been telling him about those traditions and brought him to a drive-through lights display which he loved.

It’s hard to continue writing about our lives and goings-on without mentioning the horrible tragedy that took place in Newtown. Unimaginably heartbreaking. And while we thought perhaps we could shield our 3 year old from knowing about such things for a while longer, we were told there would be a moment of silence at his Montessori school and so we explained in very general terms what had happened. Curly took it mainly in stride as is typical for him right now, but it is sad to know a time is coming soon when he’ll realize how tragic this world of ours can be.

That said, happy holidays and a joyous new year to all of you reading. May you find peace and love to carry you through.

New digs

We finished Curly’s big boy bedroom and I think we’re all quite happy with how it turned out. Curly is still doing wonderfully in his bed, so much so that we removed the side rail. He fell out one night a week ago, but we have floor pillows next to his bed so he just landed softly and told us he got right back into bed. We only knew it happened because the floor pillows were disheveled the next morning. Normally he stays in bed in the morning, playing and singing to his stuffed animals until we retrieve him. Since he’s in a pull-up at night still, we haven’t tackled the issue of getting up to go to the bathroom, although we can keep his portable baby bjorn potty in his room to get him used to getting up to go by himself. Anyway…pictures!

The old baby room:

New room (Curly wanted a boat and a train in his big boy room…the train is a wall decal):

Me painting the boat mural:

Curly & Ima enjoying a book in his new bed:

One of our favorite item finds:

Results are in!

What an election night! We stayed up late and it was well worth it, especially since we were seriously considering moving out of this country had the outcome been different. Plus, we are happy to say that we live in a state that approved same-sex marriage! So Nutella and I will be tying the legal knot in January. Curly has been asking for weeks now if “Ima and Mommy are married?” because I guess he’s been interested in the word and the concept. We have always responded affirmatively, and he is happy to say “Yes, Mommy and Ima are married” to whomever now. Of course, it’ll be interesting explaining to him that while yes, we’re married, we’re having another ceremony because our state now approves of it lol. Anyway, a great excuse for a party soon ๐Ÿ™‚

Other news…we re-designed Curly’s bedroom and he’s now in a big boy bed. He’s slept in it the past two nights with no issues. He loves it SO much that he’s happy to get into it at night and hang out in it in the morning. Hope that lasts! Pictures of the transformation to come, we just have a couple more details to work out before it’s completed.

It’s been a long time since we’ve updated and we’ve been doing some fun stuff, too, like apple and pumpkin picking, and of course, Halloween. Curly wanted to be Peter Pan and had a great time dressing up at school and also trick-or-treating. He lasted a full hour and never once asked us to carry him or even help with his bucket o’ treats. He gets one a day and he’s mostly been fine with that ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ll leave you with a couple pics…

Uneventful is good

Another week and a half of school has passed, and thankfully, it’s been uneventful. Well, apart from one more incident of Curly putting pretty gemstone rocks in his mouth and getting sent to the office again (geez, kid). Pretty much every day now we remind him not to eat anything or put anything into his mouth at Montessori. When you ask him what will happen if he puts something into his mouth, he says “I have to go to the office.” He doesn’t like going to the office, so that’s been a good deterrent now that it’s happened twice.ย Other than that, things are going fine. Drop-offs are now routine…we get there early enough for a parking spot, let Curly finish his dry cereal snack in the car, walk him to his line about 5 minutes before the teachers come out, and say goodbye. I always wait until at least a couple other kids are in line with him so they can keep an eye on each other (and the kids line up in front of the office so they’re being watched). He always gets a snack immediately upon pick-up, and eats lunch when he arrives at his other pre-school for the rest of the day. So even though he doesn’t get a snack at school, he really only needs to forgo eating for 3.25 hours.

I want to address some of the questions from the last school post:

“What is the rationale for eliminating snack?”
This is the first year they have done so, which was a disappointing surprise and something the teachers seem to be against as well. The rationale that we’ve been told is lack of funding and food allergies. They only allow food when it’s a child’s birthday, and it either has to be store-bought so they can see the ingredients or some kind of fruit. Our county doesn’t have a lot of money for public schools, which is sad. Personally, I’d be happy to pay a stipend to have snack reinstalled, but this hasn’t been an option. Maybe we’ll speak to the other parents about it…the PTA…the Principal (although the Principal so far sucks…)

“How committed are you to keeping curly in this school as opposed to another one?”
As long as he isn’t unhappy, we’re committed enough to keeping him there because the other schools in our area are worse. Sad but true. His school is one of the best, despite the setbacks that we’ve faced. And honestly, I think if he were starting at 5 years old, we wouldn’t be facing the same setbacks. I think the issue is them having 3 and 4 year olds, and no facilities their size, and no snack, which they still need at that age.

“Dude, what is up with their drop off policy?!”
I know. What WE were never told is that you cannot drop off 3 year olds, and what some teachers think is that you CAN. Big disconnect somewhere. These days we seem to be fine with the drop-off method I described above, and starting next year, Curly will be taking the bus. Which is a whole ‘nother bunch of crazy.

“Curly must be loving it to have an experience like that not even phase him.”
I’m not sure if he LOVES it, though he does seem to like it, and surprisingly yes, the insanity has not seemed to phase him. After 3 weeks of drop-offs, there have still not been any tears. There was one morning where he was especially clingy, but he held it together, and most mornings he’s fine.

So that’s where things stand right now. While we still have his “old” preschool to fall back on for days Montessori is closed, it’s great. I don’t even want to think about what we’re going to do the next school year (and every one after that), sigh.