You’ve now been pinballing around this world for thirty-five months. Every night your dad or I ask you about your day and you answer, “I played and played and played and took a big, BIG nap!” I aspire to be you, kid.
Little Bear, not only is your daily schedule ridiculously awesome, but this past month has been a carnival, custom designed for you! It started with a visit from Boo over the Fourth of July. You thoroughly enjoyed (once you warmed up to the idea) racing through the fountains at the splash pad, being chased by Boo. We watched the fireworks from Walla Walla state park and you were an enthusiastic contributor to the “oohs” and “ahhhs” in the crowd. Before the fireworks started, we were admiring the fat orange (still your most favoritest color EVER) moon.
BOO: Look at the big orange moon, Roper.
YOU: [sigh] I wish I could sit on that big, orange moon.
Me too, buddy.
Dude. You have an incredibly sensitive sniffer. You get this from me. As soon as your dad walks in the door I can tell what he had for lunch. You LOVE sniffing things and are constantly saying, “I smell something! What’s that?”
It’s safe to assume it’s your dad.
Up until this month, you referred to pinecones as “Christmas pineapples.” It’s all downhill from here – you’re growing up. Pretty soon you’ll realize that I can’t open garage doors with the power of my mind, the turtle didn’t eat the last pack of fruit snacks and that smell didn’t originate from your dad.
You’re in the preschool class now. Every time I drop you off your teacher tells me how stubborn you are. That everything you do has to be on your terms. But it’s a quiet stubborn – you’re good natured about it. AWESOME. The teacher is describing your dad to a tee. Now I have two of you to contend with. You guys are lucky you’re both cute!
The other day I told you “no” to something. I don’t remember what – the answer to most of your requests is no because a) we don’t own a fire extinguisher and b) our ER copay is ridiculous. You told me, “Mama, don’t say no to my heart. It’s fragile.”
What the what? You’re still TWO. Where do you come up with these things?
When I told you to pick up your toys and you responded, “Don’t talk to me like that, it’s bad for my energy.” Am I sharing the apartment with a swami? Do I need to get you a crystal to sleep under?
Oscar and Tara visited us the weekend after the Fourth of July and you boys participated in the Crescent Bar parade. We hit the dollar store and covered your bikes with streamers, your necks with beads and your helmets with balloons. THIRD PLACE FOR BEST COSTUME, YO! You guys rocked it – you won a medal and were mentioned in the local paper. You had so much fun hanging out with Oscar – it was a riot to watch you two play together!
You also got to play with all of the Steere cousins and extended family. A bunch of cousins from the Collins’ side of the family came over to Hog Hollow for a weekend of chaos and laughter. You even got to ride the miniature train at a birthday party.
You are surrounded by really fun, good people, Roper.
We took a family trip to Slidewaters with Papa and Nanny and you learned to cycle the little slides all on your own. We’d wait at the bottom and you’d run up the hill and come barreling down the slide with your goofy I’m-super-proud-of-myself-but don’t-want-anyone-to-know-it look on your face. Little Bear, I am so proud of you! You keep taking on more and more responsibility and really running with it.
Your cousins Super Kate and Austintacious are visiting here from D.C. You play so hard with them that it’s exhausting just to watch – I love it. You and I joined Papa, Nanny, Kate and Austin at Pearrygin Lake to camp. Did you know your dad used to camp at Pearrygin Lake all the time? It was cool to experience a little slice of his childhood with you.
You and your cousins biked a little loop by the camp site. Part of the loop was uphill and had a hose running across it, and Austin would sometime get stuck there and not be able to start again (he’s on training wheels). Each time, you would follow him and try to push his bike with your front tire, and then lay your bike down so you could push your cousin over the hose and up the hill. You’d watch to make sure Austin kept his momentum, and then race back to your bike, get on it and start the whole process again. I was so proud when a neighboring camper stopped by to ask about your age and marvel at your problem solving skills.
Your sense of teamwork is impeccable at times and you’ve really been showing an interest in being helpful. You even helped me make a bike trail at the property! This might be the first time I’ve ever understood why people have more than one kid…
Your picture ran in the Wenatchee World. The amount of press you get in this town is approaching obnoxious. Little Bear, there is something about you that captures people.
You’re usually too busy playing to cuddle. If you show any indication of wanting snuggle, our first assumption is that you’re getting sick. Your dad says you’re like me – as cuddly as a porcupine. But occasionally you find yourself “full of kissies” and feel the need to make out with me. This always seems to happen when we’re in public and you become obsessed with kissing me. In a word, AWKWARD.
But I know it’s a fleeting moment that will become even rarer with time, so I savor it.
It’s like those rare moments when you decide to “sleep in a sunbeam like a kitty” and lie still on the carpet, in a sunbeam, looking at peace with the world. I love seeing you in all of your different moods, experiencing the world and trying to find your way in it. You are learning and growing so fast that it makes my head spin.
You’re the coolest sidekick around, Little Bear. Your huge personality can be a challenge and I see a lot of disagreements in our future, but I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I love every bit of you, sweet boy. With a ferocity that only a mama could muster.