Holy shit – a 3 year old!

My tiny little (great big, huge) baby is THREE years old!  I’d ask where the time went, but I know damn well what happens to time.  It gets swallowed up by the Time Monster.

On the 25th, his birthday, we went to Santa Cruz and spent the afternoon at the beach.  We have family in town (my mom, my aunt Toni, and my cousin Matt).  Tristan absolutely adored it.  He wanted to go into the water so badly, but we only let him jump the end of the waves with some adult help, mostly from my mom.  I think he needs to see some of us go into the water first before we can truly show him how the ocean works, but it was intensely cold.  Tristan was fascinated by the lapping waves and spent at least an hour dancing among them.  Then he firmly ensconced himself in the sand, covering himself in a bit of sand-water paste that stuck well to him for hours.  I’m very glad we went on Tristan’s behalf – it seems like an amazing experience for him.

Today was his birthday party!  Tristan started out the day by going with James to his class at The Little Gym, attending another birthday party for his friend Alek, and then coming back to have his own party also at The Little Gym.

The party went very well, though it kicked all of our asses.  We had a wonderful turnout, all of the details went as planned (the new party time worked well; we had been previously double-booked which was a scary experience), the food was delicious, and the kids generally made it through the festivities.  Imagine about 11 one- to three year-olds in a room full of child-sized gymnastics equipment, no head injuries, and everyone having fun.  After the hour of that, we corralled the kids and parents into a tiny party room and served pizza and cake.  Tristan eats neither on a regular basis, but he did enjoy pepperoni (he says this as “pepper-noni”) and the whipped cream frosting from his cake.  One of his friends helped him blow out the candles, but that’s to be expected as we did not rehearse the “your face is near fire: do something about it” aspect of candle extinguishing.  We still haven’t gotten the gifts out of the car, let alone opened – there was a strict 2 hour time limit on the party as there was another party following ours, and the face-stuffing took the second hour entirely.  Thank you to everyone who came and everyone who took pictures and of course the the gifts; thank you to my mom and Aunt Toni for help with all of the details!

Learning to swim and more

Tristan is showing a lot of improvement and interest in learning to swim.  At the beginning of the season, he was afraid to be in the water without being held, whether or not he was wearing a lifejacket or floatie.  He was also drinking the pool water to the point where we had to stage an intervention program to get him to cut down on it.  Now he’s cruising across the pool independently and putting his mouth in the water to BLOW BUBBLES!  He finds the pool water to be cold, as do I, but has a harder time getting used to it than I do – poor baby.

All around, Tristan has been growing more mature and independent.  When he woke from his nap today, he gave his iPad attention and didn’t even need to hang on me at ALL.  For people who had seen him about two months ago, this will probably be shocking.  I have also been able to do something I hadn’t in a long, long time – put him down for naps – and he’s stopped most of the screaming when he wakes up, provided we think to leave the door open.  I have to hide my head behind a pillow to do it properly, but I’ve been enjoying several weeks of having a child who sleeps.  His tantrums have grown far less screamy and more grunty, to the point where sometimes I can’t tell if he is upset about something or pooping.  Yesterday he managed to sit through an almost 2 hour lunch (iPad in hand) and behave amazingly.

Potty training is still about the same; Tristan is making an effort to stay dry in his pull-ups and to pee in the toilet when brought.  He doesn’t usually initiate bathroom trips and he still refuses to poop anywhere but his diaper.  Thankfully, he does poop IN the diaper and doesn’t (yet?) try to remove it by himself or decorate with it.  He says that he’s scared when the topic of poop in toilet comes up, and whenever I’m removing the diaper to deposit said poop into the toilet.  But he has a solid (hah hah) understanding of what goes in the toilet and I’m confident that he’ll get there when he is ready.  I’m really happy that we can get away with being slackers (read: not really on top of things) and he’s still progressing.

We haven’t gotten Tristan anything new for his iPad in quite some time, but he’s fine with that.  He’s begun to write the names of numbers alongside the numbers in one particular application.  His handwriting probably looks like any kindergartner learning to write.  There’s a slingshot-type game called “Angry Birds” that has taken off tremendously, to the point where the plush birds are sold in every novelty store you can see – and I LOVE it that Tristan understands the rule, “You can throw Angry Birds only while in the house.”

Tristan is fully independent on playground equipment – I no longer have needed to go up with him to make sure he doesn’t kill himself.  He is, however, becoming notably impatient – his New York blood is showing.  He’s been climbing over other children who hesitate to take their turns or are lingering in any way when taking turns for slides and other equipment, and he’s been known to just plain cut in line while everyone else is picking their ass trying to decide who goes next.  As a rule, I don’t mind this (which is why I let it develop, haha) but I need to teach him the rule of “Don’t climb over the SAME people over and over, and let others in front of you have a fair chance to take a turn before climbing on over.”

His conversational skills are picking up.  One theme that keeps popping up is, “I’m scared!”  He is scared of the aforementioned pooping in a toilet and of automatically flushing toilets, public toilets, being overtickled, and probably drowning (he’s been reportedly saying he’s scared when I dive under water).  He is starting to be able to respond to the question, “What is your name?” – he does best with visual cues, such as the words to the question and answer being written out and in front of him to help.

Unfortunately, I am no longer wearing him in the sling, and him no longer being worn has very much coincided with him stopping climbing on my head.

He had an incident where he ran from me in a Kohl’s store when I took him there specifically to buy toys.  He walked a bit in front of me and then suddenly darted into a rack of clothing when I called for him to stop, going instantly invisible.  After panicking for a moment and wondering how to describe him to folks in the store to help me look and hoping he didn’t escape into the attached mall, I decided to look over in the toy section for shits and grins.  Guess who was there and so very proud of himself?  Unfortunately, that earned him prompt removal from the store and then the mall after he got the “never run away from me” lecture on a bench outside of the store.  I am pleased to report that after a month or so of requiring him to be in a stroller everywhere (I was seriously unable to keep up with him for a short time), he’s currently responding nicely to calls to stop and stay closer.

That is where we seem to be right now.