* The way Charlie has a burst of energy after meals-- especially dinner. He'll
* Words Charlie uses. My favorites are: "Splunger" (plunger), "Aminals" (animals), "Hula-Loop" (Loop-de-loop), "Smoke Protector" (smoke detector). He also likes throwing "big" words into his sentences. Words like "interesting" and "luckily" and "impressed" will randomly be used.
* The fact that C is soooo 'physical touch' (even though I'm not). He has to be touching me or hugging me or kissing me almost all the time.
* The way C loves his friends. Whenever we leave daycare, he individually addresses each friend, gives them a big hug and says a personal goodbye.
* The things he fights for. A few days ago, while getting in the van, we stopped at the library to drop off books. After grabbing them from the backseat, I automatically shut the van door. By the time I was back in the front seat, he was whining and starting to cry. When I asked him what was wrong, he told me that he really wanted to kiss me. Sadly, my first reaction was "Sweetie, you can kiss me when we get home in two seconds!" And then, a thought came to me, clear as a summer day: Your kid is crying because HE wants to kiss YOU. And someday honey, you'll wish that he just wanted to be in the same vehicle as you. So, I took the 30 seconds to unbuckle, hop out of the van, open the back door, and let him kiss and hug and tickle me before driving 3 blocks home. Funny how such a small act of patience still warmed my heart days later.
* The way C makes friends at parks. Friend magnet. (Super annoying to end up babysitting parent-less kids at a park, but more on that another time)
* Watching Charlie get braver with gross motor challenges. He's riding his bike with training wheels, and rode next to Mason (riding his bike) all around the neighborhood. He even rode down our hill-- which isn't huge, but is steeper than anything in my entire hometown-- and remembered to brake at the end.
* C's sportsmanship. True, he's basically been involved in a counseling small group from the time he could play board games, but it seems to be working. He never pouts about losing, always compliments the winner, and gets excited when other players excel in the game. Sadly, he hasn't quite embraced our "Winner puts the game away" rule and always seems to wiggle out of that one.
* The way C interacts with others. For the longest time, we went through a period of "shyness". And though I tried with all my might to embrace his introvert-ness, the fact remained that he was being really rude by totally ignoring people! Gradually, with continual gentle guidance, he's come out of his shell a bit. When adults ask him a question, he will answer it-- and usually make a follow-up comment. A few weeks ago, he was with me at Parent-Teacher conferences for about 90 minutes before M could pick him up. I heard so many positive compliments about his behavior, his vocabulary, and his personality that made me have a very proud mama moment.
* The way his brain is a sponge-- and he remembers so much of what he hears. He's currently very interested in dinosaurs, and will tell us who is a carnivore/ herbivore/ omnivore. If you're playing with him, he might let you know that you mistook a T-Rex for an Allosaurus or that the pokey things on a Stegosaurus are not spikes, they're plates. He's also very interested in the way things work. The other day, during a thunder storm, he looked at me and said, "Don't worry, it's just thunder. That's just warm air and cold air bamming together." I smiled.
* If you ask C what he wants to be when he grows up he'll tell you "A Fighter Jet Pilot". And then he'll tell you how fast they fly and how far off the ground they can go. And the next day it might be "A Fighter Jet Pilot and an Astronaut and maybe a Teacher."
* Right now, my very favorite thing is bedtime. We read books-- lately in Mama's bed and sometimes with just a flashlight because for some reason that is super exciting. Then, because I'm super lazy and love the smell of his just-bathed hair and body, I snuggle with him as he falls asleep. I probably shouldn't admit that most nights, I'm asleep by 8:30 too. Some may say this is a time waster, but when I wake up from my little evening "nap" and that little 40 pound body is curled into me, I really can't think of what would have been a better way of spending an hour or two. "They" say these moments are fleeting... so I'm kind of grabbing the tail of that kite of time that seems to be slipping away from me.