Monday, July 14, 2014

The Bean at Three and a Half Years Old

Somehow our little Bean isn't quite so little of a bean anymore.  As much as we still think of him as our baby, he is no longer a baby and not even really a toddler anymore.  He's a real and true kid.  A big kid, if you ask him.  (Though he really isn't that big.)

Size wise I'd guess that he's a bit over 30lbs and three feet and a few inches tall.   Clothes are anywhere from 24m-3T on top and 18m-2T on the bottom.  I'm glad it's summer and the clothes he's wearing are short sleeved and legged.  It makes dressing him easier.  Maybe by the fall he'll have filled out a bit and the sizes that are long enough also fit around his middle. Shoes are size 7ish.

What he lacks in size he makes up for in personality.  I never would have expected a child of ours to be so outgoing, but he is.  He has his moments of shyness, especially when around people he hasn't seen for a while, but he warms up quickly.  Then, well, he'll chat your ear off and isn't shy about telling you what he would like you to do with him.  He waves to people from the shopping cart in the grocery store, asking them about what they're buying, or (more likely) telling them about his day.  He says hello to pretty much every person we pass when we're out for walks and always seems a little heartbroken if they don't say hello back.

His vocabulary is impressive.  He also has a way of saying things that seems precocious for a child his age.  We often get comments about his language skills.  We know he's advanced in this regard, but it's hard for us to recognize.  Even with having taught kids this age, I can't really remember well enough to compare.  Sometimes when he's upset he has a hard time getting started saying something and will stutter over the first syllable, but usually the words flow pretty easily.

Yes, he's a chatty little "people person."  We've also noticed how much he wants to engage with us.  Though he'll have periods of content solo play, he definitely prefers Jen or I playing with him.  He can be pretty demanding about it, which is hard, because we cannot play with him all the time but we do not enjoy being yelled at.  We've been working a lot on "asking nicely" and "tone of voice."  Sometimes the reminders help, other times not so much.  (They usually seem to help more when he is getting what he wants, and not work so well when he is not.)  Alternately, he can also be incredibly sweet: cuddling, stroking our faces and giving compliments.

He is a pretty great big brother, we have, however, started to see some signs of jealousy.  He used to say that he was going to pretend to be "Baby Blah" but now he'll just say that he's Sprout outright.  He wants to be babied too.  (Not that we really baby Sprout, but you know.)  I think being home with me and Sprout full time has made this more of an issue, but he LOVES being home overall.

He usually wakes up with ideas about where he wants to go or what he wants to do that day.  We typically do an outing in the morning --the zoo, the farm, The Science Centre, an indoor playground, a park, etc.  In the afternoon we tend to stick closer to home, often playing in the yard or at a nearby park, though there were a few weeks when we were checking out splash pads on a regular basis.

So, yes, he is now home with me full time.  I'm not sure how much I have said here already, but after our daycare provider went through radiation she came to us and asked how we felt about her taking the rest of the summer off.  It was something we had discussed doing even if she had been feeling better, so we readily agreed.  With nothing yet lined up for the fall, we've decided that he'll stay home with me and Sprout for the rest of the year unless I happen to get a full time job, in which case we'll place them both in daycare.  (Hopefully the one he's been in, but we'll see if there are spaces available when/if that happens.)

The Bean is incredibly active.  Jen and I joke that he doesn't know how to walk, that he can only run.  He loves to play "sports", jump, climb, swing, slide, bike, scooter, swim, etc.  We've been spending a lot of time outside lately, which he loves.  Just in the past month or so he has taken to swimming with water wings or a life jacket on and riding both a tricycle and bike with training wheels.  He's also figured out how to do the fireman pole at the park and will climb and do "tricks" on most of the playground equipment.  I think we will sign him up for a gymnastics class this fall.

He loves princesses.  He also loves Spiderman.  His favourite colours are pink, brown and black.  He likes to play with balls, Hot Wheels cars, blocks, his doctor's kit, picnic basket, and Play-Doh.  His fine motor skills are improving.  He can write his name so that it's legible for someone who knows what they are looking at, he can also draw figures!  People with huge heads, arms, legs and faces!  So cute.

He loves being read to and has started asking us to teach him how to read.  His favourite books right now are series --Bearenstain Bears, Charlie and Lola, Curious George, and Little Critter.  He also likes fairy tales.  He'll "read" books to himself, and has quite good letter recognition and letter/sound association, but cannot actually connect the sounds read.  I have my doubts on whether he is actually ready, but we may pick up a few early phonics readers and I plan on scouring Pinterest for some fun sight word activities.

I've taken to letting the kids watch a show on my computer while I prepare their lunch.  SuperWhy and Octonauts are The Bean's favourites.  Paw Patrol is in there too but it's next to impossible to find on YouTube so he really only sees it when we're at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  He's watched the movie Frozen (and loved it) and also Finding Nemo and The Lorax (which he also loved).

He sometimes gets "tablet time" in the mornings or on long car rides.  He really enjoys many of the educational (and not-so-educational) apps we have downloaded for him.  We usually set a timer that automatically turns it off so that he doesn't get upset with us for telling him it's time to stop.

He loves music.  He'll often request certain songs to dance/ sing/ play instruments to.  Luke Doucet's Long Haul Driver is still a favourite song.  He knows most T&S songs off their most recent album and some of their older songs too (he's going to LOVE when we take him to their shows later this month).  He's also a big Beatles fan, which I love.  Yellow Submarine and I Want to Hold Your Hand are his favourite Beatles tunes.  He, of course, likes the songs from Frozen and many of the celebrity songs from Sesame Street (thanks YouTube).  He continues to make up his own songs, which I find adorable.  I mean, who doesn't love a three year old singing "It's a hot dog day!  It's a bun and ketchup day!" on the walk over to a barbeque at his cousins' house?

His memory and his attention to detail are incredible.  He will bring up things that happened a year ago as if they were yesterday.  I don't think he remembers much before the age of two, based solely on the fact that I ask him if he remembers before we had Sprout and he indicates that he doesn't.  (He says he remembers her being in my tummy, but I'm doubtful.)  He'll also talk about details of what someone said or did that I am often surprised he picked up on.  Very observant.

A related quirk of his that we've noticed is that when we are driving he will bring up topics of conversation that we've discussed on previous trips by the places we're passing.  For a while he always asked me to tell him the story of when I crashed my bicycle when we drove past a landmark on the way to Jen's office.  He'll also confirm that he knows what places are as we pass them --the cemetery where my grandparents are buried, where he used to take swimming lessons, the railway tracks, etc.

Food continues to be a challenge.  He is still quite picky but we've instituted a "you must try a bite of what we're having" rule at dinnertime which is helping ever so slightly.  We've eliminated all animal dairy from his diet, including foods that contain dairy.  He was having some pretty severe stomach/bowel issues of which dairy seems to have been the root, though we're not convinced that there isn't also another food sensitivity which we have yet to discover.  It's tough.  He's very good about asking if food has "cow milk" in it, but we know it slips in here and there and he pays the consequences.

No big update on the potty front.  We had started putting him in a Pull-Up overnight, then stopped because they were mostly dry, then started again because he was wetting the bed.  Most days he wakes up dry, but we're still putting him in the Pull-Ups.  I guess we'll decide whether to continue once this bag runs out.  (He mostly seems to wet the bed on nights when he is very tired.)

He's a pretty good sleeper.  Ideally bedtime is 7:30pm, but realistically he's usually not asleep until 8:00 or 8:30pm.  He typically wakes up around 6am, but surprises us by sleeping in until 7am on occasion.  Every once in a while he'll fight and/or skip his nap (which he still very much needs), but usually goes down for about 2-3 hours in the afternoon.  In fact, we often need to wake him up.

He's got a good group of people who love him and who he loves in return.  Family, including extended family --grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and others.  Friends --many of ours, but a few of his own from daycare or the neighbourhood, or children of our friends.

Smart, active, expressive and loving.  This kid keeps us busy, but of course, we wouldn't have it any other way.  It's amazing quickly three and a half years have gone by, and at the same time how we cannot imagine our lives without him.  We are so lucky to be his moms.  So much love for our little guy.


  1. He's adorable. Great update! We really should plan to get together soon. Maybe come for a swim/playdate at our place some weekend and we can get the other folks to come too?

  2. Great update. Such a great kid.