Sunday, March 04, 2012

for his breeches

2 front teeth
(his dad gave him that haircut.  I don't want to talk about it.)

Dear Sir O -

I should very much like to thank whomever it was that found and activated your helpful button.  Your dad and I are finding that lavishing praise upon your most helpful behaviors is rather effective lately.  I am always eager to lap up these phases where you are more interested in earning our affirmations than in exerting your independence.  Lately you have helped me out to no end, being willing to fetch and carry, to tidy up and to learn new skills.  Your dad and I have been teaching you how to vacuum, and you are thorough and precise with it.  We're very nearly ready to let you do it on your own.

You are unendingly obsessed with the Bachmann train catalogue I brought home from the train show last month.  You keep it in your bedside drawer with your treasures, and you have bookmarked it with ana entire deck of go-fish cards.  I'm afraid I've started zoning out when you want to show me yet another train that you've decided is the one you want.  You've taught yourself the different model scales and decided with your dad which size of train you want for your first purchase.  Your dad is thinking Christmas, but you have made it plain that you cannot possibly wait that long.  I'm handing that one over to your dad.

You are increasingly nitpicky about picking out your own clothes.  Thankfully you have finally grown out of all your character bedecked options, but you still manage to leave me scratching my head most days.  You hate wearing long sleeves unless it's the one red and blue striped shirt you've decided you like, and you prefer to wear shorts through winter.  I've had to bargain with you dozens of times to get you to change into long pants before we leave the house.

You still have irrational fear of watching any movie with a plot; but you're getting better about overcoming your other anxiety hang-ups so I don't worry about that one too much.  There are far worse things than less screen-time.  I am psyching myself up for your kindergarten registration coming up.  I think holding you back a year has been a good choice for you.  You are confident in your abilities and you think of school as the highlight of your day.  I'll do everything I can to make that last as long as possible.

Sometimes you get frustrated with me, and you seem to forget who the parent is around here.  We're working on teaching you to show more respect to adults, but it's hard for me to feel like I deserve the respect I want you to show me.  I just know that you need boundaries and to feel safe, and that I need to act like more of an adult and you need to respect that you are less of an adult than I am.  But sometimes I feel like a terrible faker.  Sometimes I think maybe you should be the parent after all.  I'll keep that to myself though - I don't think it would help you much.

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