Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Month Thirty-nine

Dear Henry,

You started this past month learning to climb steps two at a time. As you explained many, many times, this is the way superheroes ascend stairs. And you are a superhero. You're actually any number of superheroes, including but not limited to Spiderman, Batman, Captain America, Superman, Wolverine, and Magnet Man. According to you, firemen, doctors, and garbage mans are also superheroes because they save people, and they take garbage away. So, there you go.
You're just at the cusp of sort of beginning to nearly understand what Christmas for us is all about. Family, food, presents, and Christmas decorations. It took you nearly all day to open your gifts. I blame the recycling truck with sidearm and bins because once you saw that sucker, you were done, at least for the next couple of hours. You also enjoyed your first sticky bun. I'm guessing these will now become a family tradition, along with our ham and homemade mac n' cheese dinner. A few days later, we went to Mt. Hood for sledding with our friends. You're a natural but you really, really dislike getting your hands wet and cold. I can't say I blame you.
You started swimming lessons after the holidays. To say you were hesitant to participate would be putting it mildly. I don't believe it was fear but there was something that had you clinging to my side for the first few lessons. It took a lot of cajoling and bribing and, finally, explaining that the lifeguards were superheroes to get you into the water. It didn't hurt that Teacher Ryan is friends with Aquaman. Along with swimming, I signed you up for a Hip Hop class with your two best buds, Avery and Josie. It's you, one other boy (who may or may not be coming to future classes), and a bunch of girls. You sat out for most of the first class and nearly all of the second but you're getting more comfortable and you're learning to dance! And this is truly good because I dance like I'm in a 1990s alternative club for teens and your father dances like, well, like how he dances. Neither of us are skilled in this area.
Your latest quirk is to answer any question I pose to you by asking it back to me. "Hen? What are you doing?" "What are you doing, mama?" You are also very affectionate as of late, always hugging me and patting me. Perhaps it was a mistake to tell you I was going to the Mexico! in a few months because I think you're touching me all the time to make sure I'm there. On the occasional evening I do have to leave you at home there is usually a quick chat in which I explain that 1. I am leaving, and B) I'll be back. Sometimes that reassurance is enough to calm you, sometimes it isn't. But you are a nice boy and you do insist on opening the door for me. We stopped breast feeding several months ago but you're still a little hung up on the boobs. Often when you climb into our bed in the morning, you'll snuggle close and then explain to me that I have boobs and that "they used to make mama's milk, but now they don't". That pretty much sums that up.
Somehow guns have entered your realm of consciousness and now you're shooting all sorts of things using any number of different non-gun items around the house. A few days ago you fashioned a gun out of a chip bag clip and a straw. On the one hand, I applaud the creativity. On the other, it's a gun. It should be said, though, that you only shoot the bad guys. And I've explained that we don't kill people with guns, that if we have to shoot, we only shoot to stop the bad guys, and that we then throw the bad guys into jail and rehabilitate them. Rehabilitate, by the way, is really hard for you to pronounce. I like that you try, and that it usually comes out sounding like re-hav-el-itate. You're getting better at controlling your behavior, which is awesome. It sucks to have to put you in time out.
Lately, I've taken to calling you "dude". As in "Let's go, dude," or "Hurry up, dude." And you always reply, "I'm not a dude, I'm a Henry." Yes, you are, Bean. The bestest Henry of the bunch.


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