In many ways, Evan is very predictable. When he wakes up in the morning, he emerges from the bedroom carrying his water bottle and his two sleeping friends, Blue (the dog) and Iron Man, and heads straight for the bathroom, where Matt or I quickly join him to help him potty. He'll also always ask for me to play the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" again! and louder! in the car. And he almost always has a question or idea for me as I try to leave him for his nap each day.
Today's pre-nap conversation went something like this:
"Mom, I have an idea for you!"(Fortunately, we don't own a ladder.)
"Okay, what is it?"
"I can ride my bike on the house! And you can get me a ladder!"
"Um, you can't do that because it's not safe, sweetie."
"But I can fly like Lightning McQueen!"
"I'm sorry but you can't fly like Lightning McQueen."
"Because he's a special car and you're a boy. Boys can't fly."
"Okay, I'll just be Iron Man and I can fly."
"Have a good nap, buddy."
But then there are times when things don't go at all like I expect, except that I can anticipate Evan wanting to do things his way. Last week I bought a little workbook with reading and math activities. The first worksheet I tried to do with him had simple instructions like "color the squares with the letter A red." Evan told me he didn't want to do that and instead circled all the A's with red and the other letters with their own color. I thought this was neat because he showed me he knew his letters and colors but just wanted to do the worksheet differently. I put up a new alphabet poster and thought we might go through the letters together, but instead we ended up "discussing" whether the animal next to the O was an octopus or jellyfish. I know Tobin was writing his name by this age, but any time we suggest Ev draw letters, he almost always says "I can't do it, you do it." or "I don't want to." He will write T's fairly regularly on his drawings, and he always calls them "T-Tobin-turtles." I think I'm going to need to learn how to follow his lead when it comes to activities like this.
It's interesting that just as his sister becomes more of a handful--especially when we're running errands--Evan is becoming especially easy going and pleasant. He listens very well when we're shopping. He may enjoy exploring ahead of me down the aisle but he always comes back quickly when I ask him to. At home, he's learning to be gentler with Lauren, even as she's testing the same boundaries. The other day I heard him yelling "Ow!" and ran into the room to find Lauren smacking him on the head. As I comforted him, he implored, "Tell Lauren not to hit me, or I will break!" I was impressed that he hadn't retaliated against her assault. Indeed she's been the aggressor in most of their altercations lately. She's learning to say "sorry" and give hugs, and he's learning to be patient.
Another big step in Evan's life has been moving out of his crib. Truthfully, we didn't push the issue because it didn't really matter whether he slept in the crib or in the big bed with Tobin, because we weren't quite ready to move Lauren out of our room until recently. The last few months it was kind of comical, because he was very much a big boy in a little bed. He could climb in and out of the crib himself via the adjacent rocking chair, even though he never climbed out when he wasn't supposed to. When we returned from our Christmas travels, we decided to put Lauren in the crib and move Evan in bed with Tobin. He was just a little whiny about it the first night but accepted the transition quickly. The day after his first night in the bed, I offered him the choice of sleeping in my bed or the crib for his nap--thinking that would be a nice treat and I'd just put Lauren in the Pack'n'Play in our room if he chose the crib--but he chose the obvious third choice: napping in Tobin's bed. I mentioned in Lauren's post this month that ultimately we ended up moving the boys onto a pallet on our floor so Lauren could have the kids' room all to herself for sleeping. Evan's handled that well too, calling the pallet his "special bed." He especially likes it on weekends, when Matt and I aren't necessarily up earlier than the boys and they can climb in bed with us to snuggle (chat).
I find myself especially sentimental about what a big boy Evan suddenly is. I think part of it is because we'll soon apply through the public school lottery for his spot in Tobin's magnet school's pre-K program. We may end up enrolling him in private preschool next year but in any case, this is his last year at home full-time with me. I will miss my little buddy. I am presently the beneficiary of many of his charms. When I go grocery shopping or run other errands on the weekends without him, upon my return he'll tell me: "Mom, I don't like it when you leave me. I just lost you." (I'm pretty sure he means he "missed" my but how adorable is "lost" here?) He's also amused us by playing favorites. This is not a fair representation of Matt's character, nor our relative hilarity, but one night Evan told me: "I don't like Dad; I just like you, Mom. Dad's scary; you're funny!" Of course, not half an hour later, I heard Matt telling Evan "I love you, buddy" as he carried him to bed. Ev responded, "I love you too, Dad." Here's more of our sweet, funny boy counting with Dad after dinner, Evan's classic enthusiasm on display.