Friday, November 30, 2012

Evan at 41 months

41 months

Ev is a planner. He's planning to be Wolverine next Halloween, conveniently wearing Tobin's  hand-me-down costume. He's particularly interested in Wolverine's "scratchers," claws made of flimsy plastic and somehow still floating around the house. There's one in the van that Ev likes to wear for a minute and then he yells at me "I don't want this, Mom!" and I have to reach back from the driver's seat and take it, lest he keep yelling.


Ev also likes to yell before his nap time sometimes. Usually, he'll stick with singing/chatting for a few minutes before he falls asleep but occasionally he has something so urgent to tell me that he'll yell until I come back in. One day, I tucked him in and then took Lauren to our room to change her diaper and put her down for her nap. By the time I'd finished with the diaper, Ev was screaming to the point of crying so I went back in, trying to remain calm--instead of giving in to the urge to say what was running through my head: "What in the world could be the matter, son!?!"--and gently asked him what was wrong. He sniffled and said, "Where's Dad?" I replied, "He's at work, buddy." Ev said, "When I wake up, he'll be here? He'll get Tobin?" I assured him, "Yep, he'll get home after your nap and he's picking Tobin up, so T will be home too." Evan simply sighed, "Oh, okay." I left him again and he quietly settled in for a two-hour nap. Once again, I've learned the same lesson with him: Stay calm. His outbursts, while very passionate, are usually short-lived and fairly easily solved. Also, once it was over I had to admit it was kinda funny that essentially all he really needed to know was what was going to happen next. So now I make a point of telling him what's going to happen after his nap, and he seems to like that. (Also, rest assured I am struck with grateful wonder that my almost three and a half year old still naps so consistently!)

like brother like brother

Lately, when Tobin gets home from school, he and Evan immediately start a game of indoor "football." They call it football but it doesn't include a football (those have been banned from inside for obvious reasons) but instead a ball-like object (lately, an Angry Bird stuffed animal). It always include tackling. Lots of it. Part of me is amused and heartened that they obviously love this physical interaction so much. The other part is exasperated by the inevitable tears that follow. I know I'm not consistent in regulating this activity. Sometimes they'll go for quite a while before any tears. But once there is crying, I tell them "no tackling" and then when they don't stop tackling I take away their "ball" and again remind them to stop tackling because they of course don't really need the ball to continue their game. One afternoon this week, we headed outside to let them discharge their energy in a less dangerous way. As I helped Evan put on his hoodie and shoes, I talked to him about how we weren't going to play football outside, just run and kick the soccer ball. Tears welled up in his eyes and he pleaded, "I need to play football with Tobin!" The poor little guy was so disappointed that he wasn't going to get to tackle his brother in the grass. But I continued to explain that there would only be soccer and that if he didn't want to play soccer, he would need to stay inside with me while Daddy took Lauren and Tobin outside. He relented and was happy playing soccer until he apparently needed a more exciting activity: climbing the five-foot support wall on our neighbor's townhome. Ever my adventurer, Evan's favorite adventures involve his big brother. I love the picture above because it's taken on Thanksgiving day during a football break and Ev is so obviously imitating Tobin's hand gestures.

duplo tackle circle

As you'll note above, Tobin's influence on Evan is evident in his pretend play. Those are Duplo people wearing miniature NFL helmets. Here, they're encircling a single player and tackling him. (I'm concerned the player has no helmet and is considerably outnumbered.) Tobin plays with the helmets and Duplos like this too, but his play is a bit more complicated; he runs games with scoring updates and exciting finishes. But Evan mimics that play in his own way too. He matches helmets and tells us the Panthers are playing the Seahawks and then asks who we think will win. His very good at identifying the teams by their helmets and will watch SportsCenter and correctly note, "Oh, the Falcons played the Saints? The Falcons scored a touchdown?" So it appears Matt and I have passed on our interest in football to Tobin, and Tobin has passed that on to Evan. We love it--apart from the tackling injuries.

reading at breakfast

Although he is a ball of enthusiastic energy a good deal of the time, Evan increasingly curls up with a book by himself. He's not reading the words yet but he's content to look through books for quite a while without asking us to read to him. When we do read to him, he has so many questions on each page that it can take quite a while to get through the even the shortest book. He loves to tell us what's happening in a familiar book and is really good at identifying letters . . . when he's in the mood to do so. Tobin always seemed so eager to please when we'd ask him to tell us which letters he see or to count. Evan sometimes just insists "No, I don't want to!" and then asks a question that is more interesting to him. So I am making an effort to follow his lead and enjoy the adventure that is helping him navigate his own very particular world. He reminds me that there are many exciting things about everyday life. He also makes me laugh, even in some of life's more stressful moments. One morning a few weeks ago, Lauren was sick with a cold and had a coughing fit such that she threw up her morning milk all over herself and me. I drew a bath to clean her up and Evan joined her because he always takes a bath with his sister! So once I had them happy in the bath, I walked just a few steps away into my room to quickly change my clothes. I heard a big splash and thud and, already feeling uneasy leaving them alone in the tub for just a minute, I rushed in half-clothed to check on them. They were fine. But Evan, without missing a beat, saw me in just my bra and panties and quipped, "Oh Mom, you going to play volleyball?" And suddenly a very stressful sequence of events transformed into the most hilarious moment in my entire life, courtesy of the incomparable Evan Reid.

classic ev

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