Sunday, November 08, 2009

letter to trinity: 52 months

Dear Trinity,

Another October has passed, and with it another chance for you to wear one of the many costumes you own out in a publicly acceptable display. You already have a large bucket of dress up clothes, and you love to wear different outfits, mixing and matching pieces of princess and fairy and superhero gear alike.

For me, I love Halloween. I suppose if I had a favourite holiday, this would be it. Your Mom usually talks me out of wearing a costume along with you when we take you out. That is more her attempting to save herself from embarrassment than any effort of hers to save my own dignity. So I usually talk about getting some awesome costume and then don't. Last year we were all invited to a Halloween party, so I got to indulge myself a little, and went dressed as Dr. Horrible. Not one person there knew who I was supposed to be, and I was fine with that. I am that kind of guy.

That Batgirl costume that I told you about last month saw a lot of use this Halloween season. You wore it to a few Halloween themed birthday parties, a couple of dedicated Halloween parties, an event at your Gymnastics club, and out for Halloween night. You also wore it around the house a lot in the days between. I have rarely been so proud, and there are a lot worse things you could play at than being a superhero.

Yesterday, your Mom and I took you to Eau Claire Gorge, a local scenic site, that by the time you read this, you are well aware of, or we've moved. There are a number of walking paths along the Amable du Fond river that runs through the gorge and it is a very soothing place. No leaves left on the trees, and there was actually a shocking amount of snow in the bush that I wasn't expecting, but it was a very nice hike. I suppose that it isn't really a place for 4 year olds, but your Mom and I hung on tight to each hand, and kept you well away from the edge. You loved it, and after we had done the entire circuit, you asked if we could do it all over again. That second time, we got about halfway through before you let us know that your feet were cold and you wanted the safety and warmth of the car, but we didn't mind a bit.

School continues to be a pretty thorny issue with you these days. There was an incident last month that really set you back about wanting to go to school, and we have yet to recover from it. We had told the teacher, principal and even some of the support staff at the school that because this was a year that we were using to introduce you to school only, if you ever wanted to come home and said so, they were to call us immediately and we would come and get you. Your teacher bristled about this, similar to the way that she bristled when we told her we were only sending you on Mondays, Wednesdays and every second Friday, as you were originally scheduled to do. That schedule fell through in favour of a five day a week full time schedule, but in spite of what your teacher thought best, we expected her to respect our wishes. She didn't. You had a bad day early this month and indicated to your teacher that you wanted to come home, and began to cry for Mom. Who can blame you? You have until now, spent every day with the unconditional love of this person, and who wouldn't miss that? Your teacher refused to call us, and the bottom line is that you spent the next 3 hours sobbing and repeatedly asking for the teacher to call your Mom, which she finally did.

Once your Mom came to get you, there were discussions with both the teacher and the principal about how this was to be handled if it re-occurred, but the damage had been done by that point. You were at least somewhat traumatized by this event and don't even like to hear the word school anymore. So we decided to let you take a 'break' from school, one that, the way things are going, is likely to last until into the new year.

So for now, you are home with your Mom again every day, and I come home from work to hear how you've been learning your numbers, your shapes, your alphabet from a better teacher than the one we were previously sending you to: your Mom.

Otherwise things have a feeling of change around here lately, maybe I'll tell you more about that next month.

In the meantime, I will love you as much as any Dad could ever love his little girl; more than anything else in the world.



Saturday, October 03, 2009

letter to trinity: 51 months

Dear Trinity,

This has been quite a month around here. The biggest change in your life since we moved and certainly the biggest event to happen to you that you can remember. You started going to school.

And so far, you pretty much love it. The first day your Mom and I took you to school you got out of the car, said hi to your teacher and to the kids there that you did know, and you never once looked back. It was a great deal sadder for us than it was for you. More for your Mom than for me as she is now at home half of the time with just our dog to keep her company. So its a big change for her too.

You have had a few days that you didn't want to go as much as others, and one day you decided that you needed to go home once you got to school. And of course, we accommodated that. Bottom line is that you don't have to go at all this year, but not having other kids around all that often isn't helping, and you are already older than you need to be because you hang around adults so much of the time. Well, when referencing me, I use the term adult loosely, but you know what I mean.

A couple of the other things that have been going on lately: your grandpa came back for a visit and spent the entire time playing with you. You love having him around and I love that he wants to spend time with you.

You have been going back and forth on what to wear for Halloween. One day its a princess, the next its a superhero. We bought you two costumes and let you pick the one you were going to keep. So, for now, you're Batgirl. We'll see how it goes.

We went to an event yesterday to show off a local school, and some of the community events involved in our area. You and your mom and I went to a yoga class and a smoothie demonstration. The yoga was great, because its something you and I already do at home, and you are great at it.

Looking forward to another month of surprises and fun with you.

Love you,


Saturday, September 12, 2009

letter to trinity: 50 months

Dear Trinity,

As I write this, it is the weekend prior to you starting school and I find that is predominating over anything else I might have to say about you this month.

We opted to send you to school for 5 days out of every ten, (3 days one week, 2 the next) for full days. The school you were set up to go to originally had offered this to kids going to Junior Kindergarten and then changed it to 5 days a week, full days just last week. Needless to say, your Mom and I were less than impressed. We decided to stick with our original plan. You have been with your 'staying at home' Mom for all of your 4 years of life so far, and we aren't interested in sending you to daycare every day now, just because its in a school.

Your Mom is probably going to take this the hardest. She's devoted basically the last four years of her life to being with you, because that is what we had always wanted (and still maintain). But I think she might have grown more than a little accustomed to getting you all to herself all this time. But she'll adjust, and I know already that she looks back on this time with you as the best, most fulfilling period of her life.

For my end, I find myself far more concerned with your safety, while at school and getting to and from, that anything else. The idea of my little four year old baby girl riding a bus without us there to keep an eye on things makes me more than a little queasy. But I know that once you've started to go and its become routine things will settle down. Truth is, I can't wait to talk to you about all the new things you're learning, and either add my own take, or help you to find out more. I am interested also in hearing how others react to how intelligent you are.

You however are nothing but excited about the whole thing, although your enthusiasm for riding the bus seems to be dwindling the closer we get to the big day. The idea of school, and playing and interacting with other kids is a delight for you. And the one half day that you have spent already with your teacher last week was enough to convince you that you're going to like it.

I look forward to telling you all about it.

You have managed to do a few fun things this past month besides getting ready for school. Your Grandpa and Grandma came to visit (both my Mom, and Dad, obviously on separate visits). You had a lot of fun with both of them, but you are particularly fond of my Dad, and he of you.

We also took you to your (and my) first fall Farmer's Fair. There were horse pulls, pony rides, and a lot more cowboy hats than one might expect for Northern Ontario. But they also had a great big bouncy ride, and a tiny train on a circular track. You loved those quite a bit. I hope to get to take you to it again next year.

I love you,


Sunday, July 05, 2009

letter to trinity: 4 years

Dear Trinity,

Today you turned 4 years old. Weird feeling typing that. I mean I am all for you growing up and learning and developing, but I am really feeling like an ending is coming. Your mom has been home with you for your entire life to date and now that you are old enough you will be heading to school soon. Going to be a huge change for all of us and the irony is that you are looking forward to it a lot more than we are.

Maybe it's the loss of control or just not knowing what you're doing at any given moment but I just get a sinking feeling in my stomach everytime I think about this tiny little being climbing onto a bus and leaving to go elsewhere. Ugh. I think your mom should stay a stay at home mom just so she can transport you back and forth to school. Even if it is only a couple of days a week.

This month you finished gymnastics and again earned a stellar report card and a ribbon. I wonder when you have so much fun doing something like this if it's something you'll still do as you get older, maybe get really good at or if it's something that is just a passing fancy that you don't even really remember ever doing.

You also have been working on your outdoor skills. You tried fishing on the dock and have become quite good at catching and releasing little critters around the yard. You briefly had a salamander and a toad as temporary pets until they each made a brilliant escape from the buckets you had each of them in.

You have been working on your letters a little bit. We try to encourage you whenever we can to practice counting or identifying letters. So far you're not too comfortable with the whole alphabet thing but you do know that you're name starts wig a T and you have gotten really good at writing it. It's fun to watch you try to do the things that you know you get encouraged and praised for.

Another thing that is finally ended is the project I started finishing our basement. Now that it's done there is a nice big home heater room for us to watch movies and play videogames in and you love participating in either. Your favorite game so far is Lego Indiana Jones. You just laugh when we play it together.

So that's the month. I can't wait for the next 3 weeks to be over with because I took some time off this summer and beginning in 3 weeks (sooner in fact) I am going to be off for 2.5 weeks with you and your mom. No plans, just maybe do a little camping, hang out around the house. Should be a lot of fun to just be with you guys and not worry about work.

I love you so much.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

letter to trinity: 47 months

Dear Trinity,

So, first to the school stuff. Your Mom and I took you to an open house at one of the schools we were thinking about sending you to, and as it turns out, we never had to bother with any others. The school was new, very modern, great teachers, in a quiet area, and appears to be very safe. You might actually have thrown us a bit when it became clear just how much you liked it. This is going to be hard enough on your Mom as it is without you actually wanting to go. I think she may have gotten more than a little attached to you being home with you these last (almost 4) years.

And speaking of which, next month will see your 4th birthday. Not sure what we're doing exactly yet, but it will involve a party, lots of presents, probably some visiting with family and friends.

Love Daddy

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

letter to trinity: 46 months

Dear Trinity,

Swearing. That seems to be as good a place as any to get started. Sheezite. You overhead someone saying a similar sounding word in the recent past, and while you didn't quite get the word right, you clearly got its context and application. So now when something doesn't go your way, you make a show of irritation and use your new word in very inventive and adult-sounding utterances. Its really funny.

This past month saw Easter come and go. While we are not at all religious people and are doing our level best to encourage critical thinking in you, we are still exposing you to the secular side of the traditional holidays. I don't want to head into a discussion about imaginary friends here, or your Mom's insistence that we also encourage their belief, as that is quite at odds with the aforementioned critical thinking. But I will say that watching you tear around the house looking for easter eggs is a joy all on its own.

Things have been otherwise fairly quiet around here lately. Your mom and I have been debating the fine points of junior kindergarten and which public school we are going to sign you up for. More on that next month.

Not to much else to say princess. Just waiting for the weather to finally change. I am looking forward to doing some fun things with you this summer. Hopefully take you back to the zoo, teach you to ride a bike, take you canoeing, maybe even camping. Though I am going to have to work on that last one: I might not be the most outdoorsy dude in the world, but your Mom makes me look like a seasoned woodsman.

Love you,


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

letter to trinity: 45 months

Dear Trin,

Another month goes by, another month where I spend almost all my free time working on finishing our basement. So I haven't gotten to go on too many adventures with you because I've been busy making a ridiculous mess of our house. But that being said, I am so close to being finished. And when its done, and the real reason I started doing all this work is complete (that is the Home Theater in the basement that I quietly built along with the other rooms your Mom wanted) the very first thing we're going to watch on our 106" screen is going to be the Hannah Montana movie in 3D. Because I can always bring it back to being about you.

We did get to go on one fun family outing this past month though. We took you to see Disney on Ice, and once we had told you it was coming, it was all you could talk about for weeks. The show was shockingly good compared to the expectations I had going into it. I think I expected a couple of kids with skates and Mickey Mouse hats to come out, dance it up and then pander to the kids. Instead it was a really well choreographed series of dance numbers, with appearances by some of your favourite characters including pretty much all of the current Disney princesses, and The Incredibles. You were, in a word, enraptured.

We also got to spend the night with friends of ours in Niagara Falls. Great people, really fun that they were cool about letting us flop at their place en route to the show the next day. They put on a huge breakfast, ostensibly for us, but really for you, in the hopes that you would love with something they made. They put on eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, pancakes, toast, cereal and I don't even remember what else. What I do remember is that for all that work, you ate nothing, and I spent the day with a straining stomach.

And for some reason that I also can't remember, at some point in the last month, you got it into your head that it would be a great idea to put a gift bag with a batman symbol on it on your head and run around yelling the 60s theme music a la 'Da-na na-na na- na na-na Batman!' A lot of the time I see your Mom in everything you do, but every once in awhile, you do something like that, and I just smile, knowing that no matter what, you are definitely my kid.

See you next month,

Love Daddy

Sunday, March 08, 2009

letter to trinity: 44 months

Dear Trinity,

I am writing this letter way late this time, as I've been working on finishing our basement during pretty much every spare moment I've had for the last few weeks.

You have had a great past month, as is usual for you. Less tantrums, and more forward progress. You've been regularly attending library classes and gymnastics. And you got your very first report card from your gymnastics coach. She took the time to tell you how improved you were and how advanced you were at all of the activities. You got a ribbon with it, and were inordinately proud of wearing it around the house.

You pretty much accidentally discovered math, all on your own. Certainly we've been encouraging, teaching you counting. But you just started figuring out that different sets of numbers can be combined on each of your hands to make a whole new one. It was counting your books that actually was the impetus for your discovery. Its so cool to watch you make these connections.

You've been dreaming a lot more lately. And because you're anxieties are maturing as you are, you have also had a few bad ones. For some reason, you have yet to fully understand the whole toilet thing, even though we showed you how the pipes work, where everything goes when you flush. So the focus of the bad dreams you've been having have had to do with various things going down the drain and getting stuck. Most recently it was crayons. Crayons. But whatever the source, it just shows that you are trying to find ways to process the inputs your exposed to. I wish that this one didn't cause you so much grief, but I'm fairly certain that it won't be the worst thing that will ever enter your subconscious. If only.

You got to go on a pretty fun road trip this month. We went to stay with my Dad and his wife in Ottawa, and you spent a day down at Winterlude, eating Beaver Tails, skating for the first time, enjoying a late night light show. It was a lot of fun. And the best part is that you spent a lot of time with your Grandpa, and I was really happy about that. He and I aren't as close now as I guess we could be, but I love that he wants to be a good Grandpa to you.

One last thing that you and I got to do that I was very happy about was yoga. I've been practicing yoga for years now, never as often as I would like but I finally attended a class, and brought you with me. It was a kids class and it was a superhero theme day too. It was awesome and you were really good at it.

Talk to you in a month.

Love Daddy

Sunday, February 08, 2009

letter to trinity: 43 months

Dear Trinity,

I start writing this month's letter as you sit about a foot away from me watching a cartoon on the Disney channel. You're laying splayed out on your belly with your legs in the air and you look like I think you will look as a teenager, and it makes me miss the little girl beside me already.

We're almost through the worst of the winter now (yay!) and its probably a good thing that is the case. I can get you to come out with me when I go walk our dog, you'll go outside for a brief play in the snow once in awhile, and your Mom has some success doing the same while I am at work, but the bottom line is you just don't like the cold very much. I think its putting all those clothes on that you just find too tiresome. So it'll be good once the warm weather comes, so we can get you outside a little bit more.

The other day I came home to you telling me that Mommy doesn't know how to open the spider web. I hadn't a clue what you were talking about until your Mom told me that she was unable to access a certain web site that you wanted to check out. I think it was the Marvel Create Your Own Hero site, one that you and I visit a lot together. So, spider web = web site. You're so freaking cute. And you have also been asking to learn 'your letters' on the computer, so I have been showing you how to spell simple words, and letting you pretend that you know how to spell them.

You and your Mom went on a road trip for the first time this month. You drove down during a workweek to spend a few days with your Aunt Lisa and your Mom's grandparents. I thought I'd look forward to the quiet and relative peace, but the real truth is I was bored of all that silence after only a few hours. So I was a very happy dad when you came home days later. Your Mom came home telling me how smart you are, after you realized that you almost drove by the place we always stop when we go a family trip. So she rewarded your sharp memory by stopping and having an early supper.

You are becoming very generous these days, and are happy to share your stuff with your friends, us, other family. Usually its in the context of getting us to play with you with whatever you are sharing, but its still really nice to see. Today while at a play date with a one year old daughter of a friend of your Aunt Becky's, as you were getting in the car you ran back to the house to deliver an old book of yours that you always read on the road. It was a really nice gesture, but I hope you don't go looking for that book anytime soon.

You have not quite mastered the ability to know when not to make commentary about the things that you see. You saw a fellow who was well on his way to losing his hair and instead of whispering your comment to your mom, you yelled at the top of your lungs 'Hey Mom, that guy is BALD!'. And twice now in the last month you have seen overweight people and told us in the same loud, unconcerned voice, that they have too much food in their tummies. We can't help but laugh.

This month you have made two unsuccessful attempts to sleep over at grandma and grandpa's house. You have asked to stay after we've gone over for supper, and your Mom and I were happy to let you stay, but aware that there was a good chance of you calling and wanting to come home. And you did both times. We live a few minutes' drive away, so its no big deal, and its cool that you are trying to assert your independence that way. Sooner or later, you'll stay the night.

You are still loving being read to and pretending to read, and very likely because you see me doing it, one of the your favourite things to read is comic books. In some ways, you're a real chip off the old block.

Talk to you next month,

Love Daddy

Saturday, January 10, 2009

letter to trinity: 42 months

Dear Trinity,

Ok, so last month I talked a bit about you asserting yourself at bedtime. I have chosen to talk to you again about this in this letter because assertive might not quite have been as descriptive as it needed to be. You are actually kind of a horror show at bedtime these days.

We only recently stopped lying down with you at night until you fell asleep, something carried over from your Mom bringing you to bed from when I worked nights. So now, we have been putting you into your bed, reading you a story or two each, and then leaving you with a stuffed animal, and hoping that you will fall asleep on your own. And it hasn't worked once. Most nights, you run out of your room immediately after we leave. We cajole, we ask, we order, and occasionally I even raise my voice. None of it works. Most nights you run around the house, yelling, throwing tantrums, jumping on the furniture, and pretty much misbehaving in any way you can to let us know how much you think bedtime sucks.

And the thing about this that grinds us the most is that we think of ourselves as pretty good parents. We aren't overly demanding of you, we give you a lot of freedoms, we try to spend as much time teaching, playing and interacting with you as we can. But either because, or in spite of the fact that we try to be nice-nice with the parenting, you are running all over us with this one. Even your Mom, who is way cooler headed than I am, is about ready to pull her hair out. I hope to have a better update about this next month, because right now, I am feeling like one of those parents that walks around telling anyone who will listen how naive I was before I had kids.

You did do one really cute thing early one morning (or late one night) in regards to bedtime, so I'll tell you about that. After everyone was asleep for awhile, you woke up, crept into our bedroom, and stood in the door saying 'Excuse me' until we woke up, and then asked if you could please join us in our bed. I have kind of been waiting for that one since your Mom got pregnant, and it was pretty adorable. Of course, we let you into our bed.

There were some good milestones this past month. You use the toilet now a lot more, and you have the mechanics that go along with that pretty much nailed down. We are really excited about how well this is going, especially because you still don't like to think about the pooping.

You have a best friend now, and for the first time, it isn't either your Mom or I. You have often told either of us that we were your best friend at various moments, and its very endearing, but you have decided that the little girl down the road, Anna is now your real best friend. You have gotten to see her regularly during play dates that your Mom has set up for you and every time you see her, you run up to her and hug her and tell her how she is your best friend. I wonder if later on in your life, if you will even know who this girl is, or if you do, if you will be friends with her.

Your self-directed play is evolving more and more all the time. You are getting away from the need to have someone else play with you every minute of the day. A lot of times you still want to play with your Mom or I, or whoever else is handy, but more and more now you will pick up dolls, or toys and start interacting with them on your own, making up voices and having animated discussions between the participants.

You have also really been getting into using the baby voice on us. You like to turn it on as a play tool, and that is pretty fun to listen to, but you also like to use it to on us as an additional bargaining tool. And the sad thing is, the cuteness of it means that it works almost every single time.

We had a real fun xmas with you last month. This wasn't the first year that you knew what was going on, but this was the first time you got behind the whole santa thing, (which I would have been just fine with playing down as much as possible). You also really got into giving presents to others which was fun, but between all the people in your life that wanted to give you gifts, you still managed to get spoiled rotten. Including us, even though we did our level best to avoid it.

In spite of the bedtime hijinx, you remain the best thing that has ever happened to me.