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.