Tuesday, December 07, 2010

letter to trinity: 65 months

Dear Trinity,

What was I just saying about wishing for an early winter? Did I seriously say that? Let me check that last letter again. Yes, I did in fact ask for an early winter, including snow. Wish granted, as it turns out. We did get an early winter this year, along with lots of early deep cold and a large amount of snow. I could have done with the latter and not the former, and to be honest, not that much of the latter. Enough to make a few snowballs would have satisfied me.

That said though, one of us was quite happy with the snow: you. The minute there was enough snow on the ground to make snowmen, we were all laying out in the front yard, making a snow family, complete with your Mom, you and I, and your cat and dog. Turns out you are both quite the creative genius and a director, being equally able to come up with the ideas and delegate the work accordingly.


And you are only too happy to be pulled behind the sled in said snow, regardless of whether we have our husky harnessed to it (which we do, and she loves) or me (which can be seen here):



Personally, I am thinking that its only the 7th of December and I am already tired of the winter weather. I have been driving back and forth from home to Southern Ontario for work a few times already, and I am 4 for 4 for driving through snowstorms. But I digress, I suppose. It can't be a bad thing that you are wanting to play outside, cold or no. And we have talked about me teaching you downhill skiing, something that I have long looked forward to. I used to ski all the time when I was younger, even racing a bit in high school. I wasn't all that good, but I have done a lot of skiing at a lot of hills all over the place, so I should be able to teach you a few things at least. We'll see how that goes.

So other than snow and cold, and my strong feelings about both, what else is going on? Your mother has decided to start christmas decorating ridiculously early this year. The xmas decorations went up this past weekend, marking the earliest point in any year I've lived with her that the inside and outside of my home has looked like Santa's workshop. But it made you happy to help participate (again, plenty of delegating here), and your happiness is the only thing that's on my mind these days.

One of the things that I kind of hope you don't get are too many more Barbies. Seriously, you have so many of these dolls that its looking a bit like we're infested with them. Your Mom and I do intend to get you more for xmas than might be reasonable, but you're are only precious child, and if we can make you happy on xmas without influencing you in a negative way, I'm all for it. Just no more Barbies.


And along the lines of xmas and how much you like it, we have some fun stuff ahead shortly. You and I have yet to do our xmas shopping for your Mom, and we have a party coming up soon at the local community centre. You are also going to be taking part in your school's christmas pageant, all of which should be a lot of fun. You have been practicing your lines in the song you will be singing and I can't wait to attend the event and see how you do in front of an audience. I am amazed at how far you've come already, considering how unhappy you were with just being at school only last year.


Until next month, I love you.

Daddy

Saturday, November 13, 2010

letter to trinity: 64 months

Dear Trinity,

So Halloween is over and with it goes another October, and time for another one of our little one way chats.

I wonder how old you'll be when you either discover on your own that I am writing these letters to you, or I tell you about them. I guess I have been thinking about how far along in your life I will be lately, and its occurred that you might be reading these posthumously. Not to be morbid or anything, but I hope you get something out of the fact that I want you to know later on what I thought about the time I had with you, regardless of how long it lasted.

On the other hand, maybe you'll be reading these with me around and able to stick my nose into your life at any time and provide my own brand of fatherly advice, such as it is. These notes will be less of a comfort and more of a confirmation that I have always been the same guy in that case. But validation can be a kind of comfort.

This last month has been fun. You've spent the last few weeks working your way through a couple of different flu bugs so your Mom had you in for a few trips into the clinic and the doctor's a few times. But you're through it now, no more constant sneezing, coughing and these keeping you up at night, so that's good.

And you had a fun Halloween, I think. We made our annual trip out to the local pumpkin patch, and we ended up going on the worst day weather-wise that we had all month. It was cold, raining and there were only a handful of other people around. The good thing was that with so few people there, we had the place to ourselves. You wore a costume we had kept from a few years ago, and where it once covered your entire body, its now become a sweater. But you still looked cute in it. And you got the opportunity to wear more than a few costumes this year. You had a few themed parties, a day at school, our pumpkin trip, and our drive around Halloween night to wear some of your outfits. I suppose it should come as no surprise to me if you turn out to be a cosplayer when you're older.








Things are finally turning around with your cat. We had the little monster fixed and declawed; yes, I know that there is a school of thought that says not to do that to cats. What I will say by way of response here is that it was the difference between getting rid of a cat that was constantly scratching my five year old daughter, or keeping her favourite pet. But the good news is that he is now overnight a more agreeable animal. He hasn't lost any of his spunk, so he's still a bit of a pest, but you now get to interact with him all the time without fear of him doing permanent damage.



One more thing. This past month I went over to Wisconsin, and attended a Green Bay Packers NFL game. I couldn't help myself with some shopping at the Pro Shop, so I ended up bringing home a large amount of stuff that I wasn't expecting to. So you now have some attire that you otherwise wouldn't have. You're a lot happier about it then the picture below would suggest.


I am looking forward to getting ready for xmas with you this month, and to some fun in the snow. I am certain to regret saying this later, but maybe we'll get lucky and get an early winter, so we can go play in the white stuff.

I love you,

Daddy

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

letter to trinity: 63 months

Dear Trin,

The month of September has come and gone, and with it your first full month of school. What a difference a month makes.

Between yourself, your Mom and I, there was more than enough tension as you were gearing up to be going to school (see any previous letter over the last few months to know its been on my mind). But as it turns out, we were worried unnecessarily, all of us. You love school. You love taking the bus. You love your teacher, your friends. Its fantastic from our point of view, because we were so wrapped up in what happened last fall, where we really think we sent you too soon given that you had previously spent 99% of your time with your Mom, that we missed thinking how much you would take to it.



Now when I come home and you tell me about your day, I actually do get to hear about you learning new things, what you talked about with your friends, something that might have happened on the bus. And don't get me wrong; its not all great. You have days when you don't want to go, or when you beg your Mom to drive you to school so you don't have to go on the bus. But as the weeks go by, there seems to be less and less of that. I am really happy that you are doing so much better than ok.

We went to your school early last month in fact. They held an open house, and you dragged me around the school showing me everything on the way like a tour guide, while your Mom, who has been there lots with you, just watched, smiling with pride. You took us into your classroom, and walked us through how you spend your days, the different activities you do. I got to see a painting you did on the classroom easel, and I just loved it. You have such a creative mind. I hope that I don't do anything but stimulate and encourage that as the years go by.


One thing I did get you into this month past was videogames. I bought what I am sure you will laughably someday look back on as antiquated, a camera/motion control based system that uses a wand style controller that you use to interact with. You love it, and currently your favourite game to play is a virtual fly swatter game. I love that when you interact with any kind of technology, you don't even think about what's behind it, or wonder how to interface with it. You just pick it up and do it. Very cool.



We tried out a Daddy-daughter date night again this month, and while it seemed to go well at the time, you got very upset once we got home, realizing how long you'd been away from your Mom. So we're going to skip it until yoga class starts again next month, and we'll see what happens.



I am sure there's plenty of other things I could be talking about to you, but school was the big thing for a long time around here, and its been so nice to find that the shadow it was casting over us turned out to be little more than a rain cloud that the sun has definitely come out from behind.

I love you so much,

Daddy

Thursday, September 09, 2010

letter to trinity: 62 months

Dear Trinity,

I am writing this one a little late again. I let the monthly anniversary go by without taking notes because we were all focused on a larger concern at the time: you going to school.

This is a pretty big thing for any family to go through, and there were a few reasons why it was maybe a little bit worse for us.
  1. We're not the most trusting of parents and have had a lot of anxiety and discussion about you going to school vs home schooling.
  2. You tried junior kindergarten last year for a few months, hated it, and didn't go back.
  3. You have otherwise spent almost every single waking moment with your mother (and occasionally me) since birth.
  4. You have been telling us constantly that you don't want to go to school.
So we had some trepidation around this whole thing and its overshadowed a lot of the last couple of weeks. But the big day came, and we woke you up as planned, about 45 minutes before your bus was coming by. We had laid out your clothes the night prior and we got a decent breakfast in you before going out wait for the bus. You were obviously nervous, but when the bus did show up, you squared your shoulders, got on, never saying a last goodbye or looking back. I was so proud and so anxious for you at the same time. You don't like to show weakness to anyone, especially your Mom and I.


There were a few tears, but all in all I am so happy for you. I love that you are going regularly to school now. You will get to experience so much, learn from different people, get some of the routine and socialization that in spite of your Mom's constant efforts to have you in dance, gymnastics, play dates, etc, you just can't get otherwise.



But its not all about school. I also have a few experiences related to me from your Mom that I think need to be shared:

A few weeks ago, your Mom and you had been doing some shopping and were on your last stop, ready to call it a day and come home. You decided you wanted something (a jump rope I think) and when you were informed that you couldn't have it, you had a bit of a meltdown. Not that unusual for you, or most other 5 year olds. However, when you got back to the car, you said the following to your Mom 'Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you: You are the worst Mom ever!'. I tried not to laugh when your Mom told me this story, because it was hurtful thing to say, but it was kind of funny hearing you go to that level of extreme to indicate your annoyance. And it is funny, because your Mom couldn't be any better of a Mom, so saying something so ridiculous is kind of funny.

Another experience related to me by your Mom worth sharing was a conversation you had with her about your Uncle Dave and his girlfriend. A little context: Last winter their house burned down after Morgan had left something cooking in grease on the stove. I'm not sure what drove you to say this, but you told your Mom that 'Next time I am going to ask Uncle Dave to cook. Morgan's not a very good cooker.' Priceless.

Something else we did this month was to rent a boat and try cruising the lake and fishing a bit. We've been on the lake dozens of times, and me a lot more than that. But we had done some talking about getting something small and thought we'd rent one first and see what everyone really thought about it. You loved it, and the fact that you had me stop after only a quarter mile or so, so you could jump overboard for a swim. And between all the swim stops and fishing we got in in one afternoon trip, I think we are a go for boat.


And here's one last thing: This month, you got your ears pierced. You asked for your ears to be pierced awhile back, maybe as much as a year back, but you said you weren't ready. So we just told you to let us know when you thought you'd be ready and we'd go get it done. So after spending the night with your Grandma, you came home and asked to get your ears pierced. I think your Grandma would love to take credit for the idea, but your Mom and I know better. You have always, and continue to make up your own mind about things. So we took you in to look into it, and you didn't back down, blink or even manifest any anxiety, not even after the whole thing was over. I was astonished that you didn't get worried about it a single bit. While my stomach was in knots worried about the pain you were going to experience, you just clutched your bear, blew off your Mom and my concerns, and just got it done. You really are a trooper.



Let me just say one more time how excited I am for you that you are in school. You're going to start learning new things all the time, and I can't wait to hear about your thoughts as you start putting all these new concepts into your existing world view. I only hope I am up to the challenge when you ask me for my input on any of it.


I love you so much,

Daddy

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

letter to trinity: 61 months

Dear Trinity,

I am currently in the middle of my summer vacation with you and your Mom, and I just wanted to tell you how much fun I am having, and what a great break it is from my regular work-week life. I get up at 6, leave just after 7, get home at 5:30 or so, eat, play with you for a few minutes, read you a story, go to bed, and start over. And even though I am off on the weekends, it doesn't seem like I get to spend near enough time with you these days. Next month you'll be in school full time, and you'll be gone most of the same time that I am so I likely to see my time with you shrink even further now that your Mom and I will be competing for your attention when you're not in school. Yes, we can spend time as a family, but it is nice to get 1 on 1 time with you. One nice thing for you and I is that your Mom has taken to working on Saturday mornings, so we get some additional Daddy-Daughter time. Last week we went mini-putting and went out for lunch. It was fun.

Its going to be a big adjustment once you go to school, mostly for you of course. But the impact on your Mom isn't going to be a small one either. She's spent almost every day of your life with you so far, and she's going to have some adjusting to do just as you will. So go easy on her, and everything should work out fine.




The word I would use to describe you lately that is the best fit is probably 'cheeky'. You are getting just a little bit spoiled being the only child, and we cave in to you probably more than we should. Because of this, you tend to be more demanding lately than we would like, and when we do say no to you, there's more and more often some push back from you that I could do without. Most of the time you are a perfect model of a child, attentive, curious and well behaved. But sometimes, when you don't get your way, you become a bit of a terror, and I have a hard time figuring out how to get the other kid you just were back. But its rare, and not so big a deal that its causing any real problems. But I thought it was worth mentioning that you are exerting your strong personality in different ways lately.




As far as that vacation I mentioned goes, we're having a great time together. We went down to Niagara Falls for a proper vacation, and it was great. We stayed in a hotel near the Falls and did all the touristy things we could think of. We went to Marineland where you got to touch and feed a beluga whale, took a ride on the Maid of the Mist right under the falls, and your Mom took you up the Skylon Tower to see the view from 500 feet above the city. I didn't do the last one because I have a fear of heights, and while I could have sucked it up for you and gone along, I didn't want to spoil your memory of the event by remembering me cowering at the back of the elevator. Sometimes the best example is the one you don't set.






We walked by a park late on night where they were putting on a free concert and you surprised us by asking if we could go. We then spent the next few hours watching you dance and thrill to a few different performances that included hip hop, country and some stand-up comedy. You repeated some of the jokes for the next few days, and as always it amused everybody to hear the things you find funny. You're big on toilet humour, which I suppose is normal for a kid your age. Personally I still think its funny, and I probably should have grown out of it awhile back.

I don't know what else we have going on this summer. We are going to have my Dad and Mom come visit (separately, seeing as their marriage to each other ended when I was your age, close to 30 years ago). But you love your Grandpa and he loves to play with you, so that should be fun. Your Grandma (she has asked that you call her Nana, which I hate) is a bit of a different grandparent. I think she forgot how to play a long time ago, but she loves you in her own way. We might take you to Santa's Village in the next week, while I am still off. We last took you there 2 years ago, something I had to check by looking at the date stamps on the pictures I took that trip. I was convinced that it was only last summer, and looking at how you were only two years ago, and coupled with the fact that I remember my experiences with you so vividly made me choke up a little.

I could not have imagined feeling the way that I do about a child before having you, and now having you in my life, I can't imagine what my life was like before you were in it. I feel sorry for people who decide not to have children and think their lives full. Having you was the single greatest decision I've ever been involved in, and it bothers me not a bit that my biggest achievement to the world is behind me, because I get to spend the rest of my life enjoying that decision.

Even if you are cheeky.




I love you,

Daddy

Sunday, July 04, 2010

letter to trinity: 5 years

Dear Trinity,

5 years. When did that happen exactly? I look back on the last five years with you, and I can't believe how things can change so much, so fast. It feels like just a few minutes ago I was holding my new baby girl in my arms moments after her birth, watching her roll over for the first time, hearing her say Daddy for the first time. And yesterday, I got to watch my little girl laughing, playing, swimming with her friends at her fifth birthday party.





You opted for a superhero cake this year over last year's princess theme, and your cake turned out very well.

The party we had for you yesterday wasn't on your actual birthday, but we opted to do a few parties this year. We had the kids party yesterday and today had a little get together with your Mom's family (your Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt and Uncle). It was fun. You are a big breakfast fan lately, no matter which mealtime it is, so we had a brunch for you, much to your enjoyment.

Afterwards, we gave you your small presents, and then we told you we were going to drive out to get your 'big' present. We didn't want to build it up too much, but we had planned to pick up a kitten for you from a local person who takes in pregnant cats and finds good homes for the kittens. We drove you up to the place and told you only that you had a surprise present waiting for you. The look on your face when you opened the door to see that it was a kitten was worth all the time we talked about it and worried over whether getting you one was the right thing to do. You've had it for hours only and you're already madly in love with it. You've named him Tyson, in honour of your grandparents old cat.



This shouldn't all be about your birthday I guess; this month has been another fun one. You and I started going to our yoga class together again, and continue to do our Wednesday nights together, usually ending with us going out for dinner at our favourite diner.

You have been spending lots of fun time outdoors lately. You have been playing a lot of soccer with me, and you're actually getting really good. You've got a strong kick and a great sense of timing to stop the ball from getting past you. I'll think you'll make a great goalie.



You've taken to eating a lot of freezies lately, although you've decided that they're too cold on the hands to hold. Hence, freezie gloves. So cute.

I have been on a Doctor Who kick this month, catching up with the latest season of the new series, and also watching some classic episodes from the Tom Baker era (a quick search will tell you what I'm talking about). And here's a little thing: Your Mom absolutely hates Doctor Who. I am not sure if its the cheap sets, the bad acting, the terribly fake monsters, but she just does not get my love for this classic series. I do know for sure that the theme music epitomizes her dislike for the show, so if she hears it, she goes nuts. Knowing this, and being who I am, I tend to hum the theme music occasionally, because I think its funny. You've been going to your Mom's rescue though, and whenever you hear me start up, you cover her ears. Its pretty funny.

I love you so much Trin and I can't wait to celebrate the next five years with you.






Love Daddy

Sunday, June 06, 2010

letter to trinity: 59 months

Dear Trinity,

Its funny how time gets away from us. How when we're in the moment, things can seem so monumental, and you can feel so certain that the details of any experiences will stay with you for all time. And then when the time comes to reflect on past moments, you can feel the emotional weight of certain moments but draw a complete blank on the details you were certain that you would hold onto forever.

That's my long-winded way of saying I can't currently remember one thing I wanted to write about this month. I spend nowhere near the time with you that your Mom does, but I always want to think that everything that you say or do that impresses, offends, or otherwise engages me must be so much more meaningful for the fact that I don't get those moments as often. But all this really does is show that I should keep a journal or something to keep those moments handy.



What's new this month? Well, the nice weather showed up, and we've been trying to enjoy it for as long as it lasts. You've been spending plenty of time playing at the lake, and we've made a few family forays to the public beach now that we don't have to get out fill at the local pool.

You seem to have more than your usual share of bruises and bumps lately, primarily on your shins, and we think you're heading into a growth spurt, with all the normal balance issues that come into play as your body catches up with the height and limb length changes.

You and I have been practicing soccer a lot in the yard, something that you've just sort of decided you are really into. We tried to get you signed up for the soccer season here, but it turns out there are a lot more interested kids than spaces, so we missed out there. We'll try again next year. For me, playing one on one with you in the yard is way more fun anyways.

You continue to amaze me with your development. Your empathy is on my mind tonight, because of something that happened earlier. Your Grandma fell and broke her arm, rather badly today, and you haven't yet had the chance to see her to talk to her about it. We danced around it a bit when telling you about it, but your need to understand exactly what we were talking about convinced us to just give it to you straight. You weren't upset for her, but you immediately responded by wanting to see her and see if she was ok. And when we convinced you that wasn't a good idea, you came up with the idea of bringing her ice cream 'because that always makes me feel better!' and to make her a feel better card. You're just awesome that way.



This is the last month I will right a letter to a four year old, and this year feels like it is made of more milestone than the last few previous have. I will have a 5 year old daughter in a few weeks, and that just feels hard to get ahold of. The last five years have gone by so quickly, but have been so fulfilling, and so much more enriched by having you in my life. I hope that someday you can look back at your early life and feel similarly, but you might have to wait for the old cliche of having your own kids before that has the same emotional context that I have. I do find myself thinking of my own childhood more lately, now that I can see your childhood reflected back at me from your eyes. And every time I hear you lament that you wish you a grown up, I tell you that I would be happy to switch places with you. And that's not parental doublespeak: I mean it.



I can't wait to celebrate your birthday with you soon sweetheart, and I hope that we get to make the most of having lots of time together this summer, your last before you really do have to start school.

I love you,

Daddy

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

letter to trinity: 58 months

Dear Trinity,

The first thing I want to bring up is how much fun I have with you lately. Right out of the gate, I am having a lot fun with you when we hang out. We have been keeping up our Wednesday nights out (you call them Daddy Daughter Date Nights, which I love). We usually go to the local pool and go out to a greasy spoon for breakfast for dinner. We talk and get to spend time just the two of us. I get to see for myself, and not from your Mom, or when other people are around to influence things exactly what an intelligent, inquisitive, funny kid you are. I can't believe how cool you are for a four year old sometimes.



Our yoga class is starting up again, something that both of us are looking forward to. And once the summer kicks in to gear, I think we might go swimming at the lake on our nights out, maybe go on the carousel (which I hate) until one of us throws up (which will be me).

You are getting taller lately. You're weight is still hovering just shy of 40 pounds, but it seems like everything that was tight on you is baggy again, though most of it doesn't fit you because you're getting so tall. I am seriously in so much trouble for later in life. You are growing up to be so smart and curious and thoughtful. And you're probably going to be 6' tall and drop dead gorgeous if you keep your Mom's looks. So much to look forward to, what with the all the scaring away of potential suitors I am going to have to do.



And speaking of hitting that 40 pound mark, we have graduated you to booster seats in our vehicles in honour of that goal, and you have gotten to say goodbye to the toddlerish car seats you had and have moved into boosters without a look back. You are extremely proud of yourself for being big enough to be in one, and look disdainfully at 'little baby' car seats whenever they come into view. Too funny.

I don't have a lot else to say tonight. As usual, I write this late at night, after first you, then your Mom have gone to bed. I will say that I booked my vacation for the summer today. Knowing that you are going to go to school in the fall I took more time off than I might have otherwise, because it feels like an ending, and I want to squeeze in as much time with you as I can get. So look out for roller coasters, zoos, and lots more daddy daughter time!



I love you so much,

Daddy

Monday, April 05, 2010

letter to trinity: 57 months

Dear Trinity,

Well there goes another March, and with it most of our snow and cold. Fortunately it felt to me like we had little of either, but maybe that's because winter seemed to go by so fast, or because I wasn't really paying attention. Maybe both.



You have been busy this month. You continue to have your weekday activities with your Mom, and I am amazed how much you guys are doing. I almost think you'd be better off at home with your Mom than going into Kindergarten next year. Almost, except for the formal structure school affords. And the learning. There's that too. Your Mom and I decided we were against home schooling, so even though you are getting to experience a lot of things with her, and with me when I'm available, you aren't getting the formal building-block type education that will help build a foundation on which you will learn later from. That's a bit of overstatement probably. There's only so much to learn from finger painting and playdoh with other kids. But I am looking forward to you going to school, if for nothing else than to start supplementing your learning myself, by trying to get into the things you are learning about. I'm excited.



We have so far tried to feed your interests as well as we can. We have taken you to see dinosaur exhibits before, and this month we took you up to Science North to see the realistic animatronic dinosaurs they have there. Turns out they were a little too realistic, because they scared the crap out of you, and you wanted nothing else but to get away from that exhibit. It wasn't a total wash though: The second reason to go was to show you the planetarium, and to try to kindle an interest in space. That was a fun experience, and you asked a lot of cool questions. The show we saw focused on the perspective afforded when you view our tiny solar system within the context of a family of billions of galaxies. I don't know that you got it (I don't know sometimes that I have it completely) but you were fascinated. And that was enough.



We also took you to go see a Disney on Ice show, and as I had predicted, you wouldn't stand for any of the Beauty and the Beast stuff. I still maintain that its the Beast that you dislike, but as soon as you saw Belle, you went nuts and I had to take you almost out of the building to calm you down. The rest of it you thoroughly enjoyed though, and that was fun to see. We had great seats, and I remarked to your Mother that I am probably cultivating a sense of entitlement similar to the one she walks around with so when you're older, if you ever get anything other than the 1st or 2nd row at a show you'll feel dissatisfied. I want you to have great things in life, but not to always expect them. We'll see who you take after more as time goes on, I suppose.

One further thing that we did with you this past weekend was to take you to your first 3D movie. We went to see 'How to Train Your Dragon' and it was an awesome experience for everyone involved. You weren't sure about the glasses at first, but you got used to them in no time. And at one point in the movie, you took them off, glanced around and told me how much better the movie was with them on.

We have been continuing to go out once a week, just the two of us. In spite of our yoga class being on hiatus for a month or so, we've been trying to do something anyways. We went swimming at the YMCA last week, and we always go out for dinner. This coming week, we are going to try something different. Your Mom is going out to some girl party, and we're going to have a pizza and movie night at home. It should be fun. I'll let you know how it goes.



I love you,

Dad

Thursday, March 04, 2010

letter to trinity: 56 months

Dear Trinity,

I was talking to someone the other day at work whose wife had just had a baby, and found myself saying to him that I had a little girl at home who was almost 5. 5! After saying it out loud, I caught myself wondering how exactly that happened. I feel like I was helping your Mom bathe you in the sink at our old place about 20 minutes ago. Time is very weird sometimes.



So what's new this month? We decided to put you to work, figured you should start doing some chores around the house to earn your keep. Just kidding about that part. But you asked if you could wash the dishes one night, so we let you. You loved it, and wouldn't let us do anything other than turn on the water for you. You were extremely proud of yourself, and I just found it funny that the novelty for this particular thing will have worn off long before we actually ever do ask you to do the dishes.

You and I have started going to a yoga class together this month. Its something we've done at home many times, but going to a class is a different story. Seeing you doing all these challenging poses and showing up every other kid in the place is a lot of fun. You have since been showing everyone in the family all your favourite poses and impressing everybody with your skills.

After our yoga classes we've been going out for supper, and we have even settled on a regular spot. Its called Burger World, and in spite of its name, its a staple in the community we're from. My attempt was to divert the one time you and I have a meal exclusively together away from something like McDonald's. I am going to go ahead and call this one a success anyways.



Otherwise, this past February has been pretty quiet. We are going to try to take you on a few more excursions next month. We've got a trip to see Disney on Ice planned, and your dislike for Belle from Beauty and the Beast notwithstanding, you are excited to see it. I should note here that while you claim that its Belle you don't like, clearly I think the issue is around her terrifying paramour, the aforementioned Beast. Either that, or pretty french girls in gowns are more fear inducing than I would have otherwise thought. We'll see how that goes.



Your Mom has had you more than normally occupied while I have been at work. Between play dates with other home/non-schooled kids your age, drop in center visits, library class, dance class, swimming at the local pool, you two tend to get around. I don't think you get a lot of time to just hang out at home and not do much of anything, but I think that is the point. And its nice that you're getting to interact with other kids so often. Sort of makes up for us not having another kid solely to keep you company.

We also plan to take you to Science North sometime soon. Its hard enough to get you outside without a good excuse, but because we aren't rabid winter outdoor activity people, its challenging to find things to keep you stimulated this time of year. Once the snow is melted and the ground is relatively dry, you can be occupied playing outside until the ground freezes again, but for now we do our best to keep you busy.



I love you,

Daddy

Saturday, February 06, 2010

letter to trinity: 55 months

Dear Trinity,

Another month gone by and me hardly noticing its passage. Things have been crazy for me lately. I started a temporary new job, and I've been a busy guy because of it.



Your Mom and I have taken you skating a few times this month, and you've really taken to it. There's been talk of looking into figure skating for you. I don't know if you're that into it yet, but you might someday be. Only time will tell, but for now, you do like to hold our hands and work your way from one end of the rink to the other.



You have been enjoying a lot of time with your Mom's family lately. You had a 3 day in a row sleepover at your Grandma and Grandpa's place recently. You started with staying over one night and kept deciding that you didn't want t come home just yet. We missed you a lot, (especially your Mom) but since we are hoping to go on a trip soon enough anyways, we thought it might be a good exercise. Whilst hanging out with your grandparents, you spent a great deal of time learning about how many different clothes your Aunt Becky has to wear, and that she's more than happy to let you try everything on.

You also learned that she will let you wear her makeup if you ask really nicely. I am less of a fan of that part, but you do look pretty cute.



Other things we've done this month include a trip to Toronto for some family time. We spent the night at a hotel downtown, and took you to a Disney kids performance. That was a crazy day. You fell off a bed a few hours before we were scheduled to go, and because you were acting a little strange, we took you to the emergency room to make sure you were okay before we took you anywhere. You were really good at the hospital, and we got the all clear to take you home. We figured that we didn't want to have built up taking you away and that not do it just because you hurt yourself, so we ended up going anyways.



We had a great time at the show, and because we felt guilty even though it was a total accident, we bought you all the toys you wanted from the show. We spent the night at a hotel we love, spent Saturday swimming in the pool, and later walking through the Royal Ontario Museum. You had been there with your Mom last year, and it was great to see it through your eyes myself.

We're going to plan another trip like that soon, not sure where but its nice to get away as a family. I'll let you know how the next one goes.

Love you,

daddy

Sunday, January 03, 2010

letter to trinity: 54 months

Dear Trinity,

Do you know where the month of November went exactly? I seem to have misplaced it. I just sat down to begin this letter and realized that I missed writing one on or about the 4th of December. Sorry about that. I suppose we got busy.

I guess I have had a lot going on, but that's not much of an excuse. I'll make up for it with plenty of xmas pics and stories. But before I get to that:

"I wish I didn't have a family. I wish it was just me and Maya." You said those words the week before christmas, in response to having to go to sleep while we were staying up. We weren't really sure how to take this; certainly we realized that it was a knee-jerk response when you didn't get your way about staying up even later than you already had. But it was a bit of a watershed moment for us, as it was as yet the most painful thing you've ever said to either of us.

I am sure that it won't be the worst thing we'll ever hear you say to us. If you're anything like the women in either your Mom's or my family, you're not going to have a problem with verbalizing emotional states that you might regret later on.



But thankfully that is the only thing that came from you that I didn't want to hear in these last few months, at least that I can remember right now. You have been a very affectionate, curious kid lately, and you often want to engage your Mom or I in some modified play with your toys or a game. Its not enough to play the game under the rules, but you usually want to change the way the game is played and are usually chiding us to keep up. Its pretty funny and shows a depth of imagination that I am very proud of.

This month, I have been trying to get more time with just the two of us. To that end, we have gone to the theater twice, once to see 'The Princess and the Frog' and another to see 'The Chipmunks Squeakquel'. We have been going on walks together, sometimes me pulling you on the sled, sometimes you end up wrestling me in the snow. Its always a lot of fun hanging out just the two of us, and time alone with you is something that I want to do a whole lot more of. I am looking into a weekly yoga class for us to take that should start up this month. More on that next letter.



Now, to christmas. This year we tried hard not to spoil you too much. I kept trying to rein your Mom in from buying too many presents, not because I don't want to give you everything I can, but because I want you to value the things you do get. As it was it ended up being like trying to swim against the tide. I managed to convince your Mom not to go completely crazy, but we had a very large tree and it was circled by an awful pile of presents, almost every one of them for you.



Your favourite thing from us this year was a Barbie RV that your Mom wanted for you as much as she thought you might want it yourself. Nothing wrong with a little vicarious living. I admit to a certain sense of pride when you want to watch superhero cartoons with me. But once you saw that RV, you could have just as easily left the rest of the presents for next year, I think.



You got a few Barbies to go with it, a couple of dolls, and an EZ Bake oven, but that was the bulk of the toys. We got you a few games and a lot of craft supplies, in an attempt to at least get you things you might learn from, but the truth is you learn from your interactions with whatever you play with, so that's a bit of a non-issue.



The other present you got this year that you went crazy over wasn't from us at all. Your Mom's parents got you a pair of skates, and these went over very well indeed with you. It just happens that this year the lake in front of your grandparents froze over perfectly smooth, and from a spot only a few hundred yards from their beach, the lake is frozen as smooth as glass for miles onwards. This combined with only a skiff of snow meant that once we were done opening presents, we took you out on the lake to break in your skates. You loved it, and took to it amazingly well. Your Uncle Dave was good enough to give you your first skating lesson, and I have since gotten myself a pair of skates. I haven't been on a pair for a very long time, but my own Dad had me in a pair before I could walk properly, so I should be able to teach you a few tricks.



We celebrated New Year's this year the way we do most things, quietly and as a family. We stayed home for the night, had a BBQ, and set off a pile of fireworks on the front lawn. You loved that part, though you were too excited to wait until anywhere near midnight.



And thanks to a rare second full moon in one month, the night was bright enough for a very late trip to the local park. Oddly enough at almost midnight on New Year's Eve, we had the place to ourselves.

I hope you know how much you enrich my life, Trin. And I look forward to another year of adventure, challenge and reward with you.



Love you,

Daddy