Year 3

July 25, 2011 At his three-year checkup, Brenden measured 34 lbs (75th percentile) and 39 inches (86th percentile). Since he also measured 39 inches back in April, I figure one of those measurements must be off. His lungs are doing much better, so we’ve quit the breathing treatments altogether. I don’t know whether the medication, sending our pets to new homes, or the summer weather is responsible for his great improvement. Regardless of the reason, we’re happy to stay away from the ER.

We took a break from preschool this summer, but he is scheduled to go back right after Labor Day. This summer we’re staying busy with the gym, playing at home, and visiting family. His imagination is developing rapidly. His newest interest is having us make up stories for him at bedtime right before we sing a song. Anything involving him as the main character captures his attention like nothing else, especially if he’s a pirate. It’s so hot outside that he doesn’t play outdoors much except swimming or playing in the sprinklers or the inflatable pirate ship that our friends gave us. He seems to get hot easily this time of year. Tennis is only an option in the early morning, which severely limits our opportunities.

I am very pleased to report that pottytraining is going great! He wears underwear all the time when he’s awake, including when we go out. A combination of M&Ms, bribery with toy cars, and the promise of a Mommy-Brenden date to his first in-theater movie (Cars 2) finally made it stick. We still have to set timers and remind him often, and he still has a few accidents like we expected, but I think we’re going to get through this. It’s been strange trying to get in the habit of asking him to visit the bathroom and think about it when we’re out in public. Certain public bathrooms work better than others, and it’s best to time our trips so that he can go at home instead.

His personality continues to grow and emerge. He’s reached the tattling stage and occasionally tattles on his brother or other kids when we’re out in public. I get the impression that he’s more concerned about the breaking of rules than with malice toward the other child, but maybe I’m biased. He’s still very curious and loves to ask questions. Cooking up pretend food and pretending to be a pirate looking for treasure are some of his favorite games, along with wrestling with me and Jonathan. Speaking of food, he’s still fairly picky and unpredictable at mealtime, but it might be getting a bit easier. He likes to share his food with us. If we politely refuse, he explains that “I’m sharing”, as if that should obligate us to accept his gift. Sometimes it works. We’ve discovered that both Brenden and Jonathan love having time alone with either Jenny or me or both, so we’re looking for opportunities to have solo “dates” with each of them. This morning, for example, I took Brenden out for donuts and tennis while Jenny stayed home with Jonathan. He ate it up.

May 21, 2011 Brenden has almost finished his first year of preschool and is approaching three years old. We went to his first school program on Thursday. It’s hard to believe he’s so big.

Life with Brenden is never dull! He recently reached the “why?” stage. “Why is that light red? Why you have to go to work? Why you talking about weeds?” I love that he is so curious, but the machine-gun questions wear us down after a while. It’s still amazing to me that I can have a real conversation with a little boy who didn’t even exist until a few years ago. Now he has his own opinions, will, and personality in abundance. At times he can be very polite and friendly, like a little man rather than a toddler. He loves to help out, so we try to find little ways for him to help with our chores, such as throwing clothes into the washer or picking up Jonathan’s pacifiers from the floor. He also has developed an imagination, so we have a great time discussing the stories and situations that Brenden makes up (a family of bears hiding under a pillow on the couch, stuff like that).

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