Three and a half

Dear Tucker,

There are all these things I think I should write about here, where they won't get lost the way my notes on the back of envelopes seem to.
Right now the chalkboard in our dining room says:  
Tucker is awesome. Duh. 
I kind of think that goes without saying, and that nothing else really needs to be said.  But that won't stop me from recording just a few of my favorite things about you at three and a half.

Suddenly you are ALL little boy. You fix yourself a glass of water, you look out for your younger brother, you imagine elaborate stories, you are acutely aware of other people’s feelings.  You breathe wonder into the simplest things.

I’m good, you say, when you bump your head or pinch your finger, when we ask whether you're hungry or when you seem frustrated trying something new.
 “Goo-wood,” you say, adding at least one extra syllable. I’m good. I’m good.
You are good.  I hear you say it and start to believe it’s true for me too.  You make us all good.

You've been reading signs like STOP and EXIT, ubiquitous words on certain shapes in familiar colors.  You recognized the word "fragile" on a box outside.  You "read" books that you've heard enough times to have memorized, like Big Bear Little Bear, and Tollie loves to listen.  You're not especially interested in writing yet, but you arrange magnetic letters to make “words” and ask us to help you spell things.  You point out that brave and love “sound the same at the end” and you list all the things that begin with “T” – Tucker and Tollie and tree and toys and tall and tooth and truck.  You're getting the hang of rhyming and if I say boot, you say newt.  Someone suggested we trace your hand inside the cover of your favorite books periodically, so we can look back and see how big you were when you liked certain stories.  Although I think that's a brilliant idea, I've failed miserably at executing it.  Instead, a few for now: Imogene's Antlers, Stuck, Curious George, The Invisible String, Jungle Drums...

You called cousin Vanessa "sweetheart" one evening last week.  Goodnight sweetheart.  You referred to Poppy's dog, Matthew, as "sugar" last month.  Fetch sugar.  And for a few weeks, you've been calling us Jenni and Andy.  Most people have found that both surprising and humorous.  We appreciated the advice of one friend, and followed it by explaining to you that anybody can call us Jenni and Andy and that there are only three people in the whole world who get to call us Mama and Daddy.  You've remained resolute, however, and so we've tried to remain unfazed.
You're interested in numbers, learning how clocks work and marking dates on the calendar.  You count forward and backward, abstract and concrete.  This week you've been helping us count Tollie's steps - he's taken three! - and your enthusiasm for his progress makes it especially exciting.  A few weeks ago you tried to add -- hotdogs, of course -- holding up four fingers on one hand, to show the number of hotdogs you ate at Poppy's, and three fingers on the other hand, to indicate the ones you had with Grandpa Tim.  You lined up your extended fingers and counted them all together.  It's also easy to see signs of early division in the way you want to divvy up treats among people you love.

You are enthusiastic about life, Tucker.  You have good manners.  You know all about elevator buttons and vegetable gardening.  You make cameras out of blocks, shields from pot lids, snakes with Daddy's belts.  You make musical instruments out of EVERYthing.  And you make us so happy.
You are growing like a weed, which may seem like an odd thing to compare, not a rose or a daisy or an aspen or an oak, but I’d still pick you.  Given the alternative, I'd choose that you grow and grow and stretch away from our sphere.  But that doesn't keep me from trying to save a little space in my mind where I can keep you small forever.

You are three and a half, and we are savoring sticky hands and somersaults.
You are awesome, and we love you more than you may ever know.
Mama Jenni


  1. What a treasure your blog and, especially your letters to them, will be to your boys someday!

  2. Another fun thing to do is have him write his name on a page of his baby book each year around his birthday (or whenever you think about it). It's fun to watch the progression of the "signature" through the years.