Newsletter: Month 54

Dear Ian, The last month or so has been full of ups and downs for both you and me. I recall wistfully how when you were a baby it was a rarity to hear you cry for any reason at all, and if so never for more than a few seconds.

As a three and four year old, though, there were times when I wondered if we could get through one glorious day without you crying over something. I don't blame you for this. It's tough being four, much more so than being a newborn in many ways.

We are literally watching your brain change before our eyes and it is all at once amazing and maddening. You have gone through some phases recently of not wanting to be out of our site. Since our house is larger than a studio apartment, this has led to you flipping out because we go upstairs to the bathroom without notifying you. I didn't think I would need a hall pass in my own home, but it is what it is.

But this past month has also marked a significant milestone of you playing with other kids and without us while at an SCA event. This is huge, for all of us. I just checked on you every few hours to water you and feed you a snack. You were happy to invent your own games, find your own friends, and make your own adventures. It was magical.

While you're trying to write and draw more these days, your handwriting still leaves much to be desired. You sit in the backseat with a notebook and pen, doing your "homework" and asking me how to spell whatever word comes to mind. You asked me how to spell "underwear" the other day and dutifully plowed through all those letters. But after that, you sheepishly asked if we could just spell "undies" instead. That led to the realization that they both start with the same letters. And your brain grew just a little more right then and there.

We've started reading our first chapter book this month. I picked out James and the Giant Peach on a whim and I'm pleased to say we're making great headway. It's been hard, though, if you get very tired because you don't want to go to sleep but you have to pay attention through your exhaustion to follow the story with no pictures. First world problems, man.