It’s so fun having conversations with you. Though sometimes you say weird things. Like the other day you informed me, “That monster doesn’t bug me,” despite never having mentioned any monster before. It sounds like a line from a story or song, but if so, it’s one I’ve never read to you. Today you stood on the couch and sang a song to the tune of the ABCs that half featured color names and half featured gibberish. You should record it; I bet it’d be a hit with the pre-school set.
My favorite expressions of yours are the most off-handed. The way you suddenly have started to say “okay” when I suggest you do something. The way you ask “What’s that called?” even when asking someone’s name. The way you say “Do you know _______?” in a tone of great wonder that we know about all the same stuff he knows about. The way our months-long insistance on asking for things politely has resulted in your saying “May I please have some milk?” The way you read along and memorize phrases on all the pages of your favorite books. Even the way you sometimes stutter a little bit, but always push through to finish your thought.
You’ve weirdly developed a fetish for the color purple. One might think this was born of my Northwestern pride, but I don’t actually have much. I actually kinda hate purple. Maybe Mom put you up to it just to goad me. She does seem to revel in this fetish, the same way she revels anytime you say something in Hebrew.
You’ve gotten to watch more movies lately. This is both prescriptive and reactive. On the one hand, I want you to get to know the classics and appreciate them. On the other, I want to steer you away from those mindless, terrible Thomas and Dora shows. So we started with The Iron Giant. Adorable kid, loveable giant robot, what could go wrong? “Turn it off!” you demanded, and continue to demand every time I put it on. “Too scary.” Next up: The Secret of NIMH. I remembered this being a cute movie about cute mice. Whoops, it’s full of terror and scary owls. And… you’ve seen it four times already. “Please can we watch mouse movie, Dada?” Between that and your quick adoption of The Goonies into your personal canon, I’m pretty pleased.
As for games, one of your favorite is the Sleeping Tickle Monster Game, something we inherited from Papa Syd, who would play it with Mama whe she was a kid. The way it goes is that one of us chases you, captures you, and holds you tight; then, exhausted from the chase, falls asleep with you in her arms. You escape, the monster wakes up, and the game starts anew. You love it. You LOOOVE it. You love it so much you won’t even force us to chase you. We simply have to say “Oh no!” and do a half-assed pulling-you-back mime, and you’ll willingly get caught in our invisible tractor beam, finally laying down next to us to help enable your recapture. We’re much more likely to grow tired of it before you do.
You’ve also started playing with your sister, thank god. I know the days of pulling her grabby hands away from the project you’re working on won’t ever go away entirely, but may this new development be a sign of at least partially cooperative playtime. You don’t play the same games, really, but you do know what it takes to please her, and sometimes you’ll go get her some toys to play with, so she can be happy while you play with yours. You definitely find her more endearing than obnoxious, which is really all we can hope for.