Thursday, August 10, 2017

Three and Three Quarters!

Forest is now 3.75 years old, which means instead of 3.5 I have to start saying he’s ‘almost 4’. I’m getting a little panicky at the thought that he’s leaving behind the last days of toddlerhood and moving firmly into preschooler territory. Though the last 3 months have brought so much physical, cognitive, and social development, the big boy in him is hard to deny. 
Sniff, sniff. Let’s get on with the summary! 

Favorite Book: He’s loving Dr. Suess right now, particularly Green Eggs and Ham. He also loves the Elephant and Piggie books and Biscuit too. The boy just plain loves books and would read for over an hour straight if we had the time. Makes my heart happy. 
Favorite TV show/movie: If there is anything he loves more than reading, it is watching TV. He could seriously write a dissertation on the difference between Disney and Dreamworks movies and the subtle similarities between PBS kids television and Nickelodeon.  And if you ever think Forest is shy, just strike up a conversation on the Cars franchise and he will school you. The other day he went to a new dentist and got to watch Land Before Time, Secret Life of Pets and Moana. The next morning he asked to go back to the dentist…because he wanted to see what movies were on today. 
I swear they could have given him a root canal without anesthesia and he wouldn’t have noticed as long as he had Netflix to stream. 

It’s hard to say what his *favorite* is but most recently he’s been into Finding Dory and Cars 3 and for shows he loves Thomas, Chuggington and Daniel Tiger. 

Favorite Toy: This doesn’t change much- his trains, his blocks, and his stuffed animals. 
Right now he loves his stuffed Hank (from Finding Dory). 
Favorite foods: His favorite meals are chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and steamed veggies. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree on that one. He also likes Taco soup and any sort of chili. His favorite fruit is grapes and his favorite veggie is carrots. He loves anything cold so we do a lot of frozen fruit and green smoothies too. He’s a pretty decent eater if he can sit down long enough to finish a meal. 

Language development: This has been a huge quarter in terms of development. We’ve mostly seen growth in his conversational skills and his vocabulary has also seen a big bump. Some of the words he slips into general conversation are pretty stinkin cute (‘disaster’, ‘obstruction’, ‘disobedient’). He also has an obsession with rhyming worms so he tries to find rhymes all the time. He has started speaking in accents too so will speak in a British accent for Thomas, a red-neck accent for Mater, and a ‘gruff voice’ for Hank. 

Cutest Sayings: Forest seriously says about 100 things a day that make me crack up laughing. He’s SO funny and already has a dry and witty sense of humor. The other morning I asked if I could have a morning smooch and he said ‘Not until I brush my teeth.’ 

Lately we've really been working on talking about how we feel. One suppppperrrrrrr cute thing he says is ‘That’s making me ____________ (fill in emotion).’ Like if he has a new toy he’ll say ‘That’s making me so happy!’ Or if I tell him no about something,  ‘Mommy you’re making me sad, and I don’t want to be sad!’ He’s just the most fun loving, joyful kid and full of adorable sayings. Love this age! 

One word he says constantly but has trouble saying is ‘regular’,  instead he says ‘regory’. For instance ‘I want regory goldfish, not the pretzel kind.’ He also says 'chance' instead of 'choice'. As in, 'I can have a turkey or peanut butter sandwich. Those are my chances.'

New Skills: Y’all! Forest can swim!!! It’s incredible. He still isn’t very good at the freestyle stroke but mostly does breast stroke and it works just fine. He is a swimming, diving fool and his new favorite game is getting his dive toys from the bottom of the pool. 

He’s also really coming along with the reading stuff. He’s reading his beginner reader Bob books and several ‘My first reader’ books. 
He’s certainly not reading fluently but I’m amazed at how many words he points out to me on a daily basis. 

I also feel like he’s made so much progress socially. He’s still a little behind most of his peers but within normal developmental range which has set our minds at ease. His default personality is still very shy but he’s been having conversations with his friends and even volunteering information to some adults he feels comfortable with. For him, that is huge! 

Stats: About 38 lbs (79%) and 42.25 inches (92%). I’ve been shocked at how much his growth has slowed this year! He’s put on about 6 lbs but only grown about 2 inches. Normally it’s opposite! Funnily, his percentile for height has stayed about the same, but his percentile for weight has dropped a few points, so putting on the pounds while pausing on the inches must be pretty normal at age 3. I'm just shocked that he can still wear many of the clothes he wore last summer. In Summer clothes he’s mostly wearing 4T, but once it’s pants season (does that ever happen in Houston?) he will need 5T pants for sure. His legs are sooooooo long. 

Schedule: Forest still naps about twice a week, but we never know when he needs one so we still put him down for an hour of quiet time everyday at around 1:30. If he naps his bedtime is 7:30, if not it’s 7. He generally sleeps until 6:45-7:20ish in the morning. So he’s sleeping between 11.5-13 hours per day which I think is pretty normal at this age. He eats 4 meals a day at 7:30, 12, 3 and 5:30. We try to do at least 30 minutes of a 'school activity' everyday. This is mostly just art, puzzles, BOB book readings, tracing exercises and simple math games. As he gets older, his schedule becomes MUCH more flexible so this is just kind of an average approximation. 

Other Observations: Forest does pretty well socially in very small groups. He still gets a bit overstimulated around a bunch of kids and will either withdraw and play by himself or else go totally bananas and be bouncing off the walls with hyperactivity. 

While he is super good with some gross motor sports like swimming, running, and biking, he’s a bit clumsy and uncoordinated at other things like gymnastics. He absolutely loves his soccer and gymnastics classes though, and as long as he’s smiling and having a blast, that’s all we are really concerned about at this age! 

I think swimming will definitely be his sport. He’s such a natural and definitely has the right build for it. 

He’s starting to regain his interest in art and puzzles. 

For a while there his interest in playing only with trains was pretty intense! Now he seems to be fairly well rounded in the things that keep his attention. 

My struggles: His constant seeking out of social interaction is brand new and has taken some adjustment on my part. He used to be phenomenal at entertaining himself for literally HOURS and now I’m lucky if he will play by himself for 10 minutes before he wants me to play with him. It’s definitely an answered prayer that he’s showing more social interest but at the same time I do miss his independent streak. Hopefully it will all balance out a little down the road. 

I also really struggle with taking Forest to big events, like Titus’ funeral and my cousin Katherine’s wedding. It just so happened that Jonathan was in Angola for both of those occasions and a huge gathering of strangers trying to make conversation with Forest is just not at all in his comfort zone and he tends to get a little wild. 

Unfortunately because he’s also very shy, he won’t go with just anyone so I end up having to tend to him more than I think a normal 3 year old should require. 
It’s very hard when I feel like I‘m trying to be present in the moment but I have a very needy little one who is on his absolute worst behavior in these situations. 

That being said, I think he just went through a really difficult phase and we are coming out the other side of it now, and his recent developmental leaps have been incredible! They say when they are having developmental growth spurts it can lead to some pretty challenging behavior so hopefully his tolerance for behaving at big events will improve soon. Only 3 more months of the Trying Threes and then we will hit the Fantastic Fours.

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