Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Oskar Turns 4

Oh, this post, and seeing the number 4. It somehow just feels surreal. This one feels like a big one, and I just can’t believe we’re inching our way toward a kindergartner. In honor of my first baby’s birthday, I wanted to share his yearly letter here to give you a glimpse of our little sweetheart. 

Dear Oskar,

I think I start every letter by saying, “I can’t believe you’re (however many years).” And here we are again. The time just feels like it’s slipping through my fingers, with the baby years further and further in the rear-view mirror. Some things that have not changed are your big emotions and need for closeness—exactly how you came into this world. You’re always climbing in my lap, holding my hand, or asking me to snuggle you. You love so hard, and when you’re happy, you spill out “I love yous” over and over again, still usually quantified in 20s (“I love you 60-80-20 up to the moon!”). On the flip side, you fall apart and crumble so easily. Such a sensitive little soul you are. 

You still start your days between 5:45-6:15a, which so many people have promised would stretch further into the mornings when you got older. It sure hasn’t, and your internal clock is exactly the same as when you were just a few months old. What HAS changed is how we navigate these early starts to the day, and your increasing independence and ability to read, play, or watch some morning TV as we pull ourselves together makes all the difference. You’re a homebody, through and through, which you most definitely get from your dada. School days require coaxing to get dressed (which you do by yourself now) and out the door, but you’ve truly thrived in your pre-school environment. You’re just so smart. Full of questions, full of life. My mama heart swells with pride hearing you talk about your best friends, and hearing that you are THEIR best friend in return. You know all of your letters and their sounds and can write them all, which has developed into my favorite milestone --the note writing one. You ask how to spell out words, and write us special messages to hide under our pillows or tape to our doors. I think I’ll keep them all forever, even the one that says “mama poops”. 

You still go to Kindermusik on Wednesdays and are just as musical as always. You make up catchy little songs about everything you’re doing and we always laugh when we find ourselves singing them hours later, still stuck in our heads. 

You’re full of energy and never, EVER stop moving. Batman, Transformers, or pretend play with monsters or witches are your very favorite. I’m almost positive you’re going to wear a hole in our bounce house, which is probably the best purchase we’ve ever made. Riding bikes in our cul-de-sac or adventures to the nearby lake are what fill up the rest of our warm-weather days, and no matter what it is you’re doing, August is your shadow. You fight and make up 100 times a day, but you both love each other so much and just can’t stand to be separated. You are the first person he asks about in the mornings, now, and vice versa. There is nothing like hearing you two talking to each other or making each other laugh. You’re rough and tumble together and you tackle and wrestle and roll around from couch to floor to bed.  My very own bear cubs. The age gap is lessening the older you two get, and watching you two independently play or march around the back yard is something I daydreamed about during those early days of a newborn that needed me and a 2-year-old who was in a never ending cycle to prove to me he needed me even more. 

You’re napping for an hour or two every other day now, on average, which seems to be just the right amount to re-charge your batteries. Books in comic strip format (Dogman) have been BIG for many months now, and you’ve memorized nearly half of your favorite one. I hear you “reading” them out loud during any quiet time. I love that you love to read. 

You’re a picky eater when it comes to food with the exception of all fruits and cherry tomatoes, which you love carrying around and always request to be your side to every main dish. Other favorite foods are pizza and cantaloupe. You get your love of sweets from me, I’m just so happy to have two little friends to go on afternoon ice cream runs with—one of our favorite things to do.

Bedtime is still 8:30 except on no-nap days where you’re fast asleep by 7:30. Your little yellow bunny Hoppy is a must for you to go to bed, and you recently found my backup Hoppy I had hidden away. Now you sleep with both. Bedtime is special to me because I get to hold and rock you in your chair, reading and talking about our days. You’re also a planner and need to know what’s coming up next and how tomorrow will be. After books you crawl into your bed. Up until now you’ve asked to hear some made up stories, but recently, you’ve asked if I can lay with you and hold you for a few minutes instead. These days are fleeting, I know, so I lay and hold you and tell you everything I love about you until your eyes start to close, and then you tell me goodnight. 

When you were a baby I always told myself I’d never forget how holding you felt, or how your baby noises sounded, but the truth is, sometimes I struggle to reach back and remember when you were small, especially since you’re so eager to be bigger and older, always pushing ahead. The days, they are certainly very long sometimes…but the years, they’re so, so short. This year will be a big one for growth, learning, and confidence. My chest still tightens thinking about getting you on a school bus, so you better believe I’m holding onto every single moment this year. 

At the end of the day, I’ve realized that you’re the most like me. Our personalities are so close to the same, which is why I’m the only one that you want sometimes. You shine brightest when you’re with those people you love the most, in your comfort zone, making everybody smile and laugh.

Your dada and I are pouring our hearts into creating the happiest childhood for you and you’ve given us a beautiful, smart, thoughtful, and sweet little boy in return. We’re so proud of you and the special boy you are: our first baby and our biggest adventure.  Your excitement and ear to ear smiles today just say it all, and like you said before bed, “so many people really, really love me.” 

Happy, happy birthday, Oskar Henri. May all your 4 year old wishes and dreams come true. We love you 80-40-60.


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