Friday, September 3, 2021

Paul at 3.5 years

Paul hit 3.5 years this week! Woo hoo! We have found 3 to be much more challenging than 2 so hooray for being a little closer to 4 when things maybe get a little easier in the behavior department? Don't get me wrong, he's a wonderful, bright, sweet little guy. There is just a lot of mood variability and boundary pushing that is challenging at times! Here's what he's like at 3.5! This is a lengthy post but I know I'll love looking back on it when he's older - and it will be helpful to read through when Will approaches this age!

Growth: He's 28.5 pounds and 39". So he has gained about a pound and grown 2.5" in the last 6 months! He is definitely petite and I wonder when he'll weigh 40 pounds! He mostly wears 18 month bottoms and 2T tops. Some 18 month bottoms fall off of him. He will tell you he has a skinny butt, hence his ability to fit in the bumbo!

Words and phrases: He is a very chatty and talkative little guy. We've noticed that he will definitely pick up phrases we say. We always walk by a blue car on our stroller walks that he has claimed as his car. Last weekend he said, "you can ride in my car, but you have to listen!" Ha! I've started to keep track of funny things he says in an iPhone note. 

His imagination has really started to develop over the last 6 months, too. He told us he has a blue cat named Jax that lives in his red house which is far, far away, but close to a lake (sounds suspiciously like my parents red home on a lake but he says it's further away than their house). He said he can take us there in a helicopter. I've asked him who feeds Jax since he's alone there when Paul isn't at his house and he said, "oh he's on mouse patrol up there." Where does he come up with these ideas? It's so cute! 

I hear him making up conversations between his toys, too. He'll say "don't give up, you can do it!" from one car to the other, for example. 


- Being outside! His favorite thing to do is go to the park. I'm glad the temps are cooling off so we can go there more often. It was too hot for a good chunk of the summer to go to the park in the afternoon. We did hit up some wading pools which both boys loved. He has gotten better at hitting a ball off a tee and insists on wearing his baseball cap when playing with his tee-ball set! He doesn't love stroller walks but will tolerate them if the walk includes a stop at the creek to splash around/throw rocks with dad, or a stop at the park.

- He has gotten more and more into board games and puzzles which makes my heart happy! My favorite board game is "My First Orchard Game" which is very short! He also like Chutes and Ladders, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, and The Hungry Caterpillar game. We've also played memory up at my parents and he is very good! He's outgrown wooden puzzles but we have a few puzzles that are at the right level for him. We could probably use more so that will probably be a Christmas gift for him. 

- His favorite shows to watch are Dinosaur Train and Sesame Street through PBS and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Stinky and Dirty on Amazon Prime. He also loves to watch Paw Patrol videos on our phones as a treat at the end of the day. We don't have cable so don't have access to any Paw Patrol shows. I think I'll let him watch the movie when it's released to the general public (it's in theaters now). His favorite Paw Patrol characters are Chase and Marshall. 

- Reading is still one of his favorite things to do which makes me so happy! He's moved on from board books but will occasionally pick one out for a bedtime book. But boy does he get mad if I read a board book to Will - he'll come right over and ask me to start over. But sometimes he still has a hard time letting me read "his" books to Will. We have read nearly every Mo Willem book. We own several but have gotten a lot from the library. He doesn't come to the library with me yet since he is not great at wearing a mask, but he will ask me to get books from the library so he understands the concept of a library. 

- He went fishing for the first time this summer and really enjoyed it! I did not help at all with this, but Phil said he got better and better and was able to reel in fish. You can catch tons of fish off my parents dock so that made it very fun. I think he would have been less interested if there wasn't constant action!


- Swimming lessons. Oof he was NOT cooperative. We finished out the session but it was my least favorite 30 minutes of most weeks. He did well at the pools we went to over the summer so I know he can have fun in the water. We are going to take a little break from swimming lessons and try again when he's a bit older - maybe in 6-12 months. We'll see. Swimming is something he absolutely needs to learn. But he is such a tentative kid that I will never have to worry about him jumping off the dock or going into deeper water (plus we watch him very closely when by water). 

- Transitions. This is so typical for kids but wow it can be frustrating at times. Nearly all of his transitions are discussed ahead of time but he still struggles with them. Mornings can be especially painful! 

Eating: is still a challenge. I feel like it's going to be this way until he's older and more, well, rational? There is no talking this kid into eating things. We keep exposing him to new foods and sometimes he will want to eat something off my plate - like when we got Indian food for Phil's birthday. He gets apple sauce and either yogurt or cottage cheese with every meal. So if he doesn't eat the other thing we serve, we figure he gets enough calories between those sides and his milk. I hope and pray that William is a better eater!

School: He started in a new preschool classroom in August and it has gone fairly well so far. Transitions are always hard, as mentioned above. We continue to be so impressed by what he learns at school. I had no idea he knew how to trace numbers and letters until last weekend. He was playing with his bingo dobbers and then decided he wanted to trace numbers and letters. He was very proud of himself! He understands Spanish and will use phrases here and there. He is getting pretty good at figuring out what letter words start with. He's a bright little guy who is very curious and I hope he keeps that sense of curiosity! Why is a frequent question in our house!!

Potty training: We had success with potty training over Easter weekend. Hooray! He still wears a pull-up during nap on the weekends and then a pull-up at night time. I'm so relieved that potty training was behind us. It was way harder than I thought it would be and I swear boys are harder, despite the book I read saying there is no difference between genders.

Big brother adjustment: Overall he is a very sweet and caring big brother. He loves to give William (who he calls Taco) hugs and kisses. If William is crying, he will say "It's ok Taco, mommy is coming." William adores Paul and gives him the biggest smiles! And Paul gets the biggest laughs out of him! I can't wait to watch their relationship grow and develop. There are definitely still times when Paul is a little rough with Will or gets a little too wild but I know that is typical behavior.

Toddler behavior: As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, he can be difficult at times but that is just this stage of life. I follow several child psychologists on instagram and their content has been super helpful and has given me more perspective about what it going on in their little minds. I try to use humor or offer a hug to try to improve things when he's having a tough time. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't. I know this has been a year of big change for him as he's adjusted to being a big brother, though, so we try to be compassionate. But it can be hard in the moment at times!!

Changes ahead: The next big change is ordering a "big boy" bed for his room. He has never tried to crawl out of his crib and doesn't seem to mind it so we haven't felt pressure to make this transition. But it's probably time to get a bed! We will be getting a twin bed for him. I already have dinosaur bedding for him that my cousin handed down to us. I didn't put all that much effort into his nursery so I may try to do a bit more for the big boy transition. At a minimum, I'll get some dinosaur-themed art work and will probably move his current art work into Will's room (which has even less decor!). 

So that's Paul at 3.5! We feel lucky to have such a bright, happy, healthy, sweet kiddo. Yes there are challenging moments but all in all, he's a great kid. 


Grateful Kae said...

What a wonderful recap post!! I loved this. Such an awesome overview of this stage of life. Gosh, makes me wish I had been doing recaps like this when my boys were young!! :( I giggled at the bumbo picture...Ethan totally did that too. He sat in it for ages. We actually used that for the LONGEST time to have him sit in on the counter while Ivan would cut his hair, even until I think he was like 5 or older!! Ethan is the same way, even now. He just turned 13 and some of his shorts are like size 9-10!!! It's crazy. He is just so slender and we have always had the same issue with the waist size. He is growing...but slowly....

It makes me nostalgic to read about your two boys close in age like that. It's like my life, but 9-10 years ago! :) We did SO MANY parks, the swimming lessons, the books... so fun. I enjoy reliving some of those times vicariously through your blog. :)

We transitioned to big boy bed right around age 3 too. Definitely feels like a milestone! It's fun though. We are now at the point that we really need to probably do some room makeovers to more "teen"/ pre-teen rooms, but haven't done much yet. We did just order a new bedroom set for Ethan, which is actually sitting in our garage in the boxes! We are trying to sell his old stuff on Craigslist right now (the dressers and his old headboard). They probably could have lasted all the way through, since they aren't particularly "babyish" looking but we wanted a full matching set and a headboard with a built in bookshelf- and we wanted to get him a desk.

Jeanie said...

What a great overview of Paul's 3.5 years. It's fun to have been following him all that time and seeing how he's evolved from baby into little boy. I'm thinking Carson was that age when he got his big boy bed but he's still a night wanderer and usually ends up (with his brother) in his parents' bed. This is getting old! I'm so glad he loves to read and is enjoying all the games and being a good big brother. What a treat to read this.

Stephany said...

Ah, a threenager! Sorry this age has been so rough for you guys - they have such big feelings at 3! But he seems like he has such sweet moments in between his big feelings - love that he's such a good big brother and has such a great imagination. And hooray for raising a reader! How fun!

San said...

Love to hear how Paul is doing. It's great that he loves to be outside, but also enjoys puzzles and board games. I think we had a similar game to "My First Orchard Game" in Germany. It looks familiar.

So sorry about the "threenager" behavior... haha. Don't they usually talk about the "terrible twos"?

Anne said...

Love that you are raising a reader, but sorry about the threenager showing up, too. The three's are definitely harder - I have no idea how the terrible twos became such a thing but in my experience, EVERY parent I have ever talked to has had more challenges when their kids turn 3. (The problem is that you think you're home free after the twos, and... no! It gets worse! That's just hard.)

I hope the swimming lessons improve, and that you can get to the park a ton before winter comes!

Marlys said...

Oh, how I loved this post and you will look back on it with lots of smiles and heartwarming feelings in the future! He’s quite the little man and so much fun to watch him grow and learn so quickly! You’ll have to be on your toes to keep up with him, that’s for sure.

Abby said...

This is fun to read! I love the things he says - like the cat named Jax 😂. Such a bright imagination! Shows how smart he is.

I am sure the food issues will resolve as he gets older. He is just stubborn and 1st children seem to be more picky from what I’ve read? I have a funny thing I need to send you on that…

It is so sweet how nurturing he is with Will amd how he will say “it’s okay, Mommy is coming” - be still my heart!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Awwww, Pablo! It's so great that he still loves to read :-) And a big boy bed - how exciting for him!! He sounds like such a sweetheart.