On Being One, Third Time’s The Charm

My dear Littlest Prince,

You’re One!  One year old.  One full trip around the sun.  And what an amazing year it has been!

You’ve learned to sit up and crawl and walk.  And jibber jabber.  Oh man have you learned how to jibber jabber.

The Queen and I aren’t entirely sure how we wound up with three boys who never ever ever stop talking.  But, here we are.  You probably picked up it up from your big brothers.  You never stop watching them.  Some of my favorite moments have been watching you watch your big brother while he in turn is watching his big brother.  All of you learning from the original prince.

Oh, what a marvelous adventure this thing called life is.  You are learning that already.  You go exploring and, yes, you accomplish a large amount of that by shoving stuff in your mouth: rocks, sticks, shoes, food occasionally, more rocks, sand, toys…  That’s all normal.  Well, maybe not the shoe thing, but I won’t judge.  Some people are into shoes.

You also love to pick up things and carry them around or throw them.  You grab what you want, toddle around for a minute and then chuck it.  Feet and ankles beware!  You’ve got quite the throwing arm already.  And often we have to go exploring to find where you’ve hidden things: mustard bottles in the cookie sheet cupboard, shoes in with the dried cranberries, toys under the oven.  Well, actually, the toys are kind of everywhere.  That isn’t all your doing though.  Three boys and two cats…  The toys are everywhere.

So it goes.  So it is.  Everything as it should be.

What a year.  All that screaming from when you were first born, so much louder than your brothers, so much more inconsolable than they ever were too, seems so distant already.  I haven’t forgotten.  I’m not sure I ever will.  But, the sharp edges have already worn off.  You still scream of course and, often, the loudest.  But, it isn’t as bad.  I’m sure that will continue to improve and one day we’ll look back and be able to sigh with a smile over the hard early days of your life.

In the meantime, you keep doing you.  Smile.  Laugh.  Cry.  Learn.  Grow.  Blow those kisses and wave to the passing cars.  Watch those big brothers and rush to keep up with them.  I’d tell you to slow down and take your time but I don’t really think that’s an option.  You already want to be where they are.  I can’t see that ever changing.  I hope it doesn’t.

I love you, my Littlest Prince!

Love,

Daddy

Matticus

The Jester

On being eight

My dear Little Prince,

Not so little anymore, huh? 

I say, “You can’t be eight, you look twelve,” not as a joke but because some days I have no idea how you ARE only eight.  You are amazingly good with your little brothers.  You are more self-sufficient than I remember being at eight.  Admittedly, that was a long time ago but still…

You are still amazing on your bike.  And your ability and my trust in you has grown so much that we’ve started going on longer rides, including running some errands that take us on busy city streets.  You are fearless and confident on your bike.  And in most aspects of your life, actually.  That is going to take you far.

You are so inquisitive about everything.  EVERYTHING.  You ask more questions in a day than I ask in a month it seems.  I’m glad I still have the answers to most of those questions.  One of these days though we’ll be looking up the answers together.  Learning, the adventure that never ends. 

I probably don’t tell you enough how proud I am of you.  And I know I’m too hard on you at times, and I’m sorry about that.  I forget that despite how you act most days, you aren’t actually twelve.  I’m trying to curb my expectations and when I push too hard I do always eventually catch myself and apologize.  I hope you can forgive me. 

Given your insatiable inquisitive nature, your confidence, and your determination in all things, it isn’t a joke when I say, “you are going to rule the world some day.”  Perhaps that isn’t quite right?  You aren’t going to rule the world.  You are going to change it.  You are going to shape it, mold it, pound it into something better.  I can’t wait to see what that is.

Love you kiddo,

Daddy/Matticus/The Jester

So this is six months

My dear Littlest Prince,

Okay, okay, this is a little late.  I’m sorry.  You are seven months now.  Nearly eight, actually.  So it goes in our return to the toddlerocracy….

Okay, okay.  You aren’t a toddler yet.  But, maybe I wasn’t talking about you?

Oh…  It is so much fun watching you learn every day.  Sometimes you seem to have grown an inch or two after every nap.  And you always seem to have learned something new after each nap.  From crawling everywhere.  To watching your big brothers play and then doing your best to follow after them to join in their fun.  To being determined to figure out the stairs.  To pulling yourself up on every surface you possibly can.  To all the amazing babblying and bubble blowing noises and faces you make.  To the sheer joy on recognizing someone as they enter the room you are in.  You smile so big, so amazingly, so full of life and love.  It’s infectious.

Just as you are bound and determined to keep up with your big brothers in every other aspect, you are breaking their records by already having ten teeth and working on some more it seems, given the drool and the fussing.  Everything goes in your mouth.  Every  single thing you can get your hands on.  So it goes. 

I wonder what tricks you’ll learn in the next six months?  You seem like you are already working on walking.  You seem like you are just bursting to say words.  Okay, not yet.   But it is only a matter of time.

Time…  It is something there just doesn’t seem to be enough of most days.  But, your time will come.  You will learn all the things and conquer all the things to be conquered.

Your brothers will set the example there.

I can’t wait to see it.

Love you,

Daddy/Matticus/The Jester

On being four

My dear Little Prince,

So this is four?  Four trips around the sun.  Four years old…

Four years of tantrums and giggles, adventures and growth.  And this last year was exceptional for so many reasons.  You became a big brother.  You lost out on story time at Library.  You went camping for the first time.  You learned all about wearing masks.  Tantrums.  Joy.  Up and down.  Good and bad.  A year as a rollercoaster as, truthfully, most are.  Perhaps this year was more down than up?  That’s hard to say.  It was certainly different in unexpected ways.  I’ll venture that it was still a very good year for you.

And you have another good year ahead of you.  You’re going to learn so much.  You’ve already started practicing riding a bike and writing your name.  You’ve been listening in on your big brother’s math and language lessons and know some of that already as well.  This year you’ll pick up even more without even trying.  That’s a bonus of being a younger brother.  The eldest child will always be the first at everything but the younger siblings will pick up things faster because they’ve heard it before, seen it before.  I know.  I’m a younger brother myself.

Also like me, you are incredibly empathetic.  The Queen and I adore that about you.  It’s an admirable trait for sure.  It means you will have some tough days because you feel not just for yourself but for all of us.  There has been a lot to feel this year.  And, likely, that will always be true in different ways.  You’ll turn this trait into a skill you can wield to conquer worlds.  You have that charm and that fire.

It will not all be smooth sailing, of course.  You will still have your struggles.  But, they will get easier.  Each day, week, and month.  You’ll really start to get an understanding of some of the nuances that make our little family tick, and the wider world as a whole too.  And those rough patches of misunderstandings and tantrums will become fewer and farther between. 

And I can’t wait to see how different you are in another year.

Love you,

Daddy

Matticus

The Jester

And then he was two, too

My Dearest Littler Prince,

How are you two already?  Where has the time gone?  And why is that we constantly find ourselves asking unanswerable questions about the passage of time?  For, surely, while these days have been lived, and lived well, there is no accounting for where they have gone…

You have come into your role as little brother in these past few months.  You know how to get under your brother’s skin and you often do so just to watch his reaction.  You laugh at his antics and egg him on, much as he does to you.  You hold your own, that’s for sure.  You adore him, too, of course.  You immolate the way you see him playing.  You parrot words back to him.  You ask for him first thing in the morning and then follow him around.

There has been a word explosion recently.  Counting.  Colors.  Names.  Your pronunciation of things still has a ways to go but you have no qualms about calling things out and asking for what you want and need, even as the Queen and I struggle to decipher the toddler code.

Oh, toddlerhood.  The triumphant return of the toddlerocracy under the rule of a new tyrannical toddler…  This is also a role you are quickly adapting to.  Demands and tantrums and making sure your whims or at least heard if not always catered to.  You had a good teacher in this, of course.  The Little Prince ruled the toddlerocracy well.  You, having taken over the prime position, will also do well.  Perhaps it is wishful thinking on our part, the Queen and myself, the Jester, to hope that your rule is shorter than your brothers…

I am excited to see you grow.  I am excited to watch you learn.  I am excited to see what the future has in hold for you, you bruiser, you jumper and climber, you explorer of all the things.

We used to say (and still do) that your brother doesn’t have a quiet bone in his body.  So far it seems that you don’t have a gentle bone in yours.  Not that you are mean and certainly not that you intend to be destructive.  You just are.  You are strong and boisterous and have no clear definition of personal space and that leads to bruises, mostly on the people around you.  You don’t need a splash zone so much as a bump zone.

You’ll get there.  You’ll get the hang of this life thing.  I have no doubt about that.  You are thriving and it is a joy to be along for the ride.

Love you,

Matticus, The Jester, Daddy