Friday, March 2, 2012
all about Graham (a really long and mostly unedited because I'm tired post I've written mostly for my own benefit so I can remember some things, and it won't bother me a bit if you get bored and stop reading)
Graham, Graham, Graham. God, I love this kid. He is our everything. Everything. Like all parents expecting their second child, we worry about how to add to our everything without neglecting him in any way. When I think about going into labor, I'm not worried about the pain. I'm not worried about how to care for a new infant. The first and foremost thought in my mind is concern for Graham. Where will he be when I start to "feel the baby coming?" How will he respond? Have we properly prepared him for what is coming? Is that even possible? How can we make the transition as smooth and wonderful as possible for him? Tell me, parents. How do you do this? How do you bring a second child into the world and make sure your first born feels included and loved?
Maybe we worry too much. There probably isn't a perfect way to do this. I'm sure we'll do what we always do and that is go by feel. Go with the flow. Deal with ups and downs as we encounter them. Relinquish the desire to be in complete control. And stop worrying. It will be as it will be.
For now, while we wait, let's focus on Graham.
His favorite thing in the whole world right now is to play. Just play. He likes to pretend to be anything from a superhero to Bambi. He likes to have races around the house, and he is very particular about his rules. He wants to be the leader and have the game go exactly as he has it created in his mind. When Tony or I (especially Tony) try to challenge this or make the game go a different way, he gets pretty upset and we have to spend some time trying to teach him that things can't always go his way. A lesson I'm sure he'll struggle with (as we all do) a million times throughout his life.
He is a lolly-gagger. He stops to look at everything and gets caught up in imaginative play before he's even out of bed in the morning. I tell him to go get dressed. When I check on him, he'll have his shirt half-way off with toys strewn about, pretending he is Batman or Lightening McQueen without a concern in the world. "GRAHAM! GET DRESSED!" He'll snap out of it long enough to get his shirt all the way off, and then he's back to the playing. It's a struggle, but rewarding him with stickers seems to be a good trick for now. If he can get dressed all by himself, he gets a sticker. Why are stickers so powerful?
He still asks thousands of questions everyday and always wants to know why, why, why. At least now if I say, "I just don't know, Graham," he will sometimes come up with some sort of clever answer on his own. "Maybe the dog just doesn't have an owner, so that is why it is eating garbage." Yes, these are the images we encounter during the day...
He is acclimating to the culture at his preschool. He has been jibber-jabbering in Italian more and more, and he is becoming quite expressive with his emotions. I know it's stereotypical to say that Italians are expressive and tend to talk loudly and with their hands, but I haven't met many cases over here where that is not true. One day, I was sitting at a stop light and the car in front of me started to shake violently. I thought it was going to fall over. I looked inside and saw that the man in the driver's seat was just talking. With his whole body. He shook the whole car! Sometimes, when I ask Graham a question like, "Would you like chicken for dinner?" he will raise both hands in the air and look at me like he's about to explode and say, "YEEES!!" very loudly. It makes me laugh, but I really don't like yelling. I like our home to be peaceful, so I try to say, "No yelling in the house." I'm not sure I'm going to win this one while living in this vocally-expressive country.
I also have to say that he is losing a little bit of his laid-back attitude he's always had. He likes to know what to expect, and doesn't respond well if you throw something at him last minute, but I suppose that is typical for his age. He's still good about being flexible once you discuss something with him, and he manages to have a good time in all situations, even if you had to coax him into getting there.
He's growing up and making friends and I'm already feeling the sadness that comes when your kid would rather be with his friends than with you. He has one particular friend at school whom he really admires and loves to play with. They call each other best friends. When I ask what he wants me to pack for his school snack, he says, "Hmm, well, I think my friend will have a banana, so I want a banana." Then I softly remind him that he doesn't always have to be like his friend. That they are both unique and cool in their own ways and that they can be friends even if they are different. Another lesson I'm sure he'll learn more than once in his life.
Life lessons. That seems to be the theme of the day. I spend a lot of time teaching him about life. I can only hope he'll listen every now and then.
Sometimes, he still thinks he's Justin Bieber, but those days are becoming less and less. But he does like to dance around and do tricks and pretend he has lots of talent and superpowers.
And, he still loves his mamma more than anything. I cherish these days when I can do no wrong in his eyes. I love being there for him. I hope he always knows this. Even as I attempt to be equally there for his sibling...
Posted by Blaine Family at 10:51 AM