You know, so far I've loved every stage of my kids lives. No, really I have. I love the tiny baby stage when their whole body nestles in your arms so perfectly. I love those first smiles when they really start trying to engage you. I even love the burgeoning independence that Sophie is working out right now, and I love it when she comes back for reassurance, nestling her sweet, wispy-haired head into the crook of my neck.
But this three and half year old stage is really wonderful, maybe even my favorite. Izzy is so earnest and sweet, and desperate to make us happy. Yes, it has also been a very difficult age, but I'm not going there in this post. There's been enough of that lately, right?
Today, as I was folding laundry on the bed, he came up and carefully climbed over the piles, slightly messing up a couple of them. "Oh, I'm sorry mom. Here let me fix that," he said as he straightened up a washcloth. He curled up beside me, smiled, and leaned over for a tight hug saying, "Let me give you a hug!" I happily complied. He looked up at me mid-hug, those big blue eyes shining and said, "I sure do love you!" I told him that I sure did love him too.
Then he asked if he could help me fold. I said sure, so he very carefully misfolded and wadded up many pieces of laundry. Then he made a mountain out of them, so I told him that laundry folding time was over and I pulled him up on my lap and told him a story. Afterwards, he said, "Is it bedtime now? Goodnight, then," and he ran out the door to head to bed.
It amazes me how much he's grown up in the last month. I've been working on a new, very consistent method of discipline with him, where I ask him to do something, if he doesn't do it, he has till I count to three, and if he hasn't started it by three, it's off to time-out for a couple of minutes. A couple of days have gone by lately where I haven't had to use time out at all. It's wonderful, seriously. My had has complimented his behavior to me a couple of times lately too. He's tough on him, so knowing that even dad can see how much Izzy has grown up helped me to make a big decision: I've enrolled him again in preschool. I'm a little nervous, but not too much so.
I've talked to the preschool director a couple of times and I think this is going to be a MUCH better match for Izzy than the other one, not to mention that now I feel that Izzy is ready to go, and I didn't feel that last time. Unfortunately, I was right.
So back to the story I told him tonight. It was about a little boy named Zane who once went to a preschool that wasn't much fun, but then he grew up and he started a new preschool that had really nice new teachers and Zane had such a good time. He stayed in his seat when he was supposed to, he did what the teachers said, and he had lots of fun with all of the other girls and boys. Izzy, who always knows these stories are about him, broke my heart then by saying, "What happened then? Did I turn bad again?" I hugged him and said that no, Zane had grown up into a big boy who was always a very good boy.
He understands so much more than we give him credit for. But there are still some things he doesn't quite get yet that creates lots of unintentional hilarity. Like when I went to fill out his registration and he met the church's pastor (it's another church preschool) who asked Izzy his name. Izzy said, "My friends call me Isaac." That is still making me laugh.
This is a great age. There are so many cute things he's doing and saying right now that it's hard for me to remember it all when I have a free minute to sit down here and type it out. (Right now it's 1:00 a.m.) For instance, today we ran into K-mart for a few minutes and as we quickly passed by a man in the aisle, Izzy said to him, "Excuse us!" Or how he just got up a few minutes ago to pee and he ran in here and asked me first, "May I please go to the bathroom?" I told him of course he could, and that he never had to ask me first. I'm sure this has come from us trying to get him to say in public, "May I please go to the bathroom?," instead of, "MOM! I need to POO-POO!!!" It goes back again to him trying so hard to do the right thing, so now he's asking very politely every time.
He's a really great kid. I hope this preschool is able to see that too. We'll find out shortly - we're headed to Florida to visit Chris's parents next week, and the next Monday Izzy will head back to preschool. One good thing about this preschool is that the director has been there for 17 years, and she said they've never asked a kid to not come back. When I told mom that, she said, "Oh Lord, I hope Izzy's not the first!" We then shared a good laugh...but oh, Lord, do I ever hope he's not.