FWEE!

Dear Charlie,

You poor thing– I am really not helping with this whole “middle child syndrome” thing. I meant to write your letter a couple days after I wrote Alex & Emma’s… then it just slipped my mind. For months. :-X I’m so sorry!

Last time I wrote, you were a few months shy of turning 3. Now you’re coming up on 3 1/2, and truth be told 3 has been a great year for you so far. Therefore, it’s been a great year for me & Dad, as your parents, so far as well. You’re still stubborn, strong, and fearless… but you have a fair bit more common sense and are more likely to listen to authority than you once were. Since we don’t have to keep our eyes on you 24/7 like we had to before, we’ve been able to breathe a bit, let you enjoy your independence (of which you have MUCH more than either of your siblings combined), and even take you out to do more fun things in the great big world. 😉

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Your first year in preschool was a huge success. You adapted to it really well, your teachers adored you, and I think the experience played a huge role in your social/emotional development. We did have to end the school year a bit early since we moved out of state, but I think you’ll have no trouble picking back up where you left off when school starts again in the fall. I did observe that you didn’t seem to make any close friends in your class (at least not that you didn’t already know from outside of class). I think part of this is because you’re so independent & part of this is because Alex is so boisterous & outgoing that he usually does all the of the “social legwork” involved with making your friends outside of school. I will be curious to see how this skill evolves for you as time goes on.

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You’ve grown a ton in general, but honestly I think your heart has grown most of all. You’re very sweet, loving and thoughtful, especially with me, your brother, and Papa. All 3 of us hang the moon to you, as does our dog Annie (who lives with Papa & Grandma these days). Lately you’ve started to enjoy your sister’s company more often than not too, which honestly I was starting to think would never happen! However, I think I have Alex to thank for that. He adores Emma, and you want to be just like him.

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The only downside to age 3 with you, at least at the moment, is the SCREAMING. Your “fight or flight” mechanism is quick to kick in lately, and you escalate to a high pitched scream VERY quickly. We’re working on it though. Potty training has also been a struggle. You were more or less potty trained over Christmas break and things were great for a few months, but you’ve regressed in a big way since we moved to MD. It’s been frustrating, but things like this are normal for the age/circumstances & we’re trying our best to be patient.

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Your likes and dislikes have not changed much, although I’d say you’re more specifically into trucks & construction equipment than “cars” in general these days. That being said, Hot Wheels are your favorite toys to play with & they are scattered all over the house/car/my purse/etc. 😉 You’ve also really taken to a show called Blippi on YouTube, which reminds me of a more modern and slightly less annoying version of Peewee Herman (which was popular when I was a kid). Cat is still a constant and necessary presence in our household, and you also love all things purple. It is very hard to find things cat & purple themed that aren’t specifically targeted at girls, which is frustrating. I recently very excited to find a non-girly purple t-ball glove (that even came with a purple t-ball!), only to discover that you’re probably going to need a left-handed glove. It’s still too soon to tell for sure, but you seem to prefer your left hand for most tasks. You are DESPERATE to play t-ball with your big bro, and I think when you’re finally old enough next year you’re going to be fantastic at it! You have a lot more hand-eye coordination than most kids your age.

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It is becoming increasingly evident how smart you are. I think you are different from Alex in that you’re both “book smart” and “street smart” — you seem to be more proficient at logical thought and problem-solving. You’re very independent and intent on doing things yourself. You’ve been quicker to start asking the “Why?” questions and you get pretty deep with them for a 3 year old (much to my dismay, LOL). It amazes me how much you are able to retain/remember. For example, I think you know more than me at this point about construction equipment. When we go to visit the construction site of our new house, you love pointing out and naming all the various equipment that’s on site. “Look Mom, a skid steer!” 😉

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You are my biggest little helper, and are quick to volunteer to help with just about anything I’m doing. Almost as soon as walk in the kitchen to start cooking something, I hear the scrape of a stool being dragged across the floor behind me and have to jump aside so that you don’t plop the darn thing down on my feet. You’re so very helpful, in fact, that we once had this conversation at bedtime after I’d yelled at you for breaking some closet doors here in the apartment:

You: I’m sorry I broke the closet, mom.
Me: (Scooping youinto a tight hug) It’s okay, sweetie. Now you know to be more careful with the doors. I’m sorry I lost my temper with you.
You: (Leans out of the hug and looks at me with concern) You could borrow my temper, Mom!

You say & do unknowingly funny stuff like this all the time. Nine times out of ten you come shuffling into a room rather than just walking into it, waving your elbows like an old-timey stage act. You dance, run and jump big & sing very, very small. With your loved ones you talk up a storm but with strangers it’s hit or miss. At the pediatrician’s office the other day, you answered her questions so quietly that we were both inches from your face, straining to hear. A couple hours after that you were shouting to be heard over your brother when you were both trying to tell me & Dad a story at the same time.

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They say it’s easy to forget about the middle child, but despite my fail at your last letter I think you are anything but forgettable. Your spunk, your silly, your sweet make you easily stand out from the crowd in this house. You light up my world in ways neither your brother or your sister do quite the same. Thank you for being YOU, my sweet Charlie Bean! :-*

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All my love,
Mom

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