Wow, Andrew… I can’t believe you are four already! You have gotten so big, so smart, and so funny this last year. Sometimes I am blown away by how mature you act. And of course, sometimes I am blatantly reminded that you are in fact merely a child.
You are an amazing big brother. I almost never need to ask you to help me with AJ. As soon as he fusses, you run immediately run to give him whatever he wants. You even put up with him when he doesn’t respond in kind and takes things away from you. You are the best of friends (most of the time) and the worst of enemies (on occasion). And the favorite part of my day is after dinner, but before bedtime, when you and AJ get a case of silliness and laugh non-stop while running and tripping over each other.
You still love the movie CARS and all things CARS related. You also enjoy “My Friends Tigger and Pooh” and “Sesame Street”. However, recently, you have become a big fan of “Signing Time” and often tell me what the sign is from something I’ve just said. You also occasionally move your hands in a totally random way and then ask me what sign you made, as if every possible gesture is a sign.
Lately, you have been using pretend voices when you play. My favorite is your robot voice. You. Talk. In. A. Mono. Tone. Voice. You talk in a robot voice while doing the robot arms. And you always start your sentences with “Meep. Meep”. So it’s not uncommon to hear this in the afternoon, “Meep. Meep. I. Am. A. Robot. May. I. Have. A. Snack. Please?” The answer is expected in robot-speak as well.
You energy is astounding. Even complete strangers comment on it frequently. (I am not always sure how to take that). I just can’t seem to wear you out. And as of a month ago, naps are pretty much a thing of the past. You grace me with an average of two a week, now, even though you are required to ‘try’ to nap each day. You are also an early riser. And despite my attempt to wake up earlier than you, I always fail.
You are curious. And it’s a good thing we love you so much, because your questions can sometime drive us insane. They simply do. not. stop. Ever. There are times your father and I look at each other like, “Are you kidding me?” But I know it’s a good thing and that you are just trying to learn, so for the most part, we do the best we can to answer you questions… Even if it means resorting to the final end-all be-all answer, “Because that’s how God made it.”
Your favorite foods right now are cheeseburgers and French fries… preferably from McDonalds. We don’t eat there much, so is a special treat for you. You are a pretty good eater and do well packing away the meats and bread. Fruits and veggies are still a struggle, so you have apples and carrot sticks for almost every meal. You love ‘white’ (vanilla) yogurt and recently started eating it plain (with no Grape Nuts). Of course, you are always trying to talk us into giving you a ‘special treat’ after a meal – which is anything sweet. And because your parents have such sweet tooths, you usually get it.
You are still very much into playing with cars, trucks, planes, and trains. Your favorite right now is to make them do tricks. I constantly hear, “Watch this, mom – watch what this truck can do”, as you make the truck ‘fly’ and ‘flip’ from the counter top to the couch.
You love hanging out with you dad and often ask if just you and him can go somewhere without AJ and me. You think watching him play his snowboarding video game is about the coolest thing ever and you’ve already inherited his itch to fish… already talking about when you are going to get to go on his boat with him again.
You have lots of God questions. Questions that little known to you, are deep theological questions that we struggle to find age appropriate answers. We do our best to give truth in an understandable way and usually you are satisfied. You love going to church, seeing your friends, and singing the songs. You are amazing at memorizing scripture… this past year you memorized the bulk of Luke 2. Your recent verses have been John 3:16 and John 14:6.
Sweetie, you really are a good boy and even though there are times we are frustrated with you, the times you make us proud outnumber them. I still get surprised often when I see how old you are. I love how you are often the first to tell us that you love us. I truly believe it’s a gift you’ve been given… to tell us just when we need to hear it. I love how you love your brother and your dad and myself. We love you, too, Kiddo Joe. Happy Fourth Birthday.