Friday, January 14, 2011

There's No One Like You, Tobin Bear

My dearest Tobin,

"You are so special," I often whisper to you as I kiss you goodnight.  "There's no one like you!"

I wonder if your newly-turned-three-year-old brain ever thinks, "Why does she say that so often?"  :)  Just in case you do have that thought someday, I'll go ahead and answer the question now.

In a nutshell, I hope you never feel lost in the crowd of boys in this Fisher family.  To state the obvious, you are not the oldest, nor the youngest.  You are one of four boys.  When we found out during my pregnancy with you that we would have our third son, we heard the phrase "another boy" a lot (and you can imagine how often we heard that after your little brother Shav was born!).  I've previously written about that term:  in particular, how I dislike the connotation it gives, and how I delight in the uniqueness inherent in each of our sons (even if we had a dozen, they would be so different from each other!).  I won't say all of that again, but I will simply say that in my eyes and in God's, you are not just another Fisher boy.  You are so special.  Truly, there is no one like you!

~ outside, during one of the warmer days this winter...when the winter temps get into the 50s, it's time to go outside and work off some energy! ~

Would you like me to tell you some of the things that are uniquely you at this stage of life?  Some of the things that stand out to me when I think about you?  Some of the things that I've noticed about you that bring a smile to my face?  The things I don't want to forget?

You do?  Good!  I'll tell you then!

~ at the end of the mini photo shoot for your hot chocolate mug ~ 

You were a "late" walker, of course; and your scooting method of getting around drew a lot of attention.  But more subtly, when you started walking and even as a two-year-old, you had such a jaunty walk.  Without saying a word, your walk seemed to communicate, "I'm important, and I have something to do and somewhere to go."  I haven't seen that certain bounce in your step for a while, but I have fond memories of that jaunty little Tobin walk.

~ when I took this picture of Shav the Boy with Shav the Bear, you wanted me to take a picture of you with one of our Christmas teddy bears, too...I was glad to do so...I'm not sure if you even made the connection, but it just so happened that during this picture, in your right hand, you're holding something that {almost} shares your name:  Toby the train from Thomas the Tank Engine! ~

You have a very cute way of being totally serious and earnest as you explain things and make conversation.  You'll pause, tip your head to the side, act as if you're searching for the right word.  You use filler words, like "and" and "um," as if to keep the attention on you so that you don't lose your audience before you've said all that you want to say.  Your speech is getting clearer; but even when I had a difficult time understanding your words, I still felt like you tried very hard to have deep conversations because you were just so serious about the "words" coming out of your mouth!

More linguistic memories:
~ "No" was an easy word for you, of course.  You would draw it out into quite a long word sometimes.
~ For the longest time, when you wanted to communicate "yes," you would say "ah!"  In fact, it's only been within the past few days that you've switched it to "yeah," and when you made that switch, it was sudden.  It almost seemed like one day it was "ah," and the next it was "yeah."
~ You don't hesitate to say a commanding "c-mere" (for "come here") when you want me to come to you or take a look at something, and sometimes you'll do a little gesture with your hand as well.
~ You used to say "oh, dear!" quite often, but have seemed to drop that habit.  What I've noticed you saying a lot recently is "OK?", particularly at the end of sentences.  You might say, "Me do it, OK?" or "Me not eat it, OK?"
~ One of the sweetest phrases that was uniquely a Tobin thing was adding an extra "you" after the verbs in sentences.  For example, "Daddy loves me" was, coming from your lips, "Daddy love you me," and the request "help me" was "help you me!"

~ on Christmas morning, listening to Daddy read the final portion of Bartholomew's Passage ~

You're growing up so fast and so much!  You're the little guy who used to scoot around and "steal" everybody's shoes, even taking them off people's feet!  And then you would put them on your own feet, almost always backwards, right shoe on left foot, and left on right.  Somehow that changed, and these days I rarely catch you stealing shoes.  :)  Also these days, you usually get your shoes on the correct feet!

Speaking of growing up and maturing...you and David, in particular, still have frequent moments of pushing each other's buttons and rubbing each other like sandpaper.  I am looking forward to the growth that I am sure will be happening this year in this area!  :)  But one little technique I've used to help you in this is the phrase, "After you're done with it, may I please have it?"  When one of your brothers (most often, David) has something that you think you need right then(!), you are slowly but surely learning to resist the temptation to reach out and snatch it from him, but instead to say, "After you're done with it, may I please have it?"  Of course, in your adorable pronunciation in which you frequently leave off the initial consonant sounds, it doesn't come out quite like that; but we know what you mean, and that question goes a long way to preserve peace and harmony between you and your brothers!

~ showing off your new hot chocolate mug on Christmas morning ~

You LOVE to pray!  When we sit down to eat lunch and I call on Josiah to pray, your voice pipes up first.  Or when we're doing school and read Window on the World and start to pray for whatever country we just read about, you always want to pray first, and I usually have to shush you gently so that your brothers can have their turns to go first!  Your prayers are usually very specific, sometimes lengthy, and always full of gratitude.  For example, at lunch you might say, "Thank You, God, for food.  Thank You, God, for milk.  Thank You, God, for cheese.  Thank You, God, for apples.  Thank You, God, for cups.  Amen!"  Or at night, you might thank God for your bunk bed, your Bible, your blankets, "Oddy" (your pronunciation of Shavi), me, and other assorted things that come to your mind.  One night recently, as you were praying before I tucked you in, David and Josiah were both in the room with us because they had listened to me read a bedtime story to you and were waiting their turn for me to tuck them into their beds.  You started praying, and you happened to still be holding your new-to-you-but-really-passed-down-from-your-big-brothers Bible.  You started thanking God for "this page," and then as you turned the page, you thanked Him for the next page, and then another page turn and another prayer of gratitude for that page.  David said out loud what I was only thinking inside when he exclaimed, "This is going to take all night!"  :)

~ eating snow back in December:  your favorite part of being out in the snow was eating it, so when we had to come in because I was concerned you were getting too cold, I decided to scoop up a bowl and let you eat it at the table!  :)

You are very good at falling asleep, and sometimes you even do it in your bed!!  ;-)  Other times, you end up sleeping on the floor, and that doesn't seem to bother you.  Even when you do fall asleep in bed, it's not unusual to find a book or toy on top of you; you don't seem to mind!


Now as a three-year-old, you've almost given up naps (except recently when you've been sick; the past few days you haven't felt well, and you have taken a nap without any protest).  That's earlier than I planned for you to make that transition, but not all three-year-old boys go by their mother's plan books.  :)  The way it happened was like this:  I would tuck you in after lunch for a nap, but you would not fall asleep, so you would look at books in bed for a while (you always seem to accumulate quite a stack in your bed!) and then pop out of bed.  I finally decided that I wasn't going to fight it so I didn't try to force you to get back in bed.  I simply required you to stay in your room and play quietly (although we're still working on training you to do that because you get so tempted to get into the hallway to see what's going on downstairs or to peek into Josiah and David's room to see how the Lego project is going, etc.).  I knew at some point, you would transition from having an afternoon nap to having quiet time just like Josiah and David do; I just didn't know it would be this soon!  However, I've discovered two significant advantages to this.  First, it makes it so much easier for you to go to sleep at night when you haven't had a nap.  Bedtime used to be somewhat challenging because you would call out, need a drink, or invent some excuse for continued people contact when you really should have been quietly falling asleep in your bed!  But without an afternoon nap, you almost always fall asleep at night very quickly, and that's wonderful.  Second, now that you're on the verge of being completely potty-trained, having you awake in the afternoon makes it easy for you to go to the bathroom during those hours if you need to.  You have been in underwear during some naps and stayed dry, but of course it's easier to stay dry if you're awake and can go to the bathroom when necessary!

Speaking of potty training...you were the easiest child we've potty trained so far!  Some months ago, when I was still in the stress of adjusting to four young children in the house, I started the potty training process with you; but I quickly realized that stressing out about it and rushing you was just not worth it.  So I backed off!  In this area, I let you take the lead; and it was such a peaceful, enjoyable process (of course, you had accidents occasionally, but overall you really did great).  I could hardly believe it.  :)    Back in mid-September, we wanted to encourage you along a little bit since the process seemed to be lagging, so we brought out the big guns:  M&Ms for incentive.  :)  One if you peed in the potty, and two if you pooped in the potty.  The results were dramatic:  the very next day, you had your first really successful day.  No accidents at all, and you even wore underwear on an outing to play mini golf, and you stayed dry.  Fantastic!  And totally worth the M&Ms we've given you during the past four months.  :)  These days, I only put you in a diaper for nighttime which I don't mind doing.  I did notice on the morning of January 9 that your diaper was dry, so maybe I'll get brave and try you in underwear all night long fairly soon.  We'll see...I'm not in a rush...I'm just proud of you for how you've taken responsibility in this area and done so well!!  :)

~ one of your favorite after-dinner activities is listening to Grandma read you a story (the other one is tickling/wrestling with Daddy!) ~

Here are a few videos to capture the essence of you:  you take brushing your teeth very seriously (after you do it a while, I finish up)  :)...
...and you have a blast playing with your brothers.  You're especially quick to learn from and imitate Josiah and David, and you try to keep up with them in their games and activities.

Finally, here's one more oh-so-precious thing about you.  When I ask, "What's your name?", your response is always, "Tobin Bear!"  The way you pronounce "Tobin" is more like "Bobin," but you always add "Bear" at the end.  :)

Ah, yes, you are my Tobin Bear.  One of a kind, formed by God from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, infinitely valuable in His sight and in ours, you are indeed a unique creation.

I love you more and more as each day passes and as you grow and develop and change and show your personality.  I will never stop thanking God for giving me the privilege of being your mommy.  You are an amazing gift that God gave me on your birthday!

Tobin Bear, I adore you!

With a heart full of love,
Mommy

2 comments:

Lindsay said...

What a wonderfully sweet post!! I love the video of him brushing is teeth and that he calls himself Tobin bear!!

Homeschool on the Croft said...

What precious words. He will treasure them all his life.
I love it when the wee ones have their own way of saying a word or a phrase.... and then they grow out of it :(
Our Wee guy hardly has any of his own phrases left, and barely remembers that he even said them in that funny way. It's sad for us... but, of course, we wouldn't want them to keep saying them as they're growing up. (There's just a part of us mums that wants to hold onto every second of their little lives and not let it go too fast, isn't there?!) x