Thursday, October 07, 2010

Monthly Newsletter #48

Dear Landon,

You’re four. You’re awesome. And I love you with all of my heart. I couldn’t have asked for a better child. Well, maybe I could have, but I doubt I would have gotten one. You are a very reasonable 4 year old.

This month, we went to my company’s weekend retreat in Bastrop. I had done a little bit of research about the area and decided on a few things I wanted to do and a few things you might want to do, besides the resort activities they had available. I paid for an extra night there, and I am so glad I did. It was a long drive with just the two of us, but I had gone by the library and borrowed a bunch of books on CD for you to listen to as we drove there. You climbed in the car when I picked you up from school that afternoon and just about peed yourself with excitement over the books. You prefer the kind that has a book you can turn the pages and look at the pictures, so I only got that kind. You are very concerned about being on the correct page and occasionally would ask for me to make sure you were on the right page.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I think you are in the very beginning stages of reading. When I ask if you can read, you tell me “no.” You say it is because you don’t know all the words (if that’s your definition, I’m pretty sure that most of the world is illiterate – I just tried reading a book a few weeks ago in which I had to keep a dictionary nearby and used it 20 times in the first chapter, because I didn’t know that many words.) But when I ask you what certain words are, you can sound out the small ones and are generally right.

We spent a lot of time at the “beach” pool at the resort on Saturday morning and you made friends with a few kids and a couple of grown-ups – a huge change from the kid who wouldn’t dare to move when encountering a stranger just 2 years ago. I am so proud of you and how far you’ve come. We then tried to ride the bikes, but the ones your size needed a few adjustments for height and the training wheels were set for a kid who is about to get rid of them, so that didn’t last long (maybe next year). You took it in stride, there was no fit over the fact that we had to think of something else to do, you just said “Ok, let’s go see the dinosaurs then.”

So we ventured off the resort to see the dinosaurs at Dino Park. The place was really neat and they had all kinds of fun stuff to see and do. Not Disney World by any means, but fun none the less. The dinosaurs are constructed to be life size, so I was just imagining what it was like to be driving behind the truck carrying the Triceratops when they first got it. I bought you a fandex of dinosaurs before we went and we looked up each one – not important to know their details or anything, just to make sure that dinosaur was in our book. You were only afraid of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The visit resurged an interest in Dinosaur Train, so it’s nice that it coincided with a few new episodes as well.

But nothing can compare to your new found love: Phineas and Ferb. The resort only had a few channels and the only really kid oriented one was Disney. And we discovered Phineas and Ferb. And you are in LOVE with that show.

I have to admit this was kind of a test run of a short vacation for us. And I have to say, I can’t wait to take you to New York now. I think it’s going to be awesome.

Your birthday party was the best ever I think. Moonbounce, swimming, the food, the sheer number of people – people who came all say they had a great time. In fact, I’m thinking we’re going to need a moonbounce for Thanksgiving. Just because it would be totally awesome. I’m also not sure now how to top the cake for next year, but I’m sure we’ll think of something.

The only thing that’s developed this month that I could do without is the materialism that developed from watching commercials. Previous to Phineas and Ferb we got most of your shows from PBS, or PBS Sprout – which for all intents and purposes is commercial free. Disney, which is home to Phineas and Ferb, is not. So I now spend a lot of time saying, “No, No we can’t buy that.” Or, “We’ll see, maybe it could be one of your prizes for earning stickers.”

All in all, excellent work, keep it up.