Hello my little munchkins,
It’s been a while since I last wrote, and there is a direct correlation between the lack of letters and the increase in the time it takes to parent you two. So much has changed since I last wrote. Arlo, you started Kindergarten. Elliott, you started Pre-K. You’ve both grown so much. You both love school a lot, but while one of you is on a mission to master water-color paints, the other is on a quest to capture the hearts and minds of everyone in his class.
At a recent parent-teacher conference, Elliott, your teacher raved about your paintings and how attentive you were to everything going on in the classroom. Arlo, your teacher said you had become a model student, always raising your hand and not interrupting, qualities you obviously exhaust at school. Your teacher spoke about how all the kids in class listen to you, something we heard last year in Pre-K, “He can get the entire class to act out a game he’s making up on the spot. He’s giving people roles and lines, and they’re all following his lead. It’s quite impressive he can lead an entire classroom.” Your Kindergarten teacher expressed a similar thought, “It’s really great he’s such a good role model for good behavior, because he could lead a revolt if he wanted to, and the whole class would follow.”
Your imagination is incredible, Arlo, and Elliott, you add color to his creations every step of the way. If I had a penny for every time I heard, “Pretend that you’re…” or “Pretend that I’m…” I would be a multi-millionaire.
The two of you will play together without stopping, without a break in the conversation, for hours. You’ll put on plays (where people have an odd tendency to get stabbed at the conclusion), you’ll create forts and storefronts, or zoos filled with stuffed animals, or where one of you is the animal and the other the keeper. You’ll have singing competitions with dolls, and dinosaurs, or do dino experiments together. You host tea parties, art galleries, you go shopping as a family or spend time parenting and mimicking all of your parents’ threats… The list of scenarios you create together is endless. At times, Elliott, you will be playing in one corner of a room with your dolls, and Arlo, you’re playing with dinosaurs in a different corner. Gradually you come together in the middle of the room and your two worlds collide seamlessly as princess and dragons and dinosaurs play together happily ever after.
You’re both dreamers, your minds always racing with visions of the future, scenarios or skits. You’ll randomly just break out of a deep trance to announce one of your daydreams, which are often telling of your distinct personalities.
One day, Elliott, you announced, “When I have kids, I”m going to wear high heels.” Arlo, you’ll routinely ask for quiet in the car so you can dream, then you’ll go into a spacey-trance and daydream to your heart’s content. There are often a lot of sound effects that accompany your daydreams, especially at night. Recently you told me, “Goodnight Dad,” and then you were quick to get me out of your room, a rarity. “I really have to get this dream started,” and as I walked down the stairs a battle broke out in your mind, as the sounds of sword and laser fights poured from your lips.
It’s funny to hear the ways your minds work. Arlo, often when you’re sitting on the toilet you’ll get quiet for a moment, then you’ll call out, “What are your three favorite things?” Or, “What are your top three favorite animals?” If I complete my lists too quickly, you’ll move the goal post, “No, no! Top five favorite animals? Mine are snow tiger, cheetah…”
Recently from the back seat, while gazing out at the city, Elliot, you said, “I can’t believe they built all these houses. The apes got smarter and smarter, and they built all of this.” This statement was obviously tied into a conversation you’d had with your mother about evolution, a conversation you’d been deep in thought about for a while, imagining apes with hammers and driving dump trucks.
We just wrapped up Christmas, and while I expected the normal chaos of the last few years, I was surprised that you were both super sweet, thanking us repeatedly for gifts, helping each other set up and play with new toys, sharing without fuss. There were no gimmies, or disappointed pouts. Arlo, you had a list of what you wanted and you walked Santa through it at the mall in great detail. Elliott, you were quite clear you didn’t want anything for Christmas, stating you didn’t really know what you were into, so you didn’t need anything. When people asked what you wanted, you replied, “nothing,” or influenced by Mariah Carey, you’d respond, “All I want for Christmas, is you-ooouu-oouuuu. I just want my family” So you were shocked and gratefully to find that you did indeed have presents waiting for you under the tree, even after you asked for nothing. Even in your worlds, you can’t make this stuff up.
While your imaginations are fantastic, breaking you away from your imaginary worlds to get ready for school or bedtime can often be difficult. There are fits and timeouts, and sometime’s, you’ll wrap up without a fuss. While I’ve done my fair share of daydreaming, I could’ve never imagined what being a parent was truly going to be like. You’re so sweet, and wonderful, and maddening, and adorable. Every day is something different with you two, and I wouldn’t imagine it any other way.