In one sense, it seems like I was looking at you for the first time just yesterday; in another way, I can hardly remember not having you in my life. Here you are at 4 years old. How did we get here so quickly? Will I say this same thing when you're 10? 16? 30?
You love to go and do, but are usually equally as happy to be back home. Some of the "special treats" you enjoy are: visiting with family members at their homes, going to the water/spray park, going to the bounce house, bowling, visiting the car wash, attending birthday parties, going fishing, eating ice cream or popsicles, and going to store errands with mommy or daddy. Easy, every day things are a joy to you!
Foods you love: cheese pizza, sweet tea, chocolate milk, juice, popsicles, suckers, corn on the cob, mac & cheese, chip and dip, chicken nuggets, prunes (thanks deda & pop!), bubble gum, ice cream, bananas, apples, oranges, and grapes.
Your favorite things to do on a regular basis: ride your big bike with Daddy, swim in your little pool, play in your sandbox, watch your favorite TV shows (Dora, Strawberry Shortcake, Curious George, Arthur, and Elmo), do a craft of any kind, and help me cook/clean.
It's a well known fact that you've been doing voluntary housework since you could walk. You can now basically do a load of laundry by yourself, minus putting in the detergent. You know all the right buttons to push and are happy to load, change out loads, and unload each machine. You constantly remind me to check the dryer filter! You also help put away dishes, put away your clothes, clean your room, sweep, and vacuum. You truly are a help to me around the house! (I hope your wife really appreciates this about you some day!)
While you love people, you are not fond of Bible class, or any big crowd really. You have trouble sitting still, mainly, but you also just get SO wound up around other kids or adults that you just make impulsive decisions and have a hard time calming down.
We can, however, tell a big difference in your obedience from last year to this year. Other boy moms tell me that it just takes LOTS of time and repetition, but that it pays off in the end! I hope you don't grow up remembering that I nagged you all the time to be more still or be quieter. I try to let you release those energies in proper environments, but struggle to get you to practice those behaviors most of the time! You really do usually want to mind. You just have to be told WHY those rules are in place. You do much better if you understand the reason behind something. That also makes it stick better. Many times we have you pray about whatever you're struggling with. I tear up every time. Mamas, right? You'll take these behavior swings where you'll be SO obedient and loving for 1-2 weeks, hardly even getting a time out (!), to being quite disobedient and impulsive. We don't know what makes you "switch" between the two, but if I find out, I'll make sure to document it! :) We pray through the tough weeks and revel in the good, easier weeks.
Drew, you are so loving! You give me kisses and hugs all day. You try your best to take care of someone when they aren't feeling well. You'll bring me a pillow and blanket on the couch or bring Hannah a washcloth if she falls and hurts herself. Even though you don't always mind (what child or adult does?), I can see your heart, and it is good. And that's what God sees not only in you, but all of us. We all fall short of the glory of God, but his grace covers that. And what he sees is a heart that loves Him--and that is good! May that be what you remember of our training of you--that we are dependent on a Savior who is good enough for each of us and that we lean on him for strength and improvement!
You and Hannah love each other--you just don't always act that way! ;)
When Daddy is here with you, the two of you will play for an hour
together. But for some reason when it's just us here, you two constantly
bicker! I pray this will wear off as each of you gets a little older
and you learn to appreciate one another and befriend the other. God has
blessed each of you with a built in friend for life!
Other random tidbits about you: You're so good with directions. You did NOT get that from your mom! You think you're a mini adult, especially with Hannah. You love dirt. You think fireworks are great. You wanna know the names of all the interstates we use. You ask about going on vacation all the time. You've been to the movie theater 3 times now (the popcorn is your favorite part). You LOVE spending the night with your relatives. (You haven't gotten homesick once.) You still sleep with your blankie, two nightlights, and your closet light on. We finally took the doorknob cover off the inside of your room (the one we'd duct-taped on to keep you inside at night!). You'd stay up until midnight each night if we let you. You can shower by yourself these days--woohoo! You go to the potty and clean up afterwards all by yourself--another woohoo! You wear a 4T/5T shirt and 4T pants. You still let me dress you up in a jonjon every now and then (you even ask to wear them sometimes!). I said this is the last summer I'll do it. Sadness!When people ask your name, you respond, "Andrew Mark Laney!" You pronounce your "Ls" as "Ws." You also mispronounce your Rs sometimes. I love it, and don't correct you. You'll eventually correct it. :) You're also not proficient in possessive pronouns. You'll say "you house" or "they house," but you can use "his" correctly. You love babies, and are so gentle with them. You are pretty sloppy with a spoon! You can blow up a balloon really well! You are fearless! You rode your first real roller coaster this year and yelled, "FASTER!" the entire time. You jump into a pool and go down the biggest slides without thinking twice!
My boy, being a mama is the most difficult and rewarding job I'll ever know. Your presence in my life brings me closer to Jesus in so many ways. I would die for you without thinking about it, and know your Daddy would do the same. You are loved, my child. There is nothing you can do or think to separate my love from you. I pray that you will look back on your childhood when you are an adult and feel secure in our love for you, and mostly in our Father's love for you. You made me a mama, so I thank you for that. You are the sweetest boy in the whole world, and I wouldn't trade my role as your mama for anything!