A few days ago Victor and Andrew, his older brother, were playing what was essentially ‘motionless tag’ in the living room. Basically it was Victor tapping Andrew’s shoulder, then yelling “tag, you’re it”, and Andrew immediately doing the same right back to Victor. After a few minutes I tried explaining the “no tag back” rule, but no one was listening.
Finally Victor, who is now 3.5-years old, ran away and I thought the game was over. But he came back with a little plastic stool. Then he tapped Andrew’s shoulder, yelled “you’re it”, but when Andrew moved to tag him back, Victor quickly raised the stool to his chest, and blocked it.
Then he laughed and said “..no, you’re still it.”, and ran away. Smart kid.
Over the past few months, Victor has started and finished his first season of soccer, started T-Ball, started day camp and had a practice session for his upcoming first year of school.
For Victor, soccer was an opportunity to hug people his own size. Towards the end of the season he started to see the point of the game — that the ball was to be kicked in the general direction of the people wearing differently coloured uniforms. But he would still stop random kids at random times during the game, tell them his name, and ask if they wanted to hug.
…by the way, soccer played with eight teams of ten kids under 5-years old, who have never played organized sports before, on a regular soccer field split four ways, is like herding kittens when you’re off-your-face drunk.
In almost every activity we’ve enrolled Victor in, he has been the youngest kid. But not necessarily the smallest. I keep getting told that Victor is tall and broad for his age, but most of the kids Victor has grown up with have been friends of his older brother. So, until soccer started, I had never really seen Victor around large groups of kids closer to his own age.
He’s definitely a pretty large kid. At least he looks it… big hands, huge feet, big chest.
He’s roughly 40lbs and a little over 3.5-feet tall. Which, in writing, sounds impressive. If he keeps this growth rate going, by the time he becomes a teenager he should be 13-feet tall. I think that’s how it works.
My girlfriend and I moved in with each other last September which, because we share Victor, in the eyes of the government made us instantly “common law married” — which means all of the rights and responsibilities of actual marriage, but without the ring.*
Pretty much as soon as that happened, Diane picked up a full time job, so Victor and I have been spending most of our days together alone. We spend a lot of time at the parks around town (there are two), or walking, or playing with his little cars.
Two months ago Victor started pulling his hand out of mine while we’re walking, so he can feel the freedom. Of all the little, everyday advances in his evolution that I see and experience, that one probably hurts the most right now.
But the kid smiles. And laughs. Nearly all the time. It’s so easy to get him going, just walk towards him like you’re going to tickle him and he’ll start laughing and run away yelling “chase me, chase me”.
He’s also very, very brave. It’s rare, but sometimes he’ll do something pretty awful — relative to a 3-year old, he’s not boosting cars or slinging meth. But once in a while he’ll be in a bad mood, and he’ll throw something at me or his mom. And the kid has aim, and an arm — I’m surprised I still have eyes.
So I’ll yell his name, or get angry, and he’ll plant his feet, turn a little sideways, get angrier than I’ll ever be, ball up his hands into fists and let loose with what I can only describe as a war cry.
He has only done it a few times — I guess he’s only had reason to a few times, but every one scared the shit out of me.
Mostly he only acts out when he’s tired, or because of the heat. Ever since he could walk, Victor has done this weird walking dance thing when he gets really tired. It’s like he’s drunk. But a really friendly drunk.
By ‘acting out’, I mean he’ll start making weird noises, babble some nonsense and, depending where he is (car seat; walking with us; at home), he’ll walk around in looping circles, with his hands flailing around like he’s in an ’80’s aerobic exercise video. But then he always comes back to his mom or myself, and gives us a leg hug… I guess like a drunk trying to hold himself up.
I think it’s hilarious. I think his mom gets annoyed with it, but most times it’s a highlight of my day — not the fact he’s that tired, just that there’s a whole lot of foreshadowing going on.
The most important development over the past year, of course, is that Victor is 90% potty trained. He can do everything by himself, except wipe. But I’m so very okay with that, because — sweet loving Jesus — I no longer have to change diapers.
…I don’t think he’s peed in his bed in two (or more) months, but we still occasionally use the pull-ups at bedtime just in case. We tried to toilet train him, but mostly he did it all himself. I think he just connected what we were doing in the bathroom to something he’d like to try.
His language skills are awesome, he picks up new words and phrases everyday; when we’re on walks he likes to tell people who I am, and where we’re going, sometimes very, very loudly. That’s definitely one of the highlights of any of my days.
*…we’re making it official in September.
Photos Of Victor & Andrew’s Week(s):