Monday, August 22, 2011

Jude: Three

Our boy is three years old today.  How can I describe our son, this force of nature?

Jude has a new obsession these days: fire-fighters ("fighter-fighters") and everything related to fighting fires.  His favorite show is Fireman Sam, about the Welsh town of Pontypandy.  He is constantly running around the house putting out fires and warning about an impending fire.  For his birthday, he asked for a fighter-fighter outfit.  Nini took care of that.

Jude loves to play games.  He often requests that we pull out one of the adult board games, like "the train game" or Monopoly.  He also loves playing Memory and Candyland (this is often part of his going-to-bed routine).  Games on my phone are also sought-after treat (at first it was Angry Birds, now he loves a game called Cookie Maker where he gets to bake and eat cookies).  He also loves playing games on the computer.  His favorite is actually "Typing" where he opens up MS Word and types letters, changes the font/size, deletes the letters, rinse, repeat.  By the time that kid is in school, he is going to know how to use Word better than his teachers!  He also loves the puzzles and games on  He can spend hours working on those if we let him.

Another obsession these days is fishing.  I still need to blog about Jude's first fish which he caught at Baekeland Camp this summer.  He has a kid fishing pole with which he has been diligently casting and reeling in a little red rubber fish for months.  Our friend Dave hooked a small rock bass for him and let him pull it in.  He was over the moon and didn't stop talking about the "slimy fish with spines down its back" for days and days.  Jude will also "play fishing" with just about anything he can find which resembles a rope.  He'll let down his blankie little by little over the side of the changing table, or a jump rope over the edge of our deck, or the line from his kite.  Give that kid a piece of rope, and he's happy for hours!  Jude also caught his first edible fish this summer (we enjoyed the bounty a few nights later).  You can read about it over at Nini's blog.

Jude is still an incredible athlete.  He has no fear, but he is actually very careful and rarely goes beyond his physical abilities.  It can be kind of frightening to take him to the playground these days, though.  I'll look over and see him doing something, like climbing on top of the tube slide, or scaling the outside of a high set of stairs, that was obviously not intended by the playground designers.  Sometimes Jude insists that we call him by his "real name": Monkey Boondoggle.  For a while, we were the Boondoggle family (for example, I was Lion Boondoggle) but now Jude says he is "all of the Boondoggles".

A few funny phrases that Jude says all the time: he says "in course" instead of "in case".  Like, "let me know in course you want to go outside."  He also says "besides" when he means "decides".  "What did Daddy beside to do today?".  Other than these minor (and endearing) word mix-ups, Jude seems to speak like a much older child.  It can be a little bit difficult for people who don't know him to follow along with what he's saying, but we can catch every word, and I don't remember the last time he wasn't able to express something he was thinking.  He is also getting pretty good at expressing his feelings: he'll say something like "I didn't like that" when he has a time-out or "That hurt me" when he falls down.  He also lets us know when he's tired or hungry: "I'm kind of starving right now".

Jude continues to be a challenge for us as parents.  He is very intense, and emotional, and often seems like he is about to erupt into bad behavior.  I get most angry with him when he deliberately uses his strength against Ada - pushing her, kicking her, hitting her.  These days, we're trying to do time-outs when he does this, but it's hard to be consistent.  Jude also hits me sometimes, or throws things at people.  He does a lot of testing boundaries, often just to see what will happen if he disobeys.  I got very angry with him about a week ago when he took off down our street on his bike and I had to go about 20 houses down (to the chickens) before I caught up with him.  I had to carry him kicking and screaming back to our house, because every time I put him down he would try to run off again.  He often claims that he doesn't know what he did wrong, but I don't really think that's true.  We try not to have too many rules, and to repeat our expectations to him so that he knows what he's supposed to do.  It seems to help, but it can be exhausting to be around him and responsible for his behavior and safety.

Other times, Jude is just the sweetest little boy you could imagine.  He'll curl up next to me and relax all of his weight on me while I read him ten books, or tell me all about his day, or watch a movie while lying on top of me.  He'll tell me he loves me and give me huge hugs and kisses.  He is so happy to see me when I get home from work, and he'll tell Dad that he wants more days with Mom home.  He loves his Nini and his Ama, and wants to help Ada climb the stairs or make art or build with blocks.  We feel so lucky to be raising this boy.

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Amber said...

What a sweet post Linden. You describe Jude very well, especially with his quotes :) Happy 3rd Birthday to Jude!

Natalie said...

Happy B-Day Big Boy Jude! I remember his first birthday like it was yesterday. Time flies.