Imagination

I posted a photo of Cam a little over a year ago where he’s running around in jammies, no pants and wielding a broom. It still makes me smile.

Here’s the 4 year old edition of that photo… Cam rigging up a vehicle out of a laundry basket, twine and found objects, and sitting next to his new favorite doll ‘Shine’. And of course (safety first!), he has a good strong helmet on.

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Who knows what this vehicle will do, but it is evidence of his growing imagination and his natural interest in tinkering. He gets an idea and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop him from doing it.

Real Stat: 50% of Life with Cam is Spent Talking Like a Character

For at least the last year, Cam has wanted us to be the voice of his stuffed animals, bath toys, action figures, and really anything with a face and a mouth. I still remember how he used to tell us to use a voice: “he talk.”

It used to be mostly in the bathtub where we would create stories with his magnetic fishes or the Dory figurines. We’d play hide-and-seek with the otter saying “hello!” when Cam found him under the bubbles.

More recently, this has picked up steam and I estimate that approximately 50% of our communications with Cam go through his toys. Sometimes when he is being difficult or defiant, we can get him over the hump by talking like a toy. Seriously.

Just this evening when Cam said “I’m still hungry” after he’d already eaten a few different post-dinner snacks, we told him to have some of my lemon chicken. He said he didn’t like lemon chicken. And so I told him that Iron Man loves it and said like Iron Man “I love lemon chicken, yum yum yum.” Cam immediately popped up and shoved a big piece of lemon chicken in his mouth.

I especially love when Cam gets used to Joe doing a particular voice and then he asks me to make Spiderman talk, but when I do he says (totally straight faced, totally serious), “that’s not his voice.”

While it’s ridiculous sometimes, most often he is expressing such rich imagination that it is so fun to listen to. It makes me smile. I love hearing him teach his animals how to brush their teeth and why it’s important. I love listening to him talk about his plan to build a cannon to launch the cannon ball into the alien guns. I love hearing him consult monkey on whether or not we picked the right bedtime books.

Side bar: he is obsessed with Joe’s childhood action heroes. Cam doesn’t even know where they come from and has never seen a movie or even a YouTube clip of them. He calls them “the superheroes” and takes them on our walks, takes them into the bathtub, props them up in a circle and gives them game pieces for a round of “Candy World” (Candy Land). It has been a few weeks now and the novelty hasn’t worn off. I think these guys are here to stay.

“See superheroes, this is how you brush your teeth.”

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I think I’ll be asking Cam to finish his dinner with Captain America’s voice for the foreseeable future. And that’s okay with me.

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The Wild World of a 3.3 Year Old

CamO is such a complicated guy. But, I think it’s a three-year-old thing and totally natural. Talk about highs and lows and more highs and lows all in the same day. In addition to that, he’s exhibiting definite signs of being a “three-nager”… he’s got sass! I even had to talk to him about sass because he left me wide-eyed with his comments.

Highs: Cam is so smart and creative and entertaining. I love watching him think and draw and create and talk and ask questions. He came home from school and told me all about Mercury and narwhals. Evidently, Mercury is a rocky planet with lots of volcanoes and narwhals sometimes get their horns frozen in the ice. Here he is just talking and talking and talking in his imaginary world where he enjoys tea time with superheroes and bandits steal cake from his bedroom:

He can also be so sugary sweet. Just melt your heart sweet. Look at this little angel face!

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Lows: He gets so into whatever he’s doing that he has a tough time transitioning. If he’s coloring, he doesn’t want to stop coloring. If he’s playing in the yard, he doesn’t want to stop playing in the yard. If he’s bathing, he doesn’t want to stop bathing. Etc. And this can turn into a tantrum, like today when Joe and Cam were leaving the Stadlers’ house. He had so much fun playing with Morgan that when it was time to go, it was a 5-alarm meltdown.

He also seems to have a few good weeks with no real moments and then a tough week filled with defiance and tears and tantrums. It’s so hard to figure out how to handle an upset, irrational kid who is normally able to tell you exactly what he wants or needs.

And then there’s the sass. Here are a couple gems from the last week:

Me: If you can’t be nice to your sister, especially in her own room, you need to take a moment to yourself and leave the room.
Cam: Fine! “B” is for BYE!
*Slams the door*

Me: Please stop throwing things, you could hurt someone.
Cam throws something else across the room as he looks at me.
Me: Since you’re not listening to me, I’m going to have to put away one of your toys.
Cam: We’ll see about that.

Joe and I left for the weekend and came back on Sunday, so I barely got any time with him before it was already Monday and time for work. I missed his sweet face so much I think I kissed it 150 times by the time he got into bed tonight. He might be complicated but he’s the best little bug.

Anatomy of a Boy

No no no no, not like that. I think everyone knows the true anatomy of a boy. What I mean is… there are some moments in Cam’s life where I can’t help but think he is such a classic boy.

This photo captures one of those moments.

Such a Boy

Here’s the anatomy of my little boy:

  • pajama top
  • no pants
  • rain boots on an unseasonably warm day
  • filthy nose
  • pizza sauce around the mouth
  • bed head
  • brandishing a stick-like object, in this case his beloved broom
  • acting out some imaginary situation
  • not a care in the world!

I cherish these moments and hope he will always be a silly and free little boy.