Dad Life, Graham, School

An Ode to Mr. Personality

For Nolan, it’s come and gone. For Austin, it’ll get here eventually. For Graham, it’s right around the corner…and I’m cautiously optimistic.

Graham, once called “Gronk” by one of my best friends because of his use of grunts in lieu of words, is going to be starting preschool in the fall.

Three mornings or five?

But really…PRESCHOOL!?

Sure, he’s been late to the game with speaking and potty-training (he finally went in his Elmo toilet the other day for the first time!) but preschool?

Already?

Over the past few months, he has gotten exponentially more diverse in his speaking though roughly 45 percent of the time we still wince trying to figure out what the hell he’s saying.

e84f348d-aaa8-4a96-b96b-f3d7cfbcabbaHe loves counting the aisle numbers at the supermarket or Target or wherever else they’re labeled. He’s pretty decent at reciting the alphabet, despite A (“baby”), G (“iss me), M (“mommy”), and N (Noles) not yet qualifying as letters.

The kid who after putting ice cubes in my mason jar and hitting the “op button” to brew my afternoon coffee requests demands a “I five, daddy!”

Graham, the one who can suck his thumb and pick his nose at the same time with the same hand. OK, so maybe he is ready for this.

With a fighter’s mentality, he’s starting to give Nolan a run for his money and is no longer just taking his lumps. He comes full-bore with bare hugs and boops (finger pokes).

Despite just having to ask Linds when I tripped and dropped him on his face (it was July) while carrying him up the fresh 200-pound, razor-sharp bluestone steps I’d helped lay just weeks prior, I still have flashbacks about the sequence of events that led to six stitches in his top lip. The ambulance ride to the hospital that was only twenty minutes but felt like an eternity. How well he behaved despite not being able to eat anything for hours as we waited for the plastic surgeon to come in. I felt like the worst parent in the world. Thankfully stitches and the memory are the worst of it. He’s a tough kid and he’s got a story to tell.

But he’s still a sweet kid with an infectious smile who waves at passersby despite never having seen them prior. He smiles his Strahan-esque smile even wider and points glowingly at Austin informing those who smile or wave at him that “it’s Baby!,” because clearly he lacks a name.img_1816

After asking him which way he wants to go once we reach the stop sign – straight or right – he chooses and immediately regrets his decision.

He’s got this funny-as-hell sly side-eye thing going on when he wants a laugh or is acting a bit goofy.

Sure, at times, he’s the alpha middle child with the tantrums and myriad of “no” responses to every question we ask, but he’s a kid. They all do that shit.

Another thing they all do is grow up too fast.

Wild. Carefree. Tough. Happy. Doting. Funny. Quirky. Talented. Unpredictable. The list of adjectives goes on and on, as I’m sure it does (albeit different words) for every parent describing their kid.

But Graham is ours and he’s headed to preschool in six months, made even more real by the open house we went to last night.

Six months are a long time and like I said, I’m cautiously optimistic. His vocabulary and speech will get there, there’s no doubt, as will the potty-training.

One thing we don’t have to worry about is his infectious personality, which invokes a smile as bright as his onto other people’s faces. Especially ours.

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