Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cullen James the THREE-Year-Old

Cullen is a fiercely independent 3-year-old, in all senses of the word. He can dress himself, brushes his own teeth, gets a stool and climbs up to fetch whatever he needs, cleans up after himself, gets his own snacks, follows quite complicated directions, loads his clothes into the washer, listens carefully and watches to learn. He's also fiercely stubborn and thinks he should be able to cook eggs all by himself, 'text his managers' with my phone (AKA send garbled emails and change all my settings), wear his clothes every which way and apply his own make-up. >>>>> Ha!

Cullen is my biggest helper and has an amazing memory and attention span. He loves to tell stories (with surprisingly accurate detail) and usually has no fear talking to anyone and everyone that will listen. He LOVES to chew gum is the kind of guy that would offer up his very last piece of his most favorite gum without hesitation. 

He enjoys getting wild and crazy with Avery but also needs down time to play quietly alone - he is usually aware enough to know what it is he needs when. He loves to drive his 'dune buggy' Power Wheels even though he rarely keeps his eyes on the road in front of him. He's a pro on his balance bike "monster truck/dirt bike" and is slowly becoming more confident on his pedal bike (though he knows he's faster on the balance bike, so usually chooses it)

Cullen is a host of ups and downs - the sweetest boy you can imagine and the sauciest little threenager too, all within an hour's time. He has a quick temper and unfortunately knows many more negative behaviors than his brother did at this age (thanks to said brother's influence no doubtHis go-to insult is 'dummy' (or something to the effect of: 'dummy-summy-wummy-dumb-dumb') When he gets tired, he loses his sense of play vs. reality and plays the 'bad guy' a little too well. (AKA, stay out of his path)
Cullen is such a mama's boy and loves to help me out with whatever task I'm working on. Cooking, folding laundry, gardening, unloading groceries. He's also usually up for trying his hand at whatever project I set my mind on (We've grown to call these projects 'experiments' due to their often lackluster results, ha!) He's a bit of a clean freak and loves to grab a handful of baby wipes and tackle a section of the house with them. He is
also surprisingly responsible about cleaning up his own messes.

He knows the words to every Moana song and could tell you the entire story from memory. He LOVES his li'l sis and his face always lights up when she's around. Despite the fact that their days are filled with little spats and power struggles, he and Avery's bond continues to be strong and grows every day.

Cullen shares a room with Avery! He sleeps on the bottom bunk and Avery sleeps on the top. Cullen goes to bed first and after he falls asleep, Avery sneaks in. Cullen's bedtime routine includes PJs, brushing teeth, a story, having 3 songs sung to him (ABCs, You Are My Sunshine, and "My Oh-maze" (Amazing Grace) - in that order) while having his back rubbed under his shirt, a blown kiss and a thumbs up before closing the door, and turning on his monitor music.

About two months ago, Cullen completely potty trained himself!  He found some little underwear in a box while moving into his new room with Avery, decided he was going to wear them and we've never looked back, he even soemtimes gets up all on his own at night to go! After it happened, I realized he probably would've trained earlier, I just didn't even think to encourage him. Oops! In the end, it was SO much easier and happened SO much faster because he was self-motivated. 

My favorite of Cullen's current traits is that he randomly tells us 'I love you' at frequent times throughout the day. It tends to happen at the times I need it most, helping to keep us all in the present.  Kiddos are so good for that, and Cullen is one in a million. Sweetest boy ever.

On Cullen's birthday, we started the day off with some Moana cereal (!) and a little Look-and-Find for the birthday boy (his favorite!) Then we spent the rest of the day at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis with grandma and grandpa :) Such a fun time celebrating our big three-year-old!

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