I think 3 1/2 is my favorite age ever. Dean can carry on a whole, cohesive conversation that we actually understand, he can tell us what he wants and needs and he can crack jokes with the best of them. His new favorite thing is to tell us something that is obviously wrong, such as "Cats eat pizza," just so he can say, "Noooooooooo! That's silly!" We recently had a very long talk about dinosaurs and what they ate, explaining how some ate meat and others ate plants. One night, he held up his T-Rex and said, "T-Rex eats cheese!" I answered with, "Noooooo, that's silly!" then he held up a plant-eating dinosaur, stuck its neck in the T-Rex's mouth and said, "This Cheese. See? T-Rex eats Cheese." Touche, kid.
Whenever I ask Dean how old he is at home, he answers with a hearty "Three and half!" However, if we're out in public and someone asks him how old he is, he looks at me with a confused face, then looks back at the person who asked with an expression that says, "I don't know how old I am because the big people I live with don't teach me about things like age and SAVE MEEEEEEEEEEE!" Then the person usually shakes their head, judges me silently and walks away. Oh, well.
His love of the kitchen is still strong and he's branching out a bit with his cooking. This week he has assisted me in making pasta with parma rosa sauce, onions and sausage, tea cakes and Danish wedding cookies. He can tell you the entire list of ingredients for teacakes from memory, and the way he pronounces "vegetable oil" might be my favorite thing ever.
He starts preschool in 2 weeks. We have orientation next week, first a parents' meeting, then an open house for the kids to meet their teachers and play together for a while. I drove him by his new school yesterday and he got super excited about the bridge on the playground. His teacher's name is Mrs. Walker, but he calls her "Miss Skywalker." Let's hope she thinks that's cute.
I discovered something adorable about my husband the other day (in relation to Dean) that I need to document for you all. Marcus is not one to go on and on about how cute children are. Since becoming a dad, he will now comment on the cuteness or smartness or sweetness of a little kid much more than he did in his pre-parental days, but he's just not a gusher, even about our own child. However, Marcus is a big ol' softie. Though he rarely comes right out and brags about Dean, I've noticed that, whenever he sees someone approaching who could conveniently overhear our conversations, he purposely asks Dean a question that he knows will get a cute answer. Last night a group of moms walking their infants approached us on the walking trail in the park and Marcus asked Dean (who was riding on his shoulders), "You ok, buddy?" Dean replied, "Yep, Daddy, I fine." All the young moms gave a collective, "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw" and Marcus smiled.
He's brave, this boy of mine, completely and utterly fearless. Just the other day we visited our beloved science museum and he rode a zipline like it was no biggie. He also experienced what I think may have been his first official adrenaline high because when dude got off the zipline? He ran for the maze and went through it so fast I had to take my shoes off in order to run and catch him. That same day, he crawled over the top of our sectional sofa and got stuck between it and the wall. I asked what he was doing and he matter-of-factly answered, "I a monkey, Mama." Duh.
Mostly I love that Dean is forthcoming with the "I love you's" and the hugs and kisses and I REALLY love his sense of wonder and excitement. I think he may explode with happiness on his first day of school.