Yesterday was Otto's birthday. Unlike last year, when I was ready with a video and a nice post about my lovely boy on his special day, I had nothing prepared for this year. I took a peek at what I wrote last year, and I have to say that so much of that is still Otto. The wispy blond hair (which he now says is spun gold and never wants to cut), how he wears pajamas for days on end, and is still somehow often to be found with just one sock on. That he loves ice cream and still eats mainly meat and candy, but is branching out somewhat. Crackers and sticky rice and noodles. And he is very excited to find out that fruit is in a juice he likes and will declare, "You see, I DO like some fruits!" Oh, and he loves Honey Nut Cheerios. And the charms from Lucky Charms ("why can't they just sell the charms?"). But I guess that probably qualifies as candy.
Something that has definitely changed for Otto in the last year is that we are watching commercial TV, namely Nickelodeon, Discovery and the Disney channel. Otto is always paying attention to the commercials, and he will often tell me how some product will really improve our lives. It's so sweet, because he usually comes up with something that really does make sense for us. Yesterday, I couldn't find my keys in my bag, and he told me about this purse that he saw that has a spot for your keys and even includes a "tiny little umbrella that folds up into your bag!" He also told us that this air freshener he saw might make our car smell better. And that we could grow a garden with these roll out mats that spring up all sorts of beautiful flowers. And for inside the house, there are these great globe water holders that will make sure our house plants are always perfectly moist. He loves those because the offer includes a red and a blue one, so both Max and Otto would like the colors.
He is quite a video gamer for his young age, but he is also still so content to watch Max play. He is Max's biggest fan, and I am constantly reminded how lucky I am to have two children who get along so well. Otto will sit and watch Max play Super Mario for so long, only commenting with excitement at Max's achievements. Of course, they are happy to have games they can play together (like Lego Star Wars), but when it is only a one player game, Otto will say something like "that's okay, I like to watch—it's like a movie!'
He amazes me with how aware he continues to be of every interaction. He seems older than his years in so many ways, and the way he can view a situation and come up with a solution always takes my breath away.
Of course, a lot of being older than his years comes from keeping up with Max. Max and Otto do a lot of wrestling and poking, but they so obviously love each other. Recently we were at an appointment and they were rolling around on top of each other, sort of pestering each other, but also both laughing and unable to get even one inch away from each other. They were being sort of loud and I was wondering if the receptionist was annoyed, but instead, she said with a smile, "I see they don't like each other all that much." She could so easily see that they were having fun and adore each other. I was so appreciative that she shared this thought, so I could see she enjoyed them, rather than the opposite.
Otto really wants a dog, and he has big plans for when we get a bigger house with a yard (so that we'll have room for the dog). He'll often mention the things he would also like "when we get a bigger house." At this point, we have no plans to move anywhere at all, but it's fun to be a part of his fantasy. In the meantime, both Otto and Max are pushing to get other pets, namely rats or a rabbit. We did get a grow a frog tadpole which they have been enjoying, but clearly, it's not quite meeting the need for a pet you can play with. Until then, we are collecting Webkinz, with the help of Grandma and Grandpa. They are taking such good care of their Webkinz pets, it's good practice for the real thing.
Otto is so often smiling and happy, and he is usually eager to move out of his anger (when it does strike) to a happy place again. He is starting to use language that helps him get out of a vapor lock situation, and he will suggest similar things to Max when Max is in a vapor lock of his own.
He loves to be read to, preferably in the morning, when we are all awake but not ready to get up. He loves "Click Clack Moo," which he only just got for himself for his birthday from Grandma, but which he has loved since a visit to them in March. He also loves any books by Dr. Seuss.
He often picks flowers for me and when he sees something that he thinks is pretty, he will ask, "Would you like me to buy that for you?" He likes to cuddle and give kisses and hugs, and today when I suggested that his feet were so dirty he might need a bath before I could kiss them, he said, "or you could just wash my feet." That's so perfectly Otto, always cutting right to the crux of the matter.
We had a nice quiet celebration with him yesterday, and I have loads of pictures that I will try to sort through and post in the next day or two. But I didn't want to get too far away from his actual day before I acknowledged my lovely little boy who is now...wow...four. Happy Birthday, my sweet little boy.