Charlie is an entirely different kid than he was a year ago. 1 year ago, he wouldn't do a single thing I asked him / told him / threated him / begged him to do. Period. He was grumpy, sassy, defiant and trying desperately to get as much attention as possible in every way possible. He was pushing every boundary there was.
I didn't even want to take him anywhere with a parking lot because he would dart out in front of cars. And other parents would give me that disapproving look like "can't you control your child?" which made me want to assault them which made for a negative experience at Target so really, the summer sucked. (Also remember that I was pregnant, swollen, sick, did I mention pregnant?)
But this summer, oh my, my boy. MY BOY. He opens the door for me when my hands are full, brings Rich glasses of water, clears the table when he's done eating, says please and thank you, picks up his toys after his bath, turns lights off in the living room that shouldn't be on, behaves at school, kisses his sister when she whines, tells little girls at birthday parties that they look pretty, says dinner is "de-wish-ush", apologizes sincerely.
And most importantly, he voluntarily takes my hand as we cross the Target parking lot. And I throw a smug look at passerbys. Even as I'm typing this I have a smug look on my face.
Please don't misinterpret this post as "my child is so fabulous and perfectly behaved". Trust me. I'm sure there was a "you're crazy Mama" back talk comment this week, some pouting and maybe even a Buzz Lightyear chucked across the living room. But overall, he seems more mature and in control of his emotions.