So I've written a lot recently about the trials and tribulations of having a strong-willed little boy.
I started feeling a little bad about complaining so much because he really can be such a great kid a lot of the time. I don't want him to grow up thinking that I only noticed the not-so-great things about him. And I don't want y'all to think that he doesn't have any good qualities either.
So I'm going to list a few of the GOOD things about my dear son William. I figure, we can all use a little extra praise, don't you think? So, without further ado...
*Is a great eater. He rarely complains about any food, and he almost always finishes whatever I put in front of him. He loves to tell me that "I ate all my lunch!" when I pick him up from school, even though he always eats all his lunch.
*Loves vegetables. Seriously. He'll even ask for more broccoli. About the only vegetable that he's ever tried and didn't like was lettuce. And honestly, I can't blame him. Lettuce doesn't have much flavor, and if you don't like the texture, why bother? Except for romaine, it doesn't even have that much nutritional value.
*Is not now and has never really been a biter. I can count on one hand the number of times he's ever bitten me, and that includes breastfeeding.
*Is a happy kid. I'd say his default mood really is happy. He doesn't stay grumpy for long, and you can usually joke him out of a fleeting bad mood pretty quickly. When he was a baby, I started calling him my little smiley guy, and that's still a pretty good way to describe him.
*Loves to make up stories to tell me. This morning's story started out like this: "Once upon a time, there was a little boy named William, and he wanted to go to the zoo. But the castle people weren't ready yet..."
*Loves to read books. I'm a reader, so this makes me very happy. If I had a child who didn't love books, I'm not sure I'd know what to do with him. To my delight, Wiliam even loves many of the same books I loved as a child, too.
*Is friendly. I have a picture of William waving to all and sundry while his daddy carried him into church last Easter. That's William. He's the mayor. He waves and greets everyone in the grocery store. He chats with the people in line behind us. He saw other small children at the beach last summer and tugged at our hands so we'd take him over so he could "meet those friends over there." The corollary to this, of course, is he's not shy.
*Apologizes when he does something wrong and he knows he upset us. This might not sound like a big deal, but it is. I'm hopeful this means that he understands when he's messed up and that it's important to say he's sorry and make amends. This is an important social skill to have throughout life.
*Loves to hug and kiss us and tell us how much he loves us. There is really nothing better than when William clamors up onto a chair or the couch and reaches up to hold my face before he bestows damp kisses on my cheeks and my nose.
*Didn't really require that much child-proofing. This is selfish on my part, but I am so glad that William wasn't too interested in getting into certain things that I've heard other kids do. We never needed an oven lock or a fridge lock or anything like that. He never was a big climber, so I never had to worry that much about that either. Pretty much, we needed--and used--baby gates and outlet covers and drawer and cabinet locks, and that was about it. I'm sure that if we ever have another child, we won't be so lucky.
*Loves to sing. Yeah, I'm sure most small children love to sing, but I get a kick out of hearing William warble "Once Upon a Dream" or "The Rainbow Connection" or "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" no matter how many times I've heard him sing them before. He's improving, too.
*Is pretty well-behaved when you take him shopping. Now, I will qualify this by saying that he does still have a tendency to run off if he's not contained in a shopping cart, but if you put him in a cart at Kroger, he usually does really well. He never complains or cries, and he usually enjoys looking at everything. He occasionally gets upset if you don't take him to look at something he wants to see (i.e. the decorated birthday cakes in the Publix bakery or the Star Wars toys at Target), but he almost never throws a fit.
So, that is a partial list of the good things about my son. See, I realize that he's a great kid and not just a crazy toddler. I need to make sure to tell him, too.