Randall likes to talk about ages but has trouble believing that mom is 33 and dad is 32, and he insists it should be the other way around. This morning, after being told the same old truth which he was not yet ready to accept, he led mommy downstairs, saying, “I need to show you something. Look, in this picture, daddy is much bigger than you!”
Two days after mommy’s birthday, we set out on our Hawaii vacation, and the first thing Randall learnt there was “Aloha!”. After spending four days on the quiet island of Maui, we headed over to Honolulu and found ourselves surrounded by the bustle of Waikiki beach.
Randall did not like the cold water at the swimming pool but instead enjoyed running in and out of the waves at the beach. He called this the “catching waves” game.
He also had a great time building his sand castles by bring back water from the sea. It was our first beach vacation that involved a lot of activities aside from sitting at the beach. While in Maui, we went to Iao Valley with a small water fall as well as the volcano national park of Haleakalā where we drove all the way up to the summit (10023 feet) and saw the crater. Still nothing was better for Randall than an afternoon ice-cream snack.
Our morning routine there was having breakfast on the balcony that offered a stunning view of the sea and the hotel’s pool. And one of those mornings Randall pointed to the palm trees by the swimming pool and said, “Those trees are like hand prints.” Randall also spoke Spanish in front of us for the first time – number one through five. Exactly two years ago, when we were on vacation in Miami, Randall did his first counting in English, “One, two, three, eight, nine, ten.” And now he just told mommy proudly that he could count up to a hundred.
We stayed at Waikiki beach in Honolulu but found Kailua to be a nice escape from the crowd. On our way to Kailua, we stopped by at the Pali lookout and enjoyed a great view of the sheer Koolau cliffs. Mommy and daddy had fun riding the waves while a slope created by sand dunes turned out to be Randall’s favorite spot. The sand was his imaginary snow, the softness of which allowed to him slide down or jump off the slope freely.
That was not all: we went on a short bus tour; we visited Pearl Harbor on New Year’s Eve; and we hiked to the top of Diamond Head. Randall made this hike all by himself and was rewarded with a beautiful sight of a rainbow when we reached the top. Of course, he had to check his map from time to time to make sure we were on the right path.
Randall often seems to be quiet in car, but he’s been “secretly” watching us when we drive. The other day, when I backed up the car to get out of the parking lot at his school, he said seriously to me, “When you back up, you should always look at that picture (the backup camera). That’s the safety rule. If you don’t, it’s dangerous.” And another time when I was driving on the highway and getting ready to exit, he suddenly asked me, “You just switched lane, right?” He surprises us with such funny statements all the time, and I always joke that all he needs to be able to drive to grow tall enough to reach the pedals.
This weekend we introduced Randall to his first board game, the Sneaky Snack Squirrel Game. Hurray! It took him only one game to know the rules and know what he should be looking for to win. But more importantly, he got to learn to deal with wins and losses.
“I’m a baby. I can’t go.”, “I’m too tired to go upstairs.”… Randall always has to create some sort of drama before going shower. This time, though, it was something different. He opened the closet door by the stairs when asked to go to the bathroom.
“No, you can’t open this closet. It’s mommy and daddy’s.”, I said, thinking it might save us some trouble in future.
“Why?”, Randall protested, “I think it should be everyone’s.”
“Because it’s next to our bedroom.”
Just as I was so proud of my quick clever response, which I thought would be the end of the conversation, Randall came up with a truly meaningful argument, “But it faces my bedroom, mommy!”
Randall is now almost 40 months old and we decide to try potty training him again. He made his first pee pee in the toilet more than half a year ago, but didn’t seem ready to be fully potty trained yet.
This time it all happens in just two days – one day of accidents and another day of no accidents. And all it takes for this overnight change is the one thing I tell him: “You have to be potty trained to go on that big ship.” Well, of course we’ve made it up. We have already booked the cruise trip before we start training him. We would go anyway even if he was not trained by that time. But that has just worked! Now it’s time to enjoy our trip on the big ship.
Our little guy has for months been trying to make sense of every little thing in his life. And we’ve been getting endless questions like “why?” “what is this for?”. But oftentimes he would be happy to listen if given a “good enough” reason.
Here comes Randall’s first subway ride in Shanghai. After several stops Randall starts to get impatient. I look up at the map and count the stops. Ten, it goes, and so I tell Randall. Then, much to my surprise, with each stop, Randall starts to do a countdown on the number of stops left, all the way till we get off.
“It’s you, mummy!” Randall was so excited about discovering this photo of mummy from daddy’s wallet. But only after a few seconds something occurred to him, as he asked puzzled, “Where is Randall?”
a blaring blaring blaring blaring blaring blast!
Randall received a greeting card from his BFF, Conor Mack, on which there was a picture of Conor getting his first haircut. Randall was keen to note that Conor had just cried before the picture was taken, so he commented, “Conor had a haircut. He cried. He does not like haircut”.
“Guess no kid likes haircuts.” I replied, “Does Randall like haircuts?”
“Why does Randall like haircuts?”
“[Because] I need a lollipop.”