Dear Riley, I mean, Gumby

Dear, Riley,

You are two and a half now! You like to play games (hide and go seek, "Duck, Duck, Goose," and Memory). I have been dying to be a game family for basically my whole life, so I am thrilled! Hide and go seek is fun because you will tell us exactly where you will hide and get so excited that you run back screaming before we come find you. "Duck, Duck, Goose" is great because you say, "Duck... Duck... DUCK!" and run straight out of the room. I love two-year-olds.

You love healthy food. Certainly, more than I do. You are known for your nutritious preferences that materialized out of the ether! Tonight Jeff made his (Grandma's) signature German pancakes and you asked to add tomatoes to the meal. We accommodated and you ate a bunch.

We like our treats, too, though. You are so sweet and say things like, "Go get doughnuts? Okay. Sure!" I love our doughnut dates. It's so good for both of us. Your most recent testimonial, "I have fun at the store with you." So do I. 

You still love to paint and you want to do what I do. I love when we paint together. We share the same $5 pallet from Michael's and I must say, my colors are more creative since you mix them all together. We paint together for up to an hour. It is one of the parts of our relationship that I treasure. Pro tip: I just got the idea from some friends to paint on the sidewalk with water! So smart. That's what we will be up to for the rest of our Texas summer (Yep, still blazing in October).

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Recently, you discovered Gumby on Amazon Prime. Oh, boy. You love it! You have referred to yourself as Gumby for a solid two weeks now and call us the supporting character names (I am "Mother" and Dad is "Pokey" the horse).

I will level with you since you can't read yet. I think Gumby is super weird. It's the kind of hilarious B movie material I would share with my siblings, like Sharknado. Despite its quirkiness, I'll admit to the surge of pride I feel that you naturally gravitated to something so retro. That's cool, my dear!

You told me you want to be Gumby for Halloween but changed your mind to a snake, temple, blanket, a slew of other impossible costumes, a butterfly, a bunny, and eventually Minnie Mouse. Phew! 

In fact, the other night I told you, "Okay! Let's pick one Halloween costume right now so I can start sewing it. What would you like to be this year?" and you replied, "...Cow, horse, bug, ladybug."

I didn't want to squash your individuality but also didn't want you to wear a bizarre costume that lands our family in Awkward Family Photos. If you keep pushing to be Gumby, though, we will make it happen, kiddo. You do you.

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Also worth noting, your prayers always include, "Please bless the bugs. Please bless the butterflies... Please bless birds. Please bless baby butterflies. Please bless bluebirds," and whatever other botanical nouns you can squeeze in over us before we wrap it up. Your daddy and I just smile at each other and laugh quietly. We love you.

You are the best!