If I could sum Patrick up in one word right now it would be "Why?" That one word is probably 40% of what comes out of Patrick's mouth. Patrick's Why Phase started about a year ago. Which means I'm not sure it's really considered a phase any more. I'm sure he won't always ask why as much as he does now, but it definitely brings to light his extremely curious personality. Living with Patrick right now means that you have to be prepared to answer for every statement you make. Every sentence out of your mouth or action you take has to have reason or justification. He just HAS to know why everyone is doing whatever they're doing. Here's a pretty typical conversation at our house:
Me: Be right back. I'm going to take the trash out.
Patrick: Why are you taking the trash out?
Me: Because it's full and I don't want the house to smell.
P: Why don't you want the house to smell?
Me: Because I don't like things that smell.
P: But dinner smells and you like dinner.
Me: ...sigh... yes, that's true, I don't like things that smell "bad."
P: Why's the trash smell bad?
Me: Because it has old food in it and old food smells bad.
P: Why does old food smell bad because it's rotten? (He does this all the time too. He answers his own why questions but still forms them as a question. I'm never really sure how to respond to these.)
Me: Right, because it's rotten.
P: Why is rotten bad?
Me: Because it's yucky (this is where the conversation might end except that I always end up saying something that prompts another question like…) and will make us sick. (Me in my head: Dangit! Why did I add that last part!)
P: Why does rotten food make us sick?
Me: Because it's yucky and gross and has germs and mold and yucky gross stuff that makes us sick. (This is the verbal equivalent of a shotgun blast. Throw as many words and reasons into one sentence as possible and try to cut off all possible future questions at the pass.)
P: ...But why will you be right back?
He is still extremely cautious at first until he understands the full situation. But once he feels comfortable, there's no stopping him. If you watch the video from the beach you'll see that he jumped off the diving board, rode the waves on a raft, went down a water slide and broke out every dance move he had in the middle of 30 adults. He didn't leap into any one of these activities right away but once he was in, he was IN.
Here's a video of Patrick after dinner talking about a spaceship blasting off. A video like this is really the best way to capture his personality. I love how intensely he tells the story and how he explains every detail of us climbing the ladders and fixing things and when Angie brings up taking Roxy along for the space ride it throws a wrench into the story and you can see his mind trying to work out how the dog will climb the ladder and fit in the spaceship and all the other details. And I left the first part of the video in with Madelyn imitating his blast off noises because I could watch that over and over all day. It's so cute how Madelyn wants to do everything he does.
Speaking of Madelyn... watching Patrick be a big brother has been amazing. One of our favorite things is watching him try to help Madelyn talk. Her vocabulary has been increasing lately and she tries to say almost everything we do. Patrick couldn't be happier. He walks around the house and explains every object to her "Maddy, this is the shoooopppiiinngggg caaaaarrrrttttt. Can you say that? We put our toy groceries in it. Can you say "groooocccceeeerriiiiiiiieeeeees?" When they play outside he's become very protective of her and will get worried if she's more than 15 feet away from us. He'll yell for her to come back and if she doesn't (she doesn't) he'll walk over and say "Let's just hold hands Mad. You can walk wif me" and he'll bring her back to where he thinks she's safe.
We can't wait to see what parts of his personality we'll be introduced to over this next year. Every new discovery has been a joy for us to witness and we're so blessed that we have Patrick in our lives. Not a day goes by he doesn't make us laugh. We love you Pat Pat!