dearest, sweetest, baby boy,
what a grown up little person you are! your papa and i were talking about some silly things you used to say this past may (don’t talk about it pawpaw!) and we were laughing remembering and then we were both just struck with how much you have grown and changed since then, not even a year ago. and how big and fun we had thought you were then. i can’t believe we get to do this, to be your parents, to get to hang out with you, to watch you grow, and to love you too besides. you were a squirmy, wormy infant, never wanting to sit still for a snuggle or a cuddle, you always had places to go, things to do, people to see. and you are still busy busy busy, but you are becoming such a lover too. sometimes i feel like my heart is going to burst from all the loving. i can’t believe we get to have the privilege of being with you while you grow up. it’s such a beautiful thing.
it’s funny because i made a note to mention how tough things were at the beginning of this month. partly because it’s always a little bit tough but i always forget to mention it because when i sit down and think back across our last 30 days together or so, the tough times are not usually the ones that stick out. it’s not that i’m trying to paint this rosy picture of what being with you is like — you’re a real pain in the ass sometimes (and so are your mama and papa) — but i guess we just figure that growing up is like that and we all just try to do our best and learn and move on. it’s true, though, that the beginning of this month was especially rough — part of it was your getting a terrible cold from your cousin and it have a lingering effect on all our of systems. not just physically, but emotionally, too, it took awhile to get over. for a few weeks you could hardly bear to be put to bed or woken up with papa, and that was tough for everyone. it made papa sad, you sad, me sad (and tired). but then you and papa are great pals again, in fact you are pretty wild for papa right now, so it’s hard really to remember those few weeks ago by now anyway. i guess things like that are the reason we are feeling crazy enough to start all over again with chilly. there are tough times but the good times so outweigh them that you hardly remember what was so tough after you’re through it.
i’ve been meaning to mention for several months now what a helpful fellow you are. you love to do chores with me — cooking, washing and folding the laundry, putting groceries away, taking out the garbage/recycling, bringing me things, etc. you’re pretty proud of how helpful you are too and will tell me so “i’m a good helper!”. you are pretty great about cleaning up after yourself too. we try to make sure to remind you to clean up one project or game or toys we’ve been doing/playing with before we get out another, and you are a pretty good sport about it. you will even remind us or yourself or other kids about cleaning up one game before starting another too. i don’t know how long this will last, but it’s a pretty great thing we have going right now.
your imagination is just so much fun. you love to dictate stories for us to tell you. you’re really into your bunnyhouse. you make up elaborate role playing games for us (houndsely and catina are still your favorite, but you love being characters from almost any book we read), you like re-enacting scenes from your favorite books, you like making up songs and stories about the folks in them. you like playing with these little finger puppets you have (tigger, ladyface and dogdog [pigpig has been missing for weeks]). you like silver cat and bella to come along with us when we go places and you like them to eat what you are eating and to watch you when you do fun things. you get very frustrated when you choose a character for yourself and your friends refuse to go along (or sometimes they just don’t get the game, or some even refuse to go along just to tease you! kids today! 🙂 ). but you are also lucky in that some of your friends play very similar games and they are always happy to call you by whatever name you like as long as you call them by their own special names (berlios, cowgirl kate, etc).
chose this outfit yourself
this also means that you play a lot more on your own than you used to do. you will flip through books by yourself (occasionally asking one of us to tell you about a picture you are looking at). you insist that one or both of us come play with you up in the playroom and then you will ignore us while you work on something (but i think you just like us being nearby. we like that too). if i can’t get to you right away for something you want to do because i am cooking or cleaning or putting away laundry or even just trying to ignore you for a minute and read teh internets, you will often just play by yourself for a bit until you get impatient with me. it’s nice to catch a few minutes to myself here and there and it’s amazing to watch you interact with the world all on your own. you even now can play several minutes one on one with most of your friends these days too. of course more often than not one or both of you ends up driving the other one crazy after a time, but still, it’s way longer than you used to be able to play — even a little unsupervised! — and you’re really starting to converse and seriously interact with other kids around your age and that is fascinating to witness. plus you guys say some hilarious things.
you also are figuring out the whole potty thing alone too. you still like one of us to help you get undressed more often than not, but it’s no longer completely unusual for you to go off and use the potty and then call for help wiping up (or, bless your heart, to help flushing the almost entire roll of toilet paper you unraveled into the toilet down into our thankfully very new and tolerant septic system) or pants fixing. that’s pretty neat.
you still love those damn red pajamas so much. it’s going to break your heart in a few weeks (or hell, we’re in new england after all, months) when it gets to warm for you to wear them anymore. once, we had you completely dressed in other pajamas because the red ones were down in the dryer and then i happened to bring the laundry up to fold while you were reading books before bed and you insisted on changing into the now available red ones. i wear the same pants to bed every night too, so i promise i am NOT judging. it’s just that you have A LOT of cute pajamas and we would like to see more of the other ones 🙂
this month was a little bit tough with food for a few weeks. suddenly you just wouldn’t eat dinner. i don’t know why. and for awhile you wouldn’t eat about anything at all. also, a mystery. now we’ve figured a few things out, adjusted some snack times, etc, and we’re getting back on track. whatever that means. but goodness that was rough there for awhile. i expect this food thing to be quite the roller coaster for awhile yet, though, so i’m just enjoying that we’re doing ok in that department for the moment and try not to get too worried about when things seem to be going badly or to get too smug about when they seem to be going rather well.
and speaking of food, you can be so funny about the way you like things. you often don’t want snacks to mix — if you request two foods at once, you’d like them to be in their own containers more often than not. sometimes i honor this request and sometimes we talk about how we are NOT making two bowls dirty, depending on what exactly the snack is. you’ll eat apples, and now especially if we dip them in a nut butter, and mostly if i do it for you and give you bites. you don’t like when the water in your glass gets too low — you get frustrated that the water is “too flat!” and you will demand we fill the glass up before you drink from it again. you like to have your toast (either nut butter with jam or with just with veganaise) “opened” — that is, torn in half down the middle — better to reach the topping that way. you’ve been into dipping things into your water or milk before you eat them lately. you’ll drink a little bit of juice, but you still don’t love it, and the only thing you really seem to like about juice boxes, is of course, the straw. you’ve been asking for (and drinking quite a bit of) “pink milk” lately, like lola (or “lonia” as you call her) asks for in her not-ready-for-bed book.
movies with papa bedtime routine
you were excited for weeks about your upcoming birthday. several of your friends turned 3 and had parties before you, so had a vision about what you wanted (skeleton cakes AND cupcakes, packages, singing). you would ask me “what kind of three am i again?” and i would tell you “almost 3” and you would say “yes! and then in february i will BE 3”. we went to the zoo again as per our tradition and then came home and sang happy birthday and ate cupcakes and opened packages and it was a very good day. this weekend we will have your friends over to have a party with you. today we picked up a sign that says happy birthday and some party hats and some balloons. all day you have been asking when it can be your party. waiting is a very hard thing for you, but you are as brave about it as you can be. this year i loved your birthday especially much just because of how excited you were.
ho man and they were SO. DELICIOUS. too
and now the sad part: this is my last monthly newsletter to you my sweet baby boy! i’ll still write your updates every few months or so, i can’t not write down all the amazing things you are doing and becoming. it just won’t be as often.
but that doesn’t mean i love you any less, my beautiful baby. just like we always tell each other, i love you forever and ever and always.
love and a happy birthday,