Dear Awesome Man,
I blinked and you lost any resemblance to a baby that month 17 of your life held and became a full-on toddler. You would think that with the millions and millions of moms in the world, we would all be able to figure out a way to slow this whole *life* thing down, wouldn’t you? As much as I want you to grow and be big and healthy, I also want to just hold on to each second as long as I can.
As I type this you are sleeping in the Pack N Play in Don Linny (Mommy Linny’s) house. Words cannot quantify the love you have for her. It’s like I am a footnote and she is the whole story. I can leave the room and you say “bye mommy,” but if she walks 2 feet from you your bottom lip goes down, tears fall and you start screaming “Linnnnnnnny.” You just love it here. When your cousin Jack was a little(r) boy, he described Wathena as “his childhood” and I get it now. Here you can run in the big yard, watch Superman cartoons with PPJ, play with metal airplanes in the basement, eat ice cream for every meal (Superman ice cream at that), go to the old airport a mile away just to watch planes take off, you get hundreds of new toys and baths are extra fun with all the Submarines and characters. You get to feed ducks at the park and have a steady stream of visitors. The town playground and it’s red and blue plastic baubles are just a hundred feet away. I’m sad for you, buddy, that they are so far away and I do my best to bring you to them as much as I can. Thank goodness for Facetime….then again, the worst is when you try to reach through the screen for her.
Just 1 day with your older cousins and I swear you have changed so much. Daddy is going to spend 10 minutes with you tomorrow and be so amazed by how much you’ve learned. For instance, “Man” is now “Su-PER-MANNNNNN” and you can tell me which shape is an oval (said with the squeakiest voice) and triangle and know all of your shapes including moon, heart, square and circle and rectangle. Daddy will not believe you can do this!
We had a good month, dude. We said goodbye to the pool and are trying to find a new normal with indoor play and learning colors and the alphabet. We will really miss the pool….on our last day you were able to float in the Big Pool all alone with your Puddle Jumper on and didn’t want any help from Daddy or I. You will miss splashing and running and I will miss the long naps guaranteed after 2 hours there each day. I took you to the indoor pool at the Rec Center after the pool closed and you just kind of sat and watched all of the water sprinklers coming out of the ceiling and slide, you didn’t really enjoy it. You now nap about 30-45 minutes during the day and fight me tooth and nail to go down. You are down to one Nursing Session a day after weaning yourself off of your night session (more on that later…) You love to fall asleep holding your giant Superman pillow and wake up screaming for him. You still sleep with your butt up in the air and we don’t use a monitor at all anymore. I tried taking you to Story Time twice this month, but it’s just not right for you. You remember all of the songs, though we hadn’t been in months, and are more interested in pulling books off of the shelf that you want to look at or running around. You are so much bigger than the other kids and so curious it’s hard to contain you. I tried to lift you up for “tick tick song” and you are too heavy anyway. We learned a new song at one of the trips and I sang it to you that night. I substituted the word “monkey” for “apple” and you corrected me and made me sing it the right way. Smarty pants!!!
At night, now that you’ve weaned yourself and don’t nurse, our bedtime routine has changed a bit. Still bath then about 15 books (obviously you prefer Superman books and then like to Punch “punssss” things, but I try to read you books that calm you down. We then do the back-and-forth kiss between Mommy & Daddy until you look at me and say “night night.” Daddy turns out the light and we rock. The first week or two this process of rocking you to sleep took about 20 minutes, now we are down to 2-5. You would toss and turn and do gymnastics in my arms. You would talk to me and we would tell stories about Don Linny being stuck in a tree (and then you’d ask each morning if she got out and remember each night when we started over and say “linny…..stuck?”). We would sing and you’d ask questions and I’d make up funny stories about unicorns and Molly Dog and Hannah being best friends. About 4 days in, you starting asking for “night night” again (breast milk). I told you ONCE that “night night is broken” and now, 3 weeks later, each time we sit in your chair you ask me over and over again if it’s still broken? Now, we just watch the lights go out and look at the one star on the ceiling that glows and rock for a few minutes and then I just put you in your bed. No problem….easy as can be! It’s such a relief that this process I once was so terrified to make (the transition from nursing you to sleep) to just going to sleep is going to so well. I don’t mind rocking you to sleep, some may say that’s a bad habit, but I know you wont want me to do this forever. It’s been such a natural decision and choice on your part too. I’ve not had to force you to give up nursing, you just did it one night asking for a “boddle” and we’ve never looked back.
This month your vocabulary is the most noticeable change. You can speak in 4-5 word sentences. You are very good with using the correct tense and pronouns. Honestly, there is nothing you can’t say or communicate to us. You are able to tell me exactly what you want to eat (chee-burger) or what you want to play with. That sure makes my life a lot easier. We just laugh and laugh at most of the things that come out of your mouth. I’m so glad you are able to pronounce your own name properly though often you introduce yourself as “Awesome Man.” You say funny things like, “oh goodness” and “Did it” when you figured something out on your own. You say “Nice!” a lot when you think something is cool and will look at us and say “hold you” when you want us to pick you up or “need you” when you want us to help you with things. You know all the names of the kids in the street, but still prefer Deklan then Ryan (on on) or Christian (kiss-ton) or Nick or Amelie. You love playing outside with all of them and look out the window for Jetta & Bailey all day long. You say “bye bye” to everyone and everything we leave. Sometimes it takes us awhile to get anywhere b/c you are too busy telling everything goodbye.
You love to say “Reeve hold” or “Reeve help” or “Reeve eat” and can now pronounce your “Men” properly. Superman went from “man” to “duper man” to SUPERMAN!!! shouted at the top of your lungs. One of my absolute favorite things you do is walk around singing the opening Duh Duh Duh, du du du du Duh from the theme song. You do each Duh with such conviction and precision. You will sometimes also do the Batman (na na na) song. We allow you to watch Superman cartoons on the iPod in the car, but immediately after only one episode you walk around trying to punch things….there sure is a lot of punching on those cartons. You love Aquaman (aka-man) and Spiderman (you say Piderman) and Batman (bat-tan) and Wonder Woman (nah-man) and Flash (fash) and Robin (wobin) and Joker….yes, you know them all and don’t you dare give him the wrong one! He’s got about 40 toys with Superheroes thanks to Aunt Connie :). You like to stick each toy in your little back pack (pack pack) and open and shut it over and over again to make sure they are still in there.
We hear the word “no” a lot. I don’t think you know the word “yes” even though every time you tell me “no” I tell you “yes.” I ask you questions that I know the answer to is “yes” and you still won’t say it. You know all 100 words in your Word Book and are learning your shapes and colors. Pink seems to be the color of a frog and the apple and the pumpkin….you’ll get it. You love to do shapes and can always point out star, heart, moon, triangle and oval (it’s so cute to hear your voice get real high when you pronounce them). You like doing “fash cards” and reading books all day long. You are especially partial to any Superhero book or the Little People one with flaps and any with a truck, plane or monster.
You are very physical this month….running as fast as you can and throwing your body at me is fun. So is rearing back and hitting mommy’s nose with your head and breaking it. NOT FUN! You love to hang on things and are getting very generous with your hugs (I call them Squeezes). You think it’s so funny to fake cough, laugh and cry. Your arms are still wild like E.T. when you run. Sometimes you fall down on purpose and say either “Safe” or “ok, ok” to let us know you are okay. When you do get a little hurt, you say “Kiss Mommy” and usually hold out the wrong finger or hand for me to kiss. You’ve thrown a few tantrums this month. Mostly when we don’t give you something you want. You love to hit Mommy. You don’t hit Daddy, just me. We tell you “don’t hit mommy” and you start saying “Punsss Mommy.” You just can’t control your arms, I think you get so excited they just start hitting things. You are very much a boy in that you like to get messy and make messes. You pick up something we’ve just gathered, dump it out and say “mess.”
Aside from when you hit me, you are a very polite little boy. You always say Please when you want something and are getting better each day with Thank You (both of which you say, but also use the sign for). Thank you sounds like “Q”. You aren’t especially good at sharing quite yet. You also aren’t very good at apologizing when you’ve hit Bailey or taken a toy from Deklan. You CAN say the word, you just won’t unless it’s to me. A few times, I’ve threatened that if you don’t apologize we will go inside….you don’t….and we do! 😦
This month you attended a 3-hour daycare for the first time and ROCKED it. I was a mess, but your report was that you cried a few times then played just fine. We had a trip to the zoo where you were obsessed with everything in the fish/bird/snake building. You chased the peacocks and waved at everything. You were terrified and equally obsessed with the train.
We just had a really good month! You are just such a really good kid. Sure, you have moments and don’t share very well and get overly excited and whack me, but you are just really sweet.
I’m often overwhelmed at a very basic level about my love for you. Sometimes I look at you and it’s truly as though I’m just seeing you all over again for the first time. Each time a new word you speak I feel like a soft, small hand is patting my heart. I don’t let any moment go unnoticed. I take hundreds of pictures of you and you live your life with me constantly snapping away at you, but I just can’t bear the thought of someday not having these memories stored away for me to recall and you to cherish. How do parents bear to let time get away with pictures and videos of all of it?
We are constantly shocked by you. It’s not so much what you can say or are physically able to do, but I think, that you are actually ours? How did this happen? How did your Daddy and I get so lucky? How do we give proper Thanks?
As you become more and more independent, more vocal and more able to communicate to us, I just want to make this promise you. I want you to know that I will always be proud to be yours, proud that you are mine. It’s the greatest ever to be your Mama. I hope you just always stay this way, so curious, so smart, confident and certain of what you want. Why is it that we complain about toddlers’ strong little personalities when it’s these very traits we wish for our children to grow up and have. I don’t want to change you. Or hurry you. Or ever discourage you.
To the Moon & Back,
Favorite things to do: Hang on bars at parks, tackle, climb, run to Deklan, fight Superheroes against each other really hard, choo choos
Favorite things to eat: Noodles & Co, green smoothies, pineapples, quesadilla, pulled pork
Dislikes: I’m having a hard time with this. Vegetables? Having to say “I’m sorry”
Funny Tricks: learned how to lick a popsicle or sucker, does tongue like a lizard, bear crawl, jump and land on butt, swing, slide, zerberts on mommy’s belly,
Scary items: Moss-ters and scarecrows
Cute item: Superman pillow and panda bear stuffie
Hair color: Surfer blond and everyone tells us you need a trim, but we don’t care what they think
Eye color: Blue, but sometimes I think they are turning green like Daddy’s
Clothing size: 2T
Diaper size: 4
Weight: probably 28.1 pounds
Height: 36.5″ The doctor made the nurse measure you twice
Teeth: 14. bottom incisors are still poking in and out
Funny Words (we counted over 350 including all 100 in your Word Book and flash cards, names, etc.
- quid pro quo (yes, you actually said that)
- what’s it say (you asked me this about a book)
- Who is that?
- penis and gina (you think I have a penis and look for it a lot)
- Thank you (q)
- oval (your voice gets really high-pitched) same with Triangle
- chattanooga (nooga)
- Juice Bucket = bowl of milk
- Deklan (you now pronounce the R)
- good, huh? (which we always say to you and you now say to us)
- bless you, mommy (any time we sneeze)
- Devereaux (baby across the street)
- Empty & Thirsty
- baseball (base-uh-ball)
- homerun & touchdown