20.months

Dear Reeve,

even in this tough world or busy life, it’s never the least bit difficult for me to overlook how special you are. Life can seem overwhelming, dirt on the floor, mundane winter days locked in the house, cruel people, violent world. But I swear to you, you are the absolute entire purpose for which my heart beats. Without you, I just don’t know what sense I could make of this world.

It seems as though this month what’s clearest in my mind is that when you are good, you are AMAZING and when you are difficult it’s just the most challenging ever. You are an absolute angel 90% of the time. Using your manners and telling servers in restaurant Fank You without being prompted. You run at me full speed yelling “Mommeeeeee….I needed you” and then cuddle up into my neck. You say Bless You every time I sneeze and are happy to sit in my lap all day long to read books. You smother me with Juicies and Squeezies and Nosies and hold my hand as much as you can. You are just my little buddy, my conversation partner, my Joy.

Talking about the “challenging” part of this time we have now seems so silly. It’s such a very small part of the day that you don’t listen or run off even when I’m telling you to STOP or that you won’t eat. The hardest part of our day, of any day, is when you start punching and pow-ing or lapse into a momentary spastic episode where you fly at me and flail and whip me with your arms. I get beat up on a lot (mentally and physically). This would honestly be the hardest part of my day…having to tell you “don’t punch” 50 times or sitting you in a Timeout because you’ve punched a stranger child at the pool or your arms have gotten too loose at Story Time or you’ve gotten so excited that you punch Lucas or won’t share your toys with our playmates and start swinging at them. I’m told this is “just a phase,” but your deep and true love for all things Superheroes tells me that I’m in for the long haul with your aggression.

You know, things will get better. Things will get worse. I don’t want to complain, there’s just too much to be grateful for to wallow in the hard parts.

This 20th month of your life has been spent celebrating Thanksgiving and preparing for Christmas. I will just go ahead and admit I’m a slight bit obsessed with making sure this time of year feels special and that new traditions are being created for our family.

We flew to Kansas for Thanksgiving where you ran from the plane right into Don Linny’s arems. We kicked off the Holidays the right way by going to the Country Club Plaza Lighting with DL & PPJ, Connie, Jack & Will. It was cold, but you were in the company of all of your favorite people and you were great!  You especially loved the fireworks and pretended they were Superman Fireworks. We went to the KU/KState football game with your cousins where you were an absolute angel just watching all going on around you. You sat on Aunt Connie’s lap a good portion of the game and met Santa and Baby Jay. You fell head over heels with Jack and walked from room to room yelling “Jack!  Where ah you?” In Wathena, you were spoiled with more Superhero toys than we could even try to pack back into our bags to take with us. We met Baby Gus for the first time and you kept saying, “he’s special, I want to share with him.” Until I held him and then you were VERY jealous. You saw your first movie “Frozen” and ate 6 cups of popcorn and sat on everyone’s lap at least once. There was a monster in the movie for approximately 2 minutes and that’s all you remember from it. You were loud and kept asking “What happened?” and “where’s Superman.” You were very sad to leave everyone.

Your month ended as we ramped up the preparations for Santa Claus….whom you still don’t like (whether it’s Papa Jim or an old man with a real beard). You love singing Jingle Bells, Batman smells and impress everyone we know with your version of it. It truly is impressive that you remember this whole song. You were very excited to go out in the freezing cold with us and pick out a tree, then decorate it. You and daddy look at each ornament together and I tell you stories about the special ones. You named your Elf on the Shelf Sausage and don’t really care too much about finding him this year. You prefer Grinch Milk (green dye) and candy canes to anything else this month. You tell me they taste like “sugar.” We have had Christmas music on the radio all day, every day since Thanksgiving and you love to sing “happy holidays….” read Santa Claus books at night. We met the Grinch, whom you loved, and are now obsessed with him. I can’t wait to see the look on your face on Christmas morning when you come downstairs to ALL of the many, many toys we have for you.

With this month we’ve been able to hold real and long conversations with you. It’s amazing. Your vocabulary, your enunciation, your ability to correct yourself. You can speak in 8-10 word sentences and are able to remember the smallest detail. You narrate your whole day and every move out loud. You tell me everything you are doing as you are doing it…Hannah too. She walks into the room and you say, “I’m watching cartoons, Hannah.” Superhero terms and action movie lingo describe everything perfectly enough. You ask me a LOT of questions and only seem to answer mine with “I don’t knowwwww” and a shoulder shrug. You are kind of nosey asking “who’s she?” and “what’s she doing” and “is she happy?” and “what’s she eating?” Strangers, fortunately, think this is cute. It is, for the most part, until you start yelling your questions at restaurants or stores. “WHAT IS THAT SOUND?” or “Daddy, where DID YOU GO, DADDY!!!!!”

Your just question everything. One of my favorite questions this month was when you asked randomly “Is Baby Jeez-nus hungry?” You then answered yourself, which you do quite often, with “I think so.” You ask us “does Reeve want a cookie?” then answer your own question with a “mmmm.. Okay” We think this is funny. “Is the Grinch smart?” “Is Baby Gus special?” “How about you love me?” “Can we hug?” You just ask the most important questions and aren’t even aware that that is really just the key to things. You really put things into perspective for me. Thank you.

You have some great one-liners and I always try to remember them so I can, one day, look back and laugh. “Does Baby Jeez-nus have sprinkles?”  “Henry Hugglemonster’s face looks like a …. hotdog” and most recently “is Superman in my butthole?” You look at me and say “I have a good idea” and “can we go to funky town?” One day I wore panty hose and makeup and a dress and jewelry and you said, “does mommy have new toes?” Mind you, this was after I walked down the stairs and, after a double-take, said, “is that Mommy?”

One thing that is noticeable this month is how much you mimic my mannerisms and language. I must say so-and-so is “soooo cute” and lot because you think Lucas/Babies/Declan are “soooo cute.” Same with “that would be awesome”…I must say that a lot. I tell you “I neeeeed you” and you must “neeeeed” me too.

You like to have phone conversations and hold the calculator with big buttons up to your ear then say, “hewwo?, Superman are you dere?” It’s so cute b/c you can’t pronounce the letter L. You have conversations into my iPhone and it’s usually DL or the Superhero of the Day.

You spend all day, every day thinking about Superheroes. They are your LIFE. I had hoped to avoid a Superhero Christmas, but when I buy you other toys you don’t even want to play with them. You love nothing more than holding one in each hand and making them fight. “pshewwwwww” and “fight fight,” zooming them through the air and crashes them into furniture. We have to hide your superhero books or you won’t nap. We have to keep them all contained in one room or you can’t eat or focus. You nap with a Superman blanket, drink from a Superman cup, snuggle a Superman stuffy when you are sad. We have to call your Batman or Green Lantern to get you to do things or hurry up in a store. The only way you will eat ANYTHING at all is if we put a Justice League video on the iPhone in front of you. You know all the words to the Spiderman song and walk around yelling “this is a job for Superman.” I find all of this equally annoying and adorable. I’m 100% certain this love runs in your DNA as all Grimes men are afflicted with this obsession. Daddy doesn’t know them the way you and I do. He doesn’t quite get that all the Grimes men, from the time they can walk, like to line up small action figures and name them one-by-one. Most of our friends with small kids don’t get this either, but I do. I get it. And I love that you are so passionate about something…I just wish it were something that didn’t fight and punch! They just make you wild…and stubborn. You little stinker, you get so mad when a show is over or we can’t read one more Marvel book….but, at the end of the night, you are excellent at cleaning them all up and putting them away.

Physically, you have great command of your body and it’s capabilities. You are good at reading emotion this month and practicing your Surprised/Shy/Grumpy/Thinking faces makes for a lot of laughs. You slide down the stairs like a slippery, wet seal after cartwheeling to get down on your belly. I have compared you to Clifford the Big Red Dog in the sense that you have NO idea how big you are compared to other kids your own age.  It’s dangerous, to be honest with you. Your arms get to swinging and you are likely to whip an innocent little girl or even a friend in the face. You have done great at “school” the last 2 times, running into show off your new toys I have to bribe you with. You got your first hair trim (courtesy of mama) and then it grew in so fast I had to cute it myself a second time. I weeped a little. I kept a small locket for forever. You are crazy in the bathtub. You love bubbles and Jacques and Custeau. You are still having to be rocked to sleep for both naps and night-time. I don’t mind, most days it’s pretty easy. You love it when I pat your back and sing the “alphabet song” to you. You make requests. “Holy Night song” and “old man song (knick knack pattywack) and “rainbow song” and any Christmas song. I make sure to sing Twinkle, Twinkle and Stand By Me every night to you. I love looking down at your sweet face, still….and rubbing on your small back, being reminded of doing the same when you were so small. You then wake up each morning yelling for me “It’s not fun in here” or “come get me, I need to rock.” You are a great night sleeper and don’t much better at naptime despite the fact I still have to rock you to sleep.  You NEED your Superman blanket for naps and are starting to obsess over sleeping with things like Superman doll or your Batman slippers.

You’ve developed one small habit this month as a result of weaning from breastfeeding. Yes, you play with your nipples all day long. Reaching your little hand up your shirt, from right to left then back again, you tell me “Playing with my nipples” and when I ask why you say, “because they are hard-y” It’s funny to strangers, but we can’t think of a way to get you to stop. It must be comforting to you as you started doing it right after weaning. Oh well, like everything else, I guess it’s “just a phase.”

Reeve, this month you are bursts of energy and obstinacy and tantrums jumbled in with spells of sweetness and funny and kissy and just perfect.Your attitudes and moods are extreme and frequent. Being your mom is a lot like living in the Sorority, I just have to be prepared at all times for any of the 100 personalities. But you know what? There is NOTHING in this world I love more than  YOU exactly as you are….all 100 of you.

I love having conversations with you and answering your “why, why?” all day long. I love your creativity and how you say “I’m like a monkey…I’m like a doggy…I’m like a fishy” and then run off with your arms behind you holding up your pretend cape. I love watching your imagination unfold, hearing you tell stories to the other moms or purposely not listening to me at Story Time as you run off to “push button”/bang on the computer keyboard. You push me and I push back, gently trying to guide you as I carefully let you figure out on your own who you are, but also making sure you stay on the right path.

I love being your mommy. I love every millimeter of your body. Your wispy blond hair that’s always in your eyes. Your left nipple which you can’t leave alone. Your sticky fingers covered in spit and snot and dirt. I love those long earlobes and your neck that has a ring of dirt on it. A mother is supposed to, after all, but I want you to know I take great care in taking stock of every inch of you so that you may never think I have done anything for you “just because I had to.”

Reeve, I’m glad your mine…and I’m yours…and that we get to call Daddy “ours” too b/c this is all any of us ever need. Just remember that.

To the Moon & Back,

Mommy

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Favorite things to do: look at the ornaments on the tree, read Superhero books, Superhero ANYTHING, go down the slide by yourself and say “I’m brave,” play on the computers at the library, run down the hallway, slide down the stairs super fast,
Favorite things to eat: quesadillas, Lucas Tacos (pb&j in a toritlla), asian noodles, carrots?!?!, cheese, anything sweet (and there has been a lot with Christmas and you say it tastes like ‘sugar’)
Dislikes: getting in trouble for punching and having to “sit on the stair,” sharing your toys,
Funny Tricks: pretending to talk on the phone, Heat Vision face, singing Jingle Bells and Spiderman theme song, spinning to make yourself dizzy
Scary items:
Cute item: you will now wear a hat
Hair color: Blonde, but darker at the roots. You’ve had 2 trims now
Eye color: Everyone tells me they are the same color as mine (aqua-ish) but I see green like daddy’s
Clothing size: 3T shirts, 3T pants
Diaper size: 5
Weight: 29.8 pounds
Height: 36.5″
Teeth: 14 (back molars are starting to cut through)

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