I have not been one of those “together” moms who writes monthly letters to her children. In a way, what I do here a few days a week is the same thing, but not nearly as eloquent and directly loving to my offspring as are the letters I read to your peers. Sorry about that. You will learn, and hopefully it will be a shock to you, that your mother is far from perfect. The only thing perfect is her love for you, the manifestations of that love, not always as pristine, but the unconditional, heart-bursting, want to munch on you and listen to you giggle for eternity love feelings? Oh yeah. They are P-E-R-F-E-C-T!
This last year has been quite the ride. Year one was just all about getting you ready for the big changes to come this year.
You eat anything and everything. Well, sort of. You’ll only eat fresh green beans (not frozen or canned and they should be crispy, but not too crispy). You LOVE LOVE LOVE broccoli. You haven’t met a fruit you didn’t like. Chicken is okay, some days better than others. Pizza is your favorite food. I’m not sure if it’s a favorite to your taste buds or just a favorite to say so you ask for it every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t worry, you don’t eat it nearly that often because mama has willpower! Chocolate does not appear to agree with you totally, so you don’t eat it much. But you do love sweets – ice cream, cookies, cake. You get that from your mama. You love your milk and are particular about when you do or don’t want ice in your water. When you’re in a good mood, you do an excellent job drinking from a big boy cup. You are getting more and more skilled using your fork and spoon. Ironically, you are more accurate when you use your left hand (but you tend towards your right hand when you color or draw), although you’ll try with both.
You recently started singing, which your daddy and I think is the most adorable thing ever. Your current favorite songs are “Vegetable Town” by the Bare Naked Ladies and the ABC song, although you sing it like this: “ABCDE mumble mumble M mumble TICKLE ME!” Adorable. Although you’ll repeat just about anything you hear in a song, including that annoying “dot com” in the Expedia commercials you see when mama’s trying to sneak in some Good Morning America.
You love to run. Your favorite activity is to run around the house before bath changing “naked baby run around, naked baby run around”. The squeals of delight make us laugh every time, and it’s a favorite amongst our house guests. You can’t quite jump yet. It’s a little silly to watch, but you’ll get there. You are very particular about whether you are “hopping” or “jumping” although they both look the same to an outside observer. You are a climber. Mommy’s little monkey. Nothing is too high, too bumpy, too strange to climb. You climb on your mommy and daddy. You climb on the sofa cushions. You climb up on the bed now. You climb out of your Pack and Play, but so far not the crib (thank you for that). You climb all over any and all pieces of playground equipment, whether they are designed for climbing or not.
You are obsessed with tunnels. I don’t know why, but everything is a tunnel. Driving through some dense tree cover: tunnel. Hiding under the covers: tunnel. Whatever makes you happy.
You are also currently obsessed with trains. Choo-choos. That go “whoo whoo”. It’s non-stop.
You love animals. You love identifying animals. The Zoo membership Grandma and Grandpa got us for Christmas has been a wonderful thing and we’ve definitely gotten their money’s worth. Panda bears are a big favorite as is the kimodo dragon. We saw him flick his tongue out like a snake once and now you do a “dragon” imitation whenever we even mention the zoo. The elephants and other big animals are also a big draw, but the playground, train and carousel are also favorites.
You have friends and enjoy playing with them in a sort of follow the leader type of play. The leader often changes and you all seem to communicate changes in the game with a glance or a simple hand gesture. You are starting to play with stuffed animals and showing empathy towards them. You’ll share snacks with them, kiss their owies and tuck them in. As far as I can tell, you are a very caring individual and this mommy is doing her best to encourage that behavior.
Not that you don’t have a few bugaboos. You are in another food-throwing phase that is deliberate and annoying. We are constantly in a power struggle to get you to not throw your food around and then to pick it up when you’re done. Timeout is a game and I’m not sure how we’re both going to manage the transition from one minute to two since you barely sit their for one (and that’s after chasing you around the house and placing and replacing you on your little time out mat what seems like 100 times).
You HATE having your teeth brushed. Can’t stand it. It’s torture on all of us. I’m not sure if it’s because you still have teeth coming in or what (because you are seriously the world’s slowest teether – you have four top and four bottom in the front and some molars and are finally filling in the gaps between those molars and the front teeth). I shudder to think of the first time we have to take you to a dentist (oh goodness. Do we need to do that soon?).
You make a new face – your smiley face – where you scrunch your eyes shut, wrinkle your nose and give the craziest wide lipped smile I’ve ever seen. This new face is so you. The you I saw when you were laid on my belly, slippery and still attached, wailing at this new world. The you that we caught on video tape when you were nine months old having a full on giggle fest. The you that snuggles and squeezes and kisses. The you who lights up when you’ve made your mommy and daddy laugh.
Every day is a dream. I don’t remember my life without you. You turned the hubby into a daddy. A fabulous daddy. You’ve magnified what was good about your daddy and I and our marriage and slowly molded a family out of it. You make the last two years seem like forever and like a nanosecond all at the same time.
Your mommy and daddy love you so much, peanut. Happy Birthday to my big boy!