Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fourteen Months: My Letter to Little Man

I feel like your fourteen-month birthday is a very big one, simply because this month will bring a lot of change to your life. I've been lucky enough for the past fourteen months to be at home with you full-time. You went to daycare one day a week during the past 9 months, but that was just so you could get some social interaction and not become one of those crazy antisocial kids that repeatedly their eyeballs for fun. And so I could waste the day surfing on the Internet and then tell your dad that the reason the house isn't clean is because I was so darn busy with work again. But that's our little secret.

But the time has come for me to get a full-time job. Not because I don't love staying with you at home, because I do oh-so-much, if anything, I love it more now than before, because we have so much freaking fun together and you're more entertaining than anything on TV, even Grey's Anatomy. But I want you to have the best in life and the only way that we can make sure we go and ruin your life by giving you siblings is by going back to work. Trust me, some day when you're 31 and your baby picks up a dog turd in the backyard because you turned your eyes for a second and you want to tell someone who won't judge you and will laugh with you and never tell another soul, you'll be glad to have a brother or sister like I am now.

But I just want you to know that you didn't do anything that made me decide to send you to daycare full-time. If anything, I know you get bored with me, and your eyes lit up when we visited the daycare where you'll be going like you were saying "this place has been here this whole time and you've selfishly kept me to yourself???"

I'll be able to watch you all day long if I want, because they have security cameras at your daycare that I can view over the Internet. I know that you will soon become my favorite TV show. And as my heart will certainly break as I'll watch you having fun with other kids, please look up to the camera ever so often and wave at me to let me know you haven't forgotten about me.

When I filled out the paperwork to sign you up at daycare, I cried twice. It felt like I was giving up the most important thing in my life. So I'm warning you now, there will probably be tears on your first day of kindergarten, high school and when we drive you down to college. Just humor me, pat me on the back and tell me that I'll be ok, will ya?

You've become the funniest person I know. You love to copy everything your Daddy and I do now, to the point that we've got to be so careful. The other day, I made a horrible mistake on the phone with someone. I was driving and when I hung up, I was so mad at myself, that all I could do was let out this string of expletives and bang on the steering wheel. All of a sudden, this little voice in the back began saying "uck, uck, uck" and you were banging on the car seat. I promptly Tivoed you back a few seconds and fixed the situation by singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Ok, I didn't, because you can't Tivo real life. But I did manage to convince you that we were talking about trucks. I'm hoping you don't recall the exact word I used at your grandmother's church for Christmas.

You've also grabbed a kleenex out of my hand after I blew my nose, held it to your nose and made this really loud noise out of your mouth. I should be offended, but I found it quite hysterical, and you were pleased.

You also confuse the cat, by following him around all day saying "wow, wow, wow." You're convinced that's what he says when he meows, but really, you're just confusing the cat who worries you think he looks so tasty that you'll stab him with your toddler fork.

Your vocabulary keeps growing exponentially, which is making life easier every day. You now say "ball" and "thank you" and "wat dat?" and "dodo" for sleep, which added to your signing for "more," "milk," and "please" covers many of the basics. Most of your vocabulary revolves around pets, you can say "Tata" for all animals and "dog" and "puppy." Why you choose to have three words for the same darn thing when you could be using that time to learn how to make Maman a cup of tea is beyond me. And of course, you haven't lost your enthusiasm, using "ooooooh" and "wow" for everything either new or interesting. I love your passion for life. My biggest fear is that the world will take that away from you. Nothing makes you more endearing to your family, your friends, even perfect strangers than that enormous genuine enthusiasm for life that you have. Besides your blue eyes, it's what makes you so beautiful.

This year marked your first real Halloween and your Daddy and I fought for a long time about what you would be. I wanted you to be something cute like a puppy. Your father wanted you to be a superhero. We finally settled on a cowboy costume and I have to say, you took your role very seriously, even developing a swagger for the occasion. I may be biased, but your costume rocked. Your cowboy boots even had spurs, because we're all about authenticity at our house. You attended many dress up parties, and I think by the day Halloween finally rolled along, you were as sick of your costume as I was. But hey, at least we got our money's worth on the $14.99 we spent on your hat.

You only went trick or treating at your Nonnie and Papaw's house, which you didn't think was the world's greatest experience. And since you were getting awnry about your dinnertime getting delayed, we chose to take you to McDonald's after that which made you much happier because you would knock down an army of other babies if they were standing between you and one McDonald's french fry.

Not that you're one of those toddlers who'll only eat french fries and chicken nuggets. Not my munchkin! You're the coolest kid ever because I get to boast about your eating habits all the time. You've eaten Indian food, sushi, cherry tomatoes, salad and much more this month all with a big "MMMMMM!" from you as you were tasting it. You're the baby who gives other parents false hope that maybe, just maybe, their kid would be willing to eat something else than Mac and Cheese. And I'm so lucky to have you as my baby, since to me, food is a religious experience and I can't wait to take you on many a culinary adventure, just you and I.

And did I mention you ask to go to bed now? You've grown into this cool toddler who now asks for naps and bedtime. I can't believe that you're the same person as that newborn who used to stare at me all day and who I used to beg to go to sleep for 30 minutes just so I could take a shower and wash my overly-greasy hair. Now you'll stop playing, look at me and say "dodo." All I have to do is scoop you up, put you down in your bed and you'll happily go to sleep. Considering I'm not that great about going to bed myself, you are everything I strive to be in life.

One thing we do need to talk about is the fact that you're becoming a neat freak. I'm spending a lot of money on little gym classes for you and your favorite part of the class is cleanup time after each activity. Getting to put the balls away in a giant trash can almost makes your head explode with the excitement. You run around, tearing the balls out of the hands of the other babies so that you can put as many of them away. And then you come home and should I leave anything laying out, a common occurence for my lifetime of messiness, you will put it away in places that I don't even think about. The other day, you put the remote control away in one of the kitchen cabinets. I couldn't see the buttons on our new tv to shut it off or change the channel, and so I missed my soap opera and was forced to watch Martha Stewart's show. I did learn how to turn a pumpkin into a fantastic centerpiece, so not all was lost. A few days later, you put my two hairbrushes away in the hamper and I was forced for two days to use your dad's comb to do my hair. I am excited that this might mean you'll ask to do chores later, but in the meantime, I'm stuck trying to ask a toddler where my stuff is only to be asked back "ball?"




Emma in Canada said...

I can't believe their is a child in this world who asks to go to bed. What have you done that the rest of us can't manage?

susan said...

Everybody loves Little Man! I called Little Gym, and mentioned you Catwoman. The lady on the phone said "Little Man! He's my buddy." (names have been changed to protect the innocent). Your little man is brilliant btw, it's not just momma pride.
Sus :)

Catwoman said...

I think it's the universe's way of making it up to me for giving me a baby who wouldn't sleep, EVER, the first 4 1/2 months of its life.

random_mommy said...

Little Man's "wow" and "oooooohh" are the funniest noises ever!!! I love it!

And, I'm with Emma, what have you done and please write a book so I can buy it!