Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sixteen Months: My Letter to Little Man

We survived another month. And a busy month this was, what with your first full month of daycare (at a new school, might I add), Christmas, another trip to Canada and all the craziness that comes with life.

It's been so fun to watch you experience Christmas this year. The first few days we had the Christmas tree up, you'd ooh and aah every time you'd wake up and we'd walk you past the tree. And when we got home and turned the tree on, you'd clap or oooh at it, like if it was the Rockefeller Center tree.

I made the mistake of buying you an advent calendar. I thought it'd be so exciting, to open the little cardboard door each day and let you get excited over the little chocolate behind it. But you couldn't comprehend why I wouldn't open more than one door per day and kept demanding more chocolate, not satisfied by the 0.000002 ounce piece that I'd given you. This led me to wait three or four days in between door openings to minimize the chances of tantrums.

And then, on the actual present opening event, we got to experience your anal-retentive side. You'd rip the paper, as you'd practiced for weeks opening the presents under the tree, (forcing me try to tape them back up again when you were asleep so that half of them had more tape than paper on them). But you don't rip the way we do. You'd rip a two-inch strip of paper and get up to go discard it in the trash can. Then you'd come back to the present, rip another two-inch strip, and get up again to go discard it. Afraid that our rotting carcasses would be found next to a pile of half-opened gifts, I took it upon myself to help you to speed up the process. Luckily for me, you were filled with enough Christmas spirit to tolerate my insubordination.

Your favorite present this year was your tent. It's huge and made to look like an igloo and unfortunately for us, it was the first one we allowed you to open and then your dad decided to assemble it right away for you. This would have been fine if you hadn't decided to move into the tent, right there and then. From that point on, we'd put presents in the doorway, only to have you pull them into the tent and throw them out if they were not worthy of your tent. Most of the pictures from that day are of you standing in your tent, the bottom of your face the only part visible because the doorway is made for a child after all.

Your vocabulary has completely exploded this past month. You still talk in your native American language a lot of times and get mad if we don't understand you, resulting in our developing an array of non-threatening responses like "really?" "is that so?" and "tell me about it!" all of which seem to not piss you off and make us feel like we may have a chance at surviving the choppy waters of toddlerhood. You continue to pick the easiest word in French or English, although you'll try your hand at difficult words if we say them often enough. You are the king of repetition these days, so we always have to be careful about what is said around you, or else chance you saying something that shouldn't be said at a really bad time.

And there's the head shaking. This is a skill we figure you learned at day care, because neither your father nor I are big head shakers. And because you learned this skill from a fellow toddler, your interpretation of it is quite hysterical, as you like to shake your whole body along with your head, making you look like a real life bobblehead.

Did I mention how much you love to fly? On the plane, you could stare at the world going by for the rest of your life if we'd let you. When we flew to Canada, after we landed you turned to me and signed "more? more?"

You're still the brightest spot in my life. I love picking you up from daycare, because, most of the time, you run to me and pretend I'm the best part of your day too. I say most of the time, because should I get there while your music teacher is playing a song for your class, you'll acknowledge me with a nod and then turn back to her, as I'm expected to wait until "The Farmer in the Dell" is over before getting a hug.

Your teachers love you, as they should. They call you "The Little Brad Pitt," constantly going on and on about how good looking you are. And then there's the girls in the class, who fawn over you, like if you were the centerfold of American Baby. But none of this has gone to your head, mind you. You still prefer the company of your loyal stuffed frog, Max, kissing his face over and over again, especially in your sleep.

Your teacher did the best job ever at summarizing you. And when she said it, I knew that it was the words I'd been looking to properly describe you from the day you were born and that they would be included in this month's newsletter. She said "when Little Man is happy, the whole world is a little brighter; but when he's not happy, the whole world knows it."

I love you, dark clouds, bright smiles and everything in between.




susan said...

aw!!! *big hugs* for little man and his momma. Miss you guys. :(

jempress said...

ditto susan's comment! and - happy new year little man and mommy - loved the christmas card :)

random_mommy said...

ditto what they said! glad you're back... missed your blogging!