Friday, February 02, 2007

Seventeen Months: My Letter to Little Man

And I thought you couldn't get any cuter...

The other night, I was watching you sleep. This may sound really creepy, a la horror movie, but really, watching you sleep is one of my favorite parts of the day. Yes, I know, I'm still sounding creepy. The thing is, that every night, I go up to open your bedroom door so that your room doesn't get too cold overnight. And I can't help but tip toe in, peer over the crib railing and squint in the dark. Each time I spot you, my heart melts into a puddle of chocolate goo. You look so sweet, huddled into a corner of your big crib, usually with your stuffed frog Max tucked under your arm. And as I listen to you quietly breathe, I feel at peace and know that the best thing I ever did was you.

What made this other night different than the other 510 nights I've watched you sleep is that all of a sudden I flashed back to that first day, on September 2, 2005 when you were born. And you were laying in a bassinette next to my bed. When a nurse walked in, I asked her if I was allowed to hold you. She looked at me, laughed and told me "honey, he's yours, you can hold him as long as you want!" I looked at her, stunned. "What if I want to hold him all night?" She smiled and said "Then you can hold him all night."

And so that night I held you on my chest and listened to you breathe. And I didn't sleep one wink, because I felt like the happiest person in the world and I was afraid that the spell would be broken if I went to sleep.

And even better, is the fact that this month, I've gotten to rock you to sleep, something that you've never wanted before. Your molars are pushing through and they are causing you a lot of pain. So much so, that you have woken up many-a nights this past month screaming. When you do, I give you some Tylenol and then I'll pick you out of your crib, sit down with you on my lap and just rock you silently. Sitting there with your head on my chest, complete silence surrounding us makes me happy to be up at three in the morning. Strangely enough, I know that those are some of the memories I'll look back on fondly when you're grown up and out of the house.

And since we're on the topic of physical contact, I must tell you that this past month, you've discovered that holding my hand is not the equivalent of selling out. Ever so often, I'll take your hand to walk you down the stairs. Or even better, you'll grab mine. And when I walk, with your little hand in mine, never have I felt more like a mom. And the crazy thing is? I love it.

My other favorite part of the day is story time. I'll sit on the floor in your room cross-legged. You grab a book and you'll sit yourself on my lap. There are times you'll bring me three books, then a fourth and a fifth, and to be honest with you, I'd read to you all night and for the rest of your life, if you'd just stay this big and sit on my lap like that. Listening to your commentary while I read the book into your hair brings me the kind of joy that I didn't even know could exist on this planet.

I hate to tell you this, because if someone told me I'm a lot like my mom, I'd want to beat the crap out of them. But here goes. You're a lot like me. There are times that you are so much like me, that I can't help but laugh. You may be almost nothing like me physically, except for your lips and chin, but man, are you ever a lot like me personality-wise.

How?, you ask defensively. Well, first of all, there's the fact that you get obsessed with things. Like food. I go through phases of food. Unfortunately for your father, since I do all the food shopping, when I'm in my rice phase, he knows he's stuck eating rice three or four nights of the week. And the only reason it's not seven weeks, is because I try to be understanding about the fact that he lives in the house too. You're this way too. You went through a blueberry phase for a couple of weeks, where it seemed like you were on a mission to eat every blueberry on the planet and make them go extinct. In one weekend, you ate a pint and a half of blueberries. We were convinced you would poop purple. And on Monday, your teacher told us that you'd had diarrhea three times during the day and when we told her how many blueberries we allowed you to eat, I could see that she was alarmed at the fact that we would feed you this much fruit instead of McDonald's, like the other more normal parents.

But this past weekend, I purchased another pint of blueberries and you looked at me completely exasperated like "that was so last week, Maman.

Because the thing with our phases, is that no one else knows when we'll be done with them.

Girls. I really believe that girls will be your downfall. Some of this isn't your fault, because really, what female toddler could look at you and not want to write your initials in crayon all over their stuff or wear tighter diapers, just in case you happen to look at them. But you also have a way with the ladies under three-feet tall. The other day, when I brought you to school, I sat you down in a chair around the table for breakfast and when I went to put your coat and frog away in your cubby hole, one of your girlfriends walked right up to you and ran her hands, through your hair. It perturbed me that she'd be so forward in front of your own mother. Should you really be going after girls of her kind? She's probably eating pure sugar behind the playground and listening to Old MacDonald backwards looking for mentions of Satan. But your teacher assured me that she wasn't your main squeeze. That another girl, who I did notice tends to suck up to me whenever I come to pick you up, is your main squeeze these days. Apparently, she'll lay her head on your lap and you'll rub her back. Which irritates me, I'll admit, because all you do to me is slap my hair away when it tickles your face. She also is the one to wake you up every day from your nap, which she does with a hug, which means you're nothing like your father, because if I woke him up this way, well, let's just say we wouldn't be together anymore.

Can we talk about your vocabulary for a second? You already talk more than your father now. We calculated a couple of weeks ago that you could say 18 words. And we're only talking words that you pronounce properly, not the ones that we understand that no one else does like "nah" for milk.

Your newest addition is "down." When we hold you in our arms, or you're in your booster seat and you're done dinner, you'll point to the ground and say "down?" Which is pretty damn cool on its own. But to you, the word "down" is about going from point A to point B. So if we're sitting on the couch and you want up, you'll put your arms up and say "down?" and we'll laugh and say, "no, Little Man, you want up." And you look at us, completely exasperated, and enunciate every single letter and say "doooowwwwnnnnn," like "I don't know what the hell you people are saying, about this up thingie, but I want down on that couch and I want it now."

And, really, you're right. There's no freaking reason for that up word to exist. Down should be an all-purpose word like "the" or "chocolate."




Beccy said...

Hey that is so sweet and Little Man is gorgeous. I still look at Ben everynight before I go to bed and my heart melts.

random_mommy said...

he is so grown up! i love his hair!!!

Emma in Canada said...

I so look forward to your monthly letter. So even though I am supposed to be blogless for the moment I had to see if you had writeen one. And now I may as well as make an evening of it and check everyone.

He's adorable, as always. I love the one where he appears to be sliding out of his car seat.