Thursday, August 02, 2007

Twenty-Three Months: My Letter to Little Man

So it happened. Sometime during the past month, you became a little boy. I'm not sure I could pinpoint the exact moment. It's like I blinked, and all of a sudden, your whole face had changed. How you went from this little screaming blob who once got so angry that he ripped out his own umbilical cord stump to this smart, endlessly-talking boy who'll scream at the drop of a hat if he doesn't get his way, is like the greatest magic trick ever. I mean, I've watched you, every single day, and yet I still don't know how it happened. But now you're a boy, a real live boy.

Even though, in some ways, you don't deserve to be, because like Pinnochio, you've discovered the art of lying. The aroma of nuclear waste will fill our house and with tears streaming down my face, I'll ask you if you've pooped. You look at me, with this "who? me?" look on your face and say "Noooo! No caca!" I'm not sure why anyone would want to walk around with crap stuck to their hiney, but apparently, you have decided that it's absolutely no big deal.

I need to ask you for a favor. Please stop reading the "how to raise a toddler" books I'm reading, and stop laughing at me when I try to use their stupid tips. Or maybe you're trying to get me to learn new toddler rearing skills so that I may write my own book and become a millionaire. You want an example? How about the fact that we fight about getting dressed every single day. Because you are apparently a hippie who believes shoes are a way for the man to get you down, dude. And shorts and shirts are somehow responsible for the poaching of elephants.

I read in more than one book that toddlers like to be given choices. So I've begun to ask you "Would you like to wear your blue shorts or your red romper?" To which you'll simply reply "No."

Uhm... Yeah, that's not the answer we're looking for. So I'll just pick an outfit for you and then I'll try again and smile and say "Would you like to put your shirt on first? Or your shorts on first?" Only to be smiled at and told "NOOOOOO!" As in "if you didn't get it the first time, woman, I don't care if you offer me clothing made of gold, I'm not interested."

Also? You insist on throwing food on the ground, no matter how many times I've told you that if you do it again, you'll go to time out. So now, I've started threatening you with removal from the table and then executing that threat when you launch yet another spoonful of grub on the floor. This makes you mad, mad, mad. And you'll storm away from the table. And then promptly return with a smile on your face asking "Jojo, yes? And Goliath?" because you have got the hots for that wacky girl clown. This means that I'm very concerned about your future date choices.

As my go-to man for a laugh, I have to say, this month has not disappointed. You've perfected your Miss America wave and will often jump on your little truck, wave to us and say "Bye! I do!" Which never fails to make me laugh, because you "do" what, exactly? And I know that you're just imitating me when I say "Bye, I love you!" at school, but considering you always say "I wuv you" back at me, how exactly does it become "I do" once you're in truck driving mode? Is this some weird trucker limbo that you've picked up along the way and I'm just too uncool to know about?

You notice things that are out of whack. Like yesterday, we were sitting at a red light, and in the lane next to us was a tow truck with a car strapped to its back. All of a sudden, you gasped and exclaimed "Mama! Car! What?" Which I'm pretty sure is your toddler version of "what the hell" or even worse. The day you drop your first curse word, I want you to make it clear that you learned it because of your father's road rage issues. Not because of Mama's yelling at the TV during bad reality shows. OK? If you claim this, I promise to always share my chocolate with you.

I mentioned last month that you've suddenly developed a fear of water. Not with your bath, because you love your tub so much that you've begun to throw a leg over the edge before I've even had a chance to undress you. And if I even mention the word "bath," it's all I can do to stop you from propelling yourself head first into the empty tub. But the pool? Is a whole other issue. We took you again this past month and the second time we were there, you cried and hung on to me like a little monkey. But I stood in the pool with you and sang "The wheels on the bus" about 83 times while making the motions in the water. Eventually, you sighed and began mumbling "round and round." Half an hour later, you were standing on the side of the pool, counting to three and lunging yourself into our opened arms in the water, like you'd never even been afraid. My brave, brave little boy.

Many times in the morning, I will be up before you and after a while, I'll begin to miss you terribly and get excited at the idea of seeing you again. I'll creep into your room, bend over your crib and your eyes will all of a sudden fly open and when you realize that I'm the stalker, your whole face erupts into a smile. No one has ever shown such joy in seeing me, and I have to say, it's addictive. There are times where I remind myself that this too shall pass. Someday, you'll whine at me to get the hell out of your room and to quit staring at you. You'll also ask me to quit embarrassing you with all of the breathing I insist on doing and the fact that I keep talking to you in a manner that suggests that I care about you. And I think that's what makes these mornings all the more special. The fact that you get as excited to see me as I do about you.

I still watch you on the daycare Web cam. And it's like my own "Where's Waldo?" game, where I look for you in a sea of other fast-moving toddlers. You're usually easy to spot, as it's rare for you to not have your precious frog in your arms these days. And every time I find you, my heart skips a beat and I'm filled with contentment, no matter how bad my day might be going. I want you to know that no matter what, you have brought me the kind of joy that I used to hear parents brag about and just didn't comprehend. I now know that it's not that I didn't understand what they were talking about. It's just that knowing the joys of parenthood and trying to explain to someone who doesn't have their own 33-inch tall human in the house is like describing the silkiness of high-quality milk chocolate melting in your mouth to someone with no taste buds. Every day, I feel so blessed to have had the chance to meet you and that I was picked to become your mother. It's like the world is rewarding me for some good deed that I don't even know I've done. But every day, when I see sadness on the news, like a lost child or a bridge that crumbles while dozens of cars are sitting on it, I hug you a little tighter, kiss the top of your head and rub my c-section scar to remind me how lucky I am to live another day to see you and hold you tight. And I know, no matter what the future might bring, that thought will be the one constant thing in my life.

I love you my Little Man,



Kellie said...

I love you. I love Little Man. But, for the love of purses, girly...these letters each month make me so teary eyed!!

As always, another perfect letter to a perfect Little Man :)

NeUrOtIc CuRb ChEcKiNg SuV dRiVeR said...

Okay CW, so what are you saying about my son who not only hearts Jojo & Goliath, but had a Jojo b-day party you & Little Man attended a mere four months ago & were in charge of taking the pictures? Hmmmm?? Just teasing you sister. What is it with lugging around a log-filled diaper? Mine kinda digs hanging on to the caca, too...except at Little Gym where the extra weight seems to prevent him from hanging from the rafters.

myminivanisfasterthanyours said...

I can see Crusher has some competition for being the Old Navy poster child!

Beautiful pics and a beautiful post :)

Julie said...

It's amazing how much like a boy he does look all of a sudden (vs. a baby not a girl of course!). It's like over night they go from babies to kids.

Blue Momma said...

I love your letters to Little Man. He is certainly quite a little man!

I've tried writing one of these letters for my Punkin' but I just sound all mushy and silly.

How about I just tell you everything and you write it and make it sound all sweet and funny and everything? Pretty please..

Rachel said...

From laughing to crying! Great post! Such cute pics too!