Sunday, February 03, 2008

Twenty-Nine Months: My Letter to Little Man

So much has happened this month, that it's hard for me to even know where to start. First, I had to put you in a new school, when you inexplicably became very unhappy with your old one. This was a decision that I grappled with most of this month, it became all-consuming in many ways for me. I have a tendency to obsess over things, I admit, but this decision seemed like one of the toughest I've ever made. What if I chose a new school, and you were even less happy there? What if you were just going through a phase and I ended making the wrong decision. What if you, who needs time to adjust to everything, had to be moved another time in a few months, causing you even more heartache.

Friday was your first day at your new school. My stomach turned all night. I'd talked to you about the school and you had visited it with me and seemed to like it, but on the drive to school, I kept telling you about all the great things you were going to do, my voice an octave too high, a little like a used car salesman desperate to make the sale. "You're going to get to eat pizza!" I said. "And you're going to make so many friends!" To which you replied "Yeah, people have friends," which can sound deeply philosophical as an isolated statement, but ever since our Christmas trip to Canada, you've been obsessed with people. We're guessing it's because we talked about all the people working on the plane while we were waiting to board, and so now every day is started with "We going to go see people, Mama?"

And apparently now? People have friends. Which is good, because people should have friends.

We got to the school, and you went floppy legged on me, and stuck out your tongue, which you do when you go into shy mode or are forced to do something you don't want to do.

I picked you up, my heart pounding a little faster and you thrashing silently against me.

At your new school, the kids who arrive before 8:15 are brought to the gym, so I walked in with you still thrashing and introduced you to the teacher in the gym and explained that you were a little shy. She peeled you off of me and asked you if you wanted to play with her. That's when you spotted a big blue ball and exclaimed "a blue ball! A blue ball!" and leaped out of her arms to go chasing after that ball.

I stood there, stunned and kind of yelled out awkwardly "okay, I guess I'll see you later."

I drove off with tears in my eyes, partly with pride, partly with the fact that you looked so grown up, in your new school, adapting to it like it was no big deal.

You're becoming such a mini adult these days, with expressions directly ripped out of your father's mouth or mine. Like now, whenever you yawn, you exclaim "I am soooo tired!" As if you imply "damn, all that coloring and playing and trying to balance my piggy bank, it's freaking exhausting!"

You also love to call everything "stinky butt", like the other day when you burped garlic and said "whew! Stinky butt!" It's great that you're two, because right now, it's cute and funny, but I'm guessing at some point, it might not be funny to your paternal grandparents.

Just remember that half of you is fun. And if there's one thing that my family taught me, is that unless you're at a work event, farts and burps are always funny. And if you ever bring home a girl who's so uptight that she can't laugh at poop jokes or at a silent but deadly fart, I'll have no problems telling you to throw her back. Life's too short to be uptight.

You're quickly learning that life is much easier around here when I'm not pissed off. A few days ago, you did something that caused me to raise my voice, and as I was cleaning up your mess, you looked at me and said "Say I'm sorry, please." I looked at you confused and you said "Say I'm sorry, please." And that's where it clicked in my head that I always ask you to apologize so that you have a chance to fix things before going to time alone. I smiled and said "Say I'm sorry, please." Your whole face softened in relief and you said "I'm sorry, Mama!" You, my child, are Mr. Routine, and if anyone dares to veer slightly from what you're used to, you're always first to let us know.

Mind you, you have no issues adopting new routines when they're fun or to your liking. A few weeks ago, we stayed home sick and when you woke up, you wanted to play in your big boy room. I decided that I'd make us some hot chocolate and we would drink it while playing on your train table. Now, every time you wake up from your nap, you'll often say "Mama, drink chocolate milk here?", which only reminds me that I can't ever do something just for fun. If it's happened once, it can automatically become the norm with you, so it better be something I can live with long-term.

You surprised me earlier this month, by suddenly making the decision to nap in your big boy room. For months now, I've had the room painted to match your toddler bedding. The chair rail was installed, all of your favorite books were moved to the book case in that room. Your train table was installed, a chalboard and easel stood on the corner. When it was all done, I gave you the tour and you were blown away. But that night, back in the summer when I tried to put you down in the new room, you freaked out. After that, every few weeks, I'd ask you if you wanted to sleep in your big boy room, to which you'd always answer an emphatic "no." I never forced the issue, after all, it's not like there was a baby on the way to kick you out of the old room. And then suddenly, one day last month, you just walked into your new room for nap time. Surprised, I asked "do you want to sleep in your big boy room?" and you nodded that yes, it was time. You helped me drag the toddler bed out of your baby room and install it in your new room, then you hopped in bed, kissed me and took a four-hour nap in your room like you'd always done it.

It's times like these that I know that you are very much my son. That you'll always do things, but that you need to do them in your own time, when you've had a chance to make the decision for yourself.

We started our own band, you and I. You're the lead singer, on your microphone, and I get to stand behind you and strum the guitar. Once, you decided to trade places with me, but two seconds into my singing, you decided that this wouldn't do at all, that you were meant to be in the limelight and you thrust the guitar back at me and took the microphone back and launched into verse number 923 of Old MacDonald. I quietly took my spot back behind you and smiled.

I love you my Little Man,



Blue Momma said...

Awww, Catwoman, he is just the cutest thing ever! And what is it about these boys and stinky butts? Punkin is forever talking about stinky butts.

They grow up so fast, though. I am so happy and so sad to see mine growing up so quickly. I bet he and Little Man could get into some real trouble if they got together!

Blue Momma said...

And I can't believe I was your first comment! I'm usually last.

I feel all special now.

Sandy said...

Awww. I love the "instant traditions". We have them also. If you do something with, around, for, or to my grandson once, you had best be prepared to do it EXACTLY the same way forever.

Some days it makes things more simple. Some days it doesn't.

Thanks for letting us share these.

Anonymous said...

Seriously...I want Morgan to marry Little Man. I worry Morgan will fall for a guy who doesn't think poop jokes are funny.

And, between the two of them, they'd have some fine looking kids!

Julie said...

That boy of yours gets cuter and cuter each month - your phone will be ringing off the hook when he's a teenager. All those giggling girls that will be calling for him.

Ms. Porter said...

He is so beautiful. I can't believe how much of a big boy he is now, he's changed so much.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Now I love your little man!! What a special little guy you have there.

Enjoy all the time you have = it goes quick and before you know it, they are 18 and gone....

Now I'm sad cuz I yearn for when my 2 dudes were little AND cuz the Pats lost...


Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Four hour nap? Holy heck, I'm jealous. It doesn't help that Little Man is absolutely adorable.

Rachel said...

Wow, he's looking less and less like a toddler and more like a little boy!!! I cannot get over it!

Love your letters! I am glad the transition to a new daycare seems to be going well!

Morgan Leigh said...

What an adorable little boy! :) I love your monthly letters, they are always so sweet. :) :)

About the circus, yeah, I don't think we'll ever go again. I didn't realize that they were always in trouble for how they treated their animals, I thought they were okay with how they treated them.....

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

I can't believe we didn't see you guys the entire month. I would love to see stinky butt in action. And, that kid? Totally yours.

Joy T. said...

I wish us 'older' moms would have done stuff like this when our kids were younger. Scrapbooking wasn't really in and certainly not blogging. Kids today are going to have such great diaries of themselves growing up! This was so sweet, what a great post to end my night on.

A's Mom said...

What a great post. Sounds like you have a lovely little boy/man on your hands. Those little moments of pride that make your eyes swell up really catch you off guard sometimes. But when you look at your son and see how amazing he has become, it's all worth it! Keep up the great work, Mommy!

M said...

dear cod i love him more and more every month. these letters always make my heart burst.

i'm pretty sure it's a little creepy how much i adore this child of yours. good thing you know i'm not a crazy stalker ass kidnapping type. FAR too lazy! besides...i have a feeling he and liam could be troooooooooouble together and liam's trouble enough!

i'm so glad he has you as a mama. you appreciate every inch of him times a thousand just like a mama should but very few do.

Lynsey said...

What a doll he is!

Good job mom!