Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Thirty-One Months: My Letter to Little Man

I hope I've said this to you before, but in case I haven't recently, I am so very, very lucky to have you. You, my child, might be the easiest toddler in the world. I'm not going to pretend you're perfect, I refuse to be that mom. You have your flaws, but for the most part, they are charming and endearing and make you seem just a little more human.

But for the most part, when I take you anywhere and we cross paths with the stereotypical toddler, the one whose head is spinning around 360 degrees while their parents throw candy at them, the kind that scared me childless through my entire twenties, I hug you a little tighter and thank you for being you.

We take you everywhere. We really always have, but we always expected that at some point, this would end as you would not be interested at staying seated at the restaurant or in the shopping cart at the grocery store. But you take great pleasure in adult activities, being the typical first born, and your serious nature makes you more mature than I am most day. The other day, you and I ran into a restaurant for a quick bite to eat after I had dragged you through many errands. You decided on the child's pizza and as we sat there, talking about important world issues like whether Swiper was born to steal or if his Mama just didn't love him enough, one of the employees came by and told me that you were the best behaved toddler he had ever seen. To a mom, this is like hearing your child won the Nobel Peace Prize and baked you a dozen chocolate chip cookies. And lucky me, it is something that I hear regularly when I'm out with you.

You continue to make me laugh extremely hard. One morning, I asked you what you wanted for breakfast and you said "I want some coffee." Without blinking, I responded "you're two years old, you can't have coffee." You looked at me again, sighed and said "ok. How about some milk then?"

You also like to purposely tell me things that are incorrect, so that I repeat it in the form of a question so that you can then correct me. You take great pleasure in correcting me, a trait obviously inherited from your father. For example, on a day where it's 80-something degrees outside and the humidity is somewhere around the drowning level, you'll say to me "it's cold outside!" and I'll respond "really? It's cold outside?" to which you look at me like I'm crazy and say "no, Mama, it's not cold outside, it's very hot outside, like what is wrong with you woman, do you not see that we're both coated in sweat? I think that you'll make a wonderful mid-level manager some day.

You take your school work extremely seriously. On most days, your daily report at school lets us know that you ate everything and you took a good nap and that you were active and chatty and used good manners. And every single day, next to the words "played while working," is circled the word no. Because work is work. There is a time for playing, dammit, and there is a time for playing. And rarely will the two mix in your world. At school, you have the option to work on a desk or to roll out a mat and work on the floor. This has resulted in you stealing my placemats at home and letting me know that "I do my work now." During this time, you'll get mad at me if I try to distract you or if things like say my breathing are too loud and you can't get the freaking puzzle done, because these puzzles aren't going to get themselves done, you know.

But when you do play, you are all play. And your favorite game to play is what I call your homeless man routine. This is where you'll take your very large push dump truck, and put as many toys and odd things that you accumulate like my tea towels, wrappers or empty containers and you'll pile them all in the truck and then push it around the house. Throughout the house, at locations like the coffee table, you will come to a stop, take out every single one of your treasures, admire them on the table and then replace them in the truck once again, only to push them to the next logical stop in the house. You can do this for what seems like hours and it's a routine that always fascinates me, because I can't figure out if you're preparing for a nuclear holocaust and trying to gauge how many things you would take with you in an emergency.

We've told you that you're going to have a baby brother or sister in a few months, not that you really understand the concept as you were recently asked where the baby was, to which you responded "in Little Man's belly button." Yesterday, when Daddy asked you if the baby was in my belly, you came to me and lifted my shirt way up over my head. Which you might as well learn this lesson now, but most women? Don't appreciate guys who come up to them and lift up their shirts. It's one of our many womenly quirks, I know.

I was looking at a picture of you from last Easter the other day and it took my breath away to see how much you've changed during the past year. Gone is the face of my little baby. The one who'd spit up on me and then crinkle his nose at me like "eww, Mama, you smell like sour milk," and in its place is the face of a boy, a boy who is smart and witty and funny and inquisitive and talkative and all of the things that I never imagined a boy could be like when I found out I was pregnant with you. With the return of American Idol this past month, I've been able to spend lazy Tuesday nights with you, snuggling on the couch, your hair tickling my lips, your sweet smell intoxicating me and taking me to a level of calmness I'm not sure I knew before I became a mom. As you listen to each song, the good performances end with you cheering and clapping, which always makes me smile. During these times, I'll ask you "do you like that song?" and you'll smile at me and say "yes, Mama, I love that song.

I never knew watching American Idol could be this much fun. In fact, I never knew anything could be as much fun as it is when I experience it with you. This past weekend, I took you to your first movie, Horton Hears a Who. You had seen a preview a couple of weeks before during American Idol, and you asked if we could go see "the elephant movie." Your dad was out of town last weekend, so after your nap, off you and I went to the theater. Once we have purchased popcorn and juice, we went to grab seats. You were so tiny in that big seat, that it wouldn't even stay folded out. The whole movie, you kept saying "Oh my gosh!" like you couldn't believe the insanity of this movie, and when I'd laugh during a scene, you'd laugh with me, like we were the only two people in the theaters, sharing an inside joke. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed going to the movies so much.

I love you my Little Man,



That Chick Over There said...

He's the cutest kid...

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

He's just too freaking awesome. He's so reserved like his Daddy. The other day he barely said four words but they were so well thought out. And, damn how to you get him to sit still? I can't get mine to sit still if I plug him full of Benadryl!

Emma in Canada said...

Awww...he's so freaking sweet I just want to steal him for myself.

And should we one day meet? Please don't hold it against me when Sophie ruins LM's reputation as the best behaved toddler ever. Not because she's an angel herself, but because she will do her best to corrupt him.

Kellie said...

Seriously. He sounds like an awesome kid. I wanna kick it in Texas with all of you :)

Kathy said...

Oh my gosh your boy is a CUTIE!!!

monster's momma said...

Was Horton his first movie?! We are thinking of taking Katie! We should have taken them together - that would've been the best toddler date ever!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

You better watch it, you keep talking the kid up like that, I'm going to steal him. Just try me.

Jordan said...

I've been reading you for a while now, and read back into all the archives (stalker styles) and in my opinion this is the best blog pretty much ever. I just wanted to drop out of lurkdom just to congratulate you on what an incredible boy you have. He's so beautiful and bright, and I can honestly say he's pretty much just the kid of son I hope to have some day, and you're the kind of mother I hope I can be.

Also, freaking hilarious.

Morgan Leigh said...

How sweet! :)

Rachel said...

You had to have cried while writing this, because I cried while reading it.

And I'm not pregnant and hormonal!

M said...

Dear cod WHY do I choose to catch up with you on your daily letter days. WTH is wrong with me.


Thanks. And if you can't do that will you ship the two (plus partial) of you to me? Thanks more.


Sandy said...

Your letter to your little man is, as always, touching.

What a good maman you are!

Katie said...

Yet another amazing letter, how the heck do you do that each and every month?!?! My son will turn 2 at the end of April and you have me SOOO looking forward to him turning 31 months!!!! You son is sooo precious!!!

Loukia said...

Another beautiful post from you! So nice... I want to meet your little man. I'll email you soon re: talking about Montesorri. :)