Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Thirty-Four Months: My Letter to Little Man

You're officially a master manipulator. When you were much younger and couldn't fall asleep, you'd wail. Eventually, you learned to call out "Mama!" or "Daddy!" But this month, you've taken the whole thing a step further, and now you'll cry out in the most heartbreaking voice "I need my Mommy!" interspersed with sobs. And really, how can anyone remotely human not crack and run upstairs and sit with you when you do that?

You've also learned how to blame people, which I'm guessing you've learned from me, because I like to blame your father for everything, including typhoons in Asia and the fact that gas prices are so high. But it seems you're already light years ahead of me, because I think I was at least eight years old before I started blaming my mother for everything wrong in my life, but you, my little evil genius, you've mastered this skill two months shy of your third birthday, a feat I'm considering reporting to the World Guinness Book of Records, except that I'm worried that the fact you've mastered this talent might not be considered a positive milestone to most people. If you lose a toy and you tell me you can't find it, right away you accuse me, "You lost it!" And when I deny it, because seriously dude, I'm too busy losing my own stuff to have time to get to losing yours, you accuse me again, which I'm warning you now, if you don't cut it out, I'm going to slap a libel suit on your recently potty trained behind, and that'll take care of the next important lesson in life on my to-do list, which is, of course, that falsely incriminating people is bad.

You have also mastered the art of color coordination, to the point that when I now take you shopping, I rely on your opinion before I buy anything. I'm sure people think it's a little weird for me to turn to someone who's not even three-feet tall and ask "do you like this maternity shirt?", but seriously, I trust your taste much more than mine. A lot of times you'll look at the item of clothing I've presented you with, you get this look in your eyes like "seriously? you're even thinking of blowing the money equivalent of 12 pints of ice cream on this hideousness?" and tell me very firmly "no, I don't like this." Ever so often, I will hit the jackpot, like on Saturday when I found this pink peasant shirt at Old Navy and I showed it to you and you looked at it and said "that's a handsome shirt! Yes, I like it!"

And you know what? You were so right, because I wore that shirt on Monday, and I literally felt like a Grecian goddess who could do anything in it. And when I put it on, and you saw me, you said "oh Mama! You look so handsome!" And if that's not the best compliment a Mama could ask for, well, then I don't know what is.

However, in typical fashion, you don't do things half-assed, so you've taken the art of color coordination to a whole new level. And by that, I'm refering to, of course, your current obsession with matching your potty reward M&M to your outfit. I'm dead serious here. If you're wearing your yellow shirt, only a yellow M&M will do. Sometimes I'll get away with giving you a color that matches your shorts, but when I do so, I have to be prepared to explain my logic to you, and hold my breath as you take the M&M, hold it against your shorts for comparison, ponder it for a second, before you claim that yes, it is indeed acceptable. I'm guessing that I'll be stuck eating all of the orange M&M's, simply because we're an Aggie family, and obviously orange is the color of the devil, and therefore you are not allowed to own any items of clothing of that color.

You've also become obsessed with wearing sunglasses, something that you wouldn't have been caught dead doing just a couple of months ago. Now, the second we get in the car, you ask me for your shades, you put them on yourself and I always feel like I'm driving some kind of celebrity around afterwards, because your face morphs into one of complete seriousness with a hint of boredom, the way all of the celebrities seem to look, leading me to think that I've let you watch too much Entertainment Tonight during your short life.

Last week, we finally got around to taking you to the beach club in our neighborhood. Although you'd gotten to the point where you loved swimming again when we were in Hawaii, that was more than two months ago now, a lifetime to you. And every time we've brought up going swimming, you'd say "I don't like to swim, let's play on the computer instead." But Sunday, we somehow coaxed you into letting us change you into your bathing suit by convincing you that this would be fun, and wouldn't you know it, after 10 minutes there, you were latched to my back splashing away in the water, laughing and you shouted with glee "I like swimming! Swimming is fun!" Which, uhm, I hate to say this, and I'm really going to try hard to limit the number of times I say this during your lifetime, but I've got to do it in this case, or else they'll revoke my Mommy card: I told you so. For the record? I don't spend my life doing non-fun stuff, which is why our house looks like a war zone 90 percent of the time. Stick with me, kid, and you'll see that life ain't that bad.

You and I have spent the last week planning out your third birthday party, in a way that would make most people think that we are planning a wedding. We have discussed themes at length and the benefits of a Finding Nemo theme versus a cowboy theme. We've discussed guest lists and who would be seated next to whom to encourage good toddler conversation during the feast, which we've decided after mucho debating to outsource to the fantastic chefs at Chick-Fil-A. I can tell from these at-length discussions that you've inherited my party planning gene. I suspect that within a few years, you and I will be going insane with all-night brainstorming sessions about the goodie bags. And for the record? I can't wait! As long as you always let me have the last word, of course.

One of my coworkers told me that it was ridiculous for me to speak to a toddler about his birthday party two months before the fact. That I'd get you all riled up about something that was a lifetime away. And sure, you don't understand the concept of tomorrow yet, let alone two months from now. But at the same time, you haven't woken up every day asking me if your party is today. The only issue was when I brought up your cake and discussed potential cake looks for each theme and you said "Cake? Let's go get Little Man's birthday cake right now!"

Luckily, there's plenty of ice cream in this world to distract you enough until the big day.

This morning, there was a sad story on the Today Show about a mother who died trying to protect her baby. And stories like this always shake me to my core, just like stories of injured or lost children always get to me. I ran into the bedroom where you were eating grapes and watching Mickey Mouse and I kissed you and hugged you while tears pricked the back of my eyes. You looked at me and grinned. I told you that I loved you very much and asked you if you knew that. Because although I tell you multiple times a day, sometimes I worry that with all of the disciplining I have to do that you might forget that more than anything I love you with every fiber of my body, and that I always will. You smiled again and nodded. I asked you if you knew that I loved you with all of my heart and you smiled again and said "yes, Mama love me with big heart and I love Mama with my little heart."

Well then, we're ok. But once again? I have to tell you, I love you, my Little Man.



Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I absolutely love the shopping cart pic.

And by the can not sue me for making you scream and fall while reading my blog.

You shouldn't be READING blogs at work!!


Hallie :)

Morgan said...

Your monthly letters always make me laugh and cry, at the same time. He's such a little cutie and I love the pic of him with the shades! Too cute!

Julie said...

another sweet letter!

for the record, we've already been talking about a&e's birthdays and they are 2 and 3 months away as well. i love to plan them.

and that story about the mom and her baby - just awful. but really, why was she leaving a 4 month old in the car alone when running into a store? In TX in the summer no doubt.

Marmarbug said...

Okay so these letters make me cry Catwoman!!! First I start off reading thinking good no sappy stuff yet. But you ALWAYS get me in the end. ALWAYS!

And I would lie, cheat, steal and kill to protect Bean. No matter what. So I know how you feel.

susan said...

Aw!!!!! I love your big and little hearts!!

the planet of janet said...

this is so sweet.

the idea of a 3-year-old boy with a well-defined fashion sense is very amusing (after raising 3 boys of my own!!) ...

but the m&m thing? that freakin' put me away. he rocks.

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

HEY! That's my kid's head there! And, know what? You went to Pei Wei & didn't invite me to go with you. You're on my shite list.

Colleen said...

"yes, Mama love me with big heart and I love Mama with my little heart."

that totally melted MY heart!

I ask Gavin if he likes my outfits because his father sucks at noticing when I look good (much to his detriment), and Gavin will say wonderful things like, "OH MOOOOMmy, dat is a vewy pwetty dress! Iss a nice pink!" I figure if I train him and his brother early, they'll know to compliment their girlfriends and wives later in life.

Anonymous said...

I love him! And, even more, I love the way you write about him!!!

Jane @ Kidzarama said...

That's gorgeous, he's going to love reading this in a few years' time. :)

Rachel said...

That last paragraph got me. What a sweet boy you've got.