Friday, January 02, 2009

Forty Months: My Letter to Little Man

There are many nice things I've said about you during the past forty months. I've talked numerous times about how gorgeous you are, how smart you are, how funny you are. And all these things are true. One thing I don't think I tell you enough though, both in these letters and to you is how beautifully behaved you are the majority of the time. You make parenting a preschooler look like a walk in the park. Sure, you get mad when you don't get your way, but even your temper tantrums are the easy kind, consisting simply of silent pouting or your entire body crumpling silently to the floor. When I watch every other parent at the store deal with screaming, kicking, demon-possessed children, I know how blessed I am to be the one pushing the cart with the pouty child.

A few weeks ago, we went to our annual fancy restaurant Christmas dinner with your grandparents. That dinner ended up dragging for close to two hours. During what could have been a painfully long dinner, you chatted with us, you colored, you raved about the flatbread with the poppy seeds, that you declared the best bread in the world, because it had "sprinkles on it!!!" When we got up to leave, I was stopped by a couple at the table next to ours. I expected them to ask how old your brother was, but instead, they inquired about your age. I told them you'd turned three in September, and they proceeded to tell me that you were the best behaved three-year old they had ever seen. Someday, you'll hopefully have the chance to be a parent, and only then will you understand how close my heart came to exploding with pride. I don't think I've ever felt prouder in my entire life, even though the fact is that you being so well behaved has hardly anything to do with me. That's all you, my little buddy. So even though I can't take most of the credit, the fact that you are my child and that strangers admire you makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world.

I know there will be days when you let me down. I'm sure there will be dark days where my disappointment weighs heavily on your shoulders. I know this, because once upon a time, I was the perfectly-behaved child too. And when I tired of the role, I sometimes hurt my parents deeply. Hopefully, my experiences growing up can make your road a little easier to travel. But should it not, I want you to know that no matter how much you might feel like you've hurt me, I will never, ever stop loving you. And I will never, ever stop being proud of you. You are the essence of me, and yet, you are an improved version of me at the same time. You're smarter. You're funnier. And already, you are much, much wiser than I will ever be.

There is, of course, room for improvement. Like your ability to share. Your cousin was here for Christmas, and although you'd been talking about her visit for months, from the moment she arrived until the second the door closed behind her when she left, almost every toy of yours she touched was met with the comment "you're too little to play with that." Of course, almost as soon as she had left, you kept saying how much you missed her.

I weighed you yesterday, and despite the fact that you have grown in the past four months since your 3-year check up, you still weigh the same 29 pounds. I'm now convinced that you will be in a car seat until you are 15 years old. But you're healthy and growing and that's all that matters, and since you are already showing signs of having your father's bird legs, I expect that I'll probably outweigh you too as an adult. If that's the case, may I recommend that you marry a woman who's five feet tall and 100 pounds? Because outweighing your father my entire second pregnancy has not exactly been good for my ego, you know? And if I can do anything for my future daughter-in-law, it's to save her the traumas I've been through.

You've begun to drop your nap this past month, to the point that I can now get you to sleep in the afternoon approximately once every three days. Some people might say "so what? He's an easy kid!", but the thing is, Little Man, that I need my alone time, just like every Mama. And it's hard for me to just chill out on the computer, or write you these monthly letters when you're constantly tugging on my sleeve telling me I need to chase you and take the basketball from you. But more than my alone time, I miss the fact that you are only a happy go-lucky child until about 6 p.m. After that, you turn into this whiny child with dark circles around his big blue eyes who sits bleary eyed on the couch like a zombie. And who freaks out when I tell him that this is why we need naps.

So just start taking your naps again, will ya?

I love you my Little Man,



Burgh Baby said...

Another fine example of the fact that our kids were separated at birth. Or are the same kid. Or something.

Anyway, it's eerie how much alike they are.

Anonymous said...

Your letters never fail to disappoint!!! (BTW, Emma - who turned 4 this past November - weighed in TODAY at a solid 34 lbs... Michael now weighs more than her.)

But again... damn your kids are cute! And I love the look that Tiny Man is giving Little Man in the 2nd picture. A total "WTF are you doing?" face.

David said...

I would like to request permission to use all of Little Man's naps, since he's not taking them.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Colleen said...

WTG at the restaurant, LM!! That's awesome to hear!

Also? My Gavin, now 4-1/2, only weighs 33 lbs fully dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt. I was starting to think he'd be the only 12 year old still strapped into a 5-point harness. Now at least I can say "oh, quit your whining! there's a boy in Texas close to your age that has to sit in a car-seat, too!"

Jenna said...

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I look forward to connecting with you and continuing to read your blog.