As of the 8th (that's when I started working on this "letter"), you are 21 months old -- that's 1 3/4 years -- so that puts you right in the midst of toddlerhood I suppose. And I love it. You've grown from a tiny helpless baby to an independent tiny person right before our eyes. And I absolutely love the little human you are becoming.
Oh, how you love your blankie and suckie ("bwane-bwee y suh-see"). "I need vem!" you'll say. You get away with quite a bit of "chillax" time these days.
Often chillax time involves watching tv... well, pbs or shows on Netflix -- I don't want to subject your precious mind to brainwashing commercials or cartoons starring nonsense characters with various mental disorders, that's for sure.
Your favorite shows are Super Why ("Su-su-why"), Wonder Pets, and Kipper. Sometimes you watch parts of Curious George, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, Dinosaur Train, Sesame Street... but they don't usually hold your attention too long. You still watch Your Baby Can Read ("baby show") every now and then, too.
You are obsessed with every sport and every kind of ball, but especially basketball I think. I have come to learn that I need to put your indoor hoops up ridiculously high because you want it to be like the real thing, or you like a challenge, or something.
Once in a while you take a break from outdoor ballin to throw some sand around...
... or to sneak off and climb into the Jeep.
I've been trying to get us to the pool as often as possible because it makes us both so happy. Today it's rainy (again) and you've been seriously fiending for the pool; you insisted on showering with me, and then continuing the shower by yourself, and then when I would not let you play in the running water any longer, you swam in the tub for a while. You go nuts in there as if you were actually jumping and diving and swimming rather than splashing around in six inches of water. I'd think it'd be rough on the knees, and I'm always nervous that you'll smash your face on the faucet, but I can't stop you.
At the pool... here's your "i need sunglasses" face...
Here's "walking carefully so that the slightly-too-big-sunglasses don't fall off..."
And here's "super nerd pushing glasses back up onto face."
One day an entire little league team was there, and you really wanted in on their football game, throwing a fit to the point that their parents made them give you the ball, and then of course you would not throw it to any of them for fear that you wouldn't get it back.
Luckily I had a couple of our balls that the boys played with in the meantime, but when I finally gave them theirs back it was almost the end of the world until...
... one of the parents gave you a bag of cheetos. Then everything was orange and fine.
I hadn't had any luck getting you to use any kind of floaty this year until you saw one of Kipper's friends using "water wings" as the brits apparently call them... so I bought a pair and you were totally into wearing them and although I haven't uploaded any of the pictures yet, you are amazing with those things. You're crazy, actually. You jump in from the side of the pool and go underwater and bob back up with a huge proud grin on your face. You try to kick and paddle, though you don't go very far on your own. I am so very proud of how brave you are, bubby.
You LOVE our new house. For the first couple of weeks you would regularly declare, "I wuv it new house!" (That's one of your funny expressions -- you add "it" in the middle of "I love such and such" -- like "I love it this ice cream!")
You love climbing up the couch and looking out the windows behind it for bunnies. (Out big back yard backs up to woods so we see lots of them.) "I don't know see bunny wabbit right now..." you say. "Mayyyy-beeeeee."
You love all the places to play outside... especially the basketball hoop of course.
You never give up.
You love all the room you have to run and play and do headstands and almost-somersaults.
You've got toys in practically every room. It's a toddler's wonderland. Bailey loves coming over to explore all your stuff.
You love the two steps down from the living room to the kitchen where you can sit and have snacks or play and watch me cook, or whatever.
Here you're wearing daddy's sunglasses; he doesn't wear them as much as I do... whenever he does you say, "daddy so cool!"
You love your new hideout that we made for you out of a closet in your room.
I didn't take any "before" photos but here are a couple in progress (we attached the ladder with hinges so that it can swing up and the door can close)...
Here are some shots of you playing when it's almost done...
And here's a look at the finished product after I put some words up in there for you. I first put up "Read Create Play Learn" while you begged the whole time to stick some letters. So when I was done I said, "okay, what word do you want to spell?" and you said, "golf." So I gave you the G and let you stick it wherever you wanted, and we went on from there. You chose "jump" next, then I chose the rest out of the letters we had left.
We put a lot of work into that hideout for you. The electrician came over to install a cover on the light switch in there and when he saw what we'd done in there he said, "you're nuts." So maybe I am. But the thing is, Bob, as adults it seems many of us are much better at remembering the bad of our childhoods than the good (not that you've had anything but good so far :)... and I want you to have proof and always remember how much you were LOVED. Because your Daddy and I would do absolutely anything to make you happy. And I want you to have the evidence. So here it is.
Speaking of which... a couple of weeks ago we took you to the theater to see your first real movie, Winnie the Pooh. You did really well sitting still for the most part, but I think next time we'll get there 10 minutes late instead of 10 minutes early so that the novelty doesn't wear off before the previews are through. Your favorite part was when the show was finally over and you got to jump on the wheelchair platform you'd been eyeing the whole time. Very exciting.
You did like the movie, too, though. For a week afterwards you kept saying, "Pooh bear wuvs honey! Winnie Pooh Bear swim in big honey!"
You still love riding in the Jeep...
... and I love your little summer flip flop feet.
Some other random things about toddler you...
We're decorating the house very slowly because most of our decorations are turtles of one kind or another, and you want to play with all of them. And potentially break them, even though you try oh so hard to be careful.
You like to pretend that pieces of your food are horseys jumping and neighing.
You're becoming quite proficient with the English language. You just said: "I need that rower in this boat!" (The rower was actually a big plastic spoon and the boat was in reality a laundry basket.) And a little while ago: "I have three dollars in my hand!" ... "I put it right here on the coffee table!" Perfect sentences, you little smarty pants.
Last week we started on Spanish. We got one book from the library, that is. So far you're loving it. Especially the counting. You repeat all the words and, who'd have thought your tiny voice could sound even cuter in another language.
Lately you've been asking for a "little bit more" whenever you need a boo-boo kissed.
It's so funny to hear myself in you... You use all the same phrases and expressions I do, and it's not just the words you copy but my intonation as well. It's like you're mocking me all the time and it makes me laugh a dozen times every day. Stuff like "May-beeee" or "riiiight now" or "one minute" or "you can!"
Actually your regular non-mocking "right now" is one of my favorite parts of your vocabulary nowadays. You love narrating everything that happens so you're always saying things like, "I'm dunking basketball right now," or "Mama get my juice cup right now," or "I washing my weenie right now," or "I can't ride on baby horsey right now."
You also copy how I talk to Daddy... You'll say, "Hey, babe," or "Hey, Honey!" or "What up, babe?" or "Hey, Ben!"
Over the last week or so you've started calling me "Mom" in addition to Momma and Mommy. Not sure where you got it... from a Little Critter book perhaps.
You love "puppy dog hugs" where we make little puppy dog sounds and rub our faces together.
You are a curious but cautious little person.
You are such a little sweetheart; you are never mean or aggressive. Bailey and pretty much every other tiny person you play with always take away your toys, but you never snatch them back. You are going to be such a wonderful big brother; I can't even wait to see it. (But honestly I can wait; I'm really enjoying our final months together with you being my only baby.)
You're very gentle with animals and you love every kind.
Here you are doing your "go slowly" walk -- tiny hunched over steps that are satirically slow.
You love your cousins.
You think Gram's walker is your own personal jungle gym.
You still love baths...
... and I love your little soggy brown summer feet.
You love brushing your own teeth -- you always apply extra toothpaste even though I always give you the tube with the cap secured tight. Too bad you don't appreciate it when I try so hard to actually clean the chompers before you have your turn.
Ice cream is an occasional special treat. You love it in every form. But who doesn't really?
Eating it outside in your bathing suit is perfect because then I can just toss you in your little pool when you're through.
Well, Bob, I've got to wrap this up once and for all, but I'll just say it one more time: I LOVE YA, and I think you are AMAZING. I am so very glad to be your Mom.
PS. How could I have forgotten to mention your alter-egos, monkey, puppy dog, and robot? Another day, maybe. xox