Month 23- letter to the boy

Dear Simon,

“Oh Simey.” In the last two weeks you have started talking even MORE than before and now are saying sentences that mostly make sense. You now tell us everything you observe, “dropped it,” “where daddy go?” “ride bike?” all sorts of great things that we knew you were trying to say before, it’s just that it all makes sense now.

My favorite things you say include, when I am looking for someone or something and I say, “Dadddddy where aaarrrrre you?” You repeat, “Dadddddy where arrrrrrre we?” It’s always where are WE. Hilarious. You also like to ask me if I’m “ready?” (usually to go byebye) and you like to tell me whatever my necklace is: flower, bear, or M. Lately you are learning colors, though the only one you have down pat is Red, which I’m convinced is your favorite color. You kind of talk like a hill billy when you say certain things. Like milk, for example. You say Meee-Ilk. Or, “Need help” turns into “need heeee-ulp” Everything is “what’s this?” and I love all of the questions, because everything is new to you every time.  You often ask where “daddy go?” or “lisa go?” or anyone who was just here the day before and is no longer at our house.

You absolutely LOVE your bike. You will put on shoes and a hat (and nothing else) and demand we’re going to “ride bike”. We need to find a place to hide it. Actually we need a garage or something. We have lots of stuff for you to play with outside, and it’s all in plain sight and is distracting when I’m trying to get you out the door to go to work. I feel like it’s cruel to march you past all of the fun stuff under the guise of going “outside” when really we’re just going to the car to head to the sitter’s, so I can go to work. You’ve gotten better at letting me leave, though now you are pretty clingy in the mornings when I drop you off, and I have to do a physical Hand-Off to the sitter, you don’t usually cry about my leaving- which is nice. You tell me all of the kids you play with at the sitter’s, and you like all of them except Izzy, the only girl. She’s about 16 months old and loves to tackle you and hug you and wants to be all up in your space. You do not like having your personal space invaded (by anyone) so you really don’t like Izzy. It’s ok with me. I can see how that would get annoying.

You could probably eat a dozen eggs in one sitting. You love eggs. You also like tacos and PIZZA. At the playground your favorite thing to do is CLIMB. It takes every ounce of self control in my body to not be a complete crazed hover mother because your climbing scares the ever living crap out of me. Because it is summer, we spend lots and lots of time at the park, often getting takeout from somewhere close for a “picnic” which you sign and say with glee. I’m planning on having your birthday party at the “new park” as you call it- where they’ve installed a sweet new playground that has a rubbery floor beneath it. The other day you took off your shoes and ran around on the hot hot rubber. When you would get to a sunny portion of the rubber, you would start high-stepping with a look of obvious pain in your eyes and ALMOST start to cry and run to me or your dad (whoever was closer). It took you doing this about 4-5 times before we FINALLY convinced you to put your shoes back on. Live and learn, buddy. Live and learn.

Soon we will be moving you to a big boy bed because I am convinced the crib will soon be a pile of wood with a mattress on top if you keep up all this “numping”. We are reading books about a Big Boy Bed and I’m certain it’s going to be a GIANT adjustment because right now we zip you into your little mesh tent and it’s lights out within 5 minutes. I have no idea how we’ll convince you to lay down and go to sleep without some sort of constraint system in place. Or maybe you’ll surprise us and do it on your own. Who knows. But for the next month or so I’m holding onto the last bits of baby that exist.

The parts of babyhood that I’m holding onto include: you still take a bottle of milk before bed, before we brush your teeth. You love it, it’s the most milk you get in one sitting, and it calms you down. So long as we’re brushing your teeth afterwards, I’m convinced you’ll eventually give it up (or we’ll pry it out of your cold dead hands..either way). You still have a pacifier that we’re trying to keep only at nap and bedtimes, though you do love your nuk when you’re teething, and right now we’re still working on the last four teeth coming in. At night before I hoist you into your crib I rock you back and forth and you lay your head on my shoulder and point at various things like “eyes” or “elephant” or whatever you see in the room. And for the last few moments before I leave the room I brush my fingers around your face like my dad did when I was a little kid. And you smile at me from behind that pacifier. And I melt.

We talk a lot about the potty, though anything potty training related is far away, you are very interested in the whole thing. And we also talk about holding hands instead of being held when we go places. We talk about colors and numbers, trucks and trains, balls and parks and anything else you see in your day when I’m lucky enough to be a part of it.

I am just as exhausted now as I was in the beginning with you- in a completely different way. I am constantly grappling with the guilt that someone else gets to spend a lot more time with you throughout the week than I do. I don’t think that will ever go away. I know I need my time and you need your time away from me and home and whatever, but it’s still hard. It’s hard on the days after spending lots of free time with you, wrestling and tickling and reading books and “cookin'” I STILL go back to work and spend time each day going through pictures that we’ve taken over the days prior. Watching videos of you going down the same slide over and over or just eating a piece of watermelon.

Because you are seemingly obsessed with all sports at the moment, we are having a sports themed birthday party, which works out because there is an inexpensive line of party supplies at Target that appear to have been custom made for boys like you- 110% boy. You REALLY love basketball, and have made a game out of throwing a ball above the tv (where you assume the hoop would be I imagine). You also sit quietly through the sitter’s son’s baseball games on the bleachers or on a blanket, enthralled by what’s going on behind the fence. So I have a feeling we’re in for it with you and sports. Or not. You can do whatever you want to. Just know I’ll be cheering from the “sidelines” of whatever you choose.

You are still, and will always be, my favorite friend. I savor every moment of teaching and learning that I get to experience with you. Kisses from you are the best parts of my days, followed by the times when you ask to hold my hand or need heeee-ulp. Everytime I’m sitting on the floor, you ask if we can read a book. I love that. Right now you like the “boat book” (Going-to-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton), the Blankie book by Petricelli, and My Big Boy Bed by Eve Bunting.  I love them all, a hundred times over (or at least as many times as you ask me to read them again) because each time you point out something new.

Over the weekend we had the chance to try out a new park that’s near our house and when we put you down, you just hit the pavement running full force into the water, no fear at all. I’ve never heard you laugh so hard or seen you run so fast. It was awesome. Don’t change that part of you, buddy.

You are my very favorite part of life. You’re most certainly the reason I was put on this planet- to make you. I am certain that whatever you turn out to be- a doctor, a philanthropist, a government worker, a garbage man, or maybe even a 30 year old living in the Man Cave, I will always ALWAYS be proud of you, no matter what. You’ve got my heart baby boy.




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