22 Months

September 17, 2011

Dear Nicky,

This has been kind of a tough month for you. Right now as I write you, your daddy is out driving you around in the car to get you to fall asleep. Ever since about 5 months when you figured out how to take a decent nap, you’ve been a pretty good sleeper. Not so much this past month. Whether you’re having trouble going to sleep, or waking up really early, or even waking up in the middle of the night, it’s rare that you get a full night’s sleep. Which also means it’s rare that we get a full night’s sleep. I have to admit, your timing is horrible. I was looking forward to at least one more month of decent sleep before your sister arrived and was definitely counting on you being our good sleeper during her first couple months. Maybe by the time she arrives you’ll be back to normal? I can only hope.

You’ve also been testing boundaries and pushing buttons as much as you can this month. It’s become somewhat of a battle to get you to eat meals – you insist on standing or your chair, or sitting in different chairs, or taking your plate out to the patio or into the living room. Sometimes you demand popsicles (“packle”) or ice cream for dinner and a standoff ensues. I can’t imagine how you get enough calories to fuel all the movement you go through during meal times and the frequent emotional distress of being told to sit when you eat or eat three more bites before you go outside. Yet somehow you continue to grow. Brushing your teeth, putting your clothes on, changing your diapers, or any number of other things can turn into a battle of will depending on your mood. You’ve been relegated to a good number of timeouts for hitting or scratching in frustration when you don’t get your way. You have an impish look that you give us when we use our serious, rules voice. You look up at us through your eyelashes with a slightly guilty, slightly defiant look on your face. Sometimes the defiant part of the look drives me crazy, other times the guilty part of the look makes me want to give you a big hug, but either way it’s hard to keep a straight face.

There are still many shining moments as you learn new things. You’re figuring out when to use “please”, “thank you” and “you’re welcome”, but for now you say all of them all the time. I think you think “up please” (“ee-peas”) is all one word. Any time anything changes hands between you and someone else you immediately say “thank you welcome” (“tin too welcome”). It’s nice to hear all of these polite words so often! You’ve started asking questions like “uh oh, happened?” (translation: “what happened?”) or “doing?” (aka: “what are you doing?”). I’m sure the classic “why?” will follow soon. You’re very good at cleaning up mommy and daddy’s stray possessions when you find them and bringing them to us. You’re know whose cell phone or kindle or coffe cup you’ve found and you insist on bringing it to that person specifically, which means that we’ve had several instances of cell phones being delivered in the middle of a shower or leftover glasses of milk being perilously paraded over carpets while one parent hovers nervously behind you until you reach your intended parental target.

The most bizarre thing to me that you’ve learned is how to navigate the iPad. We originally got it to use when we travel with you, but we were able to keep you away from it the rest of the time by hiding it or telling you that Elmo is sleeping (the Elmo app is your favorite and the one you always ask for). But now you know all our hiding spots, you know how to wake it up and how to navigate to all of your apps and turn on whichever one you want. If you get bored of one app you know how to go back home and open another one. There’s just no stopping you now (don’t worry, we’ll keep finding better hiding spots). As someone their first email account in college I can say I’m amazed to see you so completely at home you are with computers and a little scared at how much technology is going to be a part of your life.

In other exciting news, you’re starting to show more signs of being excited about the baby. You’ll ask about the baby a couple times a day. The other day (during one of our dinner time battles), you were eating at the coffee table (I had given up on the table…you have to pick your battles and ultimately, calorie intake wins over lessons in manners on particularly difficult days) and suddenly you looked at me and said “I want baby”. You came over to look at my belly and then you said “baby hungry?” and pushed a bite of food into my belly button. What a sweet big brother…you just melted my heart! I gave you a baby doll last month and you carried her around for about 2 minutes before burying her at the bottom of your toy box. Recently she’s made a bit of a comeback and you’ve been a little more attentive to her. Now that we’ve gotten most of the nursery set up, you’ve been putting her to bed in her bassinet and kissing her goodnight. During the day we sit her up in her baby chair and you check on her once in a while and tell her stories. Sometimes you even feel generous enough to share a pacifier with her. All good signs!

You’re going to be such a good big brother. It’s going to be hard to share the limelight and be patient while we juggle both of your needs, but these will be good skills for you to learn and you should know that we’ll always love you. As your daddy puts it, as hard as it is to be a parent, there are so many times a day when you put such a happy smile on our faces and a warmth in our hearts that we never would have gotten if you weren’t around. You are our favorite little boy and we love you so much!

Love, mommy

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