October 17, 2011
Dear little Nicky,
You’ve learned so much this month, starting with some of your ABCs. I love it when you look at a word and pick out the letter F and say “Frog!” You love counting things but you crack us up because you always count 1, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 18. When we ask what comes after 4 you know the answer is 5, but you don’t seem to think those numbers have any place in a counting sequence. Your vocabulary has skyrocketed this month and so has your storytelling and ability to speak in sentences. The best though has been that you’re starting to play make believe so much more. Whether you’re jumping around the house on all fours saying “ribbit” or turning a stick into an airplane, your imagination is in full swing and it’s so much fun to watch.
We’ve made great strides in the tooth brushing arena this month. We started the month with you screaming your head off just at the sight of a toothbrush, then moved on to a few weeks of bribery to get you to be somewhat calm during the whole process, and then stumbled on the super easy trick of chasing all the funny bugs in your mouth. As soon as we mention that there might be bugs in there your eyes go wide and you open right up to let us investigate and chase them out. We had tried this a while ago with no luck, so I have to think this new reaction has something to do with your imagination kicking into high gear. At any rate, I’m glad it’s working because in a family full of dentists, brushing teeth is a fact of life and it’s much better to not have to fight over it.
Unfortunately, I think your fully active imagination might have something to do with the sleep problems we’ve been having (monsters in the closet, anyone??). That combined with maybe being a little over tired in general and going through normal separation anxiety. Whatever the cause, you’ve thrown us for a loop in the sleep department. You’ve always been very good at putting yourself to sleep. Up until the last month or two we would do our bedtime ritual and then put you in your crib awake, leave the room, close the door and after 5 quiet minutes you’d be passed out. Perfect. Suddenly you want the door open, you want us to sit in the room, you want another book, another bottle, a snack. We struggle and struggle and struggle and finally we give up and take you for a ride in the car, which always works. Depending on when we finally capitulate on the ride, it can take over an hour and that just means another hour of sleep debt to add to your account, plus a good dose of exhaustion for mommy and daddy from not getting our hour of relaxation after putting you down. All around bad news. Can we go back to how it was before please?
You are such a toddler in so many ways. You scream, you HATE to share, you declare you want a cracker then announce “I no want that” as soon as it’s presented to you, you throw things when you’re mad, and you test every boundary we set for you. You actually like to take time outs when you’re worked up, which diminishes the punishment aspect of the time out but serves the purpose of giving you quiet time to calm down to the point where you can say sorry. When you’re not in the midst of a melt down you tell us “a yuv you”, give us kisses, and love to get picked “up please”. You love singing and dancing and coloring and reading books and anything and everything to do with trucks, especially fire trucks. You and daddy love to snuggle and watch football in the morning to keep you quiet and let mommy sleep in. You are a bundle of energy and love.
Another toddlerism is your love of routine. One of our daily rituals lately has been to read the Little Engine That Could (aka “Train Coming”). You run into the baby’s room looking for the baby doll. When you find her you climb up onto the bed with her and sit her down next to you and demand “awant train coming” and we read the version of the book that we inherited from your daddy’s childhood. That poor book has seen better days and one by one the pages are falling out from being so loved so I think a new Little Engine That Could book is definitely in your future. You recite some of your favorite parts of the book randomly during the day: “up, up, up, faster and faster and faster” gets thrown out there a lot when we’re driving uphill which just amazes me that you can remember the line and make the association with going uphill…you’re such a smart little boy!
I can’t believe that the next time I write to you, you’ll not only be a big brother, but you’ll also be two years old. Big changes are coming little man but I know you’re up to the challenge and I think you’re going to be such a good big brother. It’ll be different, but even though we’ll be bringing home another little person who will also need our love and attention, mommy and daddy will still love you so much. It seems impossible to ever love you more than we do today, but you have a special way of wrapping yourself more and more around our hearts and somehow we love you more every day!