By the time I finish this letter you’ll probably be able to read it, and that’s not commentary on how incredibly long it takes me to compose a blog entry now that I know I have an audience. You are progressing so quickly that truly, it’s hard to put you to bed at night because I know we’re going to miss something when we step out of the room, like when you teach yourself how to crack your own knuckles. Or the time you taught yourself how to climb over the edge of the crib.
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. I want you to know that we are aware that you’ve been talking to us for several months. It is our fault and ours alone that we don’t speak your language-what you’re communicating seems quite clear to you. Finally, you seem to have resigned yourself to our ignorance, and now all the sudden, like in the past three days, you are speaking English to us. Hot! Out! Lights! No! Please! Thank You! Moses! Cat! Go!
This morning I woke up at NINE (!) and when I peeked into your room you were sitting in the middle of your bed playing with your blanket and making piles of pacifiers. I bet you were counting them. Then, before your dad even came home today you taught yourself how to turn the outside lights off and on. I love the expression of triumph on your face when you see the cause and effect. You look at me like “are you seeing this? Is this not the coolest thing you have ever seen?” I think instead of toys this year for Christmas, we’ll just take you around the house and show you how all the appliances switch on and off, and maybe put a bow on the breaker box. A breaker box, some Christmas lights and a cell phone and we probably wouldn’t see you for a week. I love the way you turn and look for your audience both when you figure out some new thing like the light switches and when you are about to do something you know is a Bad Thing, like emptying the trash can, which you manage to accomplish at least once a day. What are you looking for in there? Do you think we’re cheating on your with another baby or something? Tonight, you screamed and pointed until your father handed you a raw potato, and when you took the first bite (gross) you immediately held it in front of you, scowled, and threw the potato into the trashcan. Maybe now that the connection has been made (trash can=yucky stuff) I can safely throw coffee grounds away in there without finding you elbow deep in brown sludge 10 minutes later.
You’ve been filled with the Holiday Spirit, so much so that every morning when we come downstairs even before you start screaming and jumping up and down pointing at the coffeepot, you lead me through the house and demand that I turn on the lights. After each event (the tree, the kitchen, the lit garland on the stairs, the leg-lamp lights above the sliding glass door) you applaud. It’s a dry sort of praise, not even worthy of a giggle or wrinkle-nosed smile. It’s more along the lines of a golf-clap, accompanied by a slight upturn at the corners of your mouth before you point to the next string of lights and tug me in that direction.
You have No Fear. Of anything. Not dogs, goats, cars, busy streets, or other people. Someone was recently joking about those harnesses that they put on little kids to keep them tethered to parents, and I thought to myself, “oh yeah. Need to get one of those for the stocking” If we left the house more often, I would be terrified. As it stands, since we are only outside our yard maybe once a week, I figure the odds are in our favor. But please. When the clown comes to see you, don’t. Just don’t go off with him, kay? You definitely are not a fan of Santa, and he’s pretty clown-like. Maybe there’s hope.
It’s the holidays, baby, and while I’m having a better run this year than in recent years, I’m still having a hard time getting over the hump every day. You’re a big part of why it’s better this year, so thanks for – you know, being cute and all. And thanks for sleeping. You may not know until you have your own Spawn how terribly close we all came to a postal-style incident involving an AK-47 or at least several bottles of booze and a short stay at the hospital for some “rest”. The novelty of actually having an 8-hour stretch in which we can choose to sleep, or pee alone, or eat a meal without sharing may have worn off, but I’m still very grateful.
We love you, Toddler A. Thank you for loving us back so completely.