Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dear Moe (19 Months)

Oh, sweet little boy, what a crazy month it’s been. You started day care, you got a cold (which turned into an ear infection), you have a mouthful of new teeth, and you fell down the stairs from the back deck. It’s been a challenging time, to say the least, and you’ve weathered the storm with great patience.

The biggest change has certainly been day care. We did a three-day transition over a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; on the Friday you did almost a full day. It was not easy for anyone involved. It broke our hearts to leave you there, sobbing and reaching for us, and when I picked you up on that first day, after only a few hours, I found you red-eyed and weepy. For the rest of the day, and much of the weekend, you were incredibly clingy and didn’t want me out of your sight. It seemed for a while that you were only happy sitting in my lap. (You even got miffed if I’d uncross my legs because then you’d be on the floor and not on me.) Your sleep also really suffered.

The second week went much better. You did three full days, and when Daddy dropped you off on the third day, you toddled off to play with the cars without so much as a backwards glance. When we pick you up, you are generally filthy, tired and happy. We couldn’t ask for more. You’ve bonded well with R and the other kids, and when we ask you in the morning, “We’re going to go to R’s today, ok?” you nod with enthusiasm and say, “Yeah!”

Of course, the transition took its toll on all of us, despite it going as well as could be expected. Your little brain was so busy processing everything (including a daytime schedule that involved a busy playgroup, a whole new environment, and new people) that it wasn’t surprising when you got a runny nose. Your eczema also got worse, but you recovered from that pretty quickly. The runny nose came with a ridiculous amount of drool, so we figured you were teething, and you were. But then you got a fever that just wouldn’t quit, and you became miserable and listless. I knew something was wrong when you sat down in the bathtub. You haven’t sat down in the tub since you’ve been able to stand on your own. We brought you to the doctor and found out you had an ear infection. This is your second day on antibiotics. We see an improvement already - this evening you were almost back to your wonderful, laughing self. Now if we could just get you back to sleeping through the night...

Despite everything, we’re really happy with R as your day care provider. She’s warm and loving, and keeps you very busy. Right now, you’re there with B (2 years old) and M (18 months old), along with A (R’s 5 year old son, who is in afternoon kindergarten). You spend a few hours every morning at a playgroup where you can interact with lots of kids, play with some fantastic toys, and do circle time. You also get park time(where you get yourself happily full of sand), lots of rides in a fantastic 5-person stroller, indoor home play, outdoor home play... the list goes on. You have yet to nap there successfully; I think it will be the last thing that comes. You clearly enjoy yourself when you are there, and that makes us very happy.

Even in the short time you’ve been going to day care (and you’ve only been there three days a week), your communications skills have increased. (For one thing, you can now answer questions in the affirmative, which helps us a LOT.) R noted, as we have, that you love figuring out how things work, and that you have excellent comprehension skills. You know what the words mean, you’re just not saying them. She said you may turn out to be one of those kids who suddenly starts speaking in full sentences. It wouldn’t surprise me one little bit, sweet bean.

Yes, I did mention that you had a fall down some stairs. It was on my watch, and I felt terrible. I had you out on the back deck, but I hadn’t checked that the gate was fastened securely, and it wasn’t. I came inside for 2 seconds to grab something, heard you crying, and came out again to see the gate gone. I have never moved so fast in my life, Moe. And there you were, at the bottom of the stairs, sobbing your heart out. You had a scrape on your forehead, but were mainly badly scared. You recovered after lots of cuddles and some Tylenol. I’m not sure if I’ve recovered yet.

Lots of fun things have happened in the last month, too, sweetie. We have had successful outings to the Farmer’s Market, Chapters, St. Laurent, two museums, and a Greenbelt nature trail near our house. We’ve spent lots of time playing out back in the green space as well as in the driveway and other parts of the condo’s common area. We are constantly amazed at how “portable” you are - we can really take you anywhere. As long as we respect your needs and limits, you do super well.

You still love to dance, and it’s wonderful to watch you. You dance with your whole body. I’ve heard you singing, and reading to yourself. You love books - right now, one of your favourites is The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munch. (You love it when the dragon runs out of fire, and when Elizabeth tells Ronald that he’s a bum.) I bought you Goodnight, Gorilla, and it’s part of our bedtime routine now - you always ask for it. You are also still a huge fan of Mighty Movers, a book that is all about things that go. You’re all about cars and trucks and trains and anything with wheels, really. You love to walk outside and explore. You’re getting much more comfortable with dogs - you love Zaphod, and R has a tiny Lhasa Apso puppy named Pom Pom. I took you on a long walk with Zaphod the other day, and when we were done he stared longingly at you and wouldn’t go into the house until you were safely in the car, and you waved at him beseechingly. It was adorable. You love your doggy, you just wish he’d get close enough to pet without invading your personal space. Sorry, honey, that’s just not how doggies work.

Let’s talk about your relationship with your grandmothers. Oh, my goodness, you are such a lucky boy to have two grandmothers who love you so much and live so close by. They both teach you things, take you on outings, and love you so very much. Grandma is your rowdy playmate. She will chase you, laugh with you, give you plenty of kisses and hugs. Granny is quieter, but you have this amazing connection with her. You have seen her pretty much every day of your life. The day care transition was hard on her, too.

Hopefully the next month is easier on you, darling. (And on us.) We’ll spend this next month getting you used to your new routine, supporting you, reassuring you, and giving you all the love in our hearts. But then, that’s nothing new. You’re so very easy to love, little Moe. Your Daddy and I often stare at each other in disbelief about how lucky we are. We couldn’t ask for a better son. Keep being so fantastic.

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