Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dear Moe (28 Months)

Hello, my darling boy. I’m not sure how it’s happened, but we seem to have fallen even more deeply in love with you than ever. You are such a sweet little trooper, with your earnest speeches, loving hugs and kisses, and wonderful sense of humour. It’s impossible not to love you.

Your speech is getting better and better every day. You have so many words, and can be very clear. You’ve started using great adjectives - like “shiny” and “crunchy”. You pick up everything we say. It is both wonderful and slightly terrifying.

Some of your pronunciation is adorable. I love the way you say bean bag (“bean bang”) and dune buggy (“dune bungy”). It’s wonderful to hear your words get clearer every day, but those are two that I’ll miss when they are eventually gone. (One I won’t miss at all is how you call your Grandma “Gampa”. I did feel better when I heard you pronounce llama as “llampa”, though. It made the Grandma/Grandpa thing seem less deliberate.)

We moved ahead with potty training in earnest this month, and overall, it has gone very well. I think I initially tried to move you through it too quickly, getting you out of diapers and into underwear, but you resisted underwear after your first accident. I could tell it was stressing you out. You are still in diapers, or you spend time naked from the waist down. We prompt you to use the potty at every diaper change, and you are now starting to ask to use the potty on your own. You have great success at every turn. We’re very proud of you - it won’t be long now before we try underwear again. We’ll just need to prepare you for that transition a bit better. I know you’ll do great if we take things at your own speed.

We took you to Touch a Truck, an event we did together last year in the rain. This year, the weather was much better - although very warm - and we were lucky enough to have Daddy with us. The event was very well attended and provided some excellent lessons about waiting in line, waiting our turn, and giving the next person a turn in good time. You had a wonderful time, though. You’ve recently rediscovered Mighty Machines, and you were excited to see a real ladder fire truck. You also got to sit in the cab of a “Big Mater” (tow truck), a “Little Mater” (tow truck), a sod truck, and a “Spic and Span” cleaning truck. On our way out, someone gave us a small stuffed orange giraffe - it’s the mascot for the City of Ottawa vaccination program. You love Giraffe and he’s part of your crib menagerie. Your two current favourites are Giraffe and Sheep. Soup the Turtle also still occasionally gets a moment in the sun, and your crib wouldn’t be the same without Buster the doggy. 

We spent a wonderful Father’s Day visiting Grandpa Leo and Debi in Kemptville. We relaxed on their lovely shady porch for playtime and a snack. You explored their vegetable garden with delight, asking Daddy “what’s this?” about every plant you could find. You pressed up against the window to the kitchen to get a good look at Jenny, the 12-year-old cocker spaniel. You were sweet, polite, and I was very proud of you. Granny had us over for dinner that night, and you impressed us again. It was a wonderful Father’s Day. Daddy loved the card you gave him, but I think you loved it even more. I picked out a card with a big digger and a little digger on it. Anytime you would come across it in the house, you’d bring it to Daddy to make sure he had it with him. At one point when Daddy was heading to work, you reminded him to bring his card. He did. 

We’ve had a few health issues again this month. We’ve had some trouble with the skin on your hands. You developed something called dyshidrotic eczema: your fingers became so red and cracked, and you got these painful blisters in the creases of your hands. The doctor told us to keep you out of the water table until they are all healed up. We’re almost there now, but though the blisters are now gone, the skin on your fingers is still peeling here and there. It’s been very hard for me to deny you your water play. You haven’t complained, but I know how much you adore it. So I’ve been letting you take nice long baths with lots of play time. I’m hoping you’ll grow to love the wading pool at the park, too. Unfortunately, the splash pad will have to be off limits for a while. The problem isn’t you getting your hands wet. It’s having them go from wet to dry to wet to dry. We don’t know if that’s what caused the problem, or if it’s the result of having had a couple of allergic reactions to a cat and a dog, or if it would have happened anyway, but we don’t want it to happen again. We’ve asked for a dermatology referral for you.

The other big health thing is the reason this letter is so late. You got what we presume was a strep infection and as usual, it went straight to your ears. It culminated with a sudden fever spike and an evening trip to CHEO emergency. You were, overall, wonderful about it. We had to wait and wait, shuffled from waiting room to waiting room, hours past your bedtime. (We would NOT have survived that evening nearly as well without my iPad, free wifi and Netflix.) We eventually got home around 11:30pm, and we filled your antibiotic prescription first thing the next morning. But it was only a day or two before I came down with strep throat and found myself on the same antibiotic! We’re both on the mend and back to our normal selves, and I’m glad that’s over. We’re very lucky that you are almost 2.5 years old and this was only our very first trip to CHEO emergency.

We’ve had some lovely outings this month, as usual, because any time spent with you is wonderful. You were very honoured to be the only little person from day care invited to R’s son Alex’s birthday party. It was at Monkey Around, and Mommy and Daddy went with you. You had a great time on the climbing structure and playing with the trikes. But the highlight was when R presented you with a little bag of game tokens. We found a great game for you to spend them on (Popcorn), but I think you enjoyed putting them into the game slot even more than you enjoyed playing the game! You earned 15 precious tickets, which you spent at the counter on a small glow-in-the-dark koosh ball and one little green “army guy”. You were, rightfully, very very proud of the prizes you had worked to earn. We still have them in your room among your treasures.

You and I had a wonderful time at the Museum of Nature together. Grandma had taken you there the week before, and you were most happy to go again! We checked out the dinosaurs, but you declared to me (as you had to Grandma) that they were too big to be your friends. (I have to respect that, as I felt the same way when I was your age.) You had a great time in the Animalium where you watched all kinds of insects and amphibians and other creepy crawly friends. We went to the Bird Rescue Centre at the Bird Gallery, and you took very good care your little charge. You bathed your birdie, fed him, gave him medicine, and tucked him into bed with all his friends. We also spent a good deal of time at the NSERC boat in the Water Gallery. In the past, you’ve really liked the kitchen, but this time you were all over the captain’s control deck. We measured fish, you piloted the boat like a champ (we didn’t hit a single iceberg!) and you insisted on wearing the blue labcoat. It was the first time I’d seen you connect with a costume item. It was adorable. The resulting photos have made several heads explode with the cute. 

We still go for our usual Saturday morning walk with Uncle Mark and Aunt Janine, and Zaphod, if possible. We haven’t been able to hit the park by their house because it’s a splash pad, but they’ve come to our neighbourhood and we’ve spent some very nice time at Pushman Park (where, incidentally, Mommy used to play when she was a little girl). One day, the Magoos joined us - Trick, Treat and Mistlegoo. Mistlegoo is like a little Mommy to you - she’s constantly telling me what she thinks you want to do or say, and just wants to take care of you. Treat is always sweet to you, but prefers to play on her own. And Trick blows me away with how wonderfully he interacts with you. He’s patient and kind and you just love spending time with him. He even brought you a bag of his old matchbox cars, as well as some big plastic trucks for playing outside. The whole week following the playdate, you told people how your buddy had brought you these wonderful things.

You have a great memory and are growing more assertive every day (in a mostly good way). We were a bit concerned when your Daddy saw another boy at day care push you and take away your toy, and you didn’t react. You and I had a conversation about how if someone does something to you that you don’t like, you should feel comfortable saying, “No, don’t” to tell them you didn’t like their behaviour. (I then had to deal with having you tell me “No, don’t” anytime I wanted to dress you, change your diaper, shepherd you upstairs, wash your hair, etc. At least I know you’re listening.) I have since learned that you are doing just that at day care, and we are proud of you. 

Our ever-evolving bedtime routine is still a very special time for us all. You watch a show on TV - usually Curious George - and then you say goodnight to Granny, who has usually come by to watch it with you. We all go upstairs and you and I brush our teeth at the bathroom sink. While I go return my toothbrush to my bathroom, you have a minute to rock in your rocking chair by yourself. (Daddy is there to keep one foot on the chair because we’ve had some pretty violent rocking.) We do a final diaper change / potty time, and then it’s time to sit in the rocking chair with me for a few stories. Once those are read, the lights go off, your star turtle and music go on, and Daddy comes and gives you three kisses. Then you pick the song you want me to sing, and we sing and rock together for a few minutes before I sing you to your crib, where you snuggle with Sheep and Giraffe and say goodnight. 

We love you more than I could ever express in a letter, Moe. You make our days so bright, and you’ve made our family so beautiful. We love your humour, your dimple, your smile, your expressive eyebrows, your hugs and kisses, and your generosity of spirit. Your middle name means “generous” and it has been our hope that you would eventually live up to that name. We didn’t think you’d be doing it at 2.5 years old, but you are. Keep being such an amazing little man, and know that you are most, most loved.

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