Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dear Moe (32 Months)

It’s hard to believe another month has gone by already, Bean. This one flew by so quickly. But it was full of fun adventures and great changes that I can’t wait to tell you about.

We bought a Groupon for Monkey Around, and I think it will serve us well this winter. We’ve been twice since buying it, and you’ve had a great time. I was really impressed at how your confidence grew as you became more comfortable there. By the second visit, you were climbing and going down slides by yourself, you had made a new friend and were hanging out with him, and you even mustered up your courage and went in the bouncy castle. You were also delighted that we found a tricycle your size on which you could boot around. You’d disappear into the play structure, occasionally popping your head out a window to make sure you could see me. I’d wave and say hi, and then you’d go back to doing whatever you were doing. I felt a combination of incredible pride and bittersweet sadness. You’re getting to be so independent.

I’ve noticed other changes in the way you play, too. You talk to your toys more. One morning I came into your room and you told me that you had been telling Burp Bunny about one of your dreams. (You dreamed about playing at Robin’s.) Your toys also talk to each other. I’ve caught bits of conversations between cars, I’ve heard trucks asking other cars to move out of the way, and I’ve seen tow trucks come to the rescue of 18-wheelers who have fallen over on their side. (That last one is right out of Mighty Machines.)

During the past few weeks, your listening has really improved. I’ve tried to praise you about this at every opportunity. (Daddy and I are going to keep working hard to be consistent and counting you when you don’t listen, and follow-through with consequences. So far, it’s working. But a lot of it is you, too.)

There’s a new friend at day care, a very little girl named Alyssa. Because she is still so small, she can cry and get what she wants. As a result, we’ve noticed a lot more whining from you lately. We’re doing our best to nip this in the bud, and you’re responding well to our efforts. You never get what you want when you whine, for two reasons. First, it isn’t an appropriate way to ask for something. Second, we often have absolutely no clue what you’re saying! But you are learning that when you use your words and ask nicely, things tend to go your way.

Both Daddy and I traveled for work this month (separately). He went to Montreal for a few days of meetings in late September, and I went to Niagara Falls for a conference for a couple of days last week. You handled the separation pretty well on both counts. When I was gone, we tried Skype for the first time, and it was really neat to be able to see your face! I think you enjoyed it, too. But you kept asking me to “come back to my house, Mommy” and that kind of broke my heart. :)

It was Daddy’s birthday this month, and to celebrate, we all went out to O’Grady’s for dinner one night. You outdid yourself. You were patient, well-behaved, charming, and fun. But you were a little confused because we told you it was Daddy’s birthday and you kept asking where the birthday was. Then we realized you were looking for the birthday cake. There wasn't a cake, but you were mollified by a couple of Oreo cookies. :)

You’re big on asking questions. You want to know “what that mean?” “what that?” and your favourite, “WHY?” We do our best to answer as best we can, but often turn the question back to you, as you often know the answers yourself. At one point, though, even Daddy was forced to say, “I’d explain more, Buddy, but I’d have to explain the laws of thermodynamics.”

Your potty training has been going wonderfully. You rarely have accidents anymore, you’re confident about using the potty at home, and you deal well with using it when we are out and about. (The only problem that remains is getting you to poop on the potty. It’s an issue, and my patience is starting to wear thin, but we’ll get there.)

There were some big changes to your room this month! We gave your crib to Aunt Natalie for her baby (who is scheduled to arrive at the end of December), and you got… your own big boy bed! AND we got rid of the change table! You were super happy about your new bed and room set up. You kept saying, “WHOA. Whoa. WHOA…” as you explored the room. You love the bed, and although the huge bedrail essentially makes it a glorified crib, we now gate your room while you are sleeping. (We don’t want you getting out of bed, wandering down the hall, and falling down the stairs in a sleepy daze.) You've accepted all the changes with great aplomb.

I’m glad we've kept your rocking chair, though. We were going to go right to doing stories and songs in the bed with you, but both you and I get so much out of the rocking ritual that we’d like to keep it a bit longer. I don’t rock you long, but it’s our special time together. At some point, though, when the bed rail is off your bed, we’ll move the rocking chair out and do stories on the bed.

You have learned to self-soothe so well at bedtime. If you aren't quite ready to go to sleep, you chat to yourself, put on your aquarium, or (pre- big-boy bed) pull and listen to your Pooh Bear mobile. Sometimes it takes you a while to settle down, but you rarely call for us. You just hang out until you’re ready to sleep. We are so proud of you for being able to do that. (Of course, we take some credit – it’s taken a lot of work on our part, too.)

You take very good care of your toys. Many of your cars get a car wash every night during your bath. You hug your stuffies so sweetly. You have even become attached to a little pine cone that lives in the car. You picked out two pumpkins for the front step at the Farmers’ Market this weekend, and you say hello to them every time you go by. (There’s “Big Pumpkin” and “Tiny Pumpkin”. Sometimes you even let them wear your new pumpkin hat.) We’re trying to prepare you for Halloween. I think you understand that you’re going to be wearing a dinosaur costume that Grandma is making you. You've been practicing your roar, which is a great start!

You can be really patient and easy going when it comes to waiting in a waiting room. Grandma and I brought you to CHEO for a dermatology consultation, and we had to wait an hour before we got into an examination room, and another 30 minutes before we saw a doctor. You did really well, and only started to get rambunctious after about 90 minutes. I was really impressed.

I hope you can do half as well on Friday when we bring you to CHEO for your ear surgery. It’s not going to be easy. You won’t be able to eat or drink anything except water, apple juice or a bit of jello from midnight until 3 hours before your surgery, which is at 1:45 pm. And you’ll have nothing for the 3 hours prior to surgery. Then they will give you something to make you sleep so they can put a tube in each of your ears, which will help keep the ear infections (or monkeys, as you’ve come to call them) away. We’re going to start talking to you about it tonight to prepare you for the whole ordeal. My friend Kim came up with the brilliant idea of getting you a Snoopy Snow Cone maker for the morning so that your limited food and drink can at least be interesting.

Let me tell you a story that will help you understand what a sweet boy you are. You and Grandma went for a walk on a nature trail. You came across a pile of large rocks, and were very excited to find one small enough that you could pick up and carry by yourself. You asked Grandma if you could bring it home and put it in the garden, and she said yes. You were delighted. You walked on until you saw one lonely little flower, growing all by itself on the side of the trail. You brought the rock over, placed it gently next to the flower, and left it there. You explained to Grandma that the flower needed the rock. When Grandma told me this story, I just about cried.

Last night you expressed your feelings to me really well, and I was so proud of you. Netflix, which is pretty much our only source for TV for you, has recently gotten rid of Curious George. Last night, we discovered that they also got rid of Little Bear. Those are your two bedtime shows, and are an important part of winding down for the evening. Granny comes over and we all sit together and watch a show and we talk about it and cuddle and you drink milk and it’s one of the best parts of our collective day. Last night, you told me quite earnestly that you were feeling sad that you couldn't watch Little Bear. I hugged you and said we were all feeling that way. I told you I was proud of you for telling me about your feelings, and I really am. You didn't whine, you didn't cry, you just said you were feeling sad, and told me why. If you can keep expressing yourself this way, sweetheart, you’ll do well. (We settled on watching an episode of George on the iPad, which wasn't ideal because we can’t all watch it together, but we’re working on getting a cable that will attach the iPad to the TV.)

One more little thing, before I forget. I love the way you say the word “stool”. You have a few around the one house, and you love to use them to get onto the couch or give you a boost in the bathroom. You pronounce it “tool-lool” and it’s wonderful. You’re getting clearer and clearer with your pronunciation, though, so I don’t think it will last much longer.

As you can see, you’re a sweet, smart little boy. You are developing so well, and you are most loved by everyone who meets you. You have a roguish smile, a wonderful laugh, and you give awesome hugs and kisses. We love you so much more than we could ever express. You are magic on two legs. Keep being so awesome, my sweet little Bean who is growing up so fast. 

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