Every month you become more boy and less baby. This month’s evidence: your all-consuming obsession with trains. It’s arrived exactly on cue, as if you were reading from the toddler boy handbook. You want nothing more in life than to see a choo-choo go by, and when it does, you want nothing more than to see another. Everything in life revolves around your ability to see trains. Going outside? A chance to see choo-choos. Going to the park? A chance to see choo-choos. Going for a drive? A chance to drive by any number of choo-choos. Passing under an overpass? Odds are pretty good there’s a choo-choo up there. Getting out the laptop? That’s where they keep all the videos of every choo-choo ever made!
Speaking of the computer, it’s both a friend and a nemesis. We tried for so long to keep you interested in non-screen-based activities, but with a new baby around, we’ve occasionally acquiesced and hired YouTube as a babysitter. It works great, but we’ve seen the beginning signs of monkey-video addiction. You point urgently at the computer at dinner, requesting one topic after another, as if we might magically give in if you choose the right one. Monkeys? Trains? Kitties? Dogs? (“Haha? Choo-choo? Eee? Woof-woof?”)We know how you feel, buddy, we spend all day resisting the temptation to ignore our responsibilities and stare slack-jawed at cute puppy videos. You must understand, we’re only protecting you from yourself.
Thankfully, you’re easily distracted. By two things especially. The mere mention of “bath” and — boom — you’re all done with dinner and ready to get in the tub. You’re an awesome bath-taker — never complaining when I pour water on you or vigorously shampoo your hair, and you’re happy to hang out there for a little while I sit, watching and relaxing. You will also drop everything to go get the mail. This is a complicated, multi-part endeavor. First I hold your hand while you walk down the stairs. Then I pick you up and hand you the keys, from which you try to pick the one for the mail (33% success rate) and fit it in the slot. On our way back, I throw the keys up the stairs, which invariably lights up your eyes and causes you to chase after, like a puppy dog after a treat. Then it’s five minutes of “hi! bye bye!” and door shutting and opening until I turn into the tickle monster and attack.
You’re an increasingly hilarious little kid. You picked up this habit a few months ago of putting your tiny feet in adult-sized shoes and stomping around. You clearly get how silly it is. You put things on your head that are not hats and call them “hat.” You chase us around the house and let us chase you. You’re a nutball sometimes, and thank god, because so am I, and I wouldn’t know how to handle it any other way.
You’ve got one new habit that we’re not crazy about, however hilarious it is. You have become adept at unzipping, which means now every morning we come in to find you laying in your crib, footsie pajamas unzipped all the way down to your crotch or feet. It’s an adorable beefcake look, and I can see why you’d want to do it. The problem is sometimes you venture to undo your diaper as well. When this happens after you wake up, no biggie. When it happens before you fall asleep, then we’re dealing with a major wetness issue come morning.
Maybe this is the first step toward potty training. Actually, the second step. The first was your sudden interest in mimicking my peeing. You know the word “pee-pee”, and you kinda understand how it works, but you still haven’t figured out the internal cue for when it’s going to happen. So what ends up happening is your saying “pee-pee!” while reaching down to your zipper, compelling me to pull down your pants, undo your diaper, help you up the stool next to the toilet, and then … nothing. You get a kind of disgusted look on your face and finally give it one of your patented hand waves and and “all done!”
We say it every month, but your vocabulary continues to grow. This month you picked up a few new words (“wait” is our favorite), but more than that you’re starting to talk in sentences. Just not English sentences. You will frequently expel this incredible string of babble, punctuated here and there with recognizable words. But it’s not random. You’ll say the same thing over and over. It clearly means something to you. Mom and I find it fascinating, and hope this means you’ll soon break through to the kind of sentences that we can understand. Or if you could provide us with some kind of Ezraspeak-to-English dictionary, that’d be good too. We’re quick learners.
That’s all for this month, kiddo. Keep on being awesome.