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Dear Ezra: Month Twenty-three

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Today you hit a significant milestone: your first nap in a big boy bed. Last week, we set up your new bed — in your words, “noobay” — with the plan to slowly migrate you over. For three days we’ve set you up in the new bed for your nap, with all your stuffed animals and blankets, and each time it’s resulted in a half-hour of activity, ending in plaintive knocking on the door. But today it took. After a couple hours of quiet, Mom and I couldn’t handle it anymore and had to take a peek to see where you ended up. We assumed it’d be something hilarious, and we were not disappointed.

Note the boots in the middle of the room, the light on in the corner, and the array of books and animals splayed about, none of which was that way when we closed the door. Also note the INSANE position you are in. We were literally biting our tongues at this point to prevent our laughter from raising you from your adorable slumber.

This month has been a pretty cheerful one. Thanks to the warming weather you’ve gotten out to the park almost every day. Which is good, because our hallway, long as it is, can’t contain all the energy you need to spend. Which means extra vigilance on the parts of your protective parents. We haven’t yet taught you all the rules of pedestrianism, and to you, the line between curb and street is a pretty illusory one. We also have had to get in the habit of locking the back screen door; otherwise, you’re over there in a flash, reaching up on your tiptoes to flick the lever, and bolt outside.

Suddenly, this month, we are in ownership of a surfeit of things on wheels for you to ride. They are: a plastic trike, a classic Radio Flyer wagon, a tiny bicycle with training wheels, and a fancy wooden tricycle with no pedals that has the ability to convert into a two-wheeler once you’re ready for it. You love riding any and all, as long as it’s heading in the direct of the nearest train station. And let’s not forget the limousine of this set: the seat that rides on the back of my bike, which you’ve taken to with your typical obsessiveness, clamoring for it once you catch a mere glimpse, and going into fits if I turn you down.

These fits, by the way, I’m not too pleased with, and I let you know about it. “No crying,” I say, which, after weeks of practice, you now interpret (correctly) as “Stop the wailing, look at Dada with puppy eyes and a grin, and say ‘please’.” Which comes out as “Beep!” And which frequently works. I’m chalking this one up as a win.

Speaking of obsessions, your love of trains has only grown. Mom and I thought we’d test your limits by taking you to National Train Day at Union Station and seeing how many hours of trains was enough. Whatever the answer is, it’s more than four. That included 90 minutes of train-riding time, plus an hour or so of model-train-watching, plus some time walking up and down the platforms, and even a tour of an old Amtrak car. After getting home, did you fall soundly to sleep, content in your train mainlining? You did not. You clamored for more, like you were the most train-deprived kid to ever live. The episode has inspired me to take you on a long Amtrak trip. My theory is that you’ll be catatonic with glee the whole trip.

Your attitude toward your sister remains, as I tell friends who ask, mostly uninterested. Her cries, even when you’re stuck two feet from them in the car’s back seat, fail to affect you at all. Once in a while you’ll point to her and say her name. You’ll ask for her in the mornings sometime, but not before asking for the most important thing, your daily banana, i.e. “nana”. (It is, almost without fail, your very first word every day.) Once in a while, while Mom isn’t looking, you’ll take a cracker and attempt to feed it to helpless Zella as she lays on the ground. Too helpful, you are.

Your language skills are only getting better. You’ve learned how to count to three, though not consistently in the right order. You also somehow glommed onto “nine”, which will sometimes come before one, and sometimes after three. You’ll frequently pick up words on your first try, and you’re consistently putting words together into phrases, if not exactly sentences. You’re also great at mimicking, be it the dance to YMCA, which I taught you one afternoon, or the lighting and blessing of shabbat candles, which you learned at your jewish parent-tot class, much to Mama’s surprise and never-ending delight. She prods you to do it many times daily, and you’re always willing, covering your eyes with your hands and letting out a giddy “lalalalalala”.

But there’s one word that delights me more than any other: “uh”. Out of nowhere you started saying that while thinking about an answer. Of course it makes sense you’d do it — you must hear it all the time. It just just seems like such an adult thing to say. What indecision could a little twenty-three month old like yourself possibly have? You are weighing your options, as few as they are, being deliberate to a fault. You clearly are a Weisz.

Much love,

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