This month started off with a stretch of five days without me around. I was off in San Francisco, at a conference, missing you and your sister and Mom terribly. You of course had no concept of what I was saying when I hugged you goodbye and headed to the airport, and I feared what would happen later that day when I wasn’t around to put you to bed. And the days that followed. What happened? Not much; you were nonchalant as usual. I hope it was as thrilling to you as it was to me to be able to video chat a couple times during the week, but frankly I think by now you find it passé. I can tell this is one of those things Mom and I will marvel about forever, causing you endless eye-rolling.
Speaking of bedtime routines, we’ve gotten into a good one. We’re moving on to some new and better books, and we’ve finally found a new song to stick with. For a while there, after you grew tired of Madeleine Peyroux, we’d keep hitting fast-forward in search of something appropriate (my concern) and a “good one” (yours). It would take too long. Then, when I was in SF, I happened to hear “I Wanna Be Like You” from the Jungle Book, and I realized that’d be perfect. Fortunately, you agreed, and now it’s our go-to sleep anthem. No longer do we look for a “new one” — now when you’re ready for it, you ask for “jugga book song”.
You still snuggle in tight with Popo and Haha every night, and you walk out of the room with them every morning. They’re your best pals. But you’ve got some other ones in the mix, and I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’ve latchd to a little guy called My First Cthulhu, a birthday gift from Catherine. I don’t have a picture of him, unfortunately, but I do have this:
Your vocabulary continues to explode, to the point that you’re picking up complicated polysyllabic words after just one mention. Despite this, you stick by some of your early neologisms like wawa, beeboo (diaper) and beep (please). Some other ones have faded, but not these. Meanwhile, you’re ramping up on colors. For a while there, you’d call them out at random, and we thought there was a chance you were color-blind, like your grandpa. But lately you’ve been hitting over .500. There are still some phonemes you just can’t get to form, but that never stops you from getting the word out. You just replace the missing syllables with “geh”, as in “mup-geh” for muffin and “huck-geh” for helicopter. It does the job.
It is incredibly cute to watch you interact with your sister. She’s a generally good-natured little gal, but even when she’s screaming in the car or pulling on your hair, you completely, consistently keep your cool, as if you understand it when we say “she’s just a baby, she doesn’t know better.” And you know just how to make her laugh, smothering her tummy or giving her loving tickles.
This month you started “school,” a program for two-year-olds that mainly consists of trains, cars, painting, play-dough, and silly songs. You’re a breeze in there. The teachers are very careful to make sure the moms don’t leave before the kids are ready, but of course you’ve been ready since day 1. Frankly, you’ve made it way too easy for us, and we know it, and we’re fully expecting earn our karmic payback in a massive way during your teenage years. So it goes.
The rebellion may already be starting. You’re a loving kid, giving up kisses and hugs just with a simple ask. But for some reason you hate to hold hands. Maybe it’s too much tethering for you. It’s become a bit of an issue when crossing the street, and that’s just not a lesson we’re willing to let you learn on your own. So we’ve had to drill into you that street-crossings (or as you call them all, “alleys”) = hand-holding. Could it be that you’re already embarrassed to be seen in public holding your dad’s hand? Tough cookies, kid.
Final update: you can say “potty”, you just have no interest in using it. On the upside, you love watching yourself pee in the tub. I’ll count that as progress.