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Dear Ezra: Month Twenty-nine

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Hey pal-

As I think back on the month, the things that stand out to me most are all the new words and expressions in your repertoire. I get the sense that this is going to be the story from here on out, every month, until you discover this blog as a teenager and decide to become a mute, like that kid in Little Miss Sunshine. That’d be unfortunate, but as long as we haven’t started entering Zella into beauty pagents, I’ll be fairly please with our family’s life choices.

So, let’s see, what have you said that’s so damn cute. The way you seize upon our most casual idioms and make them your own. Like when you beg to watch TV — which up to now you didn’t care for, but with which you are currently obsessed, thanks to your complimentary obsession with all things Thomas the Tank Engine —somehow you know to say “watch a little bit teevee?” as if you know we wouldn’t grant a unlimited pass. And the way you drag out that “veeeee” at the end… oy, it’s like you learned it out of a lesson book on How To Be A Two Year Old.

When we we say no — which we sometimes do — you’ll flip back through your index and pull out this one: “Maybe later?” You have no idea what it means, I’m sure, but you’ve heard us say it, and you know it’s an alternative to no that’s not quite yes, but somehow still good. Then we go back and forth some more, until finally we declare with as much finality as we can muster: “The answer is no!” Without missing a beat, your response: “The answer is YEAH.” Usually we fall apart in laughter and somehow that gives us the opportunity to move forward.

You’ve become an excellent counter, even understanding the relationship between physical items and the abstract concept of counting them. You can make it to ten in English and cinco in Spanish, thanks to the help of your Guatemalen babysitter Herminia. After ten you’re not so sure. “What comes after ten?” I ask. “Fohteen!”, you exclaim, not completely wrong.

With the flood of information taking up camp into your brain, you’ve graduated from your previous musical fast-forward game “New one!”, and started to ask for songs by name. Except not their actual names; each song has a special Ezra nickname. There’s the Jungle Book Song, the Ghost Song, the Tanks Lot Song, the All Want You Song, the Stevie Wonder Song, the Happy Song Song, and so on. It’s important to know the names, since you’re ridiculously picky about what songs we play. Because of this, I’ve started collecting the songs you like in an Rdio playlist, so it’s always at the ready. At the same time, it’s not nearly long enough yet to prevent parental insanity, so I try introducing new songs all the time. If we can get 10 seconds without an “I don’t like it!” (another new unfortunate/hilarious favorite) then we’re very likely on our way to a new addition.

The potty situation hasn’t progressed much, I’m afraid. The only development is that you are now very proud to announce that you just have pooped. So really, if we can just shift the recognition and announcement a few seconds earlier, we’ll be making great progress. Mama has taken the tact of giving you naked time around the house, enacting some strategy she read about somewhere, and the result, beyond the adorability, has been a few adventures in peeing — on the kids table, on the floor, etc. Mom seems confused by this, and I am confused at how she didn’t expect it. If you can pee on the floor, why wouldn’t you? Girls just don’t understand, amirite?

We took two big trips this month — visiting Grampa Pete and friends in Indy and a five-day adventure to New York City, your third trip there. You are becoming an seasoned and magnificently patient traveler. Over the course of five days, you moved by train, plane and bus, enraptured by each one and enduring the bumps and jostles better than most adults. My favorite traveling moment was at the very end of the trip, as we were boarding the shuttle bus at O’Hare to get back to our car. The bus was mostly full, and we had a lot of luggage to get on, so we plopped you on the bus first. You headed fearlessly to the back as we transferred all our stuff from the curb. A few moments later we caught up with you, and we found you sitting in a seat you had climbed up on all by yourself, silent, waiting, more calm than a two and a half year old has any right to be.

As for the vacation itself, it was a blast. We hung out with many friends — Sabrina, Danny, Lizzie, Nate, Nico, Rufus — whom you continue to ask about, and who ask about you. And right in the middle of it was your uncle Zach’s wedding to your new aunt Molmol, for which you dressed up real snazzy. You sweet-talked your way into playing with the band, both on drums and sitar. You danced. And you made fast friends with your new step-cousin River, running up and down the hall, hugging, making faces in the mirror, and chasing the Roomba. Here’s hoping we can take more New York City subway rides — or, as you put it, “F twain to Book-a-lin!” — soon.


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