I figured this would be the letter announcing your potty-based accomplishments. But, even though you love your new underpants (“Thomas is one butt and James is on the other butt and Percy is in front!”), potty training eludes us. On occasion the stars will align and we’ll get a deposit in the mini-pot, but it’s nothing consistent. You still remain an adherent to the diaper. We mean to do a weekend intervention, but we haven’t found the time to commit. I think Mom and I are both very scared. The shit could quite literally hit a few fans. We are also hesitant to give up your diaper comedy routine: “That diaper doesn’t have poop. Just peep…and FARTS.”
This past month was otherwise delightful, starting with a good long weekend visiting Uncle Bob in New Orleans. We spent four or so days in the city, two with Bob, visiting the zoo (to see the “aminals”), riding the carousel, eating po’ boys, and traveling by streetcars. You were a trooper at the hotel, sleeping in a strange bed for 3 straight nights without complaint. You were well-behaved and only gave us a scare once, when you tore loose as we were leaving the zoo, forcing us to spend a furious 2 minutes searching for you, only to find you content in the corner of the gift shop, studying dinosaur figurines. (That’s as big as you like them, though. The life-ish size animitronic Dino exhibit scared the bejeezus out of you.)
Of course you also had your share of New Orleans cuisine, most notably a couple of Cafe du Monde beignets. Quote of the trip, as we waited for our order on our second night there: (pointing around the table) “YOU don’t need beignets, and YOU don’t need beignets and SHE doesn’t need beignets. I need beignets.” So we got you a souvenir shirt. It says “Beign-YAY.”
Right on cue this month, you discovered an almost-three-year-old’s favorite word: “why?”. You use it like it’s going out of style. I had mentally prepared for this moment, assuring myself that when my son asked “why?” I’d reward his inquisitiveness with honesty and truth. And I did just that — for two days. Then the novelty wore off, and I came to love an old foe: “Because I said so”. I’m no happier about it than you are, trust me. Just don’t ask me why.
Speaking of Why, why on Earth have you fallen in love with Dora the Explorer? As educational TV shows go, I can think of worse, but this one is plenty bad. And it doesn’t help that it’s really just a front for a multi-billion dollar merchandising operation. It’s quite genius, really, carving a path to the parents’ wallets through a child’s TV crush.
We only let you watch TV for a brief window after dinner, and only on some nights, but you’ve caught on and manipulated your pleas to be as precise as possible. “Watch one Dora when Zella goes to bed?” you say. “That’s my treat.” Oh is it. Really.
So here’s our counterattack to this obsession: movies. I figure if you’re going to be killing brain cells in front of the tube, let’s build up some others with proper narratives and catchy songs. This month you’ve devoured two movies ad infinitum: The Muppets, and My Neighbor Totoro. The former was a gamble, as it’s kind of mature, but it’s paid off, as you’ll bring up the the plot and sing the songs at random times. You also do a brilliant Monster-in-anger-management impression. “In controoooool.”
Totoro was a hit from the word go. A story of two girls escaping into a dreamy landscape of soot sprites, buses that are cats, and a giant, friendly, fuzzy, smiley troll-thing? Yes, please. Let’s watch it AGAIN.
Now if they just made a Dora-themed potty and … oh, sweet lord, no no no no.