Life has been flying by, and you’ve been growing like crazy. I think your dada and I would probably agree that the stage you are in now has been the most fun so far. And, except for your newborn days, it has probably been the most exhausting. You cannot be contained, and you have definitive opinions about the way life should go. Sometimes contending with those opinions can take some wrangling. You started these 3 months with tantrums that made us sad. You wanted to bang your head on anything around you, including the floor, cabinets, and us. We’d intervene and tell you that we didn’t want you to hurt yourself. Pretty soon those tantrums subsided, and mama was proud to see you instead trying to take quick breaths to calm yourself. Now you just do some run-of-the-mill crying when you don’t get your way.
You’ve had several big boy moments in the past three months. One night, dada decided that in the interest of future potty training you didn’t need your bottle to go to bed anymore. Mama will admit that she thought he was a little crazy, but you rose to the challenge admirably. You were satisfied to drink from your sippy cup, and other than a few fussy moments before one of your naps and some protests when you saw the last of your bottles waiting to go through the dishwasher, you made the transition beautifully. Now you drink your milk through a straw in the mornings, and one reward for giving up the bottle is that every so often, you find that you have chocolate milk waiting for you in that cup. You also transitioned into a big boy bed. That transition was rougher than the transition away from a bottle, but you still did better than mama expected. I figured we’d find you screaming at your bedroom door and have long evenings of putting you back into bed over and over. Instead, you were eager to climb into your bed and go to sleep. We had a week or two of you still waking in the middle of the night and insisting that mama lay down next to you. Those were some long nights of you taking an hour or more to fall back to sleep. Now, there are some nights where you fuss briefly as we walk out the door or where you get caught up in playing with your stuffed animals in your bed and need us to come back and settle you once you’re ready to transition to sleep, but there are also nights where we put you in your pjs, say goodnight, hear 10 seconds of crying, and then you go right to sleep or play quietly until you fall asleep. You do insist that you have a large toy truck to sleep with. Sometimes you’ll even drape your arm around it and snuggle up to it. And, finally, you seem to have learned to sleep through the night or to put yourself back to sleep if you wake up. Hallelujah!!
You continue to be a little comedian. I don’t think you’re quite old enough to understand what you’re doing, but at the same time, your dad and I marvel at your comedic timing. We’ll be talking to you and at just the right moment, you’ll say “huh” or “mm” or shake your head, and we’ll crack up laughing. Maybe the gene for sarcasm carried through strongly to you. I love how you’ll laugh when I say “that’s silly” or other people are laughing. You might not understand what is going on, but you certainly don’t want to miss out on the joke.
You’ve just started to say actual words in the past two weeks, so mostly the past three months have been filled with us interpreting your sign language. You know and use the traditional signs for more and please and thank you, but more endearing are the signs you made up for yourself. When you pat your head, we have some interpretive work to do because you might be saying rain or hat. You make slurping noises when you want a drink, and when you want to sit somewhere or want mama or dada to sit next to you, you’ll point to the chair and say “ahhh.” You’ve been using pointing and pushing and hand holding quite a bit lately to maneuver people into doing what you want them to do. If you want to show someone something, you’ll grab them by the hand and lead them to where you want them. All this pointing has led to some heart melting moments. Once afternoon, you were on the couch and dada was in his recliner. You caught his eye and patted the couch next to you. Who could resist that invitation? And, at mom’s group the other day, one little girl was helping keep an eye on you while mama was busy. When the little girl got up to leave, you walked over, grabbed her hand, and tried to lead her back to a chair next to you.
I’ve loved watching you interact with people over the past couple months. You’ll find a big kid at the playground and are ecstatic if he will play with you. You run after the big kid with eagerness, and if he does something you’re not ready for like going down the scary enclosed slide, you’ll still watch eagerly and clap and cheer for the big kid. When we drop you off in the nursery at church or mom’s group, you almost always walk right in and find something to play with. When we return, you’re generally busy playing or are intently observing others at play. You make our day though because you see us and instantly come running. You do still play the shy card when you are with us. It’s hard for mama and dada to get you to wave to people or to sign thank you to them.
You’ve also become quite the cuddle bug. When you were just a baby, you weren’t the biggest fan of being held unless you needed comfort. You much preferred being left alone to wiggle around and play. You still do an amazing job at entertaining yourself, but we find you far more often wanting to snuggle with us. You’ll bring us books and want us to read them to you, and we rarely stop at one book. If we read one book, you want us to read a stack of books. You enjoy down times during the day to take in a show while you sit on our lap. And, you are persistent if you feel like we need to know something. You’ll repeat yourself several times or make the same sign until we acknowledge that you are trying to share something with us. I love your sharing with us whether that be pointing out an airplane or showing us something you found in a book or inviting us to play with a toy with you. I also love how sometimes you’ll lean your forehead over to us for a kiss. Sometimes you’re in a super loving mood at dinner and you’ll lean your head toward everyone at the table whether they can reach you or not, so you can get an air kiss.
Along with you being a cuddle bug, you are also a helper. It is my favorite of your character traits that we’ve discovered so far. You have such a sweet little heart and want to help with anything and everything. Many times, even if you are fussy, we can calm you down by directing you to something that you can help with. You help empty the dishwasher by handing us the dishes, and you’ve started to help loading it by putting the silverware into its slots in the basket. You will throw clothes in the washer and dryer. One day when I was changing the bedding, you even drug sheets and blankets down the hall to the laundry room. You love to feed the puppy, and sometimes after you’ve filled her bowl, you’ll walk over to her, point at her, and then point at her dish as if to say, “Now you can eat. I’ve filled your bowl.” You’ll put your silverware in the sink, and you’ll throw away trash. We have the sweetest video of you digging up the garden and then wrestling a bucket all the way across the yard to the composter. And you love watching the video and remembering the time you helped daddy.
Mama and dada love you. Even though I still call you my baby sometimes, there is no denying that you are turning into a little boy. We love seeing your character traits emege, and you continue to astonish us with how you see the world. And, of course, you provide us with a reason to laugh every day.