Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Newsletter: Months 19 and 20

Dear Little Boy,

Right now I'm sitting at the computer and you're sitting in your doorway jumper, happily hopping and spinning away. This letter is late--later than usual, even--so I've decided to roll the past two months into one. I'm sorry. But really, month 19 was a rough month for us--maybe one neither one of us would care to remember--so I won't dwell on it too long. In fact, we both spent a fair portion of your 19th month of life crying.

This is how it was. I, newly pregnant, was miserably sick and wanted to be left alone to die in peace; you, firstborn and spoilt, were unhappy about my inactivity and wanted to be romped with at every moment. It was all I could do to occasionally heft myself off the couch, heave you into your high chair, plunk some graham crackers and fruit cocktail on your tray, and pour you a glass of milk. You, on the other hand, felt that I should do more. So, while I tried to nap on the couch, you would crawl on top of me, pull my hair, bite any exposed bits of skin, and force me to stand up in my weakened condition, pick up all 26 wriggling pounds of you, and dump you into your "time out" pen. Upon your release from prison, you would run around finding illicit and dangerous activities in which to participate. And after I had been forced to leave my position of repose for the 30th time in 15 minutes to direct you away from the garbage can, I would usually begin to cry. This, of course, would make you cry. So we would sit together, amongst heaps of toys I was too tired to pick up and too tired to make you pick you, and we would bawl together. Gone were blissful daily walks to the park. Gone were happy romps in homemade tents in the front room. Gone were twirling dance sessions in the kitchen.

Month 20 has been better, however.

As you can see from the pictures, you continue to wax more and more adorable with each new dawn. Grandma Hanson frequently comments, "I just keep thinking he couldn't possibly get any cuter. Then he goes and does it: he gets even cuter. How is that even possible?" The answer is: I have no idea. And yet, it happens. It must be a miracle.

My favorite time of the day has become our mornings together. When I come in to get you out of your crib I always sing, "Good Morning! Good Morning! You're my sweetest little boy! Good Morning! Good Morning! To you!" while you bounce up and down on the mattress and smile at me. Then we sit in your rocking chair and cuddle and talk for 20 minutes or so. You suck on my hair and poke at my face and babble on in the sweet little toddler language that only makes sense to you; I giggle and squeeze you and help you remember what "eyes" and "noses" and "mouths" are. You eventually wiggle your way out of my arms and run over to unplug the nightlight, which I quickly confiscate, and we move on to the breakfast portion of our day, which is not nearly so pleasant, because it usually involves me throwing up and you throwing food.

I have had several people request that I mention here that you currently have a mild obsession with sitting on people's heads. Uncle Sue even went so far as to call it an "insatiable desire," pointing to the way in which you, post head-conquest, wiggle and readjust your behind in a way that seems to say, "this just isn't as satisfying as I had hoped it would be." No prone adult or child is safe from your bum-to-head assaults. Some even seek after them. The very first thing your Aunt Briar did when she came to visit was lie down on the floor because she wanted to see if you would really sit on her head like everyone said you would. You, of course, complied.

Your vocabulary continues to develop, and a cute thing you do is use one word for multiple purposes. For example, you say "no" for "no," "no" for "yes," and "no" for "nose." "Ahdah" means "all done," "all gone," "amen," and "the end." "Hottt" (and yes, you emphasize the 't' sound) can indicate anything thermally warm as well as anything that might be causing you mild discomfort. In fact, I just fed you some spicy hot V8, which made you declare with certainty, "Hottt!" I realized this month that you've been saying "horse" for a while-- but you pronounce it "hsss," so it took me several weeks to realize that's what you were saying. You also have added "choo-choo," "kkkkkiiii" (for icky), "iss," (yes), "wiaes," (please), and "ahwwo" (for hello) to your lexicon.

A bonus to your developing language skills has been the fact that you often tattle on yourself while participating in nefarious toddler deeds. "No," I'll hear you saying in your bedroom. "No. No. No." And sure enough, when I go to investigate, you'll be pulling diaper wipes out of their container. "No," you'll say from the kitchen, and sure enough, I'll catch you pulling rotten banana peels and shredded credit card offers out of the garbage can. And when I make my entrance, you usually look up with your big blues and say, "Uh oh."
One of your favorite activities is swinging, though people observing you from a close distance wouldn't be able to tell. You'll walk over to a swing, beg to be put in it, and then swing--without any expression--for as long as my limited attention span can stand it. You don't smile. You don't laugh. Other little kids will come over, swing, and leave, be replaced by other little kids who will swing for a little while and leave, and you will continue to swing and swing. Sometimes I'll stop you and say, "Are you done? Do you want down?" "No," you'll say. "Does that mean yes?" I'll ask, acting like I'm going to take you out of the swing, "No!" you'll say. So I'll push you for a while longer. I can talk you into playing on the other equipment briefly, but those are temporary distractions from the real purpose of the playground: the swing set.

There's been a fair amount of cross-dressing in your life as of late. You've taken to picking up stray articles of my clothing and putting them on yourself. This often comes across as quite fashionable. Here you are pictured wearing a halter top dress. While we were visiting at Auntie Collette's house a few weeks ago, cousin Calysta took it into her head to put you in a pink ruffly girl dress that fit a jumbo-sized doll her grandma had given her. It also fit you. You looked adorable and I wished desperately for a camera, though I must say that you didn't really look like a girl. You looked like a little boy dressed up in bloomers and a skirt.

For the most part, you are a joy to have around--I call you "my little sparkle"-- though we have been struggling to teach you that biting and hair pulling are unacceptable behaviors. It seems like nothing works. Saying "no" and showing you how to touch "gently" doesn't seem to have made an impact. Saying "no" and putting you in time-out hasn't touched you at all. Getting really mad and yelling just makes you giggle. We're hoping that time will help our situation, because your little teeth are razor sharp and your strong little arms can pull hair extra hard.


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Nick said...

I, of course, and as usual, got a little weepy.

Karen said...

I agree with Grandma Hanson.. he does keep getting cuter! That picture him wearing the glasses is my favorite!

Amanda said...

What a cute boy he is!

Jennifer said...

These are my favorite posts. I wish you were here to articulate the things I feel for my children...alas, they will have to deal with plan, unexpressive letters from their mommy. What a gift for Sorren.


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