Letters to Charlie: Month 26

My boy,

Recently I’ve found myself wondering how and when you got so big. I barely remember the tiny baby who learned to grasp a block, sign “milk,” and say Mommy. You’ve replaced him with a talkative, stair-climbing, independent, inquisitive 2-year-old. I’m sure this wistfulness is why mothers at this stage consider having baby #2 (note: I’m not one of them — at this time).

As I write this, you’re sitting on the floor matching sticks of different colors while your Dad and I catch some of the 2012 Olympics. A few minutes ago you climbed into our laps and cuddled for a few moments. Then you pretended your dinosaur was eating chicken nuggets and said “thank you” on its behalf when Daddy gave it a kiss on the nose.

Last night we heard you past 9 p.m. singing “Twinkle, Twinkle” and the “ABC Song” to yourself in bed. You also love the “E-I-E-I-O” part in “Old McDonald.”

At 26 months, you’re still as energetic as ever. On weekend mornings, we take you to a park or the Zoo just so you have someplace to burn some energy. You run around for about 90 minutes then CRASH.

I can’t believe we’re having full conversations. This was our exchange in the car the other day:

“Mommy, fire hydrant!”

“Do you see a fire hydrant? What color is it?

“Yellow.”

“Who uses the fire hydrant?”

“Firefighters…with hoses!”

“And what goes through the hoses?”

“Water through the hoses. Fight fire.”

/boggle

You still have no interest in using the potty, though you love reading a “Potty” book that Grandma Z bought (you get really excited at the page with all the undies, so we’re hopeful). I’m looking forward to not changing your diaper in weird places, such as the front seat of my car on a day that you pooped and I had no wipes. It was manageable until a piece rolled under my driver’s seat. #Hell

We’re trying to teach you “please” and “thank you,” but you find it tough to understand when we must do something, regardless of how courteous you are. “No thank you, Mommy” does not get you out of changing your diaper. Neither does “Don’t Want To!” and throwing yourself on the couch in despair.

You are as demanding as ever. You went to bed the other night without reading books because you wouldn’t stop hitting.”NOT DO THAT,” “MOMMY, STOP!” and “NOOOO!” are still common around here. Below is a quintessential Charlie video I captured at dinner in which you demand to see my phone, yell at me to stop singing, then end up getting silly and adorable.

You are human; you contain multitudes.

You’ve made slight headway in the fruits and vegetables arena. The other day you asked for an apple and your Dad jumped on his bike and rode several blocks to the grocery store to buy one. “I’m not going to pass up an opportunity like that,” he said. Besides that, we’re still forced to mix goop into your yogurt, juice and milk.

Going out to dinner is a gamble. Sometimes you’re content to play with your trucks and stacking cups. Other times, like tonight, you screech, throw things off the table, and wail. In those situations, we bust out the big guns: “Mighty Machines” on our iPhones. I feel guilty about this, like I’m not a good enough or creative enough mom to distract you with more “educational” activities. Nor do I want to send the message that acting up gets you the phone. I felt better tonight when the toddler at the next table had a phone. KIDS, WE JUST WANT TO EAT ONE MEAL IN PEACE!

You had your first sleepover this month with Savannah. Your Dad wasn’t thrilled at the idea of starting sleepovers this early, but it ended up being fun. She slept in a tiny tent in your room and in the morning I heard you over the monitor whispering to each other. Ugh, there goes my twitching uterus again.

We took you to your first Pride parade last weekend. It was a special event historically, having been the first time military personell were allowed by the Pentagon to march in their uniforms. Your Dad and I were very touched and happy to be there. You enjoyed waving a tiny American flag that someone handed you.

Summer evenings have become such a special time for our family. Your Dad and I sit outside the garage with a beer or glass of wine while you ride your car, draw with chalk, or play with Daddy’s hackysacks. We live amongst several high-rises, so lots of neighbors (and their tiny city dogs) stop by to say hi while your Dad and I soak up the sweet contentment that comes from spending time with you after a long day.

He and I have lived in several neighborhoods, but we’ve never felt as home as we do in this pocket of the city. We may not live in the largest house or have the largest backyard (or any backyard for that matter), but we like the idea of raising you alongside all this diversity, vitality, and openness.

Now we just have to convince you to be open to using the potty.

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