Your eyes seem to have completed a long transition from blue at birth to green or hazel to what is now a light brown, most of the time. There are still, however, times when the sunlight catches your eye, and they illuminate from within, like opals, becoming a beautiful jade color. I love looking for that moment and just looking into your eyes to see what it is that you’re thinking.
As for you, you love to eat, love to walk, love your Mama, love your Dada, and your dog. You love getting into the fridge and the freezer and, on the rare occasions that we allow it, spelunking into the washing machine. You love the toaster, which you call “Pop!” because that’s what we say when one of your favorite foods, sourdough waffles, pop up at mealtime. In addition to waffles, you love toast, and you call both of them “Pop!” Perhaps it’s time for us to work on broadening that vocabulary, but I agree that it’s a pretty fun word.
You understand that people come and go in and out of doors. We can’t wait until you figure out how to open them yourself. Just kidding, of course. We can wait.
You’re now napping once a day, although you keep us guessing whether you want to go down at 10:30 or 1:30. You also still sleep about 11-12 hours a night, from 7 or 7:30 to 6:30 or 7. Before you go to bed, you love your bath, book and bottle. Oh yeah, you also have totally weaned yourself as of last week, so your bottles are all whole milk–whole cow’s milk, that is. Mama was wondering about weaning you when you became less interested in nursing, allowing her to just follow your lead in weaning you.
Before bottle comes book, which often delays bedtime, since you love, love, love, to read. Ms. K has mentioned what we’ve noticed, which is that books are your favorite toys. Favorites among the books change weekly, but right now your hot picks are Molly Wants More!, which was a gift, and your Hanukkah! book, which also was a gift. If we were picking, we’d probably add a Buddhist book to the mix, but we’ve been spending your library fund on expanding your Boynton collection. What’s Wrong Little Pookie? has gotten all of us through many a car ride, long or short. Plus, we enjoy the irony of your two favorite books being Christianity and Judaism based. A recent competitor to both is a blast from your past, your sushi book, which still makes you laugh with delight when you see it. Maybe that’s because it’s about food–you’re pretty happy about Hola Jalapeno too.
And before books comes bath, which you love so much that we often have to pry you out to get you to bed on time. You love just hanging out in there, as well as playing with your toys: squirt bottle, nesting cups, foam letters and numbers to stick to the walls, shape-sorting alligator, and anything else that you can gnaw on. The only thing that you aren’t too keen on is the shampooing and scrubbing. You’d rather just walk around and play, perhaps because you eat dinner just before your bath and eating always puts you in a good mood.
Going to the playground and playing with other kids also puts you in a good mood, as does going outside, looking at and feeling the bark on trees (“rees” as you called them last week), playing patty cake, and singing Itsy Bitsy Spider (IBS).
Rather, listening to us sing IBS.
Any time you see a spider (or ladybug, beetle, or other insect–I’m still working with you on the difference between insects and arachnids . . .) in a book or anywhere else, you flip us the gang sign for IBS: flip-flopping your hand or hands above your forehead, at which time we have to immediately begin singing IBS. You do this so often that Mama refers to you as the IBS dictator. But you love it, so we always comply. Also we don’t want to risk your newfound wrath, whch is sometimes cute, like when you screw up your cute little mug into a stormy scowl, or painful, like when you try to pinch and yank off body parts like eyes, noses, chins, or when you get frustrated in the Ergo and bit our backs. Fortunately, you are pretty laid back so that doesn’t happen too often. Most of what we see is smiles, cuddles, and love. And that’s what we hope you’re feeling from us, because we love you more than anything, little tiger.
Soon enough, we should be able to hear from you what you’re feeling, since you’re attempting new words and sounds all the time. Your comprehension grows every day, as you connect more objects to the sounds we make when we point at them. In addition, you’ve recently added “baby” to “mama” and “dada” as a word that you’ll say with fair regularity and good clarity, but only if you’re in the mood. You do toss out the one-hit wonders, like last night when you flipped several pages back through the book we were reading to point at the duck I’d asked you about a few minutes before and say “duck.” To be honest, that vowel was a little vague, but now that I look at the picture again, that bird does somewhat resemble Nixon. Mama can tell me almost every day a new word that you’ve clearly said while pointing at the object that it corresponds to. But we’ll be damned if we can get you to repeat it. I think that your first full sentence may be, “I’m not a trained monkey or a bear on a bicycle in the circus; if you want to hear that word, you say it.”
You also make fun gestures now, like pressing your open hand in the air for “Stop, dogs! Stop!” or wagging a finger for “‘Mumps!’ said the doctor.” or even slapping our hands to give us five, play patty cake, or get ready for a barnyard dance, for which you will also stomp your feet. I love watching your expressions of curiosity and excitement as you discover each of these connections, and as you learn to repeat them. I love holding you in my lap as you curl up in the crook of my arm, sucking your thumb, holding your hand out to open the cover of a book that you just carried across the room to me. I love watching you toddle across the lawn to explore a tree, a bush, or just the dirt under the leaves of grass.
I love you with all of my heart, tiger, and I can’t wait to see what we discover in the rest of our months together.