28 Months - I Love You Forever

January 30, 2012

Dear Teo,

Lately you have been curious about ages - how old we are, and what it means to be a baby, a child, an adult.  You occasionally proclaim with pride, "I'm a toddler!"  And that you are, my dear - bright, affectionate, full of boundless energy. 

You are deeply immersed in exploring your autonomy.  You like to do things for yourself, and you have opinions about everything.  You have started directing our pretend play, positioning me and Papa and Grammy where you want us, assigning roles, even telling us our lines:  "Mommy, you are Tim.  You say, 'There's smoke in the engine!'  Papa, you the firefighter."

A few weeks ago, I started a journal with you.  As part of our bedtime routine we get out your notebook. I ask you what you remember about your day and write your words at the top of the page while you draw / write on the bottom half of the page. I like helping you reflect on your experiences this way, and I love that you will grow up with the skill / tool of journalling, which has been so valuable and enjoyable for me.

We've also been making lists.  You sometimes mention books that you'd like to check out from the library, so I started a library list that we take with us each week.  List-making also came in handy one evening when you were feeling anxious about me going to work the next day.  I asked you for ideas of things that might help you feel better while Mommy is at work.  You came up with the following:

1. Juice
2. Going to Bounce
3. Going to Laughing Planet
4. Going places with Papa
5. Watching Caillou
6. Visiting Grammy
7. Listening to music

The next morning, I showed you the list again and suggested that we talk to papa about it.  You ran up to Papa and shouted with exuberance: "Papa!  Here's my list if I get sad!"  You ended up having a great day with Papa.  I think much of your worry was relieved just by knowing there were things you could do if the sadness came up for you.  

Just after Christmas, we had a great visit with my Aunt Coreen (and her dog Kaiah), my cousins, Molly and Dan, Molly's husband, Jaime, and their son, Isaac, who is your age.  We went to the Gilbert House Discovery Center in Salem and to the Riverfront Carousel. 

In the China room at the Discovery Center.

For New Years, you and I journeyed by train to Seattle.  This was a very special trip (made possible by generous donations to Teo's Train Fund, which we set up at your birthday party - THANK YOU to everyone who contributed!!).   What a great traveler you are!
Seven hours on the train went by so fast and smoothly.  We walked around, made friends with another little boy, looked out the window, napped, and chatted with the bistro car server (you asked him if trains have lug nuts).  You even tried the train potty.

In Seattle, we visited our friends Natalie, Jamie and their daughter, Robin.  Natalie and I have known each other our entire lives (our parents knew each other long before we were born).  It makes me so happy to watch you getting to know Robin. 

"What are you doing to me, and when are you going to stop?"

Having a blast on Robin's trampoline (this toy may have been the highlight of the whole trip for you).

The ride home was not so idyllic.   Here you are about to vomit all over both of us.  

Yeah, I how did I not see it coming?

After we got home, our household had a week of stomach flu misery. 
On a happier note, you've fallen in love with drumming.  Ever since seeing a marching band drummer in Seattle, it has been your favorite instrument. 

You burst into song quite frequently.  One of your latest favorites is the line "Caillou's Rock and Roll Band!" sung with gusto over and over.  Here you are with Papa's ukelele.

First snow of the year (possibly the only snow of the year . . .).

And here you are with your best buddy, M. (you told me that he is your best "real friend," and Caillou is your best "pretend friend"). 

Auntie Sarah gave us a book called, I Love You Forever.  It is one of the sweetest books I've ever read.  It is about unconditional love - a mother who, through all the phases of her son's life, holds him and sings a little song to him.  In the end, when the mother is very old and weak, the son holds her and sings to her, and then he begins the same tradition with his own child.  Because of that book, you've started telling us, "I love you forever." Well, my darling, without a doubt, the feeling is mutual. 

I love you forever.
I like you for always.
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be.


Anonymous said...

I love love love that book! Mady's current favorite book is called the kissing hand. It is about a little raccoon who is scared to go to school and leave his mom behind and she gives him a "kissing hand" that he can put up to his cheek and feel his mom's kiss and be warm and cozy. We have to read it everynight before bed and we kiss each others hands. Thanks for sharing, Noel

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