Tuesday, December 02, 2008

River News: Month Twenty

Oh my sweet boy,

You have had quite a full month. It seems that you are firmly in the throws of TODDLERHOOD, and by that I mean you are still mostly your sweet, considerate, funny self... except when you're not. And when you're not, you are an out of control caveman. ME WANT seems to be theme of the moment.

For the past few days we've seen the most primitive behavior emerge during bedtime. Me want splash! Me want story! Me no want sleep! Last night we followed our usual routine: bath, jammas, stories, and - nope - nothing after that, because instead of moving onto songs and bed, you cried and cried for your favorite book. We'd already done quite a thorough job of reading Katy Caboose and when we went to turn off the lights and snuggle in for song time, you cried and cried, "Boose! Boose! Boose!" It was pretty much the toddler equivalent of "Read it again, dad." You screamed "Boose!" for a good twenty minutes before you finally wore yourself out in daddy's arms. More and more you find any excuse you can to extend bedtime and avoid that torturous moment of laying down to sleep. You make the hungry sign, you ask for juice, you ask for mommy, nope, what you really meant was daddy. If you thought it would get you out of bed I'm sure you'd ask for a glass of pickle juice and a heaping plate of haggis.

It's made for frustrating moments and hilarious ones (the night you hopped out of the bath dripping wet and ran around holding your tush comes to mind), and I know you're just testing us and asserting your independence. But my boy, you need sleep, and momma and dadda need a sliver of time alone at the end of the day, and neither of those things are coming easy lately.

None of this is helped by the fact that you've been sick almost every day this month. I suspect it's because your system is adjusting to the lack of antibodies since weening but the informed doctor we saw this week assured me in her most condescending voice that, no, it's just winter and kids get sick. Either way, illness brings out the primitive beastie in you, which means we all get to look forward to the very long winter ahead of us.

When not acting like the missing link, you have been a lovely, adorable little man. We hosted Thanksgiving this year and you got to spend lots of time with your grandparents and great-grandparents. Grandma Frankey was beyond delighted that you warmed up to her this trip. She's been waiting for a great-grandchild to show her a little affection, and the hugs, kisses, and smiles you showered on her have made her a happy lady. You were particularly thrilled with grandpa Terry this time around, and though he's a great guy, I'm sure the M&M's he kept sneaking you didn't hurt.

When they arrived on Tuesday, we put my dad and grandpa to work right away, assembling cabinets, hanging them, and fixing a bunch of stuff around the house. You saw the men at work and went right in to help with a hammer and a screwdriver. It was the sweetest thing to see all those generations working together. A few days before he had to go home, you spontaneously started calling grandpa Terry "Dado." I tell you kid, you know how to make a heart melt.

All the grandparents got some great moments with you - coloring with grandma Julie, getting tickled by grandpa Jack, making playdough shapes with grandma Janie, and eating turkey sandwiches with grandpa Terry. You have also thoroughly charmed your little cousin Finn. The moment he sees you, he wants to do what you're doing and eat what you're eating. He crawls after you, watching with wide open eyes to see what you'll come up with. In return you treat him like a little brother: a little antagonizing, a little helping, and a lot of giggles.

Thanksgiving itself was a great day - we cooked and cooked and ate and ate. But my favorite moment came after the dinner when we hauled ourselves up and went for a walk to take some of the pressure off our belts. It was a short trek - just a few blocks in the direction of Harvard Square - and about halfway down we saw two fire engines pass with sirens blaring. You were thrilled and, as usual, asked for more.

You had forgotten about the trucks by the time we walked a few more blocks and ran into the fire station. One of the garage doors was open, so we decided to have a look around, and just about the moment you peeked inside, the two fire trucks returned to the station. There we were - eleven of us scattering like mice to make room for the trucks - and I kept thinking how put out the firemen would be we were in their way. After the trucks were in, we gathered to quietly make our way home, but oh no, the fire chief came out of his truck and did the most amazing thing. With a huge smile on his face, he made a bee-line for you and said, "Does he want to see the trucks?! Come on in! Hey guys, leave the lights on."

It was as if God had swooped down and asked if you wanted a peek at Heaven. You were dumbstruck - mouth open, eyes like saucers, paralyzed with joy. I think you were a bit overwhelmed, because you clawed onto me and couldn't get the nerve to climb on the truck or get too close to the firemen. I understand. It's a bit like meeting your greatest idol and losing the ability to speak. I was so touched by the generosity and enthusiasm of the firemen. Even though you were stone still and silent, and even though it was Thanksgiving night and they were at work and not home with their families, they poured smiles on you and welcomed us all. They made sure we stuck around while one of the men got you and Finn fire hats and stickers and coloring books and they sent us off into the night feeling very warm in spite of the icy air.

Of course as soon as we turned the corner, your stunned silence was broken and you asked for more.

You are so heart-breakingly lovely, my darling boy. And I love you more than you could ever imagine.



Casey said...

What a great post! We're in the throws of toddlerhood around here as well and it's been going on for almost a year... I'm hoping it gets better soon with the tantrums ALL.THE.TIME. We have our fun moments too, where I forget all about the screaming kid from minutes before. Glad you guys had a great Thanksgiving with family..

Mrs. Flinger said...

OHMAHGAH, He and BabyO would be such great friends. I love photo of him cracking up. And the tantrums? Uh, DO NOT call me while I'm in the car because there is SO MUCH SCREAMING.

Yea, it's fun.

But this is most definitely my favorite age. These little men, oy. Such LITTLE MEN. He's adorable. :0)