Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dear Meyers

Dear Rhyser,

You are 17 months and 12 days old today, almost one and a half! I've realized over the last few days that you are for certain no longer a baby. You walk. You talk. You have opinions and you know how to express them. You will consent to be snuggled once in a while, usually when you're tired, but you aren't all for full time lap sitting and cuddling like you were 10 months ago (and I'll admit that I miss it). A few weeks ago you had a little 24 hour stomach bug and, I'm so guilty admitting this, but I almost enjoyed that day because all you wanted to do was sit on my lap resting and watching Disney movies. I built us a little nest in the crook of the sofa with cushions and blankets, set us up with drinks and snacks and just spent the day holding you. It was the sweetest thing ever.

I'm loving watching you learn to communicate and craft ever longer and more complicated sentences and requests. Yesterday, in the car on the way home, you got a bit whinge-y (as you sometimes do, in traffic) and I tried passing you a toy knight. You said "No, book!". I offered you your Julius monkey book and you said "No, ELMO book!". You were beyond thrilled with yourself when I passed you the correct book. It was so exciting to see! Later on in that same car ride you held up your little hand for me and said "Eat!", so I passed you a cookie. Just four or five months ago, we might have wound up pulling over to the side of the road, you hysterical in your carseat and me nursing you in the backseat to ease your frustration, without really knowing why you'd gotten worked up in the first place. Now, when you want something, more often than not you can tell me. It is huge. Everything is different now.

Your favorite activity lately is playing with water. Whenever I'm working in the kitchen you hold your little arms out to be picked up asking for "Wash?" Sometimes I set you up with an assortment of cups, sitting on a towel, and give you little slurps of water to pour back and forth between containers. You'll spill it all and ask for more "Wawas?" and I'll say "What do you say?" and you'll ask "Wawas, pease?" You also love taking baths, and you'll play your pouring water between cups game in the tub as well. You stare so intently at the cups as you pour . . . I like to think that you're teaching yourself all about geometry and volume. It wouldn't surprise me at all if you go on to study math or science . . . you are so intent and focused when you play.

Your current favorite books are "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb", "Goodnight Baby", "The Star Trek Book of Opposites", "Sleep And Dream Of Happy Things (Yo Gabba Gabba!)", "Only In Dreams (Julius Monkey)" and all of your "Play A Sound" books. I'm always hard on myself, thinking we don't read enough, but we must be doing something right because you love to look at books in the car, you have specific favorites and I've read lot of those favorites enough times that I have them memorized. Something tells me you'll probably grow up to be just fine, even if some days we read only one book instead of four.

You are a good little eater, except for when you aren't! You're on a nice streak of eating anything we put in front of you lately, which has been fun. Last night you devoured the zucchini and Parmesan cake I'd made for you in seconds flat and were asking for "More, more, more!" before your dad had even sat down at the table! ("More" is always asked three times, by the way. With a little arm flapping motion thrown in for good measure. It is precious.) Particular favorite foods include strawberries, pasta, pizza, zucchini cakes (apparently!), tofu, any kind of meat (you're an equal opportunity eater, like your dad), yogurt and carrots.

On the nursing front, you seem to be making a move towards giving up your post school/work nursing session, which will leave us with bedtime/early morning nursing only. I still pump twice a day in order to provide you with one cup of my milk for naptime at daycare, but my volume is decreasing and I'm only planning to continue pumping for a few weeks more. I've got it in my head that since I've made it this far, I'd like to say I pumped for a round 18 months, so that's what we'll do. I'm so glad that we've continued nursing this long, and that we'll continue to nurse. At the same time, I'm proud of you for gradually giving it up. You're turning into a big boy, and I'm so lucky to get to watch you grow up at your own pace.

You've made friends with all the little kids at daycare, and can say all of their names. You're sweet to the baby and you share your toys with the big kids. Then again, sometimes, you bite, snatch and shout "Miinneeee!". You're a toddler . . . it happens. Almost every day when I come see you at lunchtime or come to pick you up, you're playing happily with one of the other kids and it makes me so happy to see. Daycare is a necessity, Your dad and I have to work and so you have to go. We've reached the point in your life though where I think spending time with other kids and with other adults has value . . . for you to have opportunities to play with kids your own age, see other styles of authority and learn from people other than your parents. Preschool is right around the corner, we'll actually be interviewing a few in the next month or so. My baby . . . preschool! My head spins just typing it.

As always, you're the sweetest, smartest, most beautiful child ever to live and I love you more than I ever though possible. Even though every day I think I love you more than anything in the world, the very next day I love you even more. There's some physics loophole by which you've created a supermassive black hole of baby love. See? You're an astrophysicist already.

You are my universe, Bubs.

Love,

Your Mama

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