Thursday, September 8, 2011

18 month letter to my big boy

Dear Theo,

Wow.  Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!  That's how I feel about you these days.  You are such a big boy now, and I can't believe how you've changed, even just in the last 3 months.  It's hard to believe a year ago I was looking at my 6 month old baby boy, thinking how big you were.  In the past year you've gone from a sweet, happy little baby to an independent, strong-willed, bright little boy.  I can't believe how much you are talking now.  Just the other night, you pointed at your newborn picture from the hospital with one hand and patted yourself on the chest with your other, saying "Baby? Baby?" as if you were asking if that was you when you were a baby.  We had never even looked at or talked about that picture with you.  How did you know that was you when you were a baby?  You are making new connections every day.

can you say "bbq chicken night?" yum.

You pick up Dexter's paci or blanket and carry it over to him.  You give the swing a nudge when the batteries are getting weak.  You hand us the baby monitor and say "baby" if we leave it laying on the couch.  You are so smart and such a sweet brother. 
you love dancing to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

These last three months have been hard on you at times.  You are exploring your environment and you want to do it in your own way.  We question and second guess ourselves every day.  Are we giving you too much freedom or not enough?  Are we disciplining you the right way or not at all?  Sometimes after we have sat you in time out, you will happily walk back to the time out corner, sit down, and yell "sit!" while giving us that irresistible chipmunk grin.  Speaking of that toothy grin - you now have 14 little chompers!  All front 8 teeth, 4 molars, and the top eye teeth.  Your bottom eye teeth are on their way, I see them under your gums.  We will be happy to take a break from teeth, as you have gotten lots of them in the past few months.  The molars were almost unbearable for all of us.

18 months old and looking mighty grown up.

You have also been sick a lot since Dexter was born in May.  You are just now getting over croup.  That was a scary night for daddy and mommy, when we had to go to the emergency room because you were coughing and couldn't breathe.  It has been hard on us, watching you suffer like that.  If I could have taken away the pain and fear you felt, I would have in a heartbeat.  Instead, I held you in my arms and tried to keep you calm.  I kissed your head a million times and told you how sorry I was that you felt so bad as I hugged you to my chest.  As much as I hate to see you sick, I melt at the way you will let me love on you as much as I want. 

I never knew that parenting was so emotionally charged until I had you.  You'll see what I mean one day.  I don't know how to describe it but there is an unstoppable love that a parent feels for a baby.  I would do anything to protect you.  I love you and your brother more than anything in the world.  I was just telling a friend how bad I felt the first time I accidentally hurt you.  You were just a few weeks old and I was taking off your bib while you were on your changing pad.  You must have spit up and I quickly grabbed the back of the bib as I was pulling it off to catch the mess and as I did, I scraped the scratchy velcro right across your delicate chin.  The shocked look on your face, that pause, and then the desperate cry of pain broke my heart into a million pieces.  I probably cried longer than you did as I squeezed your small body up to mine, begging for forgiveness.

It was just as bad that night when you were about 9 months old and you were learning to crawl.  You were exploring your bedroom and fell forward, hitting your face on our hardwood floors.  Your tooth cut your lip and it was bleeding.  You cried and cried and so did I.  I hugged you tight and apologized for not being able to catch you in time.  I couldn't save you then and since, we've seen our share of tumbles and bloody boo boos.  I always hurt too when something hurts you. 

You're such a handsome, friendly boy.  When we are out and about, it's inevitable that someone will tell me how cute you are.  You wave, smile, and say hi to everyone.  If I see you wave or smile at someone who doesn't notice or just ignores you, it stings me.  I don't ever want you to feel rejected, and whether those people are intentionally ignoring you or not, I feel upset inside when it happens.  It's a part of life, but that's the mommy way. I long to save you from anything that makes you feel bad.

There will come a day when a kid at school will make fun of your name or your hair or your clothes.  There will come a day when you like a girl who doesn't like you back.  There might come a day when you don't get picked for the basketball or football or cheerleading or whatever kind of team you choose.  The thought of you ever feeling isolated or alone makes me ache.  Sometimes I wonder if it's possible that all mommies love their babies this much.  I think most of them do.

you love your bed. and your kankets.

You still love books, but unless you're pretty tired, you won't sit still to listen to a story.  You like interactive books with flaps and textures and songs and buttons.  You figured out how to drive that car Grammy got your for Christmas and you're even good at steering and backing up now.  You love driving all over the house and get outta the way, because you're pretty fast.  You still have your favorite blanket that you sleep with every night.  You suck your thumb and we need to talk about that.  I think if you didn't have your thumb/fingers/hand in your mouth all the time, maybe you wouldn't keep getting sick.  You see where I'm going with this?  Maybe you should stop soon, because a.) you don't like being sick and b.) you'll get made fun of when you get to Kindergarten (remember how I said I don't ever want you to get made fun of?). 
Sometimes you try my patience.  Nana says you are just like daddy was when he was little.  That means trouble for us but we will all get through it.  If you turn out anything like your daddy has, I'll have no complaints about the tough times. 

and you love your morning milk.

We haven't been calling you Peezy Brown much lately, and I don't know why.  But I'm going to try to bring it back, because that's who you are.  You'll always be my little Peezy Brown.  I'm so proud of you.  I can't wait to see where the next 18 months take us.   

xo forever,

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