Monday, October 11, 2010

Letter to My Fourteen Month Old Toddler

Dear Natey,

Well congratulations, kid. You have your mother and father completely wrapped around your little finger. We think you are so cute, so smart, so fun and we will do anything to please you. And you know it. You absolutely use it to your advantage. We are such suckers.

At bedtime: Oh, what's that Nate? You want more water at bedtime because you are trying to stall? Sure! Here's more water. More stories? Okay, one more story. You want to say goodnight to the dog again? Okay, Goodnight Ava! At playtime: What's that? You want to give Ava another treat? Okay, sixth time is the charm. But this is the last one. You want to go back and watch the stranger down the street mow his lawn? Okay, we'll stroll back and forth and look totally creepy staring at him while he completes his chores. At mealtime: What, Nate? You want another graham cracker? Even though you have only eaten cheese and graham crackers today? Even though you have only eaten cheese and graham crackers ALL WEEK? Okay, here's another one!

Physical milestones
In addition to learning how to completely manipulate your parents you have mastered other things as well. You've been walking for a couple of weeks now and are quite good at it. It looks like you are on the verge of running - though your legs can't quite keep up with your top half and you still fall down quite a bit. You can stand up without holding on to anything, and you can bend down to pick something up without holding on to anything either. And Nate. You have an arm on you! You can really whip a ball. And it's one of your favorite things to do. In fact you beg to go outside and throw the ball to Ava on a near daily basis. Unfortunately, Ava isn't quite as enthusiastic as you are about the game of fetch.

You're still picky. Not wanting to exacerbate the problem, I continue to try to remain relaxed about it. I don't want you to sense any pressure on my part. I give you what you like - cheese, yogurt, sweet potato, crackers, peas, fruit, beans - while continuing to offer you other foods. Sometimes you'll eat the "new" foods (pasta and chocolate cake are accepted on ate chicken for the first time yesterday...but refused it again today!) and other times you won't let it touch your lips. We practice using the spoon almost everyday and you're getting pretty good at it. You continue to be obsessed with water.

A work in progress. Always.

You love reading. One of my favorite things in the whole world is when you pick out a book and hand it to me. Then I ask you if you want to sit in my lap and read it. Almost always you give the cutest little nod & smile and crawl into my lap. There just isn't much in the world that compares to those moments. One of the few things that does compare is when I watch your father down on all fours chasing you around the living room. Your squeals of delight are infectious. I have laughed so hard that I've snorted on more than one occasion watching the two of you.

I can't shut up about how fantastic it is to use sign language with you. You have over thirty-five signs at your disposal. Sometimes you learn them instantly. Your verbal speech is improving too. You now regularly say: Dada, Daddy, iron, cat, down, duck, yak, balloon, treat (as in dog treat), Bubba (grandpa), juice and hi. I'm sure I've forgotten some. What's not on the list? Mama!!!! I'm starting to think you are messing with me at this point. 

I've heard so many moms say that each stage is their favorite. I can see why. Things just keep getting better with you.  I love you more than tongue can tell. 

Love, Mama (or as you like to call me - Dada)
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