Dear Baby

23 Aug

You are just over 20 months now. In just a short turn of the season you’ll be 2. This past year has mostly been focused for me on keeping you alive, keeping you healthy, learning who you are becoming. I have found that the first 12 months required much more focus on physical tasks than psychological development. Poop. Food. Sleep. Naps. Brace. Rash. Croup. Nurse.

We have cleaned bottles, and diapers, and clothes; brushed hair and teeth; shushed and soothed, rocked and reassured. Everything is ok, you are safe, go back to sleep. Drink more water; eat your oatmeal mush. Your interior needs have been, until now, pretty basic. We have read to you and with you from the start, and we play and give comfort and encourage and cajole. When you were happy, you laughed. When you were sad or tired or hungry or scared, when you wanted a thing, or got too wound up, you cried. When you met something or someone new, you stared.

But this new you, you at almost two? You are getting to be a person, baby. On Sunday, sleeping in the pack-and-play beside our bed at the cousins’ house, you woke up before dawn. Rustle, rustle. Then: “big. city. bus.” And then back to sleep. Big city bus. I came into your room on Tuesday, and you looked into my eyes and said, “Doc Seuss cards?” The Doctor Seuss cards with letters and opposites? Sure. What does a sheep say? A fish? A cow? You know 20 of these, I am running out of animals whose sounds I can reproduce. A late walker, you are a very verbal toddler.

You take naps, sometimes an hour, occasionally as long as three! You sleep from 7pm to 6:15am, which keeps me on my toes and keeps mama sleepy most of the time. I suspect that this is part of your plan. You eat lots of fruit, blueberries and blackberries and raspberries. Bananas and sugar plums, grapes and apples. Although you used to eat spinach pie pretty regularly, it has become more challenging to find vegetables you like. You still eat the sweet potato and white bean baby food puree. If vegetables are fed to you in soup form – lentil, matzo ball, chicken – you are more likely to eat it. You eat steak, cut up into tiny pieces, joyfully calling out ‘meat!’ while you do so. Couscous and rice are in, chickpeas seem to be out. But when they are in falafel form, then you will eat a whole ball of them. For breakfast, you ate mush for a long time, and we are now graduating to oatmeal. Which, really, is just more adult mush. If anything is remotely hot, you look at it with disdain, ‘hot. hot. hot.’ We have to tell you, no it is not hot! Perfect! You can eat two cups of plain yogurt at a time. And you would do it every day if we let you.

You like to feed yourself, calling out ‘baby’s!’ for when you want to do it yourself. Your fine motor skills are good and getting better. You like to take bites that are too big, and your spoonfuls are too large as well. We have been telling you to tap-tap the spoon to get some of the food off of it. ‘Baby’s!’

I used to joke that we would have an easy, sleeping baby. And people laughed at us and said, just wait. But you were an easy infant. And then I said, no, we are not going to have one of those difficult toddlers, we ordered a nice, delicious, easy one. And they said, just wait. But so far Baby 1.5 is a super-easy baby.

And in the last week or so, we taught you to say, “I love you, papa. I love you, mama.” It sounds garbled and cute and smiley and brimming with life. I love you too.

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2 Responses to “Dear Baby”

  1. Alan August 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Fantastic. I hope he is always so fantastic. Terrific twos instead of terrible twos. Confiding in you throughout the teenage years. Taking care of you when you’re old… We feel as lucky as you do too!

  2. Peter August 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Of course, I have to check the warranty, which I think may expire soon. You know how that works, suddenly your toddler is playing with his own poop and trying to cut your piano strings with the pocket knife he somehow got ahold of…

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