Dear Big Boy:
Friday you turned thirteen months old. I keep thinking that’s not right, it just can’t be right, and I check the calendar again, and…yes, I suppose you really are thirteen months old, and just growing up so fast.
The past month has been a busy one. We had been looking forward to summer, thinking schedules would settle down, hoping for some rest, but – wow – we’ve been so busy this summer. The Drama Queen and Miss Attitude finally finished up the t-ball/softball season at the end of June, and we’ve been busy with swim parties and kids’ birthday parties since then. At one point, we had five late-night (7:45-9:45) swim parties in six days’ time. You had fun swimming, but you were so exhausted, bless your little heart. The bright side, however, is that you started sleeping later in the mornings. Barring illness or disruption, you’ve been sleeping ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE NIGHT, until 6:45-7:30 in the mornings. Your daddy and I couldn’t be more thrilled that you are finally, consistently sleeping well. We love you with all our hearts, Son, but we were seriously considering trading you off to the gypsies, if you didn’t start sleeping at night.
You’ve been having so much fun with the new toys you got for your birthday. I think your favorites are your big, chunky Lego blocks. You love to sit in the floor and ‘play blocks.’ You started out just pulling the blocks out of the wagon and handing the blocks to me (or your sisters, or Daddy, whoever happened to be playing blocks with you), and I’d stack them for you. Then you figured out the ‘stacking’ part. Now we’re building towers together, you stacking, stacking, stacking, and me working to stabilize your creation and keep it from falling over. You and I have built approximately forty thousand towers together. (What? You don’t think it could be that many? Well, it seems like it, anyway.) You love to stack the blocks as high as you can, and you do it with such a look of concentration on your face. You are such a sweetie-pie.
After we build our tower, you spend time taking the top blocks off and putting them back on, taking them off, putting them on, until you decide you’re finished; then you dismantle the tower and put the blocks back in the wagon. That’s right, Son. You actually put the blocks back where they belong. I’m hoping that this fondness for putting your things away will stay with you always. I’m also hoping your sisters might learn from your example. Please note: I’m not holding my breath on either count.
You also got a half-pint-sized four-wheeler for your birthday. Any notions I may have had about boys being taught to play like…well, like boys, were thrown out the window the minute we sat you on your new four-wheeler. It was the first time you’d ever been on ANY ride-on toy, and you immediately started making that deep, throaty, “RRRRNNNN” car-motor sound that boys make. I just stared at your Daddy in disbelief. He, of course, was beaming with pride and practically oozing testosterone.
You’ve ridden your four-wheeler all over the house, round and round in a big loop through the kitchen and living room. Your sisters love to help you drive it, and you, of course, are thrilled to have their attention. You’re so crazy about those girls, grinning and talking to them, hugging and squeezing them. And they are so sweet to you, helping you, watching out for you, mothering you.
Update: Yes, I know what I said about not posting photos of the girls, but I chose this one because The Drama Queen’s face doesn’t really show, and I cropped most of her out of it.
The girls like to read to you, which is wonderful, really, since you still absolutely adore your books. The past couple weeks you started bringing them to me, instead of just waving them in the air, when you want to be read to. You’ll crawl across the floor with a book in one hand, then hand me the book and climb up into my lap, ready for your story. I love that you love your books so much.
In addition to all the playing and reading, you’ve spent some time sampling new foods this month. Turning one year old opened a whole new world of culinary delights to you. And by “culinary delights” I mean, of course, junk food. You’ve tried pizza and Oreos and hot dogs; but your latest obsession is CHEETOS. I bought a small bag of Cheetos at the ballpark concession stand one evening, in a desperate attempt to get you to stop squirming and fussing while we watched one of the girls’ ball games. It was LOVE AT FIRST BITE. You ate the entire bag, save what you dropped on the ground. You now recognize Cheetos – in or out of the bag – whenever you see them, and you will throw super-size mega-fits to get them. You’ve decided they’re the best thing since breast milk.
Speaking of breast milk, you weaned yourself this month. I had planned to wean you slowly, over a couple of months or more, but you seem to have decided you’re all grown up now and don’t need Mom’s milk anymore. I’m happy that you’re becoming more independent, but I’m a little sad to see the end of our nursing days, and to have yet another reminder of how quickly you’re growing.
Big Boy, we see changes in you practically every day. Little changes, like the fact that you’ll need another haircut before too long; and big changes, like discovering your temper and throwing yourself on the floor when you don’t get your way. Watching you grow and change is an amazing privilege. What an honor to be allowed to help mold and shape you into the man you’ll be someday. Of course, I’d be happy if that “someday” would just hold off for a while.
Sitting in the floor with you this afternoon, reading to you as you sat in my lap, I just squeezed you and smelled your hair and nuzzled your neck, trying desperately to freeze that moment in time, to etch it permanently into my memory, so I can hold onto it forever.
I love you, my Sweet Baby, my Big Boy.