Dear Big Boy:
This month you turned 15 months old. Your newsletter is a bit late this time, mostly because I was waiting until after your checkup last week, and then because we simply had too many things going on at once, and I’m just now getting time to sit down and organize my thoughts.
You weighed 23 pounds, 5 ounces, and were 30 1/2 inches long at your checkup last Thursday. I had really expected you to weigh in at over 25 pounds, but I guess it’s just your recent clinginess and constantly wanting to be held that are making you seem heavier. You’ve reached ‘that age’, it seems, the age where toddlers experience the separation anxiety all the experts warn about, the age where you really just want Mama to hold you all the time, every moment, every second, and oh by the way, Mom, can you just hold me? Ahh, but you see, this time around I am wiser. You are my third child, so I know already that this phase will be short-lived, and all too soon you will be running away from me, instead of begging to be in my arms and on my hip; and so I’ve decided to just enjoy your sweet little arms around my neck and your face in my hair, rather than trying to convince you that you don’t need me. You’ll learn that soon enough on your own.
You’ve spent the last month walking, walking, walking everywhere. When you’re not clinging to Mama, you’re constantly busy and on the go. You’ve always been a busy little thing, but now that you’re moving even faster, you just seem to have more and more to do, whether it’s moving your toys from one spot to the other, rummaging through every drawer and cabinet you can get into, or helping Mom with the laundry.
You recently helped with the grocery shopping, too. We went to the little supermarket with the child-sized shopping carts, and I let you push one around for the first time, since Daddy was with us and he could chase you while I got groceries. At one point, I handed you something and said, “Put it in your basket,” and you did. And, Baby, it was like I opened a whole new world for you. You instantly went to the nearest shelf and started piling packages of paper plates in your cart. Daddy and I just stood and watched, and laughed and laughed. And, for the first time, I was really glad Dad had that fancy new camera phone he’d just gotten the week before.
You do occasionally take time out of your busy work schedule to play, but – like most toddlers, I suppose – you are more interested in everyday objects than in most of your toys. You like to play with Dr. Pepper boxes, putting your toys in and taking them out, putting them in and taking them out. And you like to put things – it doesn’t matter what – into the laundry baskets, and push them around. Your favorite toy-that’s-not-actually-a-toy this month was a plastic dove decoy your Daddy bought for you. You have hundreds of dollars’ worth of age-appropriate toys, but THIS was the one object of your affection that you would not be without. You carried it with you all over the house – sometimes taking it with you when we ran errands – and even insisted on keeping your bird close at hand while you were eating.
Your obsession with the dove decoy came in handy a few times. If I needed to momentarily distract you, I’d just say, “[Big Boy], where’s your bird?”, and off you’d go to retrieve it from wherever you had last stashed it – usually the floor, the toy box, or the kitchen utensil drawer.
You still find time in your busy, busy, toddler schedule to read your books. You’ve also eaten a few of your board books. So, hey, your books are feeding more than just your mind, right?
Big Boy, I was thinking today about what I’m trying to accomplish with these newsletters. They will certainly help to document your growth and your milestones; and that will come in handy, since I have yet to fill in one single page of your baby book. But, more importantly, I hope that one day when you read these letters – these sometimes silly, often emotional outpourings of my heart, I hope you’ll understand how very much your Daddy and I love you and how important you are to us. Watching you grow and learn, seeing you become your own person, is one of the greatest privileges we’ve ever had. You are one of the three most important people in the world to us. I hope we’ll always show you how much we love you, so that when you read these letters someday, you’ll smile and nod because you already know.
I love you, my Big Boy, my Little Man.