Today More Than Yesterday and Less Than Tomorrow

Dear Alexander:


My little stinker. Stinker pot pie. Stinker the linker. Pooper. Schpooger. Booger. Booger the looger. Pinky. Boobers.

My little buddy.

Today you are three. Three! Can you believe it? It was three years ago that you were born, fighting to stay in the home you had known for the previous 9 months. You didn’t want to enter the world, but eventually you arrived, and boy was it beautiful.

The last 365 days have been quite an adventure. You went from staying home with me all day, every day, to going to daycare full time with me returning to school full time. You transitioned beautifully, and have grown even more beautifully.

You were talking at two, but now you won’t stop! There is a constant dialogue streaming from your lips, explaining every little thing that is happening. You not only talk, you ramble. You tell stories. Long stories. Almost every story ends with someone or something farting. Or pooping. This, of course, is hilarious to you, and pretty darn amusing to me. “Row Row Row Your BUTT!

This year, you have outgrown toddlerhood. You are officially a kid. Between the incessant chatter, including in depth conversations, the knowledge of letters and numbers, the ability to be taught, in an instant, the definition of a new word, the hopping, skipping and jumping, and the love of all things big boy, you are no longer a toddler. I look at you and see a child.

My child.

My Alex, you are my world. You make me happier than anything, and I hope that I can bring you even half of the joy in your life that you have brought to me.

In another year you will be starting school. Real school. You are ready in many ways now, but I know that the next year will prepare you for the beginning of approximately 18 years of schooling. You will grow more, learn more, mature more. And I will enjoy watching it all, because even the bad moments are only temporary. Every second of every day you are changing, and it amazes me.

This year has been a whirlwind, and I can’t wait to have the opportunity to spend more time with you in the upcoming years. I feel like I missed out on a lot, but as I look back at the year I know that I didn’t miss everything. We traveled to Florida together, and I came the realization that even though I may not be with you all the time any longer, something is going right because you were the most well behaved two year old imaginable.

You say please and thank you, and now excuse me. While you do not fully understand that “excuse me” is not an excuse to simply start talking or yelling or shaking or dancing in order to get someone to pay attention to you, you do know that there is some polite way to get their attention. We will work on that this year.

It isn’t something I am fully prepared for yet, but you are now lying. I know that it actually means you are learning, that you are comprehending the world in ways I didn’t think would happen quite yet. I heard you telling someone, “Mommy said when I woked up I could have fruit snacks for bweakfast.”

I certainly did not. But it’s cute that you thought you could get away with it.

You are smart. You are focused. You are extremely empathetic. Your hugs and kisses are the best ever. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

I love you, pooker. Sweetie. Honey. Honey bunny. Darling. Dear. My baby.

I love you, Alexander. Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow. And I wish you the happiest of happy birthdays on this day.

Love,
Mommy

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Toddler-ese

Clearly, he loves Superman. And watches too much television. And I like to think that his talking about sisters and brother means he wants one…right? (Shhh…don’t tell Zach.)

A Little Bit

Just a small peak at Alex’s language:

Language acquisition is fascinating. The way that children learn to communicate is something I would love to one day learn more about. Currently, I just love listening to him figure out new words, learn how to put words together. I love the look in his eyes when he says a full sentence (or two or three) and I repeat it back to him word for word. When he says a new word or sentence and I understand it immediately his eyes light up. When he says a full sentence that I am unable to understand, he sometimes gets very upset, tilting his head down and looking away from me.

My worries about his language development have (pretty much) dissipated. He talks all the time, communicates exactly what he needs, and surprises me most days with a new word (or ten). His narration of his life can be pretty hilarious at times, too:

“Walk walk walk. RUN! I’m running! Going down the stairs. Trying to fall down the stairs! Oh no! No fall down the stairs! Careful, Alex*. Careful down the stairs. Walk walk walk. Getting The Ernie! Oh no! What happened to Ernie’s hat? I broke it! I fixed it! Oh no! Where is the ball? Mommy help. I FOUND IT! Mommy play? Chasing the baby. Mommy chasing the baby. Run run run. I GOT YOU!”

*Yes, he really does say this to himself. Sometimes it’s just “be careful!” in the exact tone that I use when saying it to him, sometimes he uses his name. Which, if you watch the video, you’ll notice sounds little like Alex and more like “ass ix.”

Proof That It’s The Beatdown

I was trying to get Alex to say “running” and “chasing” and “fast” or something along those lines the other day. With his second birthday coming up I realized that I have very little video evidence of his ever increasing vocabulary, and I need some video footage for his planned second birthday slideshow. In my attempt to get get a video of him running and speaking, I succeeded at something. It wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, but it was something.

He’s running in hopes of finding the “beatdown.”

(It was in the opposite direction.)

One Point Five

Dearest, Darlingest, Alex:

Today marks the day that you are no longer a baby. You are officially a toddler.

Exactly 18 months ago you were born. You were tiny (well, relatively, you ginormous-newborn you), completely unable to do anything for yourself, and you melted my heart the second I saw you.

Since you were born we have had good times and bad. You went from never sleeping, to sleeping 11 hours solidly every night, to, again, never sleeping (let’s work on that never sleeping thing, okay?). You went from uncontrolled and jerky movements to running and jumping to your heart’s content. You went from making nothing but a few gurgling noises to having an ever-expanding vocabulary. You went from nursing exclusively to eating anything and everything that is put in front of you. You went from 9 pounds and 12 ounces to at least 26 pounds and from 21 inches to at least 35 (we will know when we go in for your 18-month check up in a few days). You went from just barely being able to hold your head upright to walking up and down steps (sure, they are tiny steps but it still is impressive!) like a normal person.

While I have been referring to you as a toddler for some time now, I’m sure that I will forever and ever call you my baby.

I love you baby boy. Happy One Point Five!

18 month photos

Verbally Speaking

Not too long ago, I was feeling a bit worried about Alex’s development. My concern was that he wasn’t developing, verbally, as fast as I thought he should be. Shouldn’t all babies at 17 months of age be able to say cup, doggie, cat? He lacks the ability to make the “c” sound, and I really just want him to have more words and less sounds that represent words.

He calls dogs “woof” and grapes “meep” and elephants are the sound that your lips make when air blows through them. Monkeys are “ah ah ooh ooh” and swimming is the same as water: “wa wa”. A penguin waddles, so clearly a penguin is “wada wada wada.”

When I casually brought up my concern to Zach, and he in turn mentioned it to my Mom, they both told me that I was, well, crazy. And just plain wrong. The number of words, or word approximations, that Alex makes is quite substantial.

The surely incomplete list of the words he either says or has his own “word” for: Mama, Dada, Daddy, Gramma, Nana, Big D, Kathy, Jackson the dog, Dog, Elephant, Mine, Monkey, Water, Up, Help, Cheese, Eye, Nose, No, Fish, Grapes, Wind/Air, Car, Truck, Bus, People, Baby, Belly Button, Bowl, Banana, Apple, Cow, Bunny, Ow, Heat, Book, Wolf, Dirty, Cheese, More, Yummy/NomNom, Cold, Shoes, Knee, Tickle, Bye Bye, Hi, Uh-Oh, Swimming, Sun, Moon, Penguin, Toes…

He even uses the occasional two word sentence. “More ___” is the most common.

It’s amazing the difference between what he can say and what he understands. His comprehension is easily hundreds of words, while he can probably only say around fifty. He can point to his head, eyes, ears, hair, nose, mouth, teeth, cheeks, belly, knees, feet and hands. Pointing to his nose is my favorite, though. When I tell him to “go tickle Daddy” he runs over and tickles Zach. When I ask him to give someone a specific toy, he finds the toy and brings it to that person. If he’s in the mood, of course.

So, my concern was unnecessary. I think I suffer from the paranoid-that-something-is-wrong syndrome of a first time Mama. He is fine. Maybe even better than fine.