Friday, April 25, 2014

A Letter to Indigo at 18 Months

My Little Man,

Sometimes I worry that you think your name is "Buddy" because we've called you that so much. We've been searching for a nickname for you since you were born. My first idea got shot down after a few weeks, but luckily your sister has come up with something adorable that we are all calling you now. I'd love it if you tried saying her name more often, just so we can hear how cute it sounds.

Right now you mainly just yell, "Elmo!" a lot. You are obsessed. You hear the song for "Elmo's World" and you get so excited. One time I thought you were going to jump out of the bathtub when it came on. And heaven help us if we try to bring you up to bed while "Elmo's World" is on!

We got you both little Elmo stuffed animals when we took away your pacifiers. I hoped it would be a worthy substitute, having your BFF hanging out with you in your crib. Boy, was I wrong. I feel absolutely horrible listening to you cry at night. You cycle up and down, upset and calm, each time making me think that you will now fall asleep. You are trying so hard to fall asleep, but you haven't learned to self-soothe yet, so it takes you over an hour. Periwinkle will cry with you for a little while because you are keeping her awake, and then she somehow drifts off into sound sleep while you are still going. But before she does, she tries to comfort you, rubbing your back and saying your name calmly. She loves you and just wants to help you. Can you help her and try to be calm as you are falling asleep?

Sometimes I take you out of the room to give you a break. We'll pull up the blinds in our bedroom and show you the cars going by. You love watching cars. When we're in the car and another one drives past, you say, "Car!" in this little voice full of wonder. I think they make you happy. This probably makes your great-grandpa happy, because he LOVES cars.

After this little interlude, and sometimes going downstairs for some milk if you are SUPER worked up, you'll go back into your crib and fall asleep. I'm not sure if you just need reassurance that mommy and daddy are still nearby, or if you're playing us because you know we'll come back, or if you just need more time to learn how to fall asleep without a pacifier... but I hope you get over it soon! Sometimes we don't get to eat dinner until after 8:30pm! But seriously, it makes me sad to hear you cry, and I hope you get better at bedtime soon, for your own sake. Sleep is wonderful. Trust me.

Besides our nighttime struggles, you have been a wonderful, sweet little boy. You still love snuggling, when you're not trying to con us into giving you more pretzels, or opening and closing doors, or trying to make a break for it out the front door so you can run around "ow-side." Sometimes you stand in the front doorway and watch the boys next door playing basketball, and I know you really want to go play with them. You love playing in the little house in the backyard, mainly interested in opening and closing the door and shutters and pushing the little doorbell. I love that you're so engaged with it.

I love watching you explore new toys, completely concentrating on how they work and what you can do with them. You and your sister quietly played with a new stacking train for almost an hour, without making a peep. It was fantastic! You shared, and took turns, and divvied up the toy, like such a big boy and girl! I was so proud of you. I love when you share, which sometimes you don't want to do. You get upset and sometimes hit and bite, especially at daycare. We are working on you finding other ways of saying, "I'm mad!" and I know you'll get there soon. When you are little you just don't know how to express how you feel. You don't even know how to know what you feel. Periwinkle sometimes just shrieks and throws food when she's frustrated she can't get out of her chair. I'm sure mommy and daddy did the same thing when we were little. It's okay. We'll work through it!

You are also a very helpful little boy. We ask you to bring your sister's lovey or sippy cup, and you trot right over with it. You shove it in her face, drop it, and walk away, but the intent to help is there. You are very chatty when you want to be, and very quiet when you want to be. You remind me of your uncle (my brother) in that regard. Your crazy reddish-brown curls remind me of him too, although the curls could also come from daddy's side. Your nonno and Zio Pippo have curly hair too. All I know is that I love it. You had such short hair for so long, and now it's growing and curling and it's pretty amazing.

Everything about this age is amazing. You make such fun, silly faces and laugh with such pure joy, I wish I could just exist in that moment with you always. I so love when you are happy. It lights up the room. I love watching you walk hand in hand with Daddy down the street, two men on the move. I love how exuberantly you hug your sister, and the sound of your "mwha!" when you blow a kiss across the room. Your high fives make my day, and I love the way you cling to me with such a firm grip when you don't want me to put you down (but I have to sometimes).

You may be a year and a half old, but you're always going to be my little man, my "buddy," the first baby I brought home, my little love.

Just stop calling Daddy "mama" okay? I'm pretty sure you know exactly what you are doing and how much it drives him crazy. But I think the joke has played out now, okay? Tell your sister to stop, too. He's "Daddy" or "Papa" or "Dada." Got it? Good!


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