Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Letter to Indigo at Two Years Old

Dear Indigo,

My, how time flies when you're having fun. Or when you are sleep deprived. Either way, here we are. You are two years old. Twenty-four months. 730 days. And not a baby anymore. You are a little boy, in love with trucks and school buses and dinosaurs. You rock a pink fedora and love pushing the pink and white pony toy around Nonno and Nonna's house. You are confident and loving and your laugh is definitely one of the best in the world. "Bubble Guppies" is your favorite tv show, and you love to dance when they sing.

I can't even list your vocabulary any more -- you pick up new words on what seems like a daily basis. When I walk through the door after work you turn around in your booster seat and your face lights up and you shout, "Mommy's here!" and then you point to the seat next to you and say, "Sit, mommy!" And Lord help anyone else who tries to sit there, in "Mommy's chair." Everyone has assigned seating, chosen by you and Periwinkle. You both love your routines, the familiarity of dinner at Nonna's table, with daddy in his chair, and mommy in hers, and everyone else settled appropriately. Dinner with milk, and then a cookie. Sometimes two.

You still resist going to sleep some nights, but there are more stretches of "easy" evenings, where Daddy and I get to eat before 9pm. Glorious evenings.

You are opinionated, refusing to brush your teeth until I threaten to use your toothbrush myself. You want to carry your own bag into daycare. You proudly lead me to the classroom door every morning, helping silly mommy who just can't seem to remember where it is.

You shout excitedly when we drive past school buses, letting me know, "Mommy, bus! Look there, mommy! Bus!" And then we drive away, and you sweetly ask, "More bus, Mommy?" as if I can make them materialize out of thin air. Luckily, the town usually comes through with at least one more bus as we drive along. Phew.

You still have a bit of a temper, an abrupt shift from my snuggly, sweet boy into a frustrated mess of emotion, and your go-to action is to bite. Sometimes you think it's funny and bite even when you aren't mad. If you try to bite your sister, she gets such a superior tone to her voice as she tells you, "No bite, Inno! Not nice!" It's kind of adorable, but please stop trying to bite her. Remember, angry dinosaurs can stomp and shout, but they never hurt other people. One of these days that will sink in. We are trying to help you express your anger and frustration in other ways, and you KNOW "No bite!" but you still don't always follow that rule. You, like all of us, are a work in progress.

You have had many successes on the potty, but we aren't pushing that too hard. It's fantastic when you lead me to the bathroom and then actually GO though. School is working with you on potty training, too, which is great. One of these days you'll get there! I'm just so proud that you are trying. I'm not going to lie, I'm looking forward to you both being out of diapers. So is my wallet.

You've been at your new daycare for two months now, and you are doing amazing. We have been told so many times how polite you both are, saying "Please" and "Thank you" without being prompted. Such a little man! You play with trucks nicely with your new friends, help clean up, and enjoy all the arts and crafts you do there. Last week you made a scarecrow, which you proudly show me every morning. I picked up your school pictures today, and was blown away by how mature you look.

They say we're entering the "terrible twos" but I have to say, you are at my favorite stage thus far (of course, I've said that at every stage thus far...). You are fun and funny, and we can have actual conversations. You are just starting to use your imagination, which makes playing with you so new and exciting. You are helpful and thoughtful, asking "Okay, Mommy?" if I seem upset and giving hugs all the time. Thankfully, you are still my snuggle bear.

Basically, I love you, little man. Now and always. Happy Birthday!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ketchup and Lies

I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later, but it still seems like it came out of nowhere. One day, they were eating almost everything I put in front of them. The next day, everything required ketchup.

Their future.
And I do mean EVERYTHING.

Roasted chicken? "Ketchup?" No big deal.

Cauliflower? "More ketchup!" I can handle this.

Beef stew? "No! Want ketchup!" Excuse me while Mommy suppresses the urge to vom under the table.

Some sliced grapes? "Ketchup, mommy!" My stomach literally turned at this one, a real-life horror straight out of the book If I Could Keep You Little by Marianne Richmond, which mentions finding out "you like ketchup with your grapes." Who knew it was a real thing? And can we never do that again, please?

I wouldn't mind so much if they weren't starting to scoop the ketchup straight into their mouths, bypassing the nutritious food entirely. We've now taken to dribbling the ketchup on top of the food to ensure they eat something other than lycopene and sodium for dinner.

And yesterday on the way to daycare I caught Periwinkle offering her stuffed bunny "More ketchup, Bunny?" Adorable, right?

On a related note, I'm now lying to my children with regularity. They will eat pasta only if you assure them that the red sauce on top is ketchup. Also, all meat is known as "chicken" because that is all Periwinkle "likes." Don't tell her she's recently had salmon, beef, pork, and ham, if you'd be so kind. I'm not sure she could handle the shock.

What do you mean this isn't ketchup?

And they now refer to spaghetti as "pizza" and meatballs as "robots." Indigo requesting "More bobots, mommy?" is perhaps the cutest thing in the world. I claim no part in these mistakes -- they are all them.

However, Periwinkle referring to a stuffed lion as her "binosaur" is definitely my fault. Their recent obsession with dinosaurs has led to some serious tiffs over Indigo's red dino he got for his first birthday, and which is suddenly THE toy after a year of being ignored. So the lion has an identity crisis now.

Don't judge me.