Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Letter to Swee'pea: 29 months

Dear Swee'pea:

chin ups

Yesterday you turned 29 months old. This month, I've noticed you're becoming more fearful. You've always been pretty cautious, physically, but now you're afraid of some things, mostly bugs. First it was ants, at the cottage, then the other day a big fly near your potty (and you LOVE to sit on your potty!). You refuse to go anywhere near them and even if the bug goes away or we take it away, still you refuse to go back to that spot. It's strange because you're not afraid of mosquitoes and they're the ones whose bites you react so badly to. And you're not afraid of bumblebees either.

to the soccer field

The other day when I picked you up from daycare, your friend Neemum and his mom were leaving at just the same moment. All the riding toys were still scattered around the play area so you and Neemum took advantage. He got on a little scooter; you hopped in a toy pick-up truck. He race as around in circles as fast as his little legs could push him, just missing crashes; you pushed yourself forward with a few slow steps then sat there and watched Neemum. His mom kept calling for him to watch out and stood there scared; I watched Neemum careen around and felt relief that you are so cautious. I almost never fear for your safety.

(This, of course, is the exception that proves the rule. The other night you climbed up on a bench behind a baseball diamond, and your mother of the year on the wrong side of the fence took a picture instead of running to ensure your safety. I'm not as cavalier as that makes me sound: your dad was there and I could see him running for you from the corner of my eye.)

We laughed about the differences between you two, and how you're really quite boring at the playground. You like to climb steps, mostly. Sometimes you pretend you're making a snack and you share nibbles with people. Your teacher laughed too and said that when they ask what you're doing when you're just sitting in your car, you yell, "I need gas!"

It's often hard to drag you away from daycare and the other day was no exception, especially with all those toys sitting out. The teachers were putting them away, and you immediately helped. You LOVE to help. I must confess to just a bit of parental pride when Neemum's mum cooed over you while you put things away, "Oh, you are SUCH a lovely boy! (And I like your speed.)"

new hoodie with pockets

You've been speaking in full sentences and coming out with some funny and interesting stuff. One day at a restaurant you pointed to a little girl, probably younger than you, maybe 18 months? And you said, "My noni day dat beebee mome!" (I want to take that baby home.) Your dad's response was not until you're 18. At another restaurant (um, yeah, we eat out once or twice a week) for lunch, I ordered you a kid's meal with egg, toast and potatoes. "No meat?" the server asked, and I said, "No, no meat." You eat meat at daycare and fish at home, but we don't eat red meat so I never order it.

"My DA mee!" you said. (I like meat!)

Oh. Well, ok then. So we ordered you some ham and you gobbled it up first. I love that you're getting more sophisticated in stating your preferences, and I like that you're able to have some control over some aspects of your life.

A few times you've announced either right before or right after your bath that you need to pee. You've said this before but rarely actually peed, so I just figured that to you, peeing just means sitting on the potty. But when you sat on the potty, you said, "Bee mummy dow! Bee mummy dow!" (Pee coming out!) And sure enough, when you stood, you'd peed. You were most pleased with yourself.

big tractor

I think I'm going to stop these monthly letters. I keep seeing things I want to write about in the middle of the month but when the time comes around to write this letter, I've forgotten. And then I struggle to think of what to write to you about and I procrastinate and miss the 'deadline' and the letter I write never quite does justice to life with you. It feels like work, and I have enough of that in my life. Today, a friend showed me a quote in passing, and it really struck me, especially with this letter hanging over my head. It's by Annie Dillard from Write Till You Drop:

"One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water."

after the table tantrum

Don't worry, I'm still committed to writing you letters, but I will do it whenever the wish strikes me and not try to schedule it for a certain day of the month. I'm hoping that spontaneity will make for better, more authentic (and, ok, let's face it - easier!) letters.

Love Always and Forever,


Beck said...

That last picture - argh, my freaking heart.
I think I gave up on the idea of writing monthly newsletters at about that age, too, because changes became much more subtle after that point. I would struggle to tell you, now, what changes in my six year old from month to month, even though things DO change, of course.

Elizabeth said...

Swee'pea might just be the cutest little guy ever. That tie die outfit kills me. And I love his reach in the first photo. (Nice texture too!) What amazing shots. It is a beautiful idea to write these notes to him.

Mad said...

I wondered how long you could keep this up. The letters have been lovely but I know that I would've struggled and fell under the pressure to write them long ago.

Am going to get the new camera in the next week or so. These pictures are making that Nikon look mighty fine. I especially like the first one.

BTW, Miss M was about that age when bugs started freaking her out too.

Hannah said...

He looks so much like you - he's gorgeous.

Isaac is on a meat kick right now - he picks the meat out of everything and eats it, leaving the rest behind. I even showed him Charlotte's Web in the hopes that perhaps he would slow down on the ham. No such luck. Although he likes spiders now. ;)

Jennifer said...

Oh, these photos. Gor.geous. As is that boy of yours!

nomotherearth said...

I love the letters, but the pictures just speak to my soul.

And hey - we have that same truck!

Lisa b said...

oh the photos. they and the letters are such a treasure and gift to your son.

Janet said...

You have amazing pictures of your child. I'm envious of your skill.

E. is paralyzed by bugs when they land on her. If they aren't on her body though, she kills 'em. So feminine. :)

Aliki2006 said...

I love that advice from Dillard--it's really priceless.

And the pictures are treasure, too--beautiful.

ewe are here said...

I love your letters; I'm glad you're not going to stop them entirely.

And I particularly love the b&w picture of him with the soccer ball.... and the tie-dyed look.