Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Monthly Newsletter, Month Eighteen

Dear Nate,

You are a year and a half old now! I counted your age this morning by tallying up the new wrinkles I have. At first I thought you were 13 years old, but it was just the double vision. This is the part of the blog in which I'd insert a photo of you sticking your tongue out at me, but since Daddy's the one who takes the pictures, and you never sass him, no such picture exists. Except in my mind. Front and center.

I am writing this letter with a pretty ugly week behind us which no doubt sets the tone. We were all sick last week, and then you got yourself your first ear infection, and then I ended up with 103 and a lovely hacking cough. I'm not sure if Daddy's sick or not because I don't have the energy to care.

What all this sick has added up to is a very tired Mama and a very demanding Natey. Lots of whining, lots of hitting, lots of tantrums. It certainly doesn't help that Daddy thinks you walk on water and can't bear to deny you anything. Mama had a good long talk with him this weekend, so you can just go ahead and blame me if he gets tough with you now. I have my doubts, but I also have high hopes.

The problem here is that you're very, very smart. You know darn well that Daddy will give you whatever you want. Whenever I discipline you during the day, you cry for Da Da straightaway. You also cry for Dada whenever you see someone on a bicycle. And also when you hear a bicycle outside of the house. Also whenever a male person is in the house. Let's just say you're a Daddy's boy. Thanks a lot, kid.

You're not just smart, you're hard-working and dedicated. There's nothing more in the world you like than a good project. Your favorite types of projects are "fit this thing into that thing" exercises, and you can do them over and over and over. When Daddy takes his tools out to do a home repair, it's the highlight of your week. I love the typical concentration on your face in this photo:

You really love helping out. You've gotten great at projects like "Can you pick that up and put it in the trash for Mama?" You love carrying boxes around, and pushing carts and strollers. We had a fantastic snowfall last week and Daddy put you to work shoveling the walkway. When you fell into a puddle and got wet, Daddy brought you back inside - you lost your mind entirely. We had to put you into a dry jacket and put you back to work outside.

You have "friends" now, though they're mostly neighbors and kids I set you up with on playdates. But you do always have fun and seem to really enjoy the interaction!

Part of our tough week is that you've beyond wanting just milk, or food, or up. Now you want us to go somewhere and get something specific and you just don't have the words to be the powerhouse dictator you want to be. You have recently started tugging on our sleeves, or physically pushing us where you want us, but it's still not eloquent enough for you. Thus, the tantrums when we don't understand that we need to get up and get you that one specific toy right at this instant. Here are some of the new words you do have:

* Down
* Door
* Baby
* Off / up / out (not exactly sure; you use them interchangeably)

I've always been able to be very confidant about you - you've hit all of your milestones, kept progressing, were friendly and social and normal. All except for one thing: you've been entirely disinterested in books and reading. You darn near hated the things. Daddy's been reading to you every night while you completely ignore him and run up and down the hallway. Except that a few weeks ago something clicked and now you're all over them. You can't imagine how good I feel inside when I walk into a room and you're sitting on the floor with a book open in your lap.

Here's how it makes me feel: full-up and content, like you're safe and smart and happy and well taken care of. Like I'm doing okay raising you.

I love you, Natey.

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