This is the first month I've had to really push myself to get this newsletter up on time. I have so many wonderful things to say to you, but you and I are also butting heads a lot and it makes me so incredibly sad.
Also, Daddy and I just found out that you're going to be a big brother! Mama's pretty emotional and tired and sick these days, which isn't helping matters. Daddy's taking good care of me, as are Grandma and friends, so hopefully the bad part of pregnancy passes quickly and I'm back to my old enthusiastic self.
You're starting to really come alive. You pick up your stuffed doggies and try to feed them your milk and your snacks. You know that a cow says "moooo" and a kitty-cat says "neooooww" and a doggie says "woo woo" and a lion says "woooahhhhhrrrr". We counted about 20-25 words that you have full command over (not counting exact pronunciation); some new ones are:
When you play catch with someone, you have a "position" you like to throw from. If you have to deviate to pick up the ball somewhere else, you often make your way back to your little position before you throw it again. Such a professional!
I think you are finally saying Mama for real now. When you hear me move around in another room, you yell for me - "Ma! Mama!". You've turned into kind of a nag, actually. Maaaaaaaa! Maaaaaaaa! MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
For a few months now you've been totally, completely, thoroughly sleeping through the night. One of us puts you down around 7:15, and you wake up again around 7. It's been lovely. It's been delicious. It's made me question why we decided to have another baby. But that's another blog entry, right?
Anyway, so you've been sleeping through the night. Until about a week ago, when this whole "talking" thing captured your attention. Now every few nights we get woken up around 4 am with you dictating from your crib: "Bah! Bah! (up! up!) Bah!" After nobody comes to attend to you, you start with "Ma! Ma! Maaaaaaaaaa! Maaaaaaaaaa!" Sometimes you give up after 10 minutes; sometimes you can go on for an hour. A few nights ago you threw in your new word for please "Neeeee! Neeeee!" at the end, making it truly hard to resist coming in to you. But I persisted, and hopefully this phase passes soon. Mama's gotta sleep.
The most delightful thing I've learned about you is how much you love babies. When we encounter one somewhere, you get in front of them, squat down with your hands on your knees, and grin up into their faces. We were at the Building Museum a few days ago when a set of twins were put down on their bellies to play. You sat down on the floor in front of them and put your face about 3 inches away from one of the babies. You just smiled at her. You tried to softly pet her head.
You really are wonderful with other kids. You never ever hit, even with the older kids, even when they take your toys. You never push or shove or take their toys. Never. When another kid won't let you into the playhouse at the museum or park, you just wait until they're done and then you run in to play. When you're playing around with your older cousins, you always let them get to the ball first and then play with it when they give it to you. You never seem frustrated, but you're happy to wait until you get your turn. You are absolutely sweet.
So, the hard stuff. You get frustrated when I tell you "no", when I take something away, when I have to be the bad guy, and the way you respond to this frustration is by hitting me. You lift your hand, walk straight to me, look me in the eye, and slap me on the leg or the arm. I try to keep calm, and tell you "No, we don't hit." When you do it again (not the "when", not the "if you do it again"), I tell you "If you hit Mama again, you're going in time-out." When I first started with time-out, it had no deterrent value. But now that you're totally used to it, warning you of time-out can sometimes (1/3 of the time?) stop you from hitting me that last time. Then I make a supreme effort to put a smile on my face, praise you, and find something for us to play with together.
Since you'll be reading this when you're much older, I feel okay sharing this: your hitting me absolutely breaks my heart. I know not to take it personally, and mostly I don't, but boy is it tough. I think I'm doing the right thing by being tough with you, by expecting a lot from you, by asking you to behave yourself. By teaching you that "no" means "no", that we eat breakfast in our chairs (and not on the floor), that I will always expect great things from you. I know that even if you don't get those things now, they'll pay off in the long run. But boy, is it tough. Argh.
The best thing from this month is realizing how much you absolutely love being outside. When I'm forced to bring you back inside, I feel like Mommy Dearest - you cry so piteously.
We spent last weekend with your Peepa and most of your other Davis family, and you were in heaven. You stacked wood with Daddy and Peepa, and then used a real shovel to dig dirt and plant flowers with Peepa. You raked, and played with your cousins, and ran, and ran, and ran. I stood at a window upstairs and watched you work with your Daddy and it was such a happy feeling to see you so engaged, and hard-working, and to see how much pleasure and satisfaction you took from your work. I can only hope that the love of work, of being useful and helpful, stays with you all your life.
I love you so much.