Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Nate's Monthly Newsletter, Two Years Eight Months

Dear Nate,

You are lucky you have a little sibling right now, because the sleeplessness and turmoil from dealing with him have made you look like a superstar in comparison. You've got it made.

Because without the comparison? Things would be looking a little bleaker for you. You are at a fabulous, frustrating age and when I write these blogs before you're sleeping peacefully it's easy to focus on the frustrating and not the fabulous. Rest assured, we lack for neither around here.

You are a regular little person now, speaking regularly in full sentences and surprising the hell out of us on a regular basis. You pick up phrases almost instantly and use them correctly and it's shocking sometimes. Some of your favorite things to talk about these days:

* Favorites. You tell me that you had chicken for lunch at school, and that chicken is your favorite. "Is chicken your favorite too, Mama?" (Just the fact that you understand that "too" concept kills me.)

* You love to love things. We were reading books before bed last night, and we got to the cement mixer part of your trucks book. Once I answered the often-repeated "What's that, Mama?" question, you responded with a sincere "ooooooh, I wuv cement mixers!" You lay down on the floor next to Jack and said "I wuv you Jack!" on April 20th. I noted it because it was the first time you've ever told anyone you loved them first. You've never said it to me, or to Daddy, without us saying it first, but since April 20th you've regularly said it to Jack and to Bumper. Thank goodness we already knew where we fell in your list of priorities.

Your manners are out of control these days. You regularly ask me "Can I have more juice please, Mama?" and do a very polite "You're welcome, Mama!" whenever I thank you for something. We've been working on "Yes, please" and "No, thank you" and today you used them without prompting for the first time.

You have a funny little phrase: instead of saying "Say hi TO my Mama" you'll tell Aunt Deborah "Say hi for my Mama!" When Daddy comes home, you instruct me "Say hi for my Daddy!" It's fairly adorable.

We don't have to worry about your brain, Nate. You're far from dumb. If we're eating or playing with toys and I have something you want, you get a little gleam in your eyes. You look at what's in front of you and declare "That's not Nate's food, that's Mommy's food." Thus, Mommy's food must really be Nate's, yes? Do I understand correctly? Nice try, kiddo. Well played.

Of all the things I want to talk about, it's your empathy and kindness that fill my heart. You are sweet and loving, even if you're not much for hugs and kisses. At night I read you the purple elephant book and your truck book, and then I lay down next to you and tell you a story about the little boy named Nate. We go through how Nate has a Mommy and a Daddy and a brother Jack, and how he likes to see elephants and monkeys and orangutans, and how he loves to play in his new sandbox and ride his scooter and help Mama cook dinner. We lay inches away from each other, and after each detail you breathe a whispery "yeah!" in agreement.

You are an adoring and giving brother: a few weeks ago you were eating dinner and Jack, in his infant seat, started crying. You got down, rocked the seat for him, and said "It's okay, Jack. It's okay." When Jack smiled at you, like he always does when he sees you, you ran into the kitchen to tell me "He smiled at me!" and then you insisted I come into the dining room to see. That night when it was your TV time, you only wanted to watch if Jack could watch with you.

I had a talk with you last week about how Jack is getting bigger, and someday soon he's going to start playing with your toys. You thought about it for a minute, and decided to give Jack the train you were playing with. You wanted to make it clear that it was your train, but you wanted to share it with Jack.

We are all so lucky to have you in our lives.

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