Happy half-birthday to our sweet and silly Sam!
It’s hard to believe that we celebrated your first birthday six whole months ago. It feels like just yesterday. And yet you have changed so much. You become more independent and more opinionated each day. Your current favorite word is “no” and you say it all the time. “No” you don’t want milk. “No” you don’t want Mommy to change your diaper. “No” you don’t want Lucy to take her ball out of your hands. “No” you don’t want Daddy to put on his jacket and go to work. “No” you don’t want to close the refrigerator door because you would rather rearrange its contents than eat your snack. You get the idea. Sometimes it’s hysterical to watch you say “no no no” and shake your head with such ferocity. And other times the “nos” lead to full-blown tantrums, and then it’s not so funny. Oh, toddlerhood.
You also love to say “ohhh” and “oh no” and “whoa.” You are so full of expression. Your Nana says she would expect nothing less with me and your Daddy as parents. What can I say — we have personality, and we passed it along to you.
You constantly surprise us with your attention to detail. If you see a piece of trash on the floor, you immediately pick it up and throw it in the trash can. And if the trash can drawer is not pushed in completely, and you notice it, you must fix it. If we leave our shoes sitting near the front door, you open the coat closet and put them inside. You actually like to clean up your toys — and each has its place on your shelf.
I have learned that if I just involve you in my daily chores, I can get so much more accomplished. You dust the furniture and sweep the floors and take the utensils out of the dishwasher and put them into the drawer. Daddy thinks you work too hard, but you honestly love it. Yes, you are my son.
We got a new washer and dryer this month, and you think they’re just about the coolest things ever. You love to move towels from one to the other, and you get angry if Lucy steals a sock from the basket you’re trying to load. You love to watch the clothes spin, too, and thank goodness for the child lock feature.
We had a few warm days this month (though not nearly enough, if you ask me!), and you spent an entire morning shoveling dirt and making piles of rocks and sweeping the driveway. I absolutely cannot wait to spend our spring and summer outdoors. I think I see a garden and a sandbox and a water table in our future.
You have incredible concentration and dexterity for a one-and-a-half-year-old. This was best exhibited this month when you helped Mommy assemble your new table and chairs from Ikea. Without any direction from me, you put the long screws into every available hole on the chair and proceeded to pound them with your hammer and tighten them with your drill. I finished assembling the second chair and the table after you went to bed that night, and I couldn’t wait to show you the next morning. But instead of sitting down in your new seat, you turned the chair onto its side so you could take it apart and put it back together again. Yes, you are — and always have been — our little engineer.
You have begun to show more interest in crayons and stickers and play-doh. But these things still ultimately end up in your mouth, and so we have to limit our time with them. You also love to make copies on Daddy’s printer. Sometimes you stick your hand on the scanner bed, and we end up with a dozen copies of your little paw.
You are also entering a cars and trucks and trains stage. You will stand and play at your train table for 10 minutes at a time, which is practically an eternity for a toddler. I love to hear your little “vroom vroom” and “choo choo” sounds. You push the cars up and down the hills and through the tunnels, and I can just see your imagination at work.
You have discovered our box of winter accessories and like to try on hats and mittens and scarves. You also love to walk around the house while wrapped up in blankets. It’s a pretty funny sight.
Dress-up is especially fun when Mr. Ribbit plays, too.
You continue to pretend play with your kitchen, too. Though you now prefer the real thing. If you hear the words “cook” or “bake” or “help Mommy” while in the kitchen, you immediately grab a chair and pull it over to the counter. You regularly help to stir pancake batter and spin lettuce leaves and roll pizza dough and any other task we deem suitable for your little hands. I am just thrilled that you are so interested in food, and I hope you are always so willing to be my sous chef.
Your food preferences have not changed much since last month, except you have discovered the joy of “dipping.” Pretzels into peanut butter, scrambled eggs into ketchup, pork into applesauce, french fries into ranch dressing. You’re obsessed. You still love bananas and berries and grapes. You typically prefer meat over vegetables, and you rarely leave a rigatoni or tortellini on your plate. One night I prepared stuffed sole for dinner, and because there were only two pieces, I made chicken nuggets for you. But guess what. You preferred the fish, and so Mommy had to eat your nuggets. Actually, this happens quite often. You end up in my lap at the dinner table with my fork in your hand. But I don’t mind. At least you’re eating!
And, yes, you still have an unbelievable sweet tooth. Favorite indulgences this month included a chocolate peanut butter milkshake from Burgatory (which you did not want to share with Mommy and Daddy) and Hershey’s kisses (which you can unwrap all by yourself).
You and Lucy are still the best of friends — and partners in crime. She started obedience class this month, and we’re hoping life gets a little less crazy with a trained puppy in the house. But for now you continue to throw your toys over the gate to her and chase her around the kitchen with your “pop pop” machine and give her bites of whatever you’re eating. You try to lift her cheeks to see her teeth and sometimes you pull her tail, but the sweet girl doesn’t flinch. Perhaps we should send you to obedience class instead?
But then there are moments when Lucy is on the receiving end of your biggest hugs and kisses, and it makes all the wild times worthwhile.
You are our affectionate little man. You have learned to give real kisses (as opposed to open mouth ones) and will give hugs to anyone who asks for one. Sometimes you put lotion on my face or brush the hair out of my eyes, and I just melt. We now hold hands while walking, and your hands still feel so itty bitty in mine.
One night Daddy tried to rest his head on my shoulder after a particularly long day. You were busy playing until you saw this unfolding. And immediately said “no no no” and came running over to claim your spot. I have to admit, I kind of loved it.
Yes, you are my snuggle buddy, but sometimes you surprise me with your bravery. For example, you have no fear when it comes to slides and were the youngest kid by far in the Chick-fil-A playplace this month. You climbed up all by yourself and squealed while coming down the tube slide. You did it at least a dozen times and, of course, you did not want to leave when it was time to go.
You weigh about 26 pounds (50th percentile) and measure about 32 inches tall (40th percentile). You have a mouth full of teeth, which makes you look like such a big kiddo. You have started to mimic everything we say, and I can sense your verbal communication skills improving every day. Your favorite animal sounds are “baa baa” and “quack quack.” And you know all of your body parts.
We introduced the potty to you this month. And for a few days, you were pretty obsessed with it. You sit on it (naked, before your bath) with a book in your hands and sometimes you “squeeze,” and we try so hard not to laugh. I don’t think any of us will know how to react when something actually ends up in that potty!
Oh, sweet boy, you light up our lives. We love you more than you will ever know!