Mommy is running a little behind this month. You turned 20 months old over a week ago and I’m just now getting around to writing this letter. I have no excuse really, except to say that you have been requiring a lot more attention from me these days and my free time has been significantly reduced.
I have learned a lot about you and myself this month. For one thing, I learned that I need to pay better attention to your cues. After a week of you screaming non-stop, I was at the end of my rope. I didn’t know what to do to help you and I certainly couldn’t take another day of the screaming. Finally, in a moment of clarity, I realized that I just wasn’t listening to you. I was trying to make you do what I wanted you to do and wasn’t letting you have any control over the situation. Once I changed my attitude and started really paying attention to your verbal and physical cues things changed immediately. Instead of focusing on me and all of the things that I feel like I need to do, I’m really focusing on you and it makes a huge difference.
Sometimes all you need to make you happy is a few minutes of snuggling on the couch while you watch Blue’s Clues. Other times you just need me to slow down and wait for you to do things in your time. There are also times when catering to you just isn’t possible, but hopefully in time you will figure out how to deal with those frustrations. Trust me, it really doesn’t get any easier. Mommy doesn’t get her way all of the time either.
You spent a lot of time this month with a pacifier in your mouth. I was all set to get rid of those things once and for all when we returned from our trip to Hawaii last month, but then you got sick. I just didn’t feel right taking away your one comfort item when you weren’t feeling well so I waited. Then you started with the constant screaming. For my own sanity I gave in and let you have your pacifier outside of your bed. It was the only way I could comfort you. Once you had that chunk of plastic in your mouth, you would immediately settle down, lay your head on my chest, and hug me with all the strength you had left. Then all of a sudden you started saying “noonie” and asking for your pacifier whenever you got upset. I detest that word with every ounce of my being and have been trying to get your dad to stop saying it since the day you were born. Obviously, I was unsuccessful and now I’ll get to hear you screaming it from your crib when I finally gather enough strength to throw the darn thing away for good.
Every day it seems you have grown up a little more. Your skills are improving at such a rapid pace. You are getting much better at using a spoon and fork when you eat. Most of the food even makes it to your mouth these days. There are still stains on your clothes at the end of the day, but if you take after me that will still be happening when you are 30. I have even started giving you an open cup every once in a while with a little bit of water in it, but most of it ends up running down your belly. I’m sure you will get the hang of it soon.
Your speech has also been improving. You are saying new words every day and even putting words together into short phrases. I’ve caught “you mean” a few times, as well as “want more” and “Izzy down”. I love listening to you talk and come up with new sounds. You are even learning a few words with multiple syllables. You also sometimes string together a bunch of jibberish, trying to create sentences that you don’t yet have the words for.
One of your biggest accomplishments this month was going pee in the potty. We have been slowly introducing the potty over the last couple of months. You got your Elmo potty for Christmas, but haven’t shown much interest in it until recently. A couple of weeks ago I picked up two books about going potty when I was out shopping and you have been carrying them around with you ever since. One night before you got in the bath tub you decided you wanted to actually sit on the potty. Daddy was in the bathroom with you so I stepped out for a few minutes. When I came back, you had gone pee. Daddy and I were both very excited. We clapped, sang, and praised you until you thought we had gone nuts. Since then you haven’t wanted to sit on the potty again, but that’s okay. I’m pretty sure you will when you are ready.
Another big accomplishment has just happened over the last few days. Up until now, every time you managed to get a crayon in your hand you would chomp down and try to eat it. For the last several days, however, you have been actually using the crayons to color with. You have even started naming the things that you are drawing. I was surprised the day you pointed to your drawing and said “star”. Now we just need to work on keeping the coloring on the paper and not on the floor.
Even though this month has been a little rough on both of us, I wouldn’t change a thing. The ups were incredible and the downs were extremely frustrating. I know my temper has flared more than I like to admit and I wish I could take that back, but I know I can’t. All I can do is try to be more patient in the future. You are such an amazingly smart little boy. Some days I think that I am learning more from you than you are from me. I am so thankful that you are a part of my life.