dear jude • month 17.5

February 11, 2011

Dear Jude,

It's easy these days not to stop and reflect on anything that's going on. There's so much go-go-go-play! It's a huge change from six months ago when I had plenty of time to sit around thinking about life and the future. You've shifted fully into toddler mode and I've found myself living more in the moment. It's refreshing, but doesn't leave a whole lot of room for sitting down and writing out memories.

window exploring

There's no other way to say it: you're delightful. I'm not one of those moms thinks it's "cool" to complain about how annoying their toddler is or how you're driving me crazy (though you do drive me crazy sometimes) because inexplicably I find you so much fun. You make me laugh and laugh with your weird little antics and even your general trouble-causing. Is this normal? Because I don't find you annoying or horrible. Whatever, let's roll with it. I'm not normally one of those mushy feelings moms either, but I like spending time with you, so there.

You're short, too short for all your pants, which you probably come by honestly and will forever. And round, deliciously nommably round because you will eat anything and everything under the sun in alarming quantities.

new bench

The theme of the season now is routine. You're learning that everything happens in a certain order and starting to predict what comes next. In the morning we cuddle in bed and nurse but you keep one eye on the door, as you know dad will come through it at any second from his shower and then you must wave to him, over and over. Sometimes you even wave before he gets there, as if you're just proving to me that you know he's coming. You hear a creak on the steps and you know what it means.

jude

My favorite are the kisses. You will sometimes deign to give us kisses, which means you just stick out your face and stare, waiting to be kissed. Before bedtime you lean in creepily for kisses from everyone, even nico (who ignores you), and then wave wave wave goodnight it's off to bed.

jude

You let me brush your teeth, though there still aren't many of them. You drag your hockey stick around and hit balls around the floor. You want so badly to run– especially outside, but it's been too cold to play most days. You've suddenly decided you like your stuffed friends and will sometimes carry one around with you all day as your companion. You're not super attached to them, but it's nice to see you carrying around a snuggly friend. You'll stop and give it a kiss, or rub it on your face, and I like seeing you show your care for things. You are generally tender and loving, when you aren't running around screaming and breaking things cause, you know... toddler.

jude

You're angry sometimes, but mostly because you think you're hot shit, big stuff. You want to do things yourself. Mostly we just let you have at it even if you fail over and over because you are not thrilled when someone tries to give you a helping hand until YOU decide you're ready. You're also not a huge fan of having to leave a toy behind when it's time to go someplace, or leave Awesome Babysitter's house. Screaming, so much screaming, and head butting. You're over it in a flash but you make sure we all know your ire that you can't take whatever toy you were engrossed in with you.

jude

I dig all the words you're learning, watching you talk was worth the wait. You are starting to follow directions a little bit (AWESOME) and picking up new stuff like lightening. You say: eat, dog, more, milk, mama, dada, up, door, peep, puppy, kiss, kitty, ball, cracker, b (bang), nico, whoa, no, oh no, uh oh, get out, shoes, socks, nose, eye, hi, hello, bye, car, book, cup, yeah, go, and block. Or at least those are the ones I can remember right now (sorry, the list was more for my own records than for you). That is... crazy! I didn't realize until I wrote it out how many words you know! Nice work, kid.

jude

You're big and small at the same time. Getting big, grown up, talking, running, doing what I ask, but then still so small and looking to us for love and comfort. This growing up thing is weird.

Seventeen months is fun. Eighteen will be better.
with love,

mama
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