This month seemed to go by in the blink of an eye, I think because we had visitors for most of it. I’m not sure where all the days went, but I seem to have barely taken any pictures of you, and my notes in your journal are quite sparse as well. You did love having all the visitors, and I think you were a bit disappointed at the end of the month when your auntie and uncle left and it was just Mummy and Daddy again. Your favourite thing to do, no matter who was staying with us, was to ask them to read Cars and Trucks and Things that Go with you. It made me laugh whenever I heard someone say, “Ok. E., I’ve got time to read you one more story”, because I knew which book you would invariably then choose. After all, you only have one book that offers sixty-nine pages of vehicles and thirty-five (or thereabouts) opportunities to find Goldbug.
Your love for dump trucks, school buses, cement mixers, and other vehicles continued unabated this month. One of your new favourite activities is to lie flat on the floor next to your ride-on car, pushing it around the room and examining the wheels with great intent. You do this with some of your smaller trucks as well, and your Daddy and I have decided that our best guess is you’re quite keen to figure out exactly how the wheels work. At your favourite park someone has recently donated/abandoned some giant Tonka trucks, and given the weather has stayed relatively warm and entirely snow-free, you’ve spent quite a few mornings pushing them around the swings and climbing structure. You love building Megablok towers on top of your tractor, although you will complain quite persistently if your tower’s inherent lack of structural integrity causes it to become unstable and we don’t appear to lend it a steadying hand to allow you to build it even higher. I’m afraid, my son, that as long as you insist on building towers that consist of stacking one single blok on top of another, they are always going to become too tall and skinny to be able to stand on their own once you hit sixteen or seventeen bloks (I think seventeen is your record for a tower of single bloks with no help from either of us).
Your favourite day of the week in the neighbourhood is garbage day, and you’ll stand on our couch waiting for the truck to appear. We had some men come to cut down the big tree in our backyard last week, and while at first you were very excited about watching them, when they actually started to take down branches you found the whole process a little overwhelming. You don’t seem to mind that the view from your window has changed significantly, and your Mummy and Daddy are very excited about how we’ll be able to rehabilitate our grounds now that we’re getting more light and we’re not in danger of having a branch fall on our heads!
We’ve been going to the drop-in at the library pretty much every Monday for a few weeks now, and it’s been interesting watching you become ever more comfortable in the space. At first you used to stick right next to me, or, at best, explore while clutching Berenice Bunny tightly, and you only liked circle time if you could climb up to the back of the room and watch from a safe distance. Now, although we still bring your bunny, she’s usually abandoned on the floor as soon as you spy something of interest, and during circle time you’ll run up to the leader and ask for “more” trips to the moon. We tried out a new location this week now that your Mummy has finished teaching for the semester, and it is a wonderful room with lots of space and great new toys, including a toy kitchen, complete with shopping cart that you took an instant shine to. We’ll definitely be going back in the new year on a regular basis. It’s fun watching what you choose to play with when we’re at the drop-in locations. You don’t have very many toys at home, and even though I rotate them around every week, they’re all pretty simple. I like seeing what catches your attention- I file away ideas for future Christmas and birthday presents! You’re pretty much equally disinterested in arts and crafts at home or at the drop-in. You’ll colour for a minute or two, and you don’t mind play-doh, but you’d rather be building with your Megabloks or pushing around your cars, or helping me clean or cook.
We bought you your own broom and dustpan and brush, and you love them. You’ll help me sweep up the kitchen, and you’ve started trying to clean up your own messes from snack as well. At the table you’ll grab the washcloth we use for your hands and mop up any milk that gets spilt. You still help put your toys away at night, and you make sure we don’t miss even one piece from your Megabloks. One new activity this month was I finally got organized and put together the sand/water table your Grannie and Grandpa bought you for your birthday. We never set it up in the summer because the yard wasn’t safe for you. But now it’s in our basement, filled with lentils and split peas, and it is a great source of entertainment after your nap when we don’t have enough time to go back outside. You are very careful not to pour the lentils and split peas onto the carpet, but some always end up on the floor while you play, and I have to tell you that it is ok to leave them there until you are finished, as you’re ready to start picking them up and putting them back in one by one. You still absolutely love dancing and will request that we put music on as soon as we come downstairs in the morning. Your favourite cds this month have been the soundtrack from Forrest Gump and a collection of James Bond themes.
Your routine is still the same, although we had a few weeks right after the time changed where you were waking up very early and, since we had people staying with us, we’d take you into bed with us to try to keep you quiet and happy until it became a more reasonable hour. You’ve obviously decided being in bed with Mummy and Daddy is far too much fun for sleeping, as the little guy who used to snooze with us for a couple of hours when we were travelling in the summer has been replaced by a very long and boisterous toddler who tosses and turns and flips around and kicks us and giggles pretty much non-stop until we give up and get up, or until you decide you’re hungry and start demanding your puffs and milk. Occasionally you are becoming more difficult to get down for a nap, although you’ve always eventually given up and taken one. I think one day you were up there chatting to yourself for almost two hours before you finally gave up and went to sleep. Most days the nap is still two and a half or three hours, and you usually sleep 11 or 12 at night as well, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the nap started to shorten over the next few months. We’re just hoping you don’t drop it anytime soon!
This month was the first time we’ve ever left you overnight. Your Grannie came to stay so your Mummy and Daddy could go out to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their first date. We had a great night- we saw the new James Bond film, went out to dinner, took some glorious long walks on a warm November afternoon, and then stayed in a hotel (where the alarm in the room and the one next door woke us up at 6 a.m.- just when you had started sleeping later too!). You had a wonderful time with your Grannie and didn’t cry at all, except for a very brief moment at bedtime when Grannie cuddled you for so long you fell asleep. When she went to put you in your crib you startled awake and then cried for a couple of seconds asking for “Mum-mee”, but then you went right back to sleep. We were very proud of you for doing so well.
You’re still somewhat fussy with what you will eat, and your tastes and preferences fluctuate from day to day and week to week. Your Daddy and I are getting pretty good at just rolling with what you give us, although I keep making three eggs for us for lunch expecting you to only eat one or none at all only to find you eating two eggs and demanding part of the third! You’ve mastered the use of a spoon and love having cheerios and milk for breakfast. You still prefer to eat your yoghurt with your hands, and you’re not very interested in using your fork. You tend to sweep everything you can reach off the table the moment you decide you’re “all done”, so it is a challenge for your Daddy and I some meals to get to your plate before you do. You will never say no to pancakes, goose sausage, pasta, cheerios, tuna or egg salad sandwiches, apple, pear, banana, crackers and hummous or peanut butter or cream cheese, yoghurt, and schnitzel. Your favourite way to eat veggies continues to be raw, while helping me cook dinner. This month you’ve been especially fond of carrots and mushrooms and less keen on red pepper, which had been a favourite.
We decorated the house for Christmas this month, and you absolutely love the Christmas lights that are on our tree and hung up around the living and dining rooms. If you get up before it’s light we’ll put them on, and then once I unplug them you ask again and again for them to be turned on, even though I always tell you that we have to wait until after nap when it gets dark again. You’ve been so good with the tree. We don’t have many ornaments that could break, and I’ve kept them off the tree in any case, but you haven’t pulled off a single one since we first put the tree up and I explained that the ornaments go on the tree and we have to be gentle with them. I cannot wait to see your face on Christmas morning! Your Grannie made you a felt Christmas tree which is on our fridge door and you love taking the felt ornaments out of the basket in the kitchen and decorating it each morning. We’ve gone for a few walks before dinner when it’s already dark, and you get so excited to see the lights on the houses in the neighbourhood. About the only thing you like better is walking past the new outdoor skating rink they’ve built in the ravine near our house. I have never seen such a look of pure joy on your face to compare with your expression when you watch the hockey players practice. You smile non-stop and laugh with glee. Looks like we might end up being a hockey household after all, despite all of my intentions to the contrary.
I remember this time last year, when you were sitting up but not yet crawling, and decorating the tree and the house with you, and seeing you smile when I first plugged in the lights. I remember thinking how full my heart was, how happy you had made us, how grateful I was for that moment. I couldn’t have ever anticipated how it could just keep getting better.
I love you so very much, my son.