Dear Ian, You are 17 months old and I believe Dickens said it best when he wrote, "it was the best of times. It was the worst of time."
Everything for you is either the greatest thing you have ever experienced or the absolute harshest tragedy a toddler has ever had to endure. That changes from minute to minute. The funny thing is that GrandDaddy has complete amnesia of how your uncle and I were at this age so he keeps saying he doesn't remember us being this fretful. He surmises that you may grow up to be very impatient. Your father said that if that were true, you would also grow up to crap your pants and always need help getting on and off the sofa. We like to believe that this is just a phase.
Don't get me wrong, it has been awesome. But it has been busy. So busy that I'm barely getting this newsletter written while you're still 17 months old. A big milestone that happened right around your "birthday" is that you realized Daddy was part of the family and not just some dude that hangs out with you and Mama. You learned his name. You ask about him when he's not around. You show occasional enthusiasm when he shows up. You point him out when you see his photo (or any hockey player on the television).
But nothing compares to the joy that Elmo brings you. We didn't start this Elmo train, but we're along for the ride. Good gracious, if there is a fuzzy red person anywhere you will find him and shout his name. It works out pretty well, though, because we can get you to do most anything as long as it's Elmo-endorsed. So you now have an Elmo toothbrush and Elmo books to read before bed and an Elmo doll to carry places and an Elmo gardening set to help Mama in the yard. It's all Elmo all the time.
You've learned how to play golf out in the yard. Well, you've learned how to swing a small plastic club at anything and everything. You also have learned how to swing Daddy's wooden sword at his shield in the garage and are really working on your form. It's been frustrating that you want to spend so much time outside because we find ourselves standing on the deck trying to explain that it's cold and windy and getting dark and might be time for some dinner and bedtime. You just shake your head no and head off into the yard, undeterred. As your father said, "it's gonna be a loooong summer."
We're prepping for warmer weather by getting memberships to the zoo and the aquarium. You rawred at the lions and the zoo! You also rawred at the fish in the aquarium. Rawr! is a very versatile word for you these days.
We're still all in the bed together and you're still taking up more than 50% of it. You don't "sleep through the night" (I'm not even sure what that term means anymore) but if we're lucky you only stir twice a night and some Mama milk settles you right back down. You are prone to nightmares, though, and you swat the air (or me) while yelling NO! at the top of your lungs. It's as if someone suggested you might put on a coat. But this and the kicking and the squirming we all take in stride because most mornings you wake up, look over immediately and grin "Hi!".
Why hello to you too, little buddy.