Dear Ian, Last week you turned 18 months old, on Good Friday even, so we took the whole day off to celebrate. From that day forward, you have not had a decent night's sleep. This particular milestone was not in the baby books.
We took you to your well baby checkup and they said you look great. You are 35" high and just shy of 20 lbs. You're in the 97th percentile for height and they said you have all the physical attributes of a 2 year old. As we joked "why can't your 2 year old talk better? Because he's only 18 months old!"
The pediatric assistant said that I shouldn't nurse you anymore at night because it's bad for your teeth. But a) I don't agree that breast milk will rot your teeth and b) if it made you sleep better I'd give you donuts twice a night.
You go to bed easily around 8:30 or 9 without a fight. But around midnight or 1am, you start wailing and are pretty inconsolable for several hours. After a series of Google searches and asking everyone we can and clever deductive reasoning, your father suspects you are just going through a book of all toddler sleep disorders and working your way through it chapter by chapter.
We thought it was teeth since you're drooling and you don't like to lie down (molars can put pressure on your ears). We thought it was night terrors since you don't seem to be awake but are crying and flipping out all stiff-legged. We thought it was a growth spurt since you are eating more in the evenings. We thought it was just one of those things. But really it doesn't seem to matter why it is, we're just doing the best we can to get through it together as a family. For now we take shifts holding you in the recliner. It's not a perfect system but it works.
While our lack of sleep has taken a front seat lately there is still a ton of other stuff going on. You are learning new words every hour. You say please! You said sticker the other day. On Easter Sunday you learned how to say hockey and now yell "HOCK-EEEE!" HOCK-EEE!" every time it comes on the TV. You even recognize it on the radio. Since it's the playoffs right now, you're getting plenty of hockey time.
You tried your hardest to say Grandma and Granddaddy today but those are tough because they sound so much like Mama and Daddy. But you seem to understand who they are by "name" even if you can't say it.
You love riding in your seat on the front of my bike. The first time I tried it, you were not so keen on the helmet, but now you run to the bike whenever you see it. I admit at times to wishing I could hide the bike when I'm not up to pushing all 30 lbs of you around the neighborhood, but I remind myself these days are fleeting.
There's a lot of waiting for you to do things yourself. You have to buckle your own seatbelt, you want to "lock" the front door with our keys. We can't feed you soup or yogurt anymore but have to just hover on stand by while you do it. You will knock down people to get to the front porch and feed the neighborhood kitty. You even "helped" with our garden this week, mostly by throwing dirt around.
This is a great phase in that you understand most everything we say. It can just be hard on all of us because we don't understand everything you say. As your father's friend once said, this is the age when we're convinced you're speaking Korean. It's also frustrating because we're convinced you understand we're telling you that you have to sit down if you want to eat more guacamole, yet you continue to hop on the chair with an impish grin.
The weather is getting warm and we're spending tons of time outside. I'm so happy to see you enjoying the outdoors. Maybe the next time you wake up in the middle of the night we should see if camping in the backyard would make you sleep better.
As always, it's great to know you. I look forward to seeing all the new things you learn this month.