Dear Ian, Last week you turned 31 months old and we're here to talk about your brain! It's actually what compelled me to sit down and write you a letter, being pretty remiss of late in my chronicling of your milestones.
This last week you have been a bit of a challenge. "Jerk" is the affectionate term your father has used on occasion, combined with one that starts with "A" and rhymes with glass pole. But I prefer to think of all the amazing things going on in that little body of yours and compliment you for retaining what civility you have.
It's been a bit of a "NO" fest around here. They took note of it at school too. So it's been a standoff at times between deciding what we're going to wear or eat or well ... anything. But, to focus on the positive, I think your going through a growth spurt and you're just struggling to keep up. Friday night around 3am, you pulled on my sleeve and said clearly, "Can I have some mama milk, please Mom?" This is the child who normally moans like Frankenstein's monster for milk and suddenly you were in top hat and tails puttin' on the ritz. There are many folks who joke that as soon as a child can ask for milk, it's time to cut them off, but amazed at your politeness in the wee hours of the darkness, I would have given you the moon.
You've also started doing a lot more imaginative play. Yesterday you pretended to put on hockey skates before we played in the living room. You also ate some pretend food as a snack sometime during that workout. As you took two little hockey players out and were lying on the floor making complicated orders, it was all I could do to not immediately order you little green army men on Amazon. (Note to self: order little green army men.) All this brain activity, though, has made it hard for you to sleep. We just spent from 8:30pm to 10pm tonight lying in the dark with you while you tossed and turned, unable to slow your brain. And last night, despite the aid of melatonin to fall asleep you were wide awake at 4am.
But that led to another first for us. We had already had a gallon or two of mama milk and I was growing weary of that. But you still just couldn't fall asleep and you looked at me all sad. Not crying, but just pitiful. I asked you if you wanted me to tell you a story and you said "Yes!" So I started off with "Once upon a time, there was a magical kingdom and in it was a very brave knight named Ian." Even in the darkness of 4am, I could see you grin with recognition. This was going to be a great story! I mixed in some dragons and horses and fire but tried to keep it simple. You were satisfied once I told the story twice and we snuggled under "big covers" (our covers are big covers versus your little blanket) to go back to sleep.
So, sure, you dumped your soup all over my lap at dinner today because you were determined to use the utensils yourself, but you apologized in the car and made sure to smooch me. All was right again in the world as we ate our donuts in the hockey rink. I'm staying positive that the new things you can do far outweigh the bumps in the road along the way.