Hey, Miles—guess what I love?
We were reading one of your favorite books, Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester. It’s about a penguin who is kind of weird, but valuable in his own way. Unlike his tidy friends, Tacky doesn’t march 1-2-3-4; he marches 1-2-3, 4-6, 3-6-0, 2 1/2, 0 (or something—pardon my slight inaccuracies). One recent time when we read that story, we got to the 2 1/2 part, and you said, “Just like Miles!”
Yes, my little heart, you are two and a half. I read somewhere that the terrible twos peak right around this point, but you have been a joy lately. You handled our vacation like a little trooper, despite air travel, car travel, jet lag, weird nap schedules, new people, and lots of busy and loud places. You had a few trouble spots, of course, but mostly you handled things great.
In fact, you even invented a new strategy for ensuring your precious personal space. You employed it with great aplomb with your Auntie Lily, who is a deeply loving person and your very special buddy, but she can sometimes be a little enthusiastic for your tastes. When she got up in your face requesting kisses and you weren’t into it, you turned back to your watercolors and said, very matter-of-factly, “Busy painting right now!”
I’m so proud of what a good job you’re doing as you learn and experience new things. You had a blast playing with your cousin Lisa in California, especially swimming in Uncle Larry’s pool. With your water wings on, you quickly got over any trepidation and tooled around the pool like a big guy.
We had so much fun on our vacation. You ate lots of noodles and Chinese food, and you loved the fish and penguins (you did the ASL sign for “I love you” to them through the glass) at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You thought the shops full of brightly colored plastic junk items in Chinatown were fantastic. You danced and sang and watched fireworks, and you and Skittergramps did inventory of your little guys and little girls every morning.
On our trip to the beach in Monterey, you enjoyed the sand more than the ocean, but that’s an improvement over last time. You liked finding rocks and instructing your dad to throw them into the water, and you really liked the seashells Mubby collected for you. They’re in your penguin backpack right now, ready to play with once the newness of your home toys wears off.
Today is the first day back to our normal routine, and I think it’s good for everybody. You were excited to see Beanie when she arrived this morning, and you gave her a nice round of applause and a big hug. You reminded us that Mommy would be home at lunch time and Daddy would be home at dinner time, and you let us leave with nary an issue.
You’re making sentences and forming observations about your world. You’re telling jokes, mostly focusing on the absurd (e.g., telling me that Daddy is actually Mommy and that we eat not with our mouths and tummies but with our eyeballs). We’ve been telling bedtime stories, and you can recite Goldilocks and the Three Bears almost start-to-finish, and you’re able to fill in the blanks of Jack and the Beanstalk pretty thoroughly too. When I was a little girl, Skittergramps would tell me bedtime stories, and sometimes he’d fall asleep and I’d have to finish them for him. I think you’re not to far from that level.
You definitely like things your way. This morning I was tidying up a little before Beanie arrived, and you got mad at me for moving your penguin backpack into the play room. When I brought it back to the living room, you weren’t happy about me standing it in corner, either. No, it had to be lying flat, exactly as I’d found it. I guess that makes for easier access to your seashells.
Your dad is happy about the fact that you guys can play Legos together. We just got back from Chicago, where I was attending a conference and you got some good Daddy time. Your dad spotted the Lego store, and the items you purchased there occupied you for the rest of our time in Chicago, and they were among the first things we unpacked when we got home. You are especially fond of the clear blocks. Your dad is pretty psyched about them too. Sometimes he remembers to share.
You’re doing all kinds of smart and cool stuff lately, and I love watching you make mental connections. You were watching me edit video of our trip, and the iMovie icon for a cross-fade transition shows the silhouettes of three people riding bicycles. You pointed to them and said, “Mommy, Daddy, Miles.” You said the same thing last night when you found three columns in your block set. We’re a good team, the three of us.
Thanks for letting us be your co-captains.
(This may be optimistic.)