My little big-boy Miles,
I finally got around to editing and uploading your birthday video (I have a lot less spare time now that you don’t take naps anymore), and in the process, what stuck out the most was your enthusiasm. On that particular day, you were excited about balloons and presents, but that energy expresses itself every day on all kinds of subjects. It’s not always positive, either: you’re just as likely to have a grump attack as a delight attack, and guess which one I like better? But you definitely express your opinion, and a lot of times it seems like you say no even to something really great, just because you want us to know you’re an individual with opinions, and even though we provide you food and shelter and bedtime stories and kisses and wagon rides, we are not the bosses of you.
This is a key sticking point in our current hot topic, the potty. You made a huge breakthrough this month by using the potty for the first time, and you’ve had at least one or two potty successes every day, but it requires a lot of tenacity on our part. You haven’t quite caught on to the “have to go” sensation, so you’ve had some accidents, but I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it. The problem is that lavishing praise and promising rewards doesn’t seem to work on you. It seems that you don’t much care that your dad and I are delighted by a purple bowl of pee (though you do like the chocolate eggs you get for a good effort). We move your Potty Success plate a few inches up the bathroom wall every time you make it to the potty in time, and the deal is you get a substantial reward when it reaches the ceiling. This morning, your dad said that if you could get the plate past the towel bar, you could have a reward. You hit that goal today, but you never bothered to choose what kind of reward you wanted, and you never asked about it again. I think we’ll go ahead and get you a balloon or something tomorrow, just to cement the idea that potty equals treasure.
One of my favorite things about you lately is how imaginative and dramatic you’ve become. You love to act out your favorite stories, which is lots of fun and reminds me of how much I enjoyed doing the same thing as a kid. Your favorites lately are the Three Billy Goats Gruff and the Three Little Pigs, and you usually choose the troll or wolf role and assign your dad and me everything else. It makes me think about all the times I played the Wizard of Oz and made Skittergramps be everyone but Dorothy.
Another thing you’ve been doing really well lately is helping me cook. Almost every afternoon, you say, “Can I help you make something for Daddy?” If I don’t have anything in mind for dinner yet, I ask you what we should make, and you often suggest tuna. This is weird because I don’t think you’ve ever had tuna, and I hardly ever make anything with tuna because your dad doesn’t like it. I think you just heard the word somewhere and got a kick out of it. After I talk you out of tuna, you help me dump ingredients into bowls, mix them up, and other introductory-level preparations. I try to work a little fraction lesson in now and then, especially when we’re baking and we need to use the 1/4 cup measuring cup 3 times, but mostly you’re interested in sampling frosting. You did just that with your dad’s birthday cake, as well as picking the color scheme. You can’t tell from the picture, but it was white and lavender.
You’re getting prepared to be a big brother really well. You were very gentle when we visited two tiny new babies recently, and you like to kiss my tummy and say, “This is your big brother Miles and your sister Mommy.” I think the whole “boys are brothers, girls are sisters” conversation missed an important detail. We have an ultrasound scheduled for next week, and we plan to take you along to watch. I hope you enjoy it.
We’ve had a lot of people coming and going from the house lately as they work on our downstairs remodeling project. We’re (they’re) completely overhauling the bedroom and bathroom, and now that the project is almost finished, you have taken great joy in running around the empty bedroom and screaming. It can get a little loud, but so can your angry running-and-screaming sessions, so I’m okay with the joyous ones. It’s a good thing newborns can sleep through loud noises, though.
And even though your inexplicable mood swings tire me out and make me take deep breaths to maintain my composure, I’m still glad you have opinions. I’m glad you have them even when they’re ridiculous, like refusing to try the caramel pudding pie because you think you only like chocolate pudding. That meant I didn’t have to share my pie.
But, as you often remind me, I do have to share you: with Daddy, with Mubby and Skittergramps, with Nana and Papa, with Uncle Michael and Uncle Tyler, and with anyone else you can think of to rub in the fact that you’re not just my tiny little baby. You’re a person out in the world, riding a tricycle and petting newly-hatched chicks and doing nude yoga. You make the world weird but awesome.