My sweet Tobin,
Today, a woman at Miles’s school asked how old you are. She started to prompt you to say “one,” but instead, you said, “Twenty months.” She was impressed. I already knew you could do it, but I live with you.
You are such a talker. I really love hearing all the things you have to say, because it lets me know a little of what goes on in your inner life. Sometimes you wake up from a nap talking, so I get to know what you’ve been dreaming about. The other day, it was “messy hands.”
Other things you’ve been saying a lot lately include, “I do it!” and “By myself.” We’ve clearly entered the stage in which I need to budget an extra fifteen minutes for every excursion, because you will not let me help you with much of anything. You want to walk up the stairs to Miles’s school by yourself. You want to get strapped into your car seat by yourself. You want to get snacks out of bags by yourself. Overall you do a pretty good job. I don’t think the car seat manufacturer intended a twenty-month-old to be able to manage the clips, but you can do it. Fortunately, it’s harder to unclip them than to clip them.
It’s hard to get you to sit still enough to eat nowadays. You spend as much time throwing food on the floor as actually eating it. It makes your dad and me so frustrated, because you know full well that you’re not supposed to do it. We’ve told you over and over, and yet you can’t abide food in front of you if you don’t want to eat it. Instead of doing something reasonable like telling us you’re done, you throw it on the floor. You don’t even seem sorry.
You love books right now. You’ve found some favorites, especially the If You Give a… series by Laura Numeroff (and, as you will not let me forget, illustrated by Felicia Bond). You’re also into Caps for Sale, Miles’s Spider-Man story collection, and a book we got at the doctor’s office with pictures of various trucks and tractors. You love to sit in the big chair with your daddy and hear those stories, though you’ll plop onto a lap with a book in your hand just about anywhere.
I babysat a friend’s three-year-old the other morning, and you will not stop talking about him. He was wearing a really cool Robin (as in Batman’s sidekick) costume, and now you really want a Robin cape too. You’ve been picking up the toys you guys played with together and saying, “Johnny.” We’ll have to get together with Johnny and his mom again soon. I think both of your favorite part of the morning was bouncing on Miles’s bed. After a while, you got so worn out you both just lay down and rested on the pillows for a while.
Right now, you’re playing outside with Daddy and Miles. That’s one of your very favorite things to do. In fact we have to spell the word outside, because much like bath, you get so excited when you hear it that we can’t get anything else done. This is going to be your big night: when you come in from playing, it’ll be bath time.
It’s finally starting to get warm enough so that you can play outside without six layers of clothing. It’s been a long winter and the spring has been slow to start, so this is really good news. The forecast for the upcoming week is great, and I’m looking forward to getting out with you guys. We had a fun afternoon yesterday tooling around downtown, though it’s getting harder and harder to keep you in the stroller. You love the big playground by the library. Playing with you there was a very athletic endeavor, because unlike our playground, there are ample opportunities to plummet from great heights. I couldn’t just stand at the bottom and watch you. I needed to be right up there with you to keep you from crashing to your doom. I was more scared than you were, for real.
It’s a good thing Miles is responsible enough that he can scramble around on the playground without constant supervision now. There’s no way I could do it if I were trying to keep two brave and reckless little kids like you alive. I don’t know how parents of twins do it. I guess they only go to small playgrounds.
A librarian with whom we’re friendly mentioned yesterday that my two boys don’t look anything alike. She’s pretty much right. When I look at Miles, all I can see is a little Denny. It’s harder with you, but I definitely see a resemblance between my baby pictures and your sweet little face. I think I was verbal like you, but more shy. If you keep this outgoing personality, there will be no shutting you up. That’s fine with me. It makes it easier to find you. I just follow the sound of chattering.
You’re so bright and curious. Another of your common phrases is, “What this?” You want to know what everything is called, and then you repeat it. You usually remember it, too. When we go on walks, you point out to me not just birds, but robins. You thought a dog was a giraffe yesterday, but to your credit, it did have kind of giraffe-like markings.
You have definite opinions on a lot of things, including clothing choices. You like to pick out clothes for me in the morning. Yesterday you choose my Rooster Club shirt. A lot of times you want me to wear something green. You have your own favorite wardrobe items as well. You like your monster shirt, your whale shirt, all your brother’s sweatshirts, and jeans. I like getting you dressed, because lately you’ve been giving me big hugs as I pick you up from your changing table. You also give me kisses on the legs as I get ready in the morning.
You are such a fun guy. I laugh every single day, many times, because of the funny things you do. You are energetic, charismatic, sharp, and sometimes frustrating. You are learning about imaginative games, pretending to lick the play food items at the library and faking sleep (complete with snores). You are such a joy, Tobin. I am so glad I have you.