As we brainstormed baby names, your dad and I were talking about how we didn’t specifically plan to give you the nickname Tobes. I had envisioned calling you Toby, which I still sometimes do. But somehow, the nickname that stuck the best was Tobes. I don’t know why. It just suits you. You’re a Toblerone, a Tobalicious, sometimes a Toby or a Tobester, but you’re most often a Tobes.
We have had a wild month. We’ve been traveling all around, visiting family and attending events. You’ve seemed extra sleepy lately, taking many more spontaneous naps than usual. I don’t know if it’s all the activity or just a developmental stage, but after being napless for months, you’re back on them now and then. Last night, it wasn’t even bedtime quite yet. Your brother was reading you a story in the big chair, and from the other room, your dad and I heard him say, “Tobin, are you awake?” You didn’t answer, so we went in to check on you, and there you were, snoozing with your head on your brother’s shoulder. Your dad put you in bed fully clothed, and you slept a full night’s sleep.
My big plan for next weekend is a potty training boot camp. You haven’t been too cooperative so far. You’ll sit on the potty now and then, but it’s never your idea, and you almost never get anything out. Starting this weekend, we’re going to be done with diapers. The Three-Day Potty Training method specifies no bottoms at all in the house (they say for three months, but that doesn’t really seem realistic). We’ll try it for the weekend anyway, and hopefully you’ll get the hang of it. I don’t plan to let you back into diapers, but maybe after the weekend is over we’ll put you in big-boy underpants. I’ll need to check on the status of our cleaning products. You do seem interested in earning the stickers that go with the potty-themed book Nana got you. I hope those remain motivating.
Your current favorite thing to do is play game after game of Trouble and Dinosaur Train Pop ‘n Race, which is basically Trouble with dinosaur illustrations. You don’t seem to care a lot who wins. You just like popping the die dome and moving your little pegs around. We don’t play a cutthroat version (ie, nobody gets sent back home when another piece lands in the same spot). Maybe we should switch to that, because just moving in circles around the board is pretty boring. You also enjoy jumping back and forth between the couch and the futon downstairs, wearing your Spider-man costume to pick your brother up from school, and talking about Dr. Dreadful (still). The next time I write your monthly letter and I don’t mention Dr. Dreadful, it will either be because you finally forgot about the blasted thing, or I’ve become so used to hearing about it that it’s no longer discussion-worthy.
Photo by Gary Clarke
You and your brother are both really into the show Wild Kratts right now, and you’ve both taken to spouting various animal facts. You drew perhaps your best artwork yet today, a couple of squid. You like the episodes about bats and platypuses a lot. Thanks to Netflix, you can easily watch them between games of Trouble.
Photo by Denny
I took you to a doctor’s appointment last week for your annual check-up. You’re at the 48th percentile for both height and weight, so I guess I have official confirmation that you’re not a little chub-chub anymore. Your grocery store girlfriend commented the other day that you seem to look a lot older all of a sudden. You’re thinning out, and your cheeks are less squishy. We were counting birthdays last night, and you told me you’d be four on your next one. I did my usual exaggerated sorrow response, bemoaning the loss of mah bay-bay. You said, “You’re just kidding. You like me being four.” I had to admit that you were right. I can’t imagine loving you any less, ever, even when you’re a weird teenager.
Last weekend, you and Miles stayed at Mubby and Skittergramps’s house for the first time without your dad and me. He and I went to Minneapolis for a brief babymoon. You had lots of fun. Mubby kept you beyond busy, with excursions and crafts and apple-bobbing. When we got home, you asked me why we went to “that apple place.” It took me several guesses (I assumed you meant either the orchard where we picked apples last month or the orchard activity center to which Mubby and Skitter took you) to figure out you meant Minneapolis.
Other recent events include a trip to Nana and Papa’s farm along with a visit to the Covered Bridge Festival. You got to pet a baby lamb, which Papa plucked right out of its pen, much its mother’s irritation. You played out by a creek, rode in a tractor, jumped over and over into a corn pit, and ate a lot of junky vendor food.
Photo by Denny
We also had fun at my cousin Debi’s wedding. It all took place outside in her big new backyard, and you had a great time riding around on scooters with cousin Josh and popping the giant bubbles Miles blew.
We have more busy times coming up: next week you have your last swim lesson, Big Sibling class at the hospital, some time with your favorite babysitter Olivia while your dad and I go to Miles’s school conference, and of course Halloween. You may need a few more naps this week, but at least it will be nice to be home for the weekend.
Pants-free weekend, that is. This could prove to be interesting.
I will still love you if you pee on the floor.
I will still love you when you turn four.
I will still love you, with or sans clothes.
I will still love you. You’re my little Tobes.
Photo by Denny