My little Tobin,
I just looked at the date and realized—my goodness, I haven’t written a Tobin Times yet. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about you or spending time with you. We’ve just been so busy, running around in preparation for Christmas and now celebrating it at various locations. I’ve barely had any time to sit and reflect on the last month. I guess I’d better get that done.
Technically I shouldn’t be writing about the holidays yet, since a more organized woman would have posted this on the 21st, but that represents so much of what’s been going on lately that I think I will. You’ll have to do some interesting things between now and your next month birthday so I have more material, okay? Maybe you could learn to drive or something.
Since your last month birthday, you’ve gone to your first and second real movie-theater movies (not counting the one you went to on our cruise, because you fell asleep right as that one started). At Mubby’s instigation both times, you saw Frozen and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Frozen was similar in visual style to your old favorite, Tangled (aka Perdonzo), which makes sense as they’re both CGI Disney films. True to the trope that all Disney female characters look alike, when lovely, blonde Elsa fled in sorrow from her home in Frozen, you said, “Poor Perdonzo.” I guess maybe you thought it was a sequel.
You were a little wiggly during the movies, but not too much. You had a hard time keeping your shoes and socks on, but that happens at home, too. I don’t know how you don’t get chilly, since you often end up with the rest of your clothes off as well. I suppose it’s all the running around you do.
You’ve been having a lot of fun with Christmas and all the presents that kids like you with generous extended families get. I couldn’t place any of our family presents under the tree until the day before Christmas, because I was afraid you’d open them the second you got near them. In fact, even that one day was a challenge. After much discussion on the topic, you resisted the urge to open them. You did stack them like blocks, though. You’ve been stacking a lot of things lately, as a matter of fact. I may go so far as to call it your new favorite hobby.
We found out recently that Uncle Tyler and Aunt Oxana are going to have a baby boy, so it will be fun to watch you little guys grow up together. It will probably also be fun for you not to be the littlest one anymore. On the other hand, you do get away with a lot, so there may be some rough patches as well.
As sweet and engaging as you usually are, you’ve certainly let your angry side show a few times lately. I asked your dad whether he’d checked your mouth for new teeth, because you were chewing on your fingers a lot. He said, “Yeah, when he roars I can see them.” When you don’t get your way these days, we hear some pretty loud roars. But you also like to be helpful. You love to help Skittergramps shovel snow and feed the fish. You help me sweep the floor, and you do a reasonably good job putting away your toys when you’re done with them. You’ve even become a tidier eater. We got Mexican food the other day, and you got an enormous plate of rice. You finished almost all of it, and only a little went on the floor.
Photo by Beth Clarke
You’ve been sleeping great lately. You reliably sleep through the night now, if you’re in bed with us, and you often sleep a long time in your crib if that’s where you start. It’s a mixed bag—when you sleep in your crib, I enjoy the luxury of extra space in bed (you’re cute, but you’re a bed hog). On the other hand, when you’re not in bed with us, I miss you, and I wake up a bunch of times listening for you. Sometimes I tell your dad to just bring you into our bed instead of putting you in the crib after he helps you fall asleep, because I know I’ll get a better night’s sleep if you’re snoozing next to me.
You and your brother have been talking about getting bunk beds and sharing a room, and I could probably get used to that. I think you’d probably be happy if you were with Miles, and I could always come in and snuggle you both if I needed a sweet boy fix. (No, Denny, you’re not chopped liver. It’s just that the kids are so cute.)
Photo by Denny
You’re still funny and verbal and sharp. You remember all kinds of things you hear, which is why we’re very careful about the media you consume. Thus far, you’re pretty satisfied with Curious George and Berenstain Bears videos. Curious George is actually pretty funny. Berenstain Bears isn’t quite as witty, but it’s hilarious to hear you sing along with the slightly weird theme song: “They’re kinda furry around the torso / They’re just like people only more so.” In a very Miles-like tendency, sometimes you mishear things and insist that your version is correct (e.g., a character I thought was named Petrie is, in your very solid opinion, actually named Pee-tweef).
We were bundling up to get Miles from school a week or two ago, and you said, “Is it awful darn cold outside?” You don’t mind your winter gear. You look cute in your poofy yellow coat and Spider-man hat and fuzzy mittens. You love the decorations associated with the holidays, especially the inflatable lawn decorations in some people’s yards. I took you with me on a trip to Walgreens, and you stood mesmerized in front of a display of enormous Santas and snowmen for a long time. The Christmas tree has only lost one breakable ornament so far. I have noticed, though, that one by one, the ornaments are moving their way up the tree, out of your reach. It will be a magical day when I can live free from the fear of wanton destruction.
Photo by Beth Clarke
Actually, “wanton” is too strong a word. Most of the destruction you cause is accidental. You do take some glee in knocking down your brother’s block towers, but you’re not a truly destructive force. You just get excited.
You know what? I’m excited too. Having you around, with your sparkling blue eyes and quick smile, makes every day more fun, but especially the holidays.
I love you, my little snowman.