My sweet Tobin,
Your brain is going so fast. You are constantly learning, imitating, reciting, and analyzing the things you experience. We just got back from our vacation to the Florida Keys—more on that later—and last night I heard you recite a book you hadn’t heard since before we left. It wasn’t a short little board book, either. It was a full-on story (Tacky the Penguin), and you knew the whole thing, almost word for word. You’re a little sponge for input, so we’re trying to make good choices about what you consume. You got more screen time than usual on vacation, but it was mostly Sid the Science Kid. Some people find that show creepy, probably from the CGI animation, but I like it. You learned a lot about rotting fruits.
You’ve been very sweet lately, really relishing cuddling up with your brother and giving your dad and me lots of hugs and kisses. You were so excited when Miles taught you how to buckle your own seatbelt on the airplane (and, unfortunately, how to unbuckle it). You love to climb into chairs with him and generally invade his space when he’ll let you.
Your naps have been getting more erratic. You still nap more days than you don’t, but Thursdays are especially challenging. That’s the day we need to pick your brother up at 2:00 instead of the usual 3:00, and if you’re going to have enough time for a nap and then a buffer to wake up and adjust to your life before I throw you in the car or the stroller, I pretty much have to get you down by noon. Today, that did not happen. You’re lying on my shoulder in bed right now, watchingCaillouwhile I write this. The days you don’t nap often lead to tough evenings, but you generally go to sleep easily those nights.
Our trip was pretty much perfect. The drive from Miami to Marathon Key was tough, after a long day of flying, but we made it. Your dad and I were tired and hungry when we arrived, and you probably were too. Still, we stopped by the beach to get our toes wet before we walked to a restaurant near our condo. Nobody would have guessed that you’d been up since 5 a.m. and traveling all day by your behavior there. You and Miles both went nuts for the ocean. You probably didn’t remember your first visit to the ocean last year, so it was really exciting for you. You guys ran in the sand, splashed in the gentle surf, and got a lot wetter than we’d planned considering we were headed straight to dinner.
One of my favorite parts of our trip was the several morning walks we took together. You and I are usually the first ones up in the family on days when sleeping in is possible, and we took advantage of those early hours by exploring the beach at sunrise. You loved the beach and the nice warm swimming pool, but your favorite water feature on the trip was the foot-wash station between the two. That was another time when you got wetter than we expected, because a spigot that’s shin-high on a grownup is tummy-high on you.
You are currently very into kissing on the lips. On our vacation, you mouth-kissed a little terrier of some kind, a dolphin, and me (not necessarily in that order). The dolphin kiss happened at Theater of the Sea, a smaller-scale Sea World type of place. We went with your cousin Clif and his family, who were also vacationing in Florida at the time. Another fun thing we did was host my cousin Erin and her family, including cute little Gwyn. They came to our condo and had fun at the beach and pool with us. I don’t think you kissed Gwyn on the lips, for which the adults were grateful.
We were actually all healthy the whole time, praise the kind folks at Purell. After all the colds and worse we’ve had this winter, it was wonderful to spend a truly happy and relaxed week together. When I asked you what your favorite part of our vacation was, you said, “The little cookie packs.” Yes, they were good.
You were happy to get home, though. When you woke up yesterday morning and I reminded you that we were home in Iowa City, you smiled and said, “Yay,” in a sleepy little voice. You were excited to get back to your dragon, dinosaur, and ogre toys, and of course the books we didn’t pack. It’s been fun watching you rediscover your old favorites.
Thanks for being my travel buddy, Tobes. I’m happy to see a sunrise for you no matter where we are.