My sweet Callum,
You’re the only one in the family who’s not sad and angry right now, because you don’t pay attention to current events. I don’t want to swamp your monthly letter in negativity, and I don’t feel capable of discussing the U.S. election right now in hopeful terms. Right now I’ll focus on something beautiful in our world: you.
Not surprisingly, Halloween was a big hit with you. You added a key word to your vocabulary: Kit Kat. You’ve been asking for them every day, and lucky for you, your brothers brought in a huge candy haul featuring many Kit Kat bars. Since I don’t let you have more than one a day (or two if you really earned it and/or I really need to keep you occupied in your high chair for a few minutes), that six-pound bag is going to last quite a while. I used a bunch of candy in a batch of monster cookies for Miles’s school and for our Family Folk Machine concert, but I left the Kit Kats for you.
Your dad took Miles and Tobin out trick-or-treating, and you went with them. I told him to feel free to bring you home if you weren’t tolerating the adventure well, and you could help me hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. You didn’t come back until the big boys had filled their buckets, though, because you loved it as much as they did. You wore Miles’s old Max costume (from Where the Wild Things Are), and you fit right in when we went to school to help with his class party. The big kids treated you so sweetly and you had a great time.
You’re learning lots of words lately and are starting to combine words into phrases. You asked for water (“awa”) the other day, so I filled a cup for you. You shook your head no, then walked over to the windowsill and said “awa pan.” It took some gesturing, but I figured out that you meant you wanted to water the plants. You love watering the plants. Mostly I only let you do it with an empty watering can, because otherwise they’d drown.
You’ve also been crazy for reading books lately. Many times a day, you do this cute little backward scootch into someone’s lap with a book in your hands. You can fill in the blanks in many of them, especially Dr. Seuss’s ABCs. You don’t really like the “camel on the ceiling” part, or at least you don’t think the picture looks right. When we get to that part, you always have to grab the book from me and turn it around so the camel is facing the right direction. You also really like Leslie Patricelli’s Yummy, Yucky. You can tell us that eggs are “mummy” and earwax is “ucky.” When we get to the part about cookies/coffee, you agree that the cookies are yummy, but you say the coffee is “‘ot.” I like your attitude. Coffee is not yucky at all. It’s necessary.
We’ve been taking a lot of walks lately, because my treadmill is broken and that’s the only way for me to get any exercise these days. Luckily it’s been a warm couple of weeks. You sometimes get antsy in the stroller for our long walks around the neighborhood, but mostly you seem to relax and enjoy it. You like it when we see dogs and squirrels. You also like playing with toys, especially the Imaginext Batman toys. I heard you doing a pretty good imitation of the Joker’s laugh from the big boys’ bedroom.
You love copying your brothers’ activities, but you’re not quite up to the level of responsibility required for everything they do. You want to write on paper like they do, but you can’t help yourself from chewing the erasers off all our pencils. I don’t know where the appeal lies in that, but you can’t get enough. You also do a good job coloring with markers, but if I don’t keep a close eye on you, you write on the furniture (or worse, chew the felt tip off and look like you have a mouth full of tooth rot). Fortunately, most of our markers are washable and non-toxic.
You give wonderful hugs with tender little pats and gentle cheek touches. You still love a good game of peekaboo and sharing a bath with Tobin. Your current favorite food is dried cranberries (and Kit Kats), you like going on the swings at the park (especially when Miles pushes you), and you’ve been sleeping pretty darn well.
Your sweet face is helping to hold us up in difficult times, my darling little boy. We’re going to work hard to build a better world for you.