Hi! It’s Daddy. You know, Daddy: The guy who always tries to wrangle diapers on you while you wriggle away, and the one constantly yelling “Slow down!” as you run anywhere and everywhere in this great big world.
I’m back with another letter to you on your birthday; yesterday on Halloween you turned 2, and Mommy and I are so, so proud of the little boy you’re becoming.
It’s been such a wonderful year watching you grow physically, mentally, and emotionally, from a baby who barely made any sounds (other than crying, you were always good at that) into a toddler who is more and more like a “little person” than before.
So many changes this year for you, Theo, but maybe most of all has been your understanding of the world around you.
We are constantly amazed at how much you understand. Like when I tell you it’s time for us to go somewhere you immediately run and grab your sneakers, then hustle to the front door and grab my sneakers and bring them back to me. (Your first full sentence is “Let’s go, Daddy!”)
You may have been a little late at the talking thing, but wow did you pick up what everyone around you wanted super-early.
You started walking this year, and within what seemed like a few days quickly advanced to running. You are climbing and jumping and looking to get on top of every playground you can. Maybe it’s a younger brother thing, but you are way more adventurous than your older brother Nate was at this age, which scares me into thinking: You’re totally going to make Daddy ride roller-coasters when you get older.
I lovingly tell people that you came equipped with only two speed settings: Zero, and 60. You only stop moving, it seems, for two things: Sleep, and food.
And yeah, let’s talk about you and food, Theo. It’s a love affair that’s gone on for two years, and shows no sign of stopping. You lead with your belly when you run. You eat just about everything, but you really have a special love of meatballs, and hamburgers, and blueberries, and pasta, and pizza… and yeah pretty much everything.
But meat, that’s what you really make disappear from your high chair tray table. You love, love, love you some meat. You demolish whatever we give you like a baby shark chomping on chum.
I hope you never stop enjoying food, although your constant demand for cookies and sweets from the snack drawer can be a little much (you run over to it, grab what you want, then rush over to me pleadingly like, “Hurry up and open the wrapper, please!” Seriously, you could find our snack drawer blindfolded.)
Your talking was slow to arrive, but in the last few months though you’ve really made strides, finally learning how to say your brother Nate’s name (he loves that!), and you call yourself “Eo” because that “Th” is still too hard for you.
You also love saying “balloon” and “more,” and also seeing a school bus makes you scream “BUS!” with delight. (And I’m delighted when you, me and Nate all scream “Kakko!” at random times, saluting the new Rangers player Daddy has a man-crush on.)
This year you also made strides in so many other areas; you learned how to swim a little bit, loving the slide at Goldfish Swim that we go to each week; unlike a lot of other babies, you’ve enjoyed going underwater from the first day I submerged you.
You find so much fun in playing with your toys, especially Magna Tiles, your brother’s old Elmo doll (you want to see what pure joy looks like, just watch you hug Elmo) and any of the “ABC” song toys we have. You love bopping along to the ABC song, happily trying to say letters, with a big smile on your face.
Unfortunately, you’ve gone through a big hitting phase this year, smacking and tackling other kids, not out of anger but usually just enthusiasm. You seem to be mostly over it, thankfully, but it’d be OK if you didn’t pinch our private parts as much as you do 🙂
You’re almost always smiling, Theo, except for when you’ve fallen and hurt yourself while trying to do a “big boy” thing on the playground. You want to be a big boy SO badly, just like your brother.
Let’s see, what else has happened this year… you had your first emergency room visit this summer; that was no fun but everything turned out OK. You continue to love music and Little Gym classes (that’s you swinging to your heart’s content on the high bar in the pic above).
And most importantly, Theo, the love between you and your older brother has grown and grown. Nate can’t spend enough time with you, whether it’s riding your little motorcycles around the kitchen every night, crashing into the kitchen cabinets on them; playing cars in the basement, or just wrestling on the carpet in Nate’s room.
You get so excited when Nate comes in in in the morning to say hi, and you always run into his room excitedly after bath for story time. You two hug each other so much and make Mommy and me so proud at how generous you are with each other.
Oh, you guys fight sometimes, and I know in later years there will be blood from both of you on our nice white walls at times. But right now, both of your hearts are filled with pure love for each other.
I guess I’ll wrap it up here, it’s late and you’re sleeping so peacefully in your crib, as I just went in to check on you.
Theo, Mommy and Daddy are so proud of the little boy you’re becoming, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store over the next year.
We love you so much, and please, slow down a little sometimes.
P.S.: You really need to start saying “Let’s Go Duke!” soon. It’s basketball season.