Letter to Eli, 28 Months

Dear Eli,

This month your world here at home expanded as we opened up the kitchen. You were such an energetic baby and young toddler, full of frenetic activity and not seeming to understand much of any rules we tried to make (nor the word “no”, EVER)  that we had the baby gate keeping you out of the kitchen since you could crawl.

Your Mama has been doing a lot of reading and learning lately though.  It has encouraged me to involve you more in household activities and help you toward independence by allowing you to learn new skills by actually doing what may seem a bit dangerous, such as unloading glass dishes or peeling carrots. I also realized you are not the Godzilla baby you once were any longer. You listen, usually understand, try to follow direction, and are much calmer than you were just a few months ago. So, with a lot of guidance and supervision, you have been learning the ways of the kitchen.

Helping to wipe down the refrigerator.

You have been in seventh heaven with the new arrangement. We’ve been seeing a lot of pots, pans and random kitchen items pulled out of cupboards and onto the floor, as you never had the opportunity for such exploration when you were younger. You are good about putting things away when asked though and now we are seeing a lot less of kitchen-floor-as-counter-top than we were at the beginning of the month. The exploration and joy for you has well been worth the inconvenience and added dishwashing for us. In fact you now know how to load and unload a dishwasher! I was amazed to see you already know where everything goes. An added benefit is that meal preparation is no longer a stressful time of you fussing and complaining on the other side of the fence. Instead I try to find jobs you can do to have a part in making the meal. Hopefully this will carry over into a willingness to try more foods.

You love to help with baking projects… especially banana bread. You are a master at banana mashing and at turning on the mixer.

And when there are no “real” cooking experiences to be had you are quite adept at creating your own.

Similarly you have been stepping up your participation in other household chores mind-blowingly exciting household duties. As you are no longer terrified of the monster residing in the vacuum you delight in harnessing his power to your whim. This particular day you cleaned up all of the rice that overflowed while you played in your rice bin, then you went on to chase down every dust bunny daring to set up residence around the washer and dryer. I am now seeing how beneficial your obsession with the vacuum can be. 🙂

A restful moment with Cori.

This past month you have enjoyed spending time with your cousins. Cori watched you for a few hours one evening while your Daddy and I had a date night for our anniversary. You did so well (as did she)! It is fun seeing you grow ever more independent. I expect you will be having many more Cori-Eli Fun Time opportunities from here on out.

We spent the weekend before July 4th with family as Aunt Jenni and Ali came to visit. Cori and Ali watched you a lot while we were all together, giving your Daddy and I time to visit with the adults. I think you had them both fairly well worn out by the time Sunday night rolled around.

Hanging poolside with Daddy, Ben, Cori and Ali.

Cori and Ali, and lots of water… it just doesn’t get much better than that!

In one single day during that weekend you managed to accidentally fall into the deep end of the pool, fall down a flight of stairs, and jump up on a patio chair causing it to fall over backwards sending you hurdling into a plant stand. Amazingly, you emerged from each disaster unscathed though a bit shaken up. I think I sprouted a few white hairs that day. The next morning I was so thankful to wake up with you snuggled up next to me all in one piece.

You still enjoy a good spin!

The ever popular words “Ewww! ‘Ucky!” are now used for anything that could even remotely be considered gross. You seem to relish the particularly messy diaper changes as there is all the more reason to declare the situation “Ewww! ‘Ucky!” over and over again. It’s enough to make me wonder if this factor alone will push off any desire to learn to use the potty even farther into the future. (Just so you know, the yuckiness could still be loudly proclaimed up until that golden moment of the flush.)

Play dough birthday party… Great for blowing practice! Soon you’ll be blowing your own bubbles. 🙂

The “Happy Birthday to You” song is getting heavy rotation at our house. I’m not sure why you are so fascinated right now as your birthday is neither very recent nor soon to come. You’ve managed to fish a pack of candles out of the baking cupboard to play with. (Sorry, but the matches will remain locked away!) When you aren’t playing with actual birthday candles, toothbrushes, sticks, or wooden peg people will do. You sing (again and again) “‘Appy ew you! ‘Appy ew you!” It’s the first recognizable song you’ve ever sung independently, although before this there have been a few songs of your own creation.

Happy Birthday, Thomas!

Little Eli,  you continue to delight us. Thank you for adding such an incredible layer of joy to our lives.

I love you so very, very, very much!

Mama

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9 Comments

  1. korrale said,

    July 7, 2012 at 1:28 am

    This is so great. I love how you write a letter to Eli.
    James’ favourite song for a long time was happy birthday. And he wouod request i sing it over and over again. He wished me “happy birthday cake day” on my birthday. On fathers day wished my husband “happy birthday cake fathers day”

    In many Montessori homes a small cabinet or a shelf is often dedicated to the child for them to explore and store their kitchen stuff. You can set a bowl, cup, plate, utensils, napkin etc in there and have Eli set them out at snack time.

    James loves cooking with me. Even when he was a baby he would help me. If I was ever breading chicken or pork in a bag (shake and bake style) he would have the honors of shaking and smashing it for me.

    One thing I have learnt about little kids over the years is that they love to help. James also uses a swiffer style sweeper to do the floors each day. He loves to clean the mirror too.

    • July 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      Ok…”happy birthday cake fathers day” is beyond cute! I’ve been running into the idea of the dedicated shelf for children’s dishes. Space is at a premium and I’m not sure where we could store them within reach for him. I have been thinking of getting him more involved helping to set the table for family meals though. I like some of the ideas I’ve seen on the place mats with shapes of the place settings on them. It totally makes sense to get children involved with doing these things when they have the drive and motivation to until waiting until they are older and it is nothing but a struggle. Eli has been so much happier since I’ve begun involving him more in the things I do. You can just see the blossoming!

  2. July 7, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Another beautiful letter! So many beautiful memories captured. I have many fond memories of baking with my mom. Banana bread … yummmmm. 🙂

    • July 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      That’s what I hope Eli will have, other than basic kitchen skills… Great memories of time spent together making delicious things to eat!

  3. Oster's Mom said,

    July 7, 2012 at 10:58 am

    What a wonderful letter you wrote for your son. I think it’s so great that you capture the moment in such detail!

    I love the play dough idea!

    • July 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks! I’m finding that as I look back on letters I wrote a while ago now there are already things that I’d forgotten! At the time you think “I could never forget this” but it happens, especially when your mind is as much a sieve as mine.

      The play dough birthday party was fun… and as these particular batches of play dough had reached the end of their natural life span it was nice to use them to play without needing to touch it very much! (As Eli would say “Ewww! ‘Ucky!”) Time to make new play dough!

  4. July 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Aw, very sweet! Happy 28 months birthday Eli!

    I also love how my little guy is more helpful and active in the kitchen now. I was always afraid of either the mess or his safety, but I realize that the more independent he feels, the better his day seems to be. So he’s now a regular at the kitchen, even if it means “stir-frying” his pretend food in one of our smaller pans.

  5. randalin said,

    July 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I absolutely love reading these letters every month and seeing how incredibly well Eli is doing. I love that he has become such a wonderful helper around the house. This is something that Kale enjoys as well.

    As for all his tumbles, isn’t it incredibly how resilient they are?! I wish I could say the same for myself!

  6. Inder said,

    July 13, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Lovely, but I can’t believe he fell in the pool and down the stairs on the same day?!! Seriously, I’m surprised your hair didn’t go ALL white. Take pity on your mother, child!


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