Letter to Eli, 29 and 30 Months

Dear Eli,

I have fallen behind in my letters to you, and just at the time when you seem to be changing most rapidly. Now I feel like I don’t even know where to begin in trying to give you a bit of a recap of your life over the past couple of months!

You have changed from attending the toddler group speech and occupational therapy group to going to the developmental preschool program twice a week. You love it there! It’s in the same building as the other program and there is some overlap of the teachers and therapists that you adore so much. One main difference is that the day is three hours instead of two and you go BY YOURSELF! Last March I would never have guessed that you would have become this independent so quickly.

You are so proud of the things you make at school! We are going to have to figure out some strategy for storage as they are beginning to take over the house, yet I don’t dare throw much of anything out. You love to go and fish a project out of the pile and declare “I made this!” Even something made weeks ago will be revisited with equal amounts of pride and satisfaction as the paper that came home just the day before. Anything I tape to the fridge is soon in tatters as you feel the need to remove it to show it to me again.

And speaking of your declarations… in the area of speech you have really taken off. You now use complete sentences more often than not. And you talk all. the. time. (unless we are with other people)! And know what? I’m loving every minute of it! Just nine months ago you’re expressive language was evaluated to be at the level of a nine month old baby, now you are pretty much right on track. You still have trouble with pronouns and some pronunciation problems, but nothing that is very out of place for a two and a half year old.

One thing that you say constantly, as in at least 100 times a day, is “Oh My!” I was unaware that is was something I said on occasion (or perhaps often) until you picked it up. You say it anytime one might say “Look!” or “Wow!” or “Uh oh.”  It’s actually quite cute, if somewhat repetitious.

Your father and I have been marveling at what an easy child you are to manage these days. At the store you will find things you want, bring them to us (“I need this!”), but if we ask you to put it back on the shelf you cheerfully do. We can generally reason with you, and verbally prepare you for those stickier situations that have caused behavioral problems in the past, and you do alright. Maybe it’s the recent surge in your language ability, or perhaps just a new level of maturity. You have always been a delightful child, but easy has never been a word I would have applied to you. I gotta tell ya, I’m enjoying this stage immensely! We’ll see how long it lasts. 🙂

You now joke often and seem to always find the humor in things. The people who work with you at school comment about this as well. They say they love having you around because your laugh is so contagious! Your first verbal joke appeared right around the time you turned 2 1/2. You said you wanted to eat, so I asked you what you would like to eat. Your reply? “Eat pee pee? Eat poo poo?”  Yep, you are definitely a boy. Now one of your favorite jokes is to try to convince me that Dan Zanes on the concert video is playing a guitar even though you know it’s a mandolin; for some reason you find this endlessly entertaining.

The pictures in this letter were taken during our family’s recent vacation to Washington State. It turns out that traveling is pretty hard on you at this stage in your development, more so than it has been in the past. You begged multiple times each day “Go home?” But even so you were a wonderful travel companion. Our flight out was delayed an hour in the terminal and then an additional two hours in the plane just sitting on the tarmac. This for a late afternoon flight that should have gotten us into Seattle for a in time slightly late bed time. But my boy… such a trooper! You were cooperative and meltdown free the entire time, even though we didn’t end up in bed in our hotel until 2:30 a.m. I’m still shocked, it’s more than I would expect from any 2 year old, much less from one who has had  sensory processing and excess energy issues.

Now every time you see a plane overhead you say “Eli do that. Eli do that again!”

Even though you pined for home and your beloved guitars you enjoyed our time playing in the forest and at the beach, climbing on a stationary train, and playing with children in the families we visited. Since getting home though you haven’t been liking to spend much time out and about. You last for one activity, such as a visit to grandma, school, or going to church, but then it’s “Go home!” even if the next activity is something that is generally toddler approved, like going to the park. I think (hope) as we settle back into a routine you’ll become more comfortable being out in the community again.

Your fascination with music and instruments has grown beyond guitars and drums. You now pretend to play the trombone, the trumpet, the bass and the violin. You can identify the saxophone, french horn, tuba, piano, harp, bass, banjo, mandolin, accordion, harmonica, and I’m sure others that I just don’t recall right now. When we pass a music store with real instruments in the window you will stay there transfixed for 15 minutes or more. Once I read to you the sign on the door saying that they give music lessons so that people can learn to play instruments. You began tugging on the door with all of your might begging to go inside. Luckily the store was closed, because  you are still a pretty much walking death sentence to any instrument you get your hands on (other than the drums). When you learn to treat things a little more gently and you have a bit longer of an attention span I am sure music lessons will be in your future.

And finally, our days of babywearing have come to a definite end. We had pretty much stopped the practice with the onset of this pregnancy, but the Ergo made it’s appearance once more to help us navigate the airports on our trip. I’m glad I had this last opportunity to enjoy you this way, and that you were in a sleepy, snuggly mood for a portion of it. I’m so thankful that the morning sickness has pretty much faded and that I had the energy to do it. It really felt so nice and I needed that opportunity to say goodbye in a gentle way to this part of our relationship. But the day after we got back from our trip the doctor told me that I should now not be lifting any more than 20 pounds. Oops!.. you are somewhere between 38 and 40 lbs. at this point.

I hope you want to still hold my hand for a long time to come.

I love you so very, very, very much!




  1. October 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm


    I remember using paintings, drawings, etc for wrapping gifts to members of our family and friends. Just a thought…

    • Karen @ Folk Haven said,

      October 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      Great idea!

  2. The Laotian Commotion said,

    October 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    I, too, am struggling with babywearing in the Ergo! I’m only 24 weeks and he’s only 22 pounds! I am learning about all these woven wraps that are great for pregnancy and babywearing like the Didymos and Girasol are a few of the popular mentions.

    Maybe those can prolong the babywearing stage if you wish to. 😀

    • Karen @ Folk Haven said,

      October 16, 2012 at 8:12 am

      I wish I could, but I have marginal placenta previa so to protect the pregnancy I really have to take the doctor’s orders of not lifting more than 20 pounds seriously. Thanks for the recommendation though. I have a friend who swears by the Girasol wrap. Let me know if one of those options works out for you.

  3. thegrantlife said,

    October 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Such a sweet letter to Eli! I am so excited that his speech is getting better.. I know that was tough on all of yall. Also glad the morning sickness is gone and that you had one more time with Eli in the Ergo. 🙂

  4. faerylandmom said,

    October 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Just lovely.

  5. Misa said,

    October 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Thank you for sharing this letter with us. I love the pictures too. I’m amazed how he’s been growing up past a year since I first met him. Isn’t is so fun you can have convations with him? Please take care and I’m praying for you guys.

    • October 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      We’re having a blast being able to talk with him now. He mentions you and Kevin quite often… especially when we go out in the CRV and when he wears the pajama pants made from one of Uncle Kevin’s shirts 🙂

  6. Maysem said,

    October 19, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I so enjoy reading all your letters to Eli. I tend to get emotional reading them but good emotions:) Thank you for continuing to share your lovely letters to Eli with us and for making us a part of Eli’s life:) You are truly an amazing mother and Eli is blessed to have you as his mother!

  7. Nina said,

    October 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Karen, I always love reading your letters to Eli. They really show his personality as well as the joys and challenges of parenthood. That’s amazing you were able to fly with a 2yo! I still have yet to take my toddler with me on a plane. But isn’t it amazing how they surprise us with their resilience? And congrats on Eli being back on track with school! Just goes to show how much of an influence working with kids early on can truly help.

  8. October 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    So glad you all had fun on your trip to Washington! Hope we do get the chance to meet up someday!

    • October 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      I hope so too! With my husband’s partnership with the agency in Linden I can forsee that Washington may become a fairly frequent destination for us. If so I would so love to meet up with you sometime!

  9. Inder said,

    October 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Yay! So glad to hear the speech is coming along so great! Joe’s speech really blossomed around 2.5 as well, and it was and is so much fun. Of course, with increased speech came an increased tendency to want to negotiate every single thing to within an inch of its life. I can’t imagine where he got that from (I’m a lawyer, ahem). Eli’s fascination with musical instruments is just wonderful, by the way. Their personalities develop so strongly, even at this age. I’m sure he will be a musical person.

    • October 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      His father’s side is loaded with musicians s I’m not so very surprised he’s as interested in music as he is… just maybe that it is coming out so strongly and so early on. It is a lot of fun! Does Joe show much interest in your banjo playing?

      The negotiations are just barely beginning, nothing too hard to deal with yet, but then again no lawyer genes here. 😉

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