It has been so long since I have written you one of these letters. I hope I will be able to do so more frequently now, but no promises at this point. There have been times over the past year that I have wanted to sit down and capture a snapshot of adorable you for future-Eli but haven’t done so because I felt like if I did I’d need to also be able to keep up with monthly letters, and perhaps even with blogging in general again and that expectation just about paralyzed me.
But how silly is that. A letter is a letter. It is a small little gift from me to you, to be opened and enjoyed at some point in the far off future when this kind of thing may hold some meaning for you. And so I begin…
It amazes me that you ever had a speech delay, because now you talk. All.The.Time. I was told it would happen. I was warned the time would come when I would secretly wish for a quiet moment to string two of my own thoughts together. And while I confess to times when my introverted self does wish for a chance to recharge, you are a delight to listen to. When asked a question you never just answer… you give the complete backstory as well. “Eli, do you want strawberry or peach yogurt?” “Well, Mama, yesterday I had peach yogurt so today I’ll have strawberry yogurt, because that’s how I eat them… strawberry, peach, strawberry, peach… it’s a pattern.”
Your random observations and declarations are almost always somewhere on the continuum between amusing and down-right hilarious. I really need to start jotting them down as they happen because as much as I’ll be certain I could never forget one by evening I’m there scratching my head trying to recall it.
Whatever it is you are doing at the moment is usually in your mind the absolute best thing in the existence of the universe. Which is great as far as living in the moment, and being content with your present circumstances goes… but a bit challenging when it comes time to transition to another activity.
We do plenty of front-loading, give lots of warning ahead of time and occasionally use timers, and generally the transition happens without any tears being shed.
But the discussion…! “But why, Mama? Why can we not just stay here forever? Why can we not just live at the (Barnes & Noble, Bear Park, sidewalk outside of the closed and shuttered strip mall, etc.)?” Every time. Usually I employ logic such as not having our beds, refrigerator, toys, or comfy living room, until the day you countered with “But why then can we not live at Ikea?” I wonder how many people have ever gotten a pet, just so that they could convince their small child that they really did want to go home to see it at the end of the day?
Not that you don’t like being at home. When we are there and it is time to go out a whole different discussion takes place to convince you that going out to the park (or other location) is indeed something you will enjoy. You just like doing what ever it is you are doing at the moment.
While the last year has required an immense amount of adjustments on your part as you have had to learn to share me with a sibling, you have risen to the challenge phenomenally.
I may be more than a bit biased, but I think you must be about the best big brother on the face of the earth. You are so kind and sweet to Zoe. You are good about sharing toys with her and are delighted now that she is getting old enough and mobile enough to play around with you.
You watch her like a hawk for anything that might be dangerous to her. When she cries in the back seat of the car you have been overheard to say “Aww. It’s ok Zoe. You bwother’s here. I love you!”
You recently turned 4 years old. There is no toddler left… you are officially a little kid, no baby, just boy. You were so excited at your party. No wild-out-of-control-bouncing-off-the walls-excited. You held it inside, where it wreaked havoc on your digestive track. After dashing with you to the restroom at the park during the party I wondered if we should pack it all in and get you home. You responded with an emphatic “I’m NOT sick! It was a GOOD vomit!” And you were right. That night and the following day I continued to watch you for signs of illness but there were none.
You are attending preschool 5 days a week now.You have been learning so much. You now know you letters and their sounds, and are working on counting (after 13 you jump around all over the place… it’s pretty cute to listen to.) You love to tell me about what you learn at school when you get home, and I love to listen.
One of the most notable things about you right now is that you currently seem to be between obsessions. I don’t remember a time when you weren’t completely obsessed with something since you were barely more than a baby. There have been obsessions with musical instruments, airplanes, trains, garbage trucks, and most recently, construction equipment and dinosaurs.
You still like all of those things but there isn’t any one of them that completely consumes every waking moment of your mental life right now. You divide your free time between Play Doh (especially Play Doh Garbage Truck), playing restaurant or ice cream shop in your play kitchen, “cutting the lawn” outside with a doll stroller or wagon (anything stick-like becomes a weed-whacker), or playing doctor or construction worker with role play costumes and toys. You also love to do crafts… the messier the better.
You love to pull the whole family into your flights of fantasy. “Mom, you’re a Pteranodon, Daddy is a Tyrannosaurus, Zoe is a Gallimimus and I’m a Parasaurolophus. We’re the Dinosaur fambily!” So we hear the phrase “We’re a ____ fambily!” quite often. But yesterday at Barnes &Noble you were discussing the finer points of cupcakes versus cookies with your Daddy. He likes cookies better. You said “I like cookies too… because we’re just a cookie-loving fambily!” You have yet to learn about inside versus outside voice though, so all others in line with you were amused as well.
You never cease to delight and please us, my boy. Being your parent just keeps getting better and better.
I love you very, very, very much,