To Owen... (25-26 Months Old)
I missed your 25 month birthday, so this letter will cover two months. We have good days and bad days, good hours and bad hours, good minutes and bad minutes, but I love you no matter what. Sometimes I think, this is so hard and feel like I'm breaking, but then a few minutes later you are laughing and dancing around in a circle and I think, this is why I keep going.
The main thing is that you are wanting to be very independent. While I try to sometimes let you be independent, you are still two years old and I must keep you from seriously injuring yourself and others (which really is not an easy task for the parent of a two year old). So, this need for independence has manifested most obviously in your need to eat without the restraint of a high chair. I noticed this first when I began having to push you down into your high chair at home and snap your tray on while you were kicking and screaming. Then, once you were in the chair, you would hardly eat anything because you were so irritated by the "cage" I had put you in. So, after the fourth or fifth time you did this, your father made the suggestion to just let you eat at the table with us, without the tray attached to your high chair. After you gobbled your food happily, we realized that this was the correct answer. Maybe a week or two after this, we moved you out of high chairs in restaurants. Ideally, we like to trap you in a booth, because it is still not super easy to keep you sitting still while we are eating. We are trying to eat out at restaurants less.
You talk so much now. You know almost all of your letters and you sing along to the alphabet song sometimes (at least parts of it). You can count to ten, but you don't always do it in order. Most of the time you say, "won, two, tree, saidnen, eight," but you can identify all of the numbers 1-10 when you see them. You sing more of "Twinkle, twinkle little star" than you used to. One of the cutest things I've ever seen is when you are really excited during an episode of Little Einsteins. First of all, during the intro song when they sing, "5, 4, 3, 2, 1," you sing along. Then, in every episode, to get the rocket to go, the characters ask you to pat along with them. You start saying, "pat, pat, pat" and patting your legs and your tummy. Then, you raise your arms over your head as they take off. Then, you say, "there it goes." It is so darn cute - I've got to get it on video. And you call rocket, "rocky." It is also pretty cute when you see a clue on Blue's Clues. You say, "dere it is! A blue!" and point to the screen.
For many months now, you have been very reserved and keep to yourself in Gymboree. I don't think any of the moms think you even know how to talk. At the end of class, the teacher always brings out a clown puppet named Gymbo. The other day, she was going through the whole routine and you were on the other side of the room. She, and all of the moms (and some of the children) call, "Gymbo" with our hands up to our mouths. We do it three times and then we sing a song to get Gymbo to come out. This day, after we had called for Gymbo, your little voice called, "Jibbo" from across the room. Then, while we sang, I kept looking over at you dancing along with the songs.
You wouldn't get into your carseat if I didn't make you, but I don't really want to be arrested (and it is best that you are safe and all), so I often have to wrestle you into it. And, though you are okay about riding in your carseat for the most part, when given the opportunity, you would probably spend an hour playing in a parked car. You love to pretend you are driving and crawling around all of the seats. You especially like the van when the seats are down because you can just run around back there (when it is empty enough). Sometimes, if I don't grab you fast enough, you just take off jumping from seat to seat trying to get away from me. Fun times.
I guess that the most trying parts of motherhood for me so far has been our visits to doctors and the dentist. You had your first two cavities filled right before your second birthday and the other two right around the end of March. It was pretty awful. I held you in my lap and held your left arm down. Your father held your right arm and the dental assistant held your legs. The dentist gave you novocaine, but you were awake. And you screamed, and fought, and screamed, and cried. And I felt awful. Then you fell asleep. Both appointments were pretty much the same. Although the second appointment was a little better because those cavities weren't as bad and we knew what to expect. I'm sorry I passed on the gene for crappy, weak teeth.
We also had your surgery this month. Actually, a couple of weeks before the surgery, we had the VCUG. They first gave you an ultrasound. Now, I've had a few ultrasounds myself and I know they aren't really that bad. I guess you didn't get the memo. From the time we held you down on the table for the ultrasound until it was over, you screamed and cried as loud as you could. Then, it was time for the actual VCUG. This test basically involved you being cathetarized and then the doctors looked at what was happening in your kidneys and bladder under a kind of x-ray machine. You didn't like this test AT ALL. I held one arm, your daddy held another arm, and there were two nurses each holding one of your legs. After the test, the nurse kept talking about how tired she was after holding your leg. She said that when they saw that it was a two year old coming in, she didn't expect it to be too terrible, but she said that you fought like a four year old. You are so strong!
The surgery seemed to go well. Of course we won't know the results until the follow up tests. You did so well, though. The procedure was scheduled for 9:15 in the morning, but we had to be there by 7:15. And we had about an hour drive. We left our house around 6:00. Of course, we couldn't feed you or give you anything to drink. You were actually pretty pleasant until around 8ish, when you started getting a little bit cranky. They gave you Loritab to drink around 8:30. When that started kicking in, you just started staring at the TV in a daze. You seemed pretty relaxed and happy (I wish we had some of that left over). When it was time for surgery, I went in to the operating room with you until they put you to sleep. I set you on the table and you started crying and grabbing me, not wanting to be set down. There was a foam circle where I was supposed to lay your head. You picked it up and acted like you were driving. We finally got you to lay down, fighting and crying, and they put a mask over your face. I kept saying, "I love you," and "I'll be here when you wake up." Your eyes started rolling back in your head and closing and you were asleep. I was ushered out of the room and your daddy and I went to the recovery room to wait for you. When they brought you out, you were out of the anesthesia sleep, but you were asleep. You slept for awhile. Finally, the nurse came in to talk to us and give us instructions about post-op care. While she was talking you sat up and started thrashing around trying to get your IV out of your arm. You were drowsy most of the way home and finally feel asleep a little bit before we got back to Loganville. We got some food and when we walked inside you saw the chicken nuggets we got for you and started saying, "chicken, chicken." You were glad to eat and drink and then started running around like nothing had happened. You took another nap later, but you seemed back to your old self the next day.
You love animals. You know most of the animal noises now. Of course when we ask what a dog says, you say "ruff, ruff" but it sounds more like the "f" word (other words you say that sound like the "f" word - "fork", "frog", and sometimes "truck"). It is really cute when you meow like a cat because your voice gets so high. Also, you tell us that a frog says "ack." Unfortunately (or fortunately sometimes) our very sweet, passive Holly, has taught you to have no fear of animals. One day, about a month ago we were taking a walk and these huge dogs started barking at us. You just went marching towards the fenced-in yard where they were with no fear at all. I let you get about 10 feet away and I said, "Owen, you can't just go up to those dogs. We don't know those dogs, but you can say hi to them." So, you stood there waving, saying, "hi, dog. Ruff, ruff." (and you know what that sounded like). You and Holly are great friends. You throw her toys to her, feed her and run around the house together, chasing each other.
I try to not take you to the grocery store much any more, but when I do, I have to race through the store as fast as I can before you start melting down. We actually had a very pleasant visit the other day, but it involved you sitting in the part of the cart where the groceries go, so I didn't have too much room for the groceries. But, since you were so well behaved, I didn't really care that much.
You hate it when I brush your teeth, change your diaper and/or clothes, start your bath, tell you it is bedtime, give you your medicine, take things away from you, and make you go inside or leave the car. And when I say you hate these things, I mean that you cry and scream and whine very loudly; you have quite the temper, I'm afraid.
And you are going through a very shy stage. Most of the time when people try to talk to you, you put your head down, or hide or cry. One day we were at lunch and a lady came up and started talking to us. You put your forehead on the table and I could see you peeking out of the corner of your eye. Finally, you sat up and turned your plate over and dumped your food on the floor. I think you were trying to give her the message that you didn't want her there any more. We'll have to work on being more subtle as you get older.
I try to do crafts and activities with you, but you are still a little bit destructive. When we tried to paint, I had to keep you from painting the porch and me and you rather than the paper. When you play on the back porch in the sandbox or with your water table, you usually end up throwing most of your toys off the porch. You also try to bring your toys from inside and throw them off the porch. You have also thrown your clothes and your shoes and our broom off the porch before I could stop you. And, speaking of your clothes, many times you end up pouring water from your water table all over yourself, and I end up stripping you down to your diaper to play in the sandbox. Sometimes you try to get your diaper off, but I am not letting you play in the sandbox completely naked - sorry.
You love stickers. You put them all over yourself - on your shirt, hands, face and especially on your feet.
You pick up phones a lot now and say, "hullo, hi" just like an adult would do. Of course you never do this when there is a person on the phone. You also have been so cute lately saying "mama" after things. You say, "thank you, mama" a lot. And sometimes you say whole sentences that I can't understand and follow them with "...mama." You also have been saying "oopsie daisy" a lot and many other small sentences and phrases. You do all of the motions that go along with "the wheels on the bus" and make choo-choo and car noises. And you love your whoopie cushion and when people act like they're sneezing. You are such a boy! You also say the names of the people you are around the most now - mama, daddy, nanny, grandaddy (which sounds a lot like granny), papa, granny, Becca (Becky), Wyatt (Why-u), and Ethan (effin). You also know most of the names of your favorite TV characters - from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - Mickey (still "Dickie), Minnie, Daisy, Donald, from Oswald - Oswald, Weenie, Henry, Daisy, from the Backyardigans - Pablo, Uniqua (which sounds like "Becky"), from Sesame Street - Elmo, Cookie, Oscar, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, from Blue's Clues - Blue.
You prefer playing with things like medicine droppers, sippy cup valves, nasal aspirators, spoons, forks, and rocks to toys.
And, you hide things. Things are constantly ending up in weird places all over the house. Toys in the silverware drawer, my shoes in the kitchen cabinets, blocks in the laundry basket, toothbrushes in the dishwasher, food in your cars, etc, etc.
You also like to get in things like laundry baskets and TV cabinets.
Despite the typical two year old temper tantrums and quest for independence, you still make me laugh every single day and I wouldn't trade my time with you for the world.