Blister

Dear Love Bug,

It pushed 90 degrees yesterday (on Easter!) so I broke out your new, snazzy green-and-blue Osh Kosh sandals that I’d bought for you to wear this summer. You were instantly smitten, even though they’re a size 8T and about an inch too big still. Nevertheless, you managed to navigate the Big Playground just fine in them (admittedly with socks). 
In the afternoon, you played in the front yard for a good, long time, still wearing your sandals but this time without socks. Then we loaded you up in your wagon and walked all the way down to Grace Cafe and back for our sushi and tempura dinner. When we got back to the house, you sat on the bottom step, pulled off your sandals, and settled in to play. 

When I sat down to play with you, you said, “My toe hurts.” I took a look at where you pointed, and sure enough, there was a little blister just beneath and to the side of your right pinky toe. There was a tiny flap of skin from where it had opened. “Oh,” I said. “You have a blister.” I looked up, and the horror on your face was comically intense. “It’s ok,” I rushed to console you. “It’s just a blister. Mamma and Daddy get them all the time!” You burst into tears and wailed for approximately an hour straight. No attempt to mitigate your crying was at all effective. We tried applying Boo Boo Kitty, offering you a Paw Patrol Band-Aid, attempting to clean it with water, asking to kiss it. Nothing worked. You cried and cried and cried. Through tears and snot, you sniffled, “It hurts so much!”

And I believe it hurt. But boy does the melodrama start early. 

You refused to come to the dinner table, so we let you eat your PB&J (also a consolation) at your little table in the living room. We even let you have ice cream for dessert; you stopped crying just long enough to lick your bowl. 

After your bath, you finally allowed us to apply a Chase Band-Aid, but your gimp foot was the first thing you talked about this morning when you woke up. I pulled you out of your crib and went to set you down on the ground, but you retracted your feet and said you couldn’t walk because it hurt so much. When I started getting irritated and threatening, you capitulated and hobbled around on your heel. 

When I dropped you off at daycare and stared in horror at Graham’s split-open bloody knee, he told us about how he fell off his new bike. In response, you whipped off your shoes and socks and offered to show everyone your boo-boo. 

All this for a blister. 

Back at home this evening, you requested a change of dressing to a Marshall Band-Aid. You were so pleased that you showed it off to Marshall (your new best friend) himself.

Love you like crazy, kiddo,

Mamma

 

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Two Lips

Dear Love Bug,

We fulfilled what’s become an annual tradition today: visiting Sherwood Gardens, a blissful, green enclave in the heart of the city surrounded by mini-mansions, at the height of tulip season. It lived up to all expectations, and we were all drawn to a patch of nearly neon orange blooms. 

We met Aunt Danielle, Anthony, and Elisa there, and Daddy and I were looking forward to you and Anthony running around and tiring each other out. We brought a couple of balls and a frisbee with us to ensure this would happen. And at first, it seemed our plan would pan out spectacularly. Until you and A started fighting over the toys. A wanted you to chase him, so he’d grab a ball and run. You, instead, wanted to hover over your treasure trove of outdoor athletic equipment. So it turned into a morning of tears, hurt feelings, tattling and whining. Delightful. 

We were a little disappointed and a little concerned, since you’ll be starting preschool (for all intents and purposes) in about six weeks, and sharing toys to make new friends is going to be a big, important part of that experience. And you won’t make friends if you claim all the toys for your own. 

And honestly, you’re usually relatively good about sharing. You share willingly with Daddy and me. I’m not sure what was going on with you this morning, but it wasn’t an overly positive experience. I did enjoy seeing Elisa trying to keep up with the big boys, though. She’s a pistol, that one, and adorable in every way. Maybe some day you’ll pay attention to her. 

It took some cajoling to get you to sit down for me to take some photos with the flowers. In the end, what worked is promising to allow you to take pictures of your own on the big camera, in which you’ve never shown any interest. “I want to learn,” you said. So I showed you how to hold the camera (with assistance), how to put your eye up to the viewfinder and how to extend your little index finger to the shutter button. You took a bunch of photos and they’re not half bad. You may just have a Stieglitz gene in you yet!

Love you like crazy, kiddo,

Mamma

Mouse Proficient

Dear Love Bug,

Today you requested to go to the library after daycare, and when we got there, you made a beeline for the computers in the kids’ area. We spent 25 minutes there, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so focused. You chose a matching (colors, shapes) game, one we’ve never played before, and you really wanted to use the mouse. So we trained. 

For each move of a game piece, I’d ask you where it needed to be placed. And then, with my hand on top of yours on top of the pint-sized mouse, your little still-chubby index finger extended over the left button, we chanted, “Click, Hold, Drag.” Over and over and over. And you know what? After four rounds of the game, you had pretty much gotten the hang of it. Look at you! Two and a half and already mouse proficient. I was 16 or something. 
My favorite moment of the evening: lying in our big bed with you while you watched TV before bedtime, and you rolled into me for cuddles, then slung both legs over my thigh. And there we stayed. You’re not always the most cuddly kid at this point (although you’re getting cuddlier, seeking out hugs and kisses), so cuddly moments are never under appreciated. 

Love you like crazy, kiddo,

Mamma

Hot dog!

Dear Love Bug,

It was such an absolutely perfect spring day that we couldn’t not go to the playground after work/daycare. You wanted to bring your scooter, which I wound up carrying all the way there and all the way back. But when we got there, the sun hovering at that perfect angle where it comes streaming through the trees that surround the little mulch lot with its two jungle gyms, you took off to your new favorite pastime: walking the wood edgers of the lot as if they’re balance beams. And your balance is surprisingly impressive. You’re so capable now, so much braver than you were even a few months ago. You scramble up the monkey bars with no fear, not even a wobble. You perch on top of the spinning cylinder (the function of which I still can’t determine, other than to cause children to fall off and break their necks) as if it’s a pommel horse. You go down the slides–the one piece of playground equipment that you took the longest to warm up to–head first. And while I can spend a split-second being slightly sad that you’re no longer a wobbly toddler, we’re having too much fun together for me to mourn any passing phase for too long.

My favorite part was when you took off down the hill into the big grassy field at the bottom of the lot, running far ahead of me and yelling back, “Tag! You’re it!” I guess you haven’t quite gotten the hang of that one.

Back at the house at dinner, you pronounced, “I want a different one!” “A different what?” I asked. “Hot dog bun.” “But you have one right there,” Daddy said. “What’s wrong with that one?” You: “There’s a hot dog in it.”

I noticed today, probably because it was slightly humid and you’d been outdoors, playing up a sweat, that your hair is getting long again and taking on that waviness that I love so much. With your omnipresent Orioles cap pulled down low on your forehead, your hair sticks out in the back and kind of curls around the edges.

Gosh, you’re cute. (P.S. I said that to you today, and you said, “I’m not cute. I’m a dog.” No idea.)

Love you like crazy, kiddo.

Mamma

Tiptoeing

Dear Love Bug,

I’m going to keep this short because it’s late and I’ve had a heck of a day. 

Today’s low: You had a complete meltdown at daycare when I came to pick you up because you’d had an accident during nap time that took your prized Paw Patrol T-shirt, which you were so proud to wear, out of commission. You desperately wanted to put it back on, despite it being rolled up in a wet ball in a plastic bag. I told you I’d do the wash tonight so you could wear it tomorrow (hello, mom points!) but you wanted to wear it now. {sob} It took Gina to calm you down, and then you were mad, so you pushed Emmelou and knocked her over backwards. I carried you kicking and screaming from daycare. Not our finest moment. 

Today’s high: A couple of hours later, when you’d long since calmed down, I asked you if you wanted to help me water the plants out front. You’d think I’d offered you a puppy. You requested your little blue “superhero” watering can to do the job. You couldn’t quite get the hang of tipping it and instead kept dumping it over, but at least you got the plants wet. You asked for a refill over and over, and your pure delight at being helpful made my heart happy. I even propped you up on the deck box so you could water the hanging planters. We only lost one tulip in the process–you plowed your watering can into it a bit too mightily and managed to decapitate it–but who could even be mad when you’re so sweet about helping me with a chore?

Love you like crazy, kiddo,

Mamma

Dear Love Bug

Dear Love Bug,

I’d nearly given up on the blogging. Between wearing myself out at work and keeping up with you at home, I just haven’t had the energy left to pour my heart into writing intensive blog posts about your life. And then so much time passes that I feel overwhelmed at trying to catch up on what I’ve neglected to write about. 

But today on my way home, listening to NPR (my latest obsession in my new activist lifestyle), I listened to a story about the parents of an almost 3-year-old who chronicle her life by writing her regular emails. “I can do that!” I thought. After all, I write hundreds of emails a day. What’s one more?

So I’ve resolved to send you off a quick email, in the form of a blog post, as often as possible. I’d love to say daily, but I don’t want to set myself up for failure. All of this is so I don’t forget the details that are the gorgeous golden threads in the humdrum fabric of our daily lives. 

This evening, Passover 2017 got under way, and we hosted Seder here. By hosted, I mean we sat at our own dining room table and ate the food that Nonna spent all day preparing. (We are spoiled.)

Last year, you fell asleep mere minutes into the Seder. We weren’t sure if it was the wine in the charoset (oops!) or sheer boredom, but it was so sweet, you slumped over in your high chair, still wearing the yarmulke that we’d propped on your head. This year, you were a holy terror, which is pretty par for the course. 

BUT what I want to remember is this: You passed up the carrot soufflĂ© (everyone’s favorite) for–wait for it–gefilte fish and hard-boiled egg, which you double-fisted. And you insisted that we do a toast with our wine glasses and your sippy cup. We opted for “L’chaim,” and you repeated, “Look who I am!” Haha!

You also had your first taste of Gatorade (a poor substitute for wine), which you dripped onto your plate saying “plague plague plague.” 

You’re so bad but you’re so cute. 

Love you like crazy, kiddo. 

Mamma