Saturday, January 17, 2015

Happy Birthday, Simon!

Dear Simon,

Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, you will be one year old. A whole year. My baby boy went to sleep tonight, and a one-year-old will be yelling for me in the morning. I'm tempted to say things like, "You'd think I'd be used to this after going through it with your sister!" But that's silly, both because there's no way to get used to it, and because this post is all about you.

Here's the thing, Simon: You are growing up to be an incredible little boy. I want to tell you about all of the ways, but I couldn't possibly cover all of them, so you'll have to settle for a few.

We were talking today about how little and red and scrunchy you were when you were born. Now you are neither little, nor red, nor scrunchy. You are tall and fair and handsome with beautiful blue eyes.

You walk now! Walk! Until very recently it's been more like 'careening' than 'walking'. You would stand up, get up a head of steam in a direction, and keep plowing ahead faster and faster until you ran into something. Not a lot of finesse, but so much determination! The past few days you've walked with a lot more style. Crazy how that happens all of a sudden.

You are asleep right now. In your crib. Where you have slept through the night almost every night since we started trying to 'sleep train' you. 'Sleep training' is a weird term. See, you used to get up like 400 times a night and you would need to breastfeed every one of those times and eventually your exhausted mother would bring you into bed and you would sleep with a boob in your mouth until morning. That's going to be a really awkward thing for you to read when you're 14, but it's the truth. You have to live with the consequences of your actions, Simon. But eventually we realized that couldn't last forever and said, "Okay, tonight he's going to sleep in the crib and he's going to stay there all night even if he yells and the neighbors hate us." And you did yell. A lot. You're kind of a yeller. But the next night you yelled less, and the next night you just slept. Since then, that's pretty much how you've been. I guess you're a fast learner. There is a dark side to this, however. You wake up practically every morning at 5:30am. Well, not every morning. Some mornings you wake up at 4:00am. And once you are awake, you do not go back to sleep. I will admit that I don't always find this trait particularly charming, but it is sometimes nice to get to spend a little time playing with you while the world is still dark and asleep. Just maybe not every morning?

You love to figure things out. It's amazing to watch you get focused on a task. We have a Leap Pad, which is kind of like a tablet computer for toddlers. You are definitely not old enough to use it. But that hasn't stopped you one bit. One day you sat in the middle of the living room floor and just turned it on and off over and over again. Thirty times you turned that thing on and off until you were satisfied with how that particular function worked. Soon after that you were choosing a profile (your mom's) and picking games and playing them. There's one where you have a virtual sheep and you get to feed it apples and carrots and things. Every time you tap the screen it drops one and the sheep walks over and eats it. You think this is HILARIOUS every time. You laugh and laugh and laugh and it's so much fun to watch.

You love trucks and cars and construction equipment, which is funny to me because it's not really something I ever remember being into at all. One of your first words was 'caaaah', which is how people from Boston say 'car'. You like to drive cars (and other things that you pretend are cars) around on the floor. You used to love the book "Good Night, Good Night Construction Site" and I guess you still do, but your favorite book right now is called "Little Blue Truck," which is about exactly what it sounds like. Your mom makes the best 'beep beep' sounds when she reads it to you. I'm not as good at it. But you love that book. You also love a book called "I Am A Bunny," so it's not just trucks. Your favorite part is pointing to the bunny on every page, and you get very excited about it.

You challenge us constantly, because you are so headstrong, and I think you get very frustrated that there are things you just can't do yet. You'll get there, Simon. I so look forward to watching you grow up and figure all of these things out, but it also seems like you're growing up way too fast. I guess every parent says that, but I hope you'll forgive me for being a bit cliché.

Happy birthday, Simon. We love you so much!



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