Friday, December 30, 2011

# 15

Dear Johnny,

We just celebrated your third Christmas.  But it really may as well have been your first, because this is the first time you had any inkling as to what was going on.  You latched onto the idea of Santa right away, and commenced screaming "SANTA SANTA SANTA" to all men with gray beards in stores around town.

You also quickly associated Santa with presents, and you understood that you were to be nice in order to receive said presents.  However, I think you believed you only had to be nice to Santa himself, which was a little tricky.  You see, we have a small, troll-like Santa doll that sits in the basement on the hearth, and he's very realistic-looking, albeit quite small.  He scares you.  But in an effort to do the right thing by the Man With The Presents, you would occasionally pop over and tell him a really over-enthusiastic "HI!" and then turn and run back to the play room as fast as your footie-pajama'd feet would carry you.  

But the treatment the little Santa Troll Doll in the basement was akin to that of a crowned prince in comparison to the treatment the Real Live Santa at Weaver's got.  We took you there for your yearly screaming-on-his-lap photo, but you refused to go near him.  You clung to your father and then me like a spider monkey and hid your face.  So when you are 25 and you want to know why there's no 2011 Santa picture, believe me when I tell you it wasn't because we were too lazy to schlep you out there to see him.  This is totally on you.  Thanks a lot - you've ruined my progressive Santa photo craft idea.  And my abdomen.  And my gall bladder.  That is 3 things you've ruined, and you haven't been here even 3 years yet. Thank goodness you are so stinking cute, and thank goodness you readily, enthusiastically, and often spit out the phrase "I LOL LOU" which I take to mean "I love you," and if it doesn't, never tell me different.

I really, really wish you had gotten the whole message about being good so Santa will bring you presents, instead of choosing to believe it only applied to Santa himself, because, Son, beloved fruit of my loins, you have become a hitter.  That's right, for Christmas, you gave me a good pummeling.  It started with frustration.  If you didn't get your way, you'd slam your hand down on the closest surface to express your discontent.  You might shout or say "No!" but mostly it was just a little physical abuse of the sofa or the kitchen table.  But soon, the behavior, as all bad ones do, escalated.  And you were hitting me.  Or kicking.  But mostly hitting.  

So guess what else Christmas brought for you? A NAUGHTY CHAIR.  Yep, along with dump trucks and front loaders and candy and books came an unwelcome education in time out.  You seem to understand the concept of the naughty chair, and you seem to know that hitting? Not okay.  But you haven't quite managed to put the two together and completely cease the behavior.  I blame daycare, not you, Son.  It can't be that my perfect boy has developed a nasty habit for physical abuse.  Again, thank goodness for your cuteness and for the way you say "Daawnit!" whenever you drop a toy or the computer screen freezes up on your Sesame Street YouTube.

Ninety-five percent of the time you are a delight.  You are a little rainbow running around the house, chirping in your little voice, singing "HinleBews" (Jingle Bells) to yourself or asking to watch Elmo and Feist on the laptop. You play with toys like a champ and you drew what we believe to be your first face on your dry erase board the other day.  You're clearly advanced.

You transferred to a toddler bed last month and I have to say, all in all, save for a few nights where both of us wept on opposite sides of your bedroom door, it went very smoothly.  You stay in bed and don't fall out, and occasionally you get up at 4:30 in the morning, open the door to your room and the door to ours, and come to my side of the bed.  You lean right up by my face and in your best stage whisper say, "Mama.  Mama."  And I haul you up into the bed where you usually proceed to sleep soundly between your dad and me, and those are some of the best hours of my life.  Until The 5:30 am Flinging of Limbs show begins, and I get out of bed to take a shower and let you finish off The Thrashing Hour on your own.

The five percent where you are defiant or resistant is okay, due to the fact that an angry toddler is mostly hilarious and the look of ire in your eyes when you don't get your way is so earnest, it takes everything I have not to laugh and just give you a cookie for being funny.  And speaking of funny, to you, everything is "funny."  If it is neat or cool or interesting, "Isss funny, Mama!  Isss funny!"  Yes, son, it's all very funny.

Now just learn to poop in the potty.  Poop, as you will soon learn from your father and me, is also very funny.

I love you more than sparkles and kittens and cherry lipgloss. Bless your dear sweet heart.  Stop growing.

Love forever,


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