April 30, 2012

Dear Danilo,

Today you are two months shy of 3 years old.  In just two little months You'll be turning three and all of a sudden we'll be in the throes of summer and (hopefully) swimming and thinking about preschool in the Fall.  That's pretty amazing to me.  Just yesterday I was holding you tiny in one arm against me, marveling at your tiny toes and fingers.  Okay, gag, I know.  I think I say that every time I write a letter to you.  You'll get used to it.  Or not.  But I probably won't stop saying it.

You are all legs and arms and you're getting taller by the minute.  You are 36 inches tall and 25 pounds.  You just keep getting taller and taller and thinner and thinner.  You are wearing 2T clothes now. You easily turn lights on and off - which is sometimes helpful and sometimes not so much.  You can almost reach the pedals of your tricycle that we gave you a year ago.  But that doesn't stop you from zooming around.  You've more than perfected the Fred Flint Stone style of travel on the trike.  We've pulled out the Strider Bike (bicycle with no pedals) once so far, and you are much more confident this year than last.  You enjoyed the experience, but only felt confident enough to walk it along.

Your morning routine:  You wake up and roll over several times before deciding to get out of bed.  Then you groggily make your way with squinty eyes into our bedroom, where you sometimes greet Toby with a loud, "Toby!!!"  Then you wobble over to my side of the bed and I lift you up and plop you under the covers between Papa and I.  You snuggle and caress your eyelashes as you come out of your morning sleep-hangover. (It's ok. I have one every morning too.) You intersperse quiet with conversation about yesterday's activities or what we are going to do today.  Then, all of a sudden, as if something invisible has cued you, you jump up (I have yet to figure out how you do that from a completely horizontal position), spring off the bed onto the window seat behind the head of our bed, and throw open the blinds, flooding light onto the faces of your groggy half-awake parents.  Sometimes you even add in a, "Goo mowning!!" It's hysterically funny, so long as you aren't the one being jerked out of a dead sleep by this series of antics.

You like consistency and routine.  You need to be forewarned of an activity before being expected to comply, particularly if it involves getting dressed and leaving the house.  If I fail to give you said warning, often the result is a temper tantrum.  These are NOT my favorite and I will be thankful when we get past this stage.  You would live in your pajamas 24/7 if I let you.  I'm contemplating buying you five more pairs of pajamas and just letting you wear them everywhere until you're so sick of them you beg for real clothes.

You go to the bathroom totally independently and usually use the right amount of toilet paper.  Occasionally I insist on helping to make sure certain things get cleaned up properly.    

Our dog, Toby, is one of your best friends.  Last night after giving your Papa and I a kiss goodnight, you insisted on kissing Toby too.  Toby was more than willing to come sit in the middle of our prayer circle for the ordeal.  The fact that Toby is three times your size matters not in your little world of hierarchy.  You are clearly his boss and you parent him often.  Recently you discovered that he will run like mad if you throw the ball off the deck.  You laughed hysterically and told me all about it!

Water is still one of your favorite things.  In fact, with the warm weather, your trains have taken second place to water.  Currently, you just want to put all things into the water  or put water all over all of your things and unless it's the temperature of your bath, you really aren't interested in getting in yourself.  It's alright.  I get it.  Cold temperatures were always a deterrent to my own enjoyment of water.  It drove your surfer Grandpa crazy.

You say all sorts of complete sentences like:
"No, Mama! I said no uno!" (I told you I didn't want to count!)
"C-mere, Mama!"
"Cook breffast ousside!"  (Cook breakfast on the grill outside!)
"Where's Papa?"
"This better than uh udder one."  (This one's better than the other one.)
"Da truck pulling da boat!" (The truck's pulling the boat.)
"The unner-wear stucking." (When pulling up your pants after going potty and your underwear is stuck inside your pants making it difficult to pull your pants up.)
"My mannas were stucking." (My fingers were getting stuck on the tape.)
Me: "Are your hands clean?" You: "No Danny's hands stop." (No, they're sticky)?
"I wanna owp."  (I wanna open it.) For some reason you like to shorten the word open.
"No almost yet Mama." (Almost, not yet, Mama.)
"I want ladder."  (I want it - the tv - louder.)

You understand about 80% of what I say to you in Spanish, but about 80-90% of your speech is English.

You sing a little tune often as you play.  You love trucks of all sizes.  Once this month we drove by a construction site and decided to stop.  We just stopped and watched the backhoe work for a solid 20 minutes.  You were fascinated.  We are re-doing our backyard so we have a pile of dirt back there.  Playing in it is currently one of your favorite outside activities. Anything that will occupy your attention for more than five minutes is currently one of my favorite activities.  You like talking on the phone with your Papa and you are pretty good at having a coherent conversation with him.  You like to draw.  Recently you started drawing a picture and writing the story underneath it.

You enjoy books, particularly your Noah's Ark book.  You LOVE detailed intricate pictures to look at.  You like puzzles a lot but don't always have the patience to figure them out.  Leaving one half done doesn't bother you, thankfully.

You're a great eater.  You eat pretty much anything we put in front of you and often what we don't put in front of you.  The other day I had my back turned and you scooped butter out of the tub into your mouth with the butter knife.

You remember, love and recognize Grammy and you talk about visiting her.  Your favorite friends right now are Josh and DJ, although when you say Josh, you actually mean Ben.  Ben gets annoyed that you call him by his Dad's name.  He's awfully patient with you, though.

Your bedtime routine:  After battling through the activities of brushing teeth, going potty, and putting on pajamas (and unfortunately, these days it is a battle almost every night) we settle down in a circle on the floor in front of your bed to say prayers.  Usually you pray - sometimes by repeating and sometimes independently - and then Papa or I pray.  Then you give Papa a big hug.  This involves throwing your arms around his neck and squeezing.  Then you give him a leetle hug.  This involves squinching your arms and elbows up against your own body and leaning in and squeezing his neck with just your hands.  Then you give him a big kiss.  This involves the smashing of your face against his and usually spreading slimy boogers and wet lips all over him before producing a smacking sound at the end.  Lastly you finish with a leetle kiss.  This is the sweetest nicest kiss on the cheek you ever have experienced in your life.  Then I get the same series of affectionate hugs and kisses before you run from the door into your bed and Papa and I spend two minutes reminding you of how important it is to stay in bed, close your eyes, and (for the love of all that is good and holy) go to sleep!  Bedtime brings quite the smorgasbord of emotions and activities.

You're growing faster than I can believe, little man.  You are fun loving, sharp as a tack, full of energy, and doing new things every single day.  I love you very much, kiddo.  You bring me joy each day.

Hugs and Kisses,