Monday, August 2, 2010

Dear Keaton: 19 Months



Dear Keaton,

Last Friday you turned 19 months old. That morning we took you to the doctor for a check-up and I can’t believe I did this but I left the paper with your stats written on it in the exam room. I know your head circumference was in the 90th percentile – this did not surprise me as you have always had a big noggin’ in fact sometimes it’s difficult to get shirts on and off of you. You took a growth spurt since your last appointment and although I don’t know exactly how tall you were I know it was in the 75-90th percentile. I do remember your weight, 24 lbs, which put you in about the 50th percent I believe. Now, you may be wondering why I’m writing this and why you had a doctor’s appointment at 19 months instead of 18 months, it does seem a bit odd doesn’t it? Well there is a good reason, Bud. See, we had your 18 month check-up scheduled and I had planned on writing this letter at the end of June but two days before you turned 18 months old something big happened. Although you won’t have any memories of the day I believe it might be one of the most important days of your life. Two days before you turned a year and a half you became a big brother.

Everyone has been asking how you are taking to being a big brother and I’m proud to tell you that you have done wonderfully. You are already protective of Hutton, letting us know when he is crying and kissing him goodnight at bedtime. You love to touch his fingers and toes and sit by him on the floor when he is in the bouncer and you haven’t shown any signs of jealously (something I was admittedly worried about). So when people ask me this question I tell them you are doing great, the issues you are having these days have nothing to do with the new baby and everything to do with your age. You’re 19 months, Stink, and as everyone has warned us this is a difficult age. You like to test us, to see how much you can get away with. When we tell you no and you get upset you run away and look for something to hit. Sometimes we can ignore this behavior but when it is poor Maia that you run towards we have to intervene. And then it’s a battle of the wills. And Hoo Boy! do you have a will. It will do you good in future years, I’m certain of that, but right now it is exhausting for your Mama and Daddy. Your new thing is to give us what I like to call the “Stink Eye” – when you are upset one of your eyebrows goes up while you furrow the other one – for a toddler I’m impressed at how well you’ve mastered this evil eye.

But, for every bad thing I have to say about this age I have two good things. You are so much fun right now. You are such a hard worker and love to help me in the house and your Daddy in the yard. When I sweep you bring me the dustpan and lead me to the garbage can when we have the floor picked up. You haul a chair over to the sink to stand by me when I’m washing dishes and you come running if you hear me doing laundry. You started unloading the dryer for me so that you could climb in it but these days you just like the routine. You pull all the clothes out, I hand you the new ones from the washer to put in and when I tell you all done you slam the door shut and raise your arms so I can pick you up to push the button to start the machine. It is really adorable. Outside you like to work alongside Daddy, digging in the dirt, pulling weeks, whatever it is he is doing. The other day we were playing in the front yard when you filled up your wheelbarrow and then hauled it all the way to the far end of the yard to dump it because that’s what Daddy had showed you a couple of weeks ago. You have a memory that amazes us.


You are also very affectionate these days. You love to snuggle and give hugs and kisses and you won’t find me complaining about that. Sometimes when I’m sitting on the floor you’ll come up behind me and throw your arms around my neck and each time you do it I’m reminded of how lucky we are to be your parents. When you’re tired you lay your head on my shoulder and wrap your arms around me, sometimes tucking them in my shirt, other times patting my back and I know you feel safe because it never takes you long to fall asleep. At bed time you run around giving us all kisses goodnight and when company leaves you often dole out hugs and blow kisses while you wave bye bye.


Yes, 19 months might be a difficult age, but it is also a pretty awesome one. Right now you like to play with blocks and build towers, you line up matchbox cars on the windowsill and drive them all over the house, you love airplanes and tractors, you’d spend all day outside if you could, you love to swim and go for wagon and stroller rides and you keep the rhythm to any beat (music, the washing machine, a fan, etc.) by shaking your arms in the air. You are persistent, pay close attention to detail, and are shy with new people. You run at full speed and scream loudly when you are excited, you laugh wholeheartedly when you find something funny, and when we take pictures you give us a big cheesy grin. Yes, 19 months is a fine age.


I love you so much Stink and look forward to the months ahead.
Love,
Mama

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