If I wasn’t writing these letters to you, my son, I doubt I’d remember exact details about your development down to every month of your early life. Instead I’d take a guess (my memory clouded by too many years having passed along with a mental block of your toddler meltdowns) at telling you when you slept through the night, got your first tooth, and learned to walk.
What would I look back and remember about the summer before you turned two? Probably the VERBAL EXPLOSION that happened in our house with you! At daycare, you’ve gone through a few recent transitions, one being the nixing your pacifier during the day. There was some gnashing of teeth (all 12 of yours and 32 each of ours) over this loss, but within days of it being gone you went from saying a dozen words to—no exaggeration—75 or more (we tried counting once awhile back and gave up…because every day it’s something new to surprise us, like when we’re at the playground and you point to a wooden tunnel you want me to climb through and say “Mommy tunnel?” and I think HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY KNOW THAT WORD?!)
You speak a lot now in two- to three-word sentences: You love to say “Sit down Daddy” to your father, who will oblige your toddler bossiness so that you can come crashing down the end of the slide, landing on top of him with a laugh. And, well, this just makes my heart melt like butter every time: You express thanks for everything. I hand you a sippy cup: “Tank uuuuuu“. I put your shoes on your feet. “Tank uuuuu.” I pick you up off the ground. “Tank uuuuuu.” I mean, STOP CHARMING THE PANTS OFF YOUR PARENTS, KIDDO.
This month you had your FIRST hair cut and while it wasn’t much, just a few snips, it was a milestone moment for your mom and dad. We were so proud of how well you did in the chair! And when you stepped down, free of those tangled curls at the back of your head, it suddenly made us feel as if we had a three-year-old on our hands. Since it’s summer we’re going to spend as much time as we can at the playground, a place that never gets old for you. If a grown-up version of you could travel back in time to see what your parents looked like while they were raising you (younger and with less gray in their hair than now, I’m sure), there’s a good chance Future Dean would find us chasing you here. Either that, or in the dining room, all of us piled on the floor. You, of course, with an infectious case of the giggles.