Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dear R,

We just got back from vacation spent with your grandparents, uncles, and potential aunt (I *think* an engagement was mentioned). Some parts were nice: visiting the places of my childhood, being surrounded by snow-covered mountains and towering pines. But, mostly, it was exhausting. You refused to sleep during the flight there and back. You viewed my family as strangers and clung pitifully to me the entire two weeks (I have newly bulging biceps to show for it--scared the heck out of me when I spotted them showing off while I was brushing my hair in front of the mirror). We had to share a room, which was sheer hell for me; you made sure to wake us often throughout the night.

But we're back now, thank god, and mom is slowly recuperating. And you're returning to your usual cheery self. You've been getting more independent-minded, these past few days. You want what you what "and don't even bother trying to distract me with that stupid ladle." Suddenly, you want to wear shoes--mine and dad's. You have two push-and-walk toys but you stubbornly return again and again to your own stroller, which isn't one of those little umbrella fold-up types, by the way; you've even figured out how to release the break, when mom sneakily tries to thwart your efforts. And you want to feed yourself, god help me--but NO HIGH CHAIR. You leave food trails on the kitchen floor like some omnivorous snail. I'm considering putting you into the bathtub naked and letting you do as you please with your dinner; right now, that consists of you violently stabbing your fork and spoon into the bowl and sending food flying everywhere. You then attack the food with your hands and like to finish off with using mom as a giant serviette. I think I need a bib more than you do.

You still hate your infant car seat. Which reminds me to record this: Your eyebrows turn bright red when you've had a long bout of rage-induced crying. It's really...cute and funny. Which I guess makes me a bad mom for giggling a bit when viewing her baby's tear-stained face. I realized last night that I'd become a true mom when I found myself driving home, singing cheerfully along with the radio, and really not bothered in the least by the fact that you were shrieking in the back at full volume, wailing as if your tender baby heart were being torn from your chest.

But I must say that you're actually not a big cryer. These days, say you topple over and hit your poor head, you'll right yourself and just rub the injured spot with a puzzled frown on your face (I guess because I usually do that for you, but does it really make the pain better?). It's endearing.

I love how your personality is showing itself more and more. You like smells and have a nose like a hound dog. The minute I break into the skin of a mandarin orange, your head pops up in eager anticipation. You love cinnamon and could happily sniff a bottle of it the whole day. And I can't even get a spoon of yogurt close to your face before you start shaking your head in refusal. Sometimes, I find myself smiling even when you're turning your head away from a particular food, because I love that you have actual opinions on such matters and that you're already standing up for your beliefs. Before, you were like a little animal, utterly helpless; but you're steadily growing into your own person. It's amazing.