Bye, bye bus. Hello Train!

I’m not sure when it happened, but you’ve gone from being obsessed with buses to loving trains. It’s quite helpful, actually. Now you’re much more willing to get in your stroller for us to head somewhere because we normally take the train (I’ve actually never ridden an NYC bus before). This was taken coming home from the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy!

And yes, that is a box of raisins in your hand. You know how to negotiate to make sure you chew-chew while you choo-choo!

Love,

Dad

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Tough Enough

Calling you “willful” is a bit of an understatement. You definitely have very strong opinions (like your parents). It can definitely be frustrating at times (your favorite word is “no,” uttered immediately upon hearing a request or idea, even when it’s something you actually want to do*). Still, there are definite positives found in that type of strength, most notably how you deal with challenges. 

When we warn you something is too hot to eat, you say “no” and put steaming heaps of it into your mouth. We can tell it’s too hot based on how you’re chewing, but you always swallow, look at us squarely and say “not hot.” The same is true for the spicy foods you’re always demanding.

I’d say that stubbornness is most useful in how you leverage it to conquer your fears though (well, and being a fashionista). When something scares you or makes you anxious, you keep asking about it until you’re comfortable. In fact, your biggest fear for a long time was DJ Roomba. You’ve been conquering that fear in stages by constantly asking for us to put you in a safe place (like your high chair) and then to turn Roomba on. You just sit and stare intensely as he cirlces below. Some mornings, your first words are “Roomba off,” as though saying it is part of how you overcome. When you seem tentative about something (swimming in the deep end of the pool, petting Baby Max’s dog Derby, etc), you always say “I not scared.”

Hopefully that stubbornness will be channeled to help you achieve the things you want throughout your life. It would certainly make it feel more worthwhile during these younger years!

Love,

Dad

*I’m writing this letter while we are all sitting at the breakfast table eating cereal. Mom stopped to say “I love you” to you (twice) and you replied “no.” OK, that one was kinda funny….

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Daddy Drop

I have a terrible confession: I dropped you on your head. I mean, it couldn’t have been a more direct head drop. I walked in the door (to a house full of guests including Uncle Vaughn) and you greeted me enthusiastically. I picked you up, hugged you, turned you upside down… and boom you went straight down onto you head. It was terrible. You got startled and cried (of course). I eventually put you down for the night, but felt terrible the whole night. I slept terribly I was so stressed about it. 

This morning, I got you up and asked if your head hurt and you said “yes.” You showed me your boo-boo, and you definitely had a mark on your forehead. It was so sad. We kept an eye on things and all your behavior is fine, so please don’t think you were concussed or anything.

It was such a bad moment, springing suddenly from a beautiful one. I’m really sorry about that, love. Just please don’t use this as an excuse for bad grades in the future, k?

Love,

Dad

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Magical kisses

One thing I’ve always found fascinating is how the kiss of a parent has the magical power to make an injury better. Tonight was the first time you’ve come to me with a booboo where I gave it a kiss. You went from frowning to smiling and when I said “Is that better?” you answered “yes.” Even though I know there will be a lot I can’t heal, it’s pretty cool to know my lips are blessed with that mama magic that can heal the smaller hurts life throws your way. 

Love,

Mom

Night Night Duet

As we’ve mentioned dozens of times, some of the sweetest parenting moments come while putting you down for bed (i.e., Night Night). Although it certainly won’t go platinum (a musical achievement that no doubt ceased to exist before you’re reading this), I finally decided to record a “typical” session and it couldn’t have turned out better (well besides my incredibly tone deaf singing). It covers what a typical night normally consists of:

+ negotiating how many songs before it’s time to get in the crib

+ you impressively chiming in at random moments with lyrics you know

+ a mix of extreme confidence and bashfulness as you sing

+ the incessant sound of an ocean from your sound machine

Sorry you have to listen to me throughout, but hopefully you’ll stick around for the beautiful moments you create throughout the recording. 

Love,

Dad

We got you this adorable stuffed animal at the Brooklyn Flea a few weeks ago, unsure whether you had enough love in your heart for any animal other than Bunny. But boy did you.
Dad and I, who are clearly not experts in understanding the details of your beloved toys, were certain it was a mouse and referred to it as such, which you accepted. But when we asked what you wanted to name her you purred “Meeeeoooooww,” which we found funny because you were naming a mouse with a kitty sound. So we all took to calling her Meow Mouse.
But a few days later I noticed her tag says she is indeed a cat. I shared this with you and told you that you had been right all along. But I suppose in an attempt to be diplomatic and avoid what could have been your first “I told you so” moment, you instead shifted her name to “Meowsie” keeping just a little of each animal in one simple name. 
It’s incredibly creative and I can’t help but wonder if you actually understand, at two years old, how awesome a name that is.
Love,
Mom
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We got you this adorable stuffed animal at the Brooklyn Flea a few weeks ago, unsure whether you had enough love in your heart for any animal other than Bunny. But boy did you.

Dad and I, who are clearly not experts in understanding the details of your beloved toys, were certain it was a mouse and referred to it as such, which you accepted. But when we asked what you wanted to name her you purred “Meeeeoooooww,” which we found funny because you were naming a mouse with a kitty sound. So we all took to calling her Meow Mouse.

But a few days later I noticed her tag says she is indeed a cat. I shared this with you and told you that you had been right all along. But I suppose in an attempt to be diplomatic and avoid what could have been your first “I told you so” moment, you instead shifted her name to “Meowsie” keeping just a little of each animal in one simple name. 

It’s incredibly creative and I can’t help but wonder if you actually understand, at two years old, how awesome a name that is.

Love,

Mom

1-minute Eavesdropping on Roarke

This isn’t a great recording (your sound machine is on so the sound of fake rain is overwhelming), but it gives you a sense of something that’s been happening a lot more often the last few months. You now sing and chat with yourself. It’s most noticeable in the mornings when you wake up and we leave you in your crib for your daily “wake up” time. 

Unlike baby chatter, you’re actually speaking words. It’s pretty cool. I remember the first I heard you kind of speaking ABCs to yourself (months ago). I ran out into the living room and saw your Mom leaning over to check it out too. We both smiled at each other and you went about playing with your toys on your mat, just kind of singing to yourself contently. 

Now we hear full blown conversations with Bunny, actual song lyrics (you sing all of Frere Jacques to yourself), or just general statements about what you’re seeing. It’s awesome. 

BTW, this recording was taken last night after you were put in your crib while we’re spending a week in The Hamptons.

Love,

Dad