Letter to E: Months Forty-Two and Forty-Three

Dear E,

From here on out you might probably notice that most pictures of you also include your baby sister. It's mostly because 1) it's difficult to use my camera and hold a baby at the same time 2) lately when I have any free time I've been preferring to curl up with a novel rather than get out the camera and 3) when I do get the camera out you beg and beg for me to take pictures of you next to Mimi. So as you can see, it's clearly mostly your fault.

Speaking of Mimi, you've gotten a lot more comfortable with your baby sister these last couple of months, for better or for worse. You get such a thrill out of making her laugh but your efforts usually consist of getting right up in her face and shouting nonsense words, pulling on her arm, or covering her face with a blanket. I'm not expecting you to have a new set of material every day but c'mon, I'm pretty sure you can step it up a bit. You don't need to get all avant-garde or edgy. Just try a few things like, oh I don't know...maybe speaking in an inside voice? Or soft animal sounds? I don't know, I just thought I'd give you a few notes.

In other news, you're progressing quite nicely with potty training. I probably should have started you on it last year but I wanted to wait until after we went to Korea and then the holidays hit and then Mimi was born and wow look at that, you're almost three-and-a-half and still in diapers and kids at the playground notice and think you're a little weird.

So one day after you had become good at sitting on your little potty chair I just put away your diapers and stuck you in underwear. We had a number of accidents that first week but then you pretty much got the hang of it. For a few days you had a horrific bout of diarrhea that I still have nightmares about (don't worrying, I've taken the carpet cleaning bill out of your college fund.) but you are this close to getting the whole toilet thing down pat.

You are such a funny little guy. The other day some boy scouts were sitting in our living room explaining a fund raiser they were doing when your dad came home from work. When he walked into the house you gestured toward him and said to the boys, "Hey guys, this is my dad." And it blew my mind. Look at that, you're a real person! A person who sometimes still poops in his underwear, but A Real Person! And my heart swelled with pride and love for you until it felt like it would burst.

And then an hour later you were shrieking about how you DON'T WANT TO EAT CHICKEN FOR DINNER! and I found myself clenching my jaw and explain to you for the three-thousandth time why we use nice voices when we talk to each other, etc... Sometimes the emotional roller coaster ride gives me whiplash.

But luckily for us, you are still a joy to have around. You've been testing your limits more lately and sometimes outright ignore or defy us but when you calm down you're still our sweet little guy. At times I can almost see the wheels in your head turn as you're trying to figure out how the world works and what your place in it is. Sometimes when I'm down in the trenches of mundane everyday life I have to remind myself of it but it really is a privilege to help you find your way.


Love,

Mama

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