Dear Baby Ike,
Wednesday of last week was your second birthday. If I am to believe the subject lines of Baby.center.com emails, this means you are now a preschooler! But let’s be real – Mama will keep calling you Baby Ike, at least on occasion, as long as she can get away with it. At the same time, you are certainly becoming a true big kid in some ways, so I will compromise and try to come to grips with the fact that you are at least solidly in the toddler range – technically you most likely will not start any kind of preschool program until next year, so I can for now at least semantically justify the procrastination of using that next categorical designation of tiny human.
Most of the time now you refer to yourself as Ikey, a nickname which grew on me more quickly and more fiercely than I anticipated. When Grandma first started calling you that I honestly wasn’t sure how much I liked the sound of it, but coming out of your own mouth it seems 100% fitting. All the other things coming out of your mouth, which are way too numerous to even attempt to quantify at this point, are nothing short of astonishing. For barely two, you are quite verbal. You want to know the name of everything (WAT’S DAT!) and spend a lot of time identifying things and people you’re quite sure of (DAT’S MOMMY. DAT’S A TEEVEE!). You repeat lots of new and old phrases every day, earning your moniker of Little Parrot (IKEY’S A WITTWE PAWWOT), and your sentence constructions and emphasis and expression never fail to impress me (WAT’S GAMPA DOIN’ OVER DERE?). We’ve only had a handful of incidents (so far, anyway) in which you repeat somewhat unsavory things you overhear Mama or Daddy or one of their friends saying – the best of which had to be the time at Aunt Jeni’s house when the XBOX remote’s batteries died, meaning we couldn’t set you up with yet another episode of Daniel Tiger or Super Why. You immediately declared this injustice to be BULLSHIT! Nice use of context, I guess? I don’t think anyone even tried not to laugh.
Your love of reading and books continues; you can pretty much recite the entirety of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and the expression you use for each turn of events kills me dead every time. As much as I try not to let you insist and win on reading AWWWWWW DESE BOOKS before every bedtime, I’ll always let you sneak that one in before lights out. I need to enlist someone to help me get it on video soon, before your pronunciation goes up another notch toward proper – it’s already making me nostalgic for the time when the remotes were MEAT-MOTES and you didn’t have the S sound down pat yet. Even Gamma and Gampa now sound more like Gramma and Grampa, though the Rs are still a bit W-ish. I have, however, developed my own private conspiracy to keep you saying rhino-nocerous. I have to think and say it very slowly to get it correct myself anymore.
You’re solid on the ABCs, colors, and basic shapes, and most of the numbers up to but not quite including 30! I’m not sure you get the numbers concept nearly as much as you do letters (N. E. T. F. L. I. X. – DAT SPEWWS NETFWIX!), and you usually try to skip over 14 through 16 or 17 to get straight to 18, with a similar pattern through the 20s, but I’m still pretty astonished that you seem to have absorbed so much, so fast. Sesame Street FTW? Speaking of the Street, we had your birthday party on Saturday, and the word of the day was FUN. In no particular order:
Like last year, you were more interested in the fruit on/in your cake(s) than making a big messy cake-face, but at least this year we did not have to resort to putting Chee.rios in the frosting just to entice you to take a bite. I’m pretty sure you had a great time. A few of your friends were able to come, and you all had big fun playing in the pools and running around in the yard and in and out of the house. You stayed up waaaay past your normal bedtime, and showed off some of your new imaginative play skills (pretending to be a dog and barking, which sounds remarkably like Dexter, at the window and the front door – when asked what you’re barking at, you reply DA MAIWMAN). You definitely have an independent streak, which I love to see (IKEY CAN DO IT AWW BY HIMSEWF!), even when it means slowing the progress of some tasks or activities to match the viscosity of molasses. You’re also starting to show more of your imagination in playing with toys, feeding blocks to the caterpillars (because they’re VEWWY HUNGEE, you know) and prompting me to feign sadness (MOMMY SAD!) so you can give me kisses to cheer me up (you bet I’m a sucker for that game!). I started asking you to “Guess what!” a while back, and answered for you with “I love you,” which you’ll now say back most of the time. That is, when it’s not an Everything is No (NO EVERYTHING NO!) time of day. If it’s time for everything to be NO! then you say NO WUV YOU instead, but most of the time I can turn that into Mommy Sad and still get a kiss (tricky Mama!). Sometimes it morphs into I WOOF YOU, which I guess is Dog for the obvious? You haven’t really explained, you just laugh (DATS FUNNY!), but it seems like a fairly educated guess, and perhaps your first pun. We practiced a couple of those last night, and while I’m somewhat doubtful that you really grasp the concept of jokes with words yet, you definitely do enjoy it when DAT SOUNDS FUNNY! Or, now, DAT’S PUNNY!
You also got your first haircut last week. I was rather loathe to dispense with your natural, spiral-curl rat-tail, but even without it some curls remain.
It’s already been a great start to summer with you, Ikey – I’m so looking forward to the rest of it, and to everything that will follow.
Love you much,