Dear Benevolent Dictator --
On Saturday, you turned 20 months old. You are officially a toddler (well, you have been for awhile), and I have to say that it's getting to be a bigger challenge keeping an eye on you. The reason for that?
You are now officially a stunt baby. Today you climbed up into your high chair alone and without assistance. Then you tried to stand up and take a step out of your high chair. My dear, I can't afford to put rubber mats on all the floors to protect you -- especially when you think it's a good idea to get upon your high chair and dance.
I'm impressed -- especially since your parents aren't exactly known as active or agile people. But for people assuming that you're going to be the opposite of your parents, it's not happening either. You love to read books. We still spend time sitting around reading books. You love to dance -- stomping your feet around and twirling around in circles.
Right now you enjoy playing games of hide and seek. You like to stand in a corner and have me run and hide. However, you don't give me much time to hide at all. But the look on your face when you find me (in one of the three usual spots -- because really, I can't fit into many places) is always a delight, especially as I hear you say, "FOUND YOU."
You're attention span is also growing a little bit. You'll read books by yourself and play quietly for a few minutes. But you still have this radar sense that tells you when I'm in the middle of something major -- say making a cheese sauce that requires a lot of stirring or writing something on the Internet -- and then you corner me, demanding attention.
You're also showing a little jealous side. Whenever I hold another toddler or baby, your jealously instinct overrides and much like a Terminator you come over demanding I hold you and remove this interloper. Which is funny, because when you get together with other kids, you're not bad at sharing toys.
Which gets to another thing -- you do share like a dictator. You'll come over to me or your Dada with a sippy cup and demand if we drink. If we don't take the drink, you scream at us. You also need to learn the lesson that you can offer something, but that doesn't mean people are going to go for it.
Looking over this letter, it seems like it's full of contradictions -- you like to share, but don't like to share me. You share on your terms only. You love to move and run around, but also have quiet and still moments. I think that's what it means to be a person in general. We're all full of contradictions. As Walt Whitman wrote, " "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes."
You are large -- maybe not in physical size, but in personality. And I love it.