Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy 31 Months

Dear Connor,

This month, you turned 31 months. I wish I could say that this month was easier than last, but it was not. But now that we're into your 32nd month, things have been fabulous. So, I'll get this post out of the way and we can go back to having fun again.

If there was one phrase we heard around this house enough to last a lifetime, it was "I don't want to", or a simple variation on that theme. Like, a few days ago, I told you it was an "at home" day for me. Usually, this makes you dance with joy. But a couple of weeks ago? Your reply was simply "I don't want you to stay home from work". So I said, "OK, I guess I'll spend the day with Helen" and then you quickly retracted your statement and we had a great day. Now when you tell me "I don't want to" I just say "I know you don't want to. You don't want to do anything. That's why I call you Connor 'I don't want to' William H." and so far, this makes you laugh a bit and you pretty much agree to do whatever it is that you initially refused.

You also resorted to a little reverse psychology on me and your dad. A few weeks ago, you didn't eat your dinner, and I tossed it in the trash as I was cleaning up after dinner. After telling us everything we offered you was yucky, you burst into tears at your apparently beloved yucky dinner being tossed in the trash. Seeing opportunity, your dad and I would later tell you "Connor, it's time to eat your dinner or we'll have to throw it away" and you would start eating. That is, until about 2 weeks ago when I did this at lunch and you said "It makes me HAPPY when you throw my dinner away" and I replied "Great. I want you to be happy, Connor.". Only, it didn't make you happy, but you weren't about to let on. So, at dinner that night, you dad said the same thing and you looked him right in the eye and said again "It makes me HAPPY when you throw out my dinner." Seeing no reaction from your dad, you then upped the ante by faking laughter and saying "I'm laughing because you threw out my dinner" because you wanted to make really certain that we knew you were really happy. As steam poured out your dad's ears (and might I remind you that he is the CALM parent in the house most of the time) I suggested you and I ought to go downstairs to play trains. A little separation at that moment seemed like a good thing.

But, you always seemed to know right when you were on the edge of getting kicked out of the house and at exactly that moment, you would lean in close and whisper "I love you Mommy" or, even better, you would run and get a toy for Helen, give it to her, and then be super nice to her. It's as if you know how much this warms my heart.

When you weren't being a total annoyance, you continued to be quite goofy and generally filled the house with laughter and good ideas. My favorite thing this month is watching you decide you need something from your bedroom when you are playing in the sitting room. You hop up, and do this cute toddler run down the hall at full speed, hands and arms flapping everywhere, and sometimes slipping and skidding several paces. Clearly, walking is too pedestrian for you. And if only you showed this sort of urgency any time I wanted to leave the house, it would be grand.

You seem to exemplify something my mother-in-law once told me. She said it was natural for kids and parents to not get along. After all, your job is to gain independence and mine is to keep you from getting it too soon. It's a natural rivalry. Now, I do believe she was commenting on your dad's teen years, but I think it applies a little to you now.

And now, let's get back to the business of having a blast. Month 32 has started off really great!


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