These letters are getting tougher and tougher to write! While I have plenty of facts to fill them with, I just don’t know how to convey the sense of love and wonder you cause your parents to feel. Every time you discover something new about the world, it feels us with unspeakable joy, as though WE discovered it too. When you enjoy an experience, Mommy and Daddy can’t help but smile at each other and say, “THIS is what’s all about.”
You had a bunch of new experiences this past summer. You went camping for the first time you can remember (the REAL first time was when you were 9.5 months old, but you were barely walking then). You LOVED LOVED LOVED the “riv-uh”, the dirt, the friends and family, all the trees. Your favorite game was pushing different objects around the campsite in the dirt, especially the broom and a metal spatula. You had a blast in the river even though it was freezing cold and you fell down a few times. You loved counting the trees (you count by saying, “Tree! Two Trees! Anuh Tree! Anuh Tree!”).
You’ve gone swimming only a handful of times, but you are so brave, floating on your back, turning over on your stomach and kicking, and even letting Daddy dunk you. You’ve also been to the beach quite a few times! The sand is quite a hit with you, whether we have a re-used starbucks cup for you to spoon with, or a real sand bucket.
You have had Dadda home with you ALL summer, which has been amazing for you guys. You’ve developed such an awesome bond that is so awesome to watch. He tosses you around and makes you laugh hysterically. He shares his “green” protein smoothies with you and teaches you how to be a gentleman in church. He’s usually the one who makes you your morning bowl of steel cut oats with blueberries, followed by a banana.
Speaking of church, you still love it! You stand quietly at attention like no other kid I’ve ever seen (seriously, how did we get so lucky?). You like to kiss every cross you can find, saying, “craw! craw!” (cutest.thing.ever.). You swing socks or anything similar around the house in your hand like a censor, singing, “all-le-lewww-ya”, over and over for hours.
One of your favorite games is to count fingers and toes– yours, or anyone else’s. You go one by one, sometimes jibbering on, always with a huge smile on your face. Sometimes, you accidentally count one twice, but you don’t mind.
You also love to come in and name everyone in the room. The cutest is when you get to yourself. We ask you where “Big Brother” is, and you point to your chest and say, “MEEEE!” You use Aunt “Ra-rel” (Rachel), Aunt “Me-me” (Emily), Aunt “Ja” (Janelle), “Unk Jo” (Uncle Joe), “Poppa”, and, of course, “Mamma”, “Dadda” and “Wee” on a routine basis.
You talk SO MUCH. Constantly, in fact. There isn’t a word that you won’t try and repeat. You know hundreds of them! Many of them take a special interpreter, but every day you are becoming more enunciated. Some of our favorite words: “peek-ulls” (pickles), “kee-kies” (cookies), “peed-uhs” (peaches), “bel-bow”, “bah-bel-bah” (banana), “nawg-neal” (oatmeal), “die-die” (your pacifier), “MAR-O!” (Mario, like the game you love playing with Aunt Janelle), “Bum” (helpful when we’re trying to change your diaper!), “Ra-relle” (Clarabelle). You string together a few phrases, like, “Bye-bye in car!”, “No, not now!”, “Shoes, peez, Dadda?”, “Mamma, down, peez?”, “Read book peez!” The other day, Mamma found some squishy oatmeal on her hand, leftover from cleaning up your breakfast. She said, “eww!”, and you thought it was hysterical. For a few minutes, you wandered around saying, “eww!” with the same little shudder. Sometimes, you will launch into a long, fast, garbly-gook sentence, and Mamma has to stop and say, “Gregory, I don’t understand!” You pause, puzzled, and then try again. You’re really quite forgiving when it comes to miscommunication.
You can name all sorts of letters and numbers, even sounding most of them out. Sometimes, you even walk up to license plates and point them out!
You love being Mamma’s helper during the day. If she asks you to put away some clothes in the hamper, for instance, you not only follow directions quite well, but you LOVE doing it! Whenever you’re done doing something that Mamma or Dadda requested, you are beaming. We try to find lots of little “chores” for you to accomplish during the day, even if it’s something as small as putting away a dish into the sink.
Also during the day, you love to play Imagination Games. If Mamma plays with you, you love to flap your wings like a birdie saying, “tweet tweet!” or barking like a dog. Sometimes, she uses one of your plastic animals to pretend to talk to you, and you grab another animal and “talk” right back. You use tealight candles as your “makeup” jars and pretend to put stuff on your face. We see you imitating the things we do, all the time! You even pretend to squat and pee on your little potty (speaking of which, we’re not sure when the potty training will seriously commence, hopefully by your 2nd birthday!).
Other things you like doing during the day: you love to color with chalk on our outside patio. It looks like a masterpiece, I tell you 🙂 You LOVE your tee-ball set in the backyard. You are still constantly throwing balls everywhere. You do not like TV, however, except for the occasional National Geographic movie Dad puts on for you guys (as long as it has lots of animals!). You love to color on a piece of paper. Mamma is hoping to make you fingerpaints and play-doh this week, so hopefully those will be fun! You still love reading close to a bajillion books a day, and your attention span allows us to read you the longer ones now.
Since you are definitely a toddler, we have had to punish you more lately. Usually, you don’t get your way, and you have a complete meltdown, complete with foot stamping and high pitched wailing. What we have noticed, however, is that as long as Dadda can get you to look him in the eye and he can talk to you about it (usually after a spanking or two for REFUSING to look at him, unfortunately!), your heart becomes soft and you walk over and say, “Sry, Mamma?” in the sweetest little voice. Unless you are absolutely exhausted for one reason or another, you are very easy to instruct. It seems as though you know that Dadda (usually the one to do the punishing lately) means what he says and that the quickest way to get back to all the fun and games is to apologize.
You still have only been sick 3 short times in your life– at 2 months with a chest cold, 16 months with a runny nose and cough, and at 19 months with a high fever for 3 days. That’s it! You still sleep 12-14 hours at night, and almost always get a 3+ hour nap every day. You nearly have all your teeth (as far as Mommy can tell!) and will go to your first dentist visit next month!
Overall, sweet boy, you are just a joy to have around. You are curious, entertaining, loving (you almost always give kisses if Mamma says “please”!) and so smart. There are days when Mommy wants to find a way to bottle the very “essence” of Gregory right now. She always wants to always remember your baby-growing-into-boy smell, your chubby rosy cheeks, your blonde curls that are way too long because Mommy thinks your hair is too pretty to cut, your adorable Farmer Boy tan from wearing your “rash guard out in the summer sun, your stubbed toe nails from all your adventures….sometimes Mommy want to freeze you in motion and never let you grow up.
Then again, you become more fun and engaging every day, so I guess we can allow it 😉