Tuesday, December 16, 2008

17 months

Dear Landon (aka Buddy, Little Man, Handsome, Little Guy, LanMan, and Sweetie),

This is probably going to be long. I've been meaning to write you a letter for a while, but after working all day and playing with you all evening, it's hard to motivate myself to do much more than sit on the couch and snuggle with your daddy at night. However, as your cuteness hits new heights and I realize how much you've changed in the past few weeks, I know that I must write down my memories of you from this magical time in toddlerhood.

And what a magical time it is. Landon you are quite simply a delight. You are so full of personality and smiles and excitement for everything that it's hard to believe you can contain all that joy in your 26 lb. body (I think much of it must be stored in your rather pronounced belly). I'm already running out of adjectives so I think I'm just going to list my favorites of your favorite things right now:

~ wrestling. Your daddy has been wrestling with you for a while (and you've loved it), but it's only recently that you wrestle back. The other day I was laying on the floor of your play room reading a magazine while you were busy reorganizing all your books. Suddenly I heard a "grrrrr!" and felt a 26 lb. sack of potatoes land on my back. It was hysterical. I rolled you over and growled back and you were laughing so hard you couldn't stand up. Ever since, if your daddy or I are on the ground and looking away, you'll launch yourself onto us with a growl. Just thinking of it now makes me laugh.

~ reading. You love books. You have your favorites- Brown Brear Brown Bear, Doggies, 10 Rubber Ducks, and a few others, and you'll carry them around waiting to find someone sitting down on the ground. Lucky for you your mom spends a lot of time sitting cross-legged on the floor (one of the many reasons I didn't like our hardwood floors in Chicago) and whenever you see me like that you run over, waving your book around wildly in the air. As you get close, you slow down, turn around, and then hunker down into a half-squat and walk backwards for several steps until you are sitting in my lap. I'm not sure you realize you could just walk up to us normally and then turn around, and I'm kind of glad that you don't!

~ dancing. Oh, the dancing. Landon you dance at any tune- cell phone rings, commercials, your toys- anything! Your little feet start shuffling, then your arms start moving, and you're just a smiley little dancing machine. Your dad likes to waltz me around the house (or I should say, attempt to waltz with me, it generally just involves me stepping on his toes) and we love it when you dance with us!

~ dogs. You love your doggies and get very excited every time you see them. We went to PetSmart on Saturday and you were in heaven, running around and giving all the "DOUGGIES!" big pats. At one point I heard someone ask, "who does this baby belong to?" and I realized you had run three aisles over to pet an Irish Wolf Hound that weighed 160 lbs. and stood several inches above your head. You were not at all fazed by this small horse masquerading for a dog and you showered your love on him just like you do anything else with fur.

~ daycare. You love your teachers and your school and the teachers love you back. When I take you in the morning you jump out of my arms as soon as we get in the building and run with arms outstretched, index fingers at full point, towards the door of your classroom. You always have glowing daily reports from your teacher when we pick you up. Here was one of my favorites from last week: "Today we read 'That's not my Snowman' and Landon said 'noman' and we read 'Santa Claus' and then he said 'Anta'! He really liked the steakfingers. After lunch he fell asleep on his plate :)" Every time I read that I laugh.

~ missions. You are a very busy little boy. Sometimes it's reorganizing my tupperware cabinet, other times it's pushing your highchair around the downstairs in a pattern only you can understand- once on a mission you are very focused and do not like to be deterred.

~ belly. You have a glorious belly and remain quite fascinated with it. Every now and then in the bath tub you'll look down and give it a few pats with a satisfied look on your face. You've also started putting both hands over it when you run, like you're trying to hold it in place. It makes you daddy and me laugh every time.

~ joy. I think my favorite thing about you is your excitement about everything. You spend a lot of time running around the house throwing your hands up in the air, making all kinds of sounds at all kinds of volumes. Everything is a game. You love people and flirt outrageously whenever we're in public. You give high-fives to anyone and still give your coy little sideways smiles you did as a baby. You remain very enthusiastic about food, especially graham crackers and spaghettios, and your cup of milk is one of the great loves of your life.

Now before you go thinking you are always perfect and don't ever make your parents want to scream, let me tell you that you have moments where you take me to a level of frustration I didn't imagine possible. But the amazing thing about parenthood is that my frustration fades as quickly as yours. The minute you smile at me or lean in for a hug or relax into my lap, the effects of whatever tantrum you were throwing a few seconds ago disappear completely. It also helps that even in your tantrums you're adorable- like when you stomp your feet up and down really fast or run into a corner and scream at it. I've found the best way to calm you down is to start reading a book out loud, by the end you're always back in my lap, calm, and looking excited about whatever is on the next page.

There's something else I need to say, though I'm not sure this will make it into the baby book. On Sunday at church your daddy picked you up from the nursery a little early so that you could be in the sanctuary for the last song and closing prayer. You thought that was great fun. At one point when everyone was sitting down and praying, you were snuggled in my lap with a satisfied smile on your face, and I had my arms around you and I just felt so happy and at peace as a mother. I'm not sure when that happened. We had a very hard first year together and it took me a long time to get out of the mindset of you as a difficult baby and to let go of the nagging feeling that I wasn't enough of a mother to you. I wonder if the circumstances of your birth and first several months forced me put up some kind of barrier, or maybe I just needed to get to know you more as your own little person first- regardless, while I instinctively loved you from the moment we saw you on the ultrasound screen, that pales in comparison to the bone-deep, overpowering, absolutely terrifying love I feel for you now. I spent a while feeling guilty or lacking because it took me some time to build up to what I thought a good mother was supposed to feel immediately, but I don't think that way anymore.

You're growing and changing so quickly and even though part of me mourns each change, a much greater part rejoices in your daily advances. I love learning more about you and watching you learn more about your world. You fill our house with laughter and more love than any three people should have a right to possess, I feel so lucky every day to be your mom.

Love,
me


15 comments:

  1. Probably one of your best letters to Landon ever! It's so sweet to read about your ever-improving relationship with Landon and family dynamic.

    I really love the part about how he's funny even when he's throwing tantrums, like yelling at the corner of the wall. It makes me laugh too.

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  2. You made me smile.
    And laugh.
    And smile some more.
    What a great letter to your son!

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  3. You are a remarkable writer. If you ever detour from the attorney way of life you should write a book. Your letters to Landon make me cry everytime I read them!

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  4. So sweet!!

    I love picturing all of those adorable Landon "toddlerisms," but especially the one about him backing into your lap. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. so you have unveiled yourself! you are a beautiful duo!

    i love this letter. my heart went squish squish with every paragraph. landon is so very loved and he's gorgeous and oh i hope i get to meet him sooner than later!

    what an adventure we are on, yes?

    pee ess: the verification word i have to type is "cajoness" que interesante.

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  6. Bengali Chick12/17/08, 10:41 AM

    Why do you have to make me cry in my office in the morning=)

    Great letter. You're an excellent mamma bear.

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  7. Landon looks just like you, and what a wonderful expression of love from a mother to a son. I hope you are saving these for him to read one day- he will just love it.

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  8. awww! I can just imagine Landon patting his belly :) and I LOVE the dancing! He is super cute! I love this post.

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  9. Too sweet. I love this stage. I love the backing up into your lap so you can read a book. Bear gets so excited when we tell him to go pick a book. The dancing thing is hilarious too. Bear dances all.the.time. I understand the frustrations too though. It's a good thing they are so cute.

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  10. Awww, you guys are so cute! I'm glad that you are really taking the time to enjoy the toddler years. They are my absolute favorite! At least once a week I ask my girls, "When are you going to stop getting bigger? I love you all little and squishy and cute!" I love watching the grow, but I miss the neck nuzzles and fat bellies and plopping into my lap.

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  11. I have to say that, as much as I love Landon updates, the part which made me go mushy was the "daddy and I waltzing round the kitchen part"

    So romantic!

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  12. It's kind of funny how I look at my daughter and think that she is the most amazing baby ever, and then read this, and realize that, the reality is, she's not much different from any other toddler. Yet - she is a genius! She waves and says buh-bye at just 11 months! I can completely relate with every feeling. It really is such a terrifying love sometimes.

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  13. Amanda (U of C Law)12/19/08, 8:02 PM

    Oh my goodness LL-- beautiful letter I write those for Aaden too :)

    It's sooo nice to see you two looking so happy and peaceful! (he's absolutely gorgeous!)

    Congratulations! I'm VERY happy for you and your beautiful family! :)

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  14. I hope you don't ever again think to write that you weren't enough of a mother to Landon the first year. If anything, you were too much of a mother (is there such a thing?) or it wouldn't have hurt so much. He is gorgeous, and so is the letter to him. Merry Christmas to you and your family. :-)

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