Open Letter to My Toddler

Dearest Butterbean,

Thank you. You’re right.

I say that because all of the delightful, delicious, maddening, exhausting things you do teach me something. All of them. In a tasty, hilarious, infuriating, depleting way. Did I mention adorable? And exhausting, did I mention that?

Thank you for dragging the step stool over to the kitchen counter to help me. Every single time I try to do anything. You’re right that I was foolish to think I could do something without you. You’re right that your job is to learn, especially from me. You’re right that I need to find better horizontal surfaces to cover with all the stuff I don’t want you touching. Thank you for that reminder.

Thank you for reminding me about yoga. And manners. You’re right that yoga is fun, Butter Curl. You may not do yoga while you’re nursing, sweetie. Bridge and fish pose and chatturanga are all very nice except when you’re attached to someone else’s nipple. Then they are not nice. Please stop the milk-yoga. You may nurse or you may do yoga. Not together. Thank you for making me ponder our house rules on that one. I hadn’t thought of it before. What a gift.

Thank you for demanding your independence. You’re right that I don’t have to open that cheese or tie your shoes or zip your jacket or cut the bread by myself. Of course you need to learn by trying. I know it makes you happy to try and you’re willingly to let me finish if your sweet little hands can’t complete the task. Thank you for reminding me what the whole 18 month to 3 year process is about. You. Not me.

Thank you for headbutting me in the nose when I refused you something. You’re right that angry feels like hitting. We don’t hit, Bug Butt. Good thing I know that or your tiny little face would have a handprint on it. Thank you for the reminder that I need to take a break when someone makes me so mad I see black. Good job, monkey. You’re the best.

Thank you for delighting in playing with simple things. You’re right that we should pour water back and forth from cup to pot for a long, long time. You’re right that it’s fun to open and close doors dozens of times. Thank you for finally slowing down for two seconds to do these things, Butterpat. You’ve been whirling around for so long without stopping that I wasn’t sure I’d blink before you turned Two. Thanks for your new love of repetition (and for setting up my ability to share that love by running me ragged for a year.) Let’s go get the pots and the water, shall we?

Thank you for pointing out that, whatever I give you leaves one of your hands empty. You’re right. You have two hands. So of course you need two chips. Yes. Two bananas. Two sticks. Two halves of the sandwich. Thank you for noticing both halves of your body, Butterbug. Thank you for making me see all functional units in pairs.

Kind of like us, right?

Love you, sweet little man.