Friday, June 29, 2012

P.S., LG

A few things I'd like to add to my Letter to LG at 18 Months:

You also say uh-oh, all done, I see you, and the week before Father's Day, you said I love you to your daddy when he picked you up from daycare. I think you may have said it to me yesterday.

You have sixteen teeth. Yikes!

Another of your favorite toys is a fridge farm; there are magnetized, interchangable front and rear ends of farm animals that go on a barn--it makes a lot of noise, and I think your mommy might remember some of it's songs and sayings forever ("A horse pig? That's silly!"). One of the things you like do with the animal pieces is put them in these little fabric  slits on our baby gate. Your newest hiding place for them is the bottom shelf on the door inside the refrigerator; you also like putting wooden play food pieces in the drawer beneath the oven. I love finding your little treasures in unexpected places.

This morning when I was driving you to daycare, I was watching you smile and talk in the mirror on my visor, and I was thinking about what a joyous child you are. Like anyone, there are times when you're hangry, tired, or sick, and there are other times when you're just in a more quiet and contemplative mood, but most of the time your happiness shines. At this point in your life, I honestly don't believe there's a grain of malice in you, though there is definitely some mischief and a sliver of defiance. 

 Your father was to pick you up early from daycare today to take you to your 18-month well-child appointment. When he arrived, you were sitting in your teacher's lap and she had an ice pack on your cheek. You had been bitten. Again. For the third time in as many weeks. The first week you were bitten on your left shoulder blade, and apparently the same child bit two other children that day. Last week you were bitten above your left wrist; when I was picking you up, another mom was also signing an incident report because her little girl had been bitten in the same spot, to which I made some jokes about this being a serial biter. And then today you were bitten on your left cheek. If the same child bit you all three times, they definitely like the left side (serial biter!).

A few things. I'm told that biting is a very common occurrence at this age, because children's verbal communication skills are not well developed; children seem to know that their mouth is what they're supposed to use to communicate but don't quite know how to do it, and so emotions and frustrations are often expressed through biting. Your daycare communicates these incidents to both the biter's and bitee's families--though the identity of the biter is protected--and I am thankful for that. I don't have any hard feelings toward your daycare or the biter/biter's parents; it could just as easily be my child that is biting (or pinching, hitting, insert any other aggressive physical behavior) other people's children (and it may one day be, though I hope not).

I was concerned about the first few bites. I consider myself to be a pretty laid back and level-headed mother. I don't coddle you, and I don't worry needlessly about your safety. The only time I ever really worried that something might be wrong was the first time you slept through the night, but I sure as heck wasn't going to go check on you and interrupt such a momentous occasion. 

But I am upset about today's bite. I want you to know that I actually cried when I got off of the phone with your father this afternoon. I mean, this child bit your face. Your beautiful face. You soft, smooth skin that I look upon every night in the dusk light as I rock you to sleep, is now interrupted by red teethmarks (that will likely turn several different colors during the next few weeks as it heals). To me, the location of this bite seems so much more intentional and severe. I asked your father how you were reacting after he'd picked you up; he said it was obvious you had been crying before he arrived, that you started crying again when you saw him, and on the way to and at the doctor's you seemed... melancholy. 

As your mother, that is what I worry about; that someone or something will bring down your joyous spirit, and it will change you. I know I can't protect you from life or hardship or pain, and in fact, I look forward you to seeing you deal with what life gives you and hopefully grow out of those experiences (and hopefully grow in your relationship with Christ, your family and find your true friends as a result). But it's still hard.

 Well, that's enough of that. You and I both have some time off of work/daycare coming up that is much needed and looked forward to. You basically have four more days in the transitional toddler classroom before you move up to the toddler classroom, and I am told that you will not be in the same class as the biter.

Here are the stats from your 18-month well-child appointment today:
- Weight: 27lbs, 6oz ~75th percentile (I think you've actually lost some weight...)
- Height: 32.5" ~60th percentile
- Head circumference: 19" ~don't know what percentile that is, but you've definitely grown into your head.
And you do not need any more shots until you are four years old.

Much love,

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