Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chicks Dig Scars

Dear Ian,

It is official: you are ALL boy.

At 16 months old, you are all over and into everything, which is typical for your age, but the fact that you are a boy adds a level of daring that I have only witnessed in a few little girls at the same age. For example, one of your new favorite tricks is to somersault off the couch. Forward. You drape your head over the edge until it just touches the floor, and then you flail your legs until you flip completely off the couch. Then you laugh hysterically, climb up and do it all again. Heart attack city for Mommy.

You're also running now, which has presented new challenges. You have that "toddler run," where your arms are at your sides, somewhat behind you, and therefore don't offer you any help when you crash belly first in the yard. But then again, I'm sorta glad about this, because you fall with such a force, I'm not sure you wouldn't have broken wrists. You do most of your running in the yard, for which I am thankful. Simply walking on the concrete patio has already left it's mark. Yup. First major boo-boos. Band-aid-able ones, too. I can't decide if you were more upset about the scraped knees or the fact that I dared to put band-aids on the scrapes. But I HAD to cover them! You first scraped your knee just a little bit, but it seems like every three minutes you were falling and scraping them again, and they were getting worse and worse! I didn't think they would ever heal if I didn't help them out by covering them up this time.

Of course, you wear them like badges of honor and show them to everyone you see. Even the check-out lady at Publix. Silly little boy. So, I am in for it: scrapes, band-aids, dirty hands and feet and a face covered in Popsicle. Like I said: you're all boy, but I honestly can say that seeing you at this rambunctious and somewhat dangerous age makes me smile. You're exploring and growing, and it all will be worthwhile. Even if it takes until you're 20 for your knees to heal.

Hugs and loves,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Odd Hope for You

Dear Ian,
This is going to sound a little funny:

I want you to have a weird childhood.

There, now it's out there, and now I have to explain myself. I had a weird childhood growing up, but I think it has made me the person I am today, and not trying to sound snooty or braggy or anything, I think I turned out pretty dang well-rounded.

By weird childhood I mean the fact that I did things, heard things and played differently than other kids I knew. I grew up on one of the last plantations in Tallahassee. Your Papa Davis managed the plantation, and since he needed to be "on call" so to speak, we got to live on the farm. That piece of property was 1100 acres, and way out Merdian Road. We didn't have neighbors, and this was when playdates weren't really in vogue. I really learned a lot from this; my only playmate was your Uncle Brian (until Uncle Gary came along), and we figured out pretty quick to play nice together, because if we ticked each other off, we were stuck playing by ourselves. Not much fun. So, I learned to be resourceful and have GI Joe attend Barbie's birthday party, and Uncle Brian learned how to dress a doll. Perfect training for compromise and other grown up life lessons.

And since we grew up on such a big piece of land (Allenwood on Merdian first, and then on Baum, where Grandma and Papa are now), we had tons of outside space in which to play. But here again, our childhood was somewhat different when we were ushered outside to amuse ourselves. "Go play outside," Grandma Davis would dictate, "but watch for snakes." I seriously doubt I will ever have to utter this phrase to you when sending you out into the yard. (At Grandma and Papa's, you better bet your hiney that I will say it, and often) Outside we learned from Papa about the woods around us; I can recognize different kinds of pine trees (loblolly or longleaf), I know what a fire lane is for, and I can fill a quail feeder. I can also be infinitely patient in the freezing cold in a tree stand because I know it will mean meat for dinner. Oh, and yes, I know how to skin a deer. See... odd.

Technology was not something that was part of our growing up. We did have a Colecovision video game console with a couple of games when I was about nine, but I don't remember us playing with it much. We got three main channels on our television (four if it was raining really good), and our sound system was this rocking tape deck with a turntable. Grandma and Papa still have it, and every Sunday morning, they would play records: Chuck Mangione, Frank Sinatra... Great memories. Now we are surrounded by tech stuff, and since your Daddy's job is a tecnological one, you will be more exposed (and already are) than I ever was as a kid. I remember I was 23 when your grands got Direct TV, an answering machine and a computer all within the same month. I was afraid the house was going to burn down. I want you to be at least 7 before you become computer-proficient, but this is something that Daddy and I will talk about and compromise on, like the GI Joe and Barbie thing...

I want you to learn how to build intricate mazes with pinestraw by scooching it with your feet (one day I will demonstrate. For now I just sound nuts), and learn how to entertain and occupy yourself with just the world around you. I want you to be able to walk through the woods with your Grandparents and point out deer prints, or Heaven forbid, make noise while they squirrel hunt. (This is a rare form of torture. But a fun memory) In other words, I hope that one day you can look back on all of the weird and random stuff that you did as a kid and notice how much it has shaped you into the man you have become.

Holy Moly. One day you will be a man. I better get to work on those memories now.
Lots of Love,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Works of Art #7

Here's a Valentine that you made with Grandma Davis for your Daddy and me. Of course, Grandma helped you write your words, but they are still yours, and that makes them just priceless to us :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

About Your Mother

Hi Ian! This post is being written by your father. Until now I've been staying on top of your mother's posts and reading them when she writes them. She's doing such a good job cataloging things you do and progress you make that it's been hard for me to think of anything to add myself!

Like I said: Until now. Valentine's Day is here so I thought I'd post a message about the woman that I love. Your mother is such an incredible woman that I could easily write an entire book describing how special she is to me, but in the interest of keeping things short (and not making the other readers of this blog roll their eyes *TOO* much) I'll try to give you a brief summary of my viewpont of her as of this moment. Hopefully I can give you a glimpse of how she is seen through your father's eyes.

I've known your mother for a very long time - just over 17 years now. When we first met in highschool met she was a smiling, energetic, proud, noble and unstoppable girl. We didn't date until a few years later, after she told me (quite bluntly) that she liked me. We dated steadiliy through college and a few years afterwards got married. Several years later, we had you!

Your mother is a remarkable woman. She is extremely intelligent (though math isn't her strong suit -- fortunately it is mine!) She is incredibly supportive, helping me to succeed in my work so that our family can prosper. She is also wondrously nurturing, almost to a fault. Oh, and she's still smiling, proud, noble and unstoppable like she was when I first met her. Absolutely everything she does in life -- whether that is helping family, assisting friends, or performing her own work -- she pursues with a passion as if it is her only purpose. It is this last quality that has drawn me to her strongest of all.

These traits carry over into her care for children as well, and are one of the reasons I knew she would be a wonderful mother to you. She has always had an incredible knack with children. Even when we were dating she would quite often diagnose -- accurately -- a child's needs by the "sound" of their cry. As your mother she had you sleeping soundly through the night after only several months. She is constantly providing you with developmental books, puzzles, and toys to help you grow mentally and physically. I have no doubt she'll have you potty-trained soon as well (she has a particularly excellent track record in this area.) She cooks food for you, changes your diapers, rearranges her schedule for you, and always puts you and our family first.

Hopefully one day you will look back on all of this and how you were raised and realize that you couldn't find a better mother anywhere on Earth. Karen really is a special woman, and we're both very blessed to have her touch our lives. I love her with all of my heart, and I hope that one day you will say the words I have told her so many times:

"I love you."

Croup is French for Poop (or crap, if you're an adult)

Dear Ian,
Poor Monkey. You aren't feeling well at all, and because you dont feel well, I feel bad that there isn't much that I can do to make it go away. This illness started to rear it's icky head on Friday. You had a bit of a runny nose, but I didn't think it was that big of a deal. 'Allergies, maybe, or it could be your eye teeth coming in,' I thought. Daddy and I had planned a date night for Saturday night, and you were going to play with Grandma and Papa Davis and Payton on the farm. It was just a runny nose... I guess I should have clued in though, when you were doing this quite a bit on Saturday morning:

Anyhoo... Off you went Saturday afternoon for a fun time of feeding cows, chasing the dogs and feeding the chickens with your grandparents and cousin. You were happy as could be. I called to check on you that night, and Grandma said you were a little stuffy, but that you were fine, so Daddy and I carried on with our night (which, I might add consisted of Chinese take-out and cartoons and going to bed at 9:45). The next day, though, when I called, Grandma said that you didn't sleep well at all because of coughing and stuffiness. Oh no. :( We went to get you, and you fell asleep on the way home; that's something you haven't done in forever. You even stayed asleep when I changed you into your jammies and got you into bed.
All seemed ok until about 10:20pm. You started coughing and making the most awful barking sound. There was even a little wheezing. You were crying and upset and not able to catch your breath, and I decided that something had to be done. I called the nurse at 11pm, and she recommended we head off to the Emergency Room for urgent care. Turns out you have Croup, which is an icky breathing illness, but not terribly serious. Whew. You had about seven nurses checking you out a different times, which you weren't thrilled about, but every time they left your room, you would wave and blow them kisses. This little action is what sparked this whole blog post. Your sweet little heart, despite the fact that you had a fever, snot running all over and crud in your chest, and despite the fact that you wanted NOTHING to do with being poked and prodded by medical staff, still shined through. I think you left the TMH Emergency Room with about five new "girlfriends." Those nurses loved you.

I hope that sweetness and gentle spirit that you have now stays with you forever. Even as sick as you were, and as tired and upset as you were, you still had it in you to smile at and give love to the people around you. And by the time we left, it was technically Valentine's Day (we were there from 11:30pm to 2:00am), and you were spreading the love.

So thank you little boy. Thank you for reminding me, in your sweet little way, that even during miserable times, there's always time for love and sweetness for others. Here's a picture of you in your Valentine's Day shirt and with your little stuffed valentine from your Daddy and me. You're my sweet little Valentine.

I love you so much,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Works of Art #6

Happy Valentine's Day!

See... I told you I was the hand-print-art queen.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Works of Art #5

Valentine's Day is coming up! Here's what we made to get us in the spirit!

Works of Art #4

Here are a few pieces of art that we have done in the past couple of days. First is a mosiac that we made with paper squares. You love to stick the squares on the sticky glue.

Here's a card that we made for Papa Davis for his birthday. I drew the little tractor man and you colored him in. On the inside of the card where you colored some more and let me help you write your name.

More art to come!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Toddler Life #5

You know you are the parent of a toddler when...

... your calendar, once filled with fun grown-up stuff, is now filled with kiddie portrait appointments, pediatrician appointments and play-dates...