Sunday, January 1, 2017

Dear Rye :: 18mos

Dear Rye,
Hi! You're closer to two years old than one! We're having so much fun watching you grow and learn. You love your siblings, you love your grandparents, and you love your parents. You are happy to hug and kiss and snuggle in to someone's shoulder. And any family member will do ... usually. It warms my heart to see you bury your head in Del's neck, or reach for Noah to be lifted up, or hide behind dad's leg.
It's amazing to see your relationships develop with various people in our family and wider community. I'm so grateful that you have life-long friends in your siblings who are quick to comfort, protect, and play with you.

Every night you do a little baby knock (it's getting louder) on Nina and Poobah's door. No matter how late, how sleep, or how asleep even, Nina and Poobah are ... they open the door and you get right up on their bed. You insist on having "your" pillow under your head. I don't know the details, because I'm not there. But at some point, you decide to leave ... or Poobah decides it's time for you to leave, and Poobah finds me to pass you to me. Depending how late in the evening it is, this might be a process that gets repeated several times.
When Nina and Poobah are not home, you will still insist on knocking - wildly confused why this part of the night-time routine is not following it's normal time frame. During these times, Orey, or small dog, will often join you expectantly at the door - hoping it will be opened.

Everybody said you would never be shy. We opened our farm store/cafe/coffee shop/bakery when you were 3 mos old and you've been a permanent fixture from the beginning. Your charm effects all who come. Grouchy old ladies wave enthusiastically at you - hoping for a return wave, gruff men will split their faces in two to give you the biggest smile, and too-cool-for-school teens will try to woo you with games of peek-a-boo. Recently you've figured out the routine. You come running when you see a customer arrive. You insist on being lifted onto the stool. You look intently at the customer and swivel the ipad that we use as our sales system to the customer. You reach for their card. You put it in the chip reader, with a little guidance. You wait patiently while the machine flashes lights. You swivel the ipad for the customer to sign. Your remove the card. You hand the card back to the customer. You wave goodbye.
If the customer doesn't leave in a reasonably short time frame (it's a community gathering spot that lends itself to conversation that isn't always wrapped up by the end of desired purchases), you reach patiently for their card again.
It takes several goodbye waves for many customers. They love seeing you wave in response to their wave.
One time, as a customer was leaving they said "thank you" - so you signed "thank you" and they waved bye and then held their hand for a high-five. You waved, tried to high-five, and sign "thank you" again. It was all the hand tricks you have, and you were all confused about what order to do it all.

All that work can be tiring. And what we've learned is that - despite your vast experience with a variety of people - you still find times when you'd prefer to be snuggling into a familiar shoulder rather than greeting a stranger.

Your day begins when I'm outside doing chores. Because we have you on the same sleep routine as us - you stay up late. But you're a baby - so you still need about 12 hours of sleep a night. That means, conveniently, you tend to sleep in.
On days the store is open (more than 50% of the week), you wake when I'm outside doing chores. Del and Noah trade off days that they are responsible for going to you when you call out. Soon after, I'm back inside and I change out of barn clothes and you change out of pjs. We then head down to the store for the day. We head back to the farm sometime after 2pm - where you take a nap in the car and I do afternoon farm chores. The day ends with a few more hours at the store and then a late (for babies) bedtime.
And you totally roll with it.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were so much fun with you this year. You were into walking around Grammy and Grampy's and greeting all the people while chowing down on turkey and squash. You had a lot of fun hanging out with the older cousins - even if you are much younger.
At Christmas - you quickly figured out the present-unwrapping situation and you were enthusiastic about applying your unwrapping skill to every present. When a few presents were put under the tree before Christmas, Nina and Del noticed tiny tears in the corners. So we put the presents away until Christmas morning.
You were so into it and went from person to person, attempting to open their present too. We found that the apple sauce pouches from your stocking were distracting enough to keep you from helping those who weren't excited about your assistance.

You imitate everyone and learn so quickly, as one year olds tend to do. You love doing whatever your siblings are doing. Recently, that means wanting to be outside sledding. They are great at including you, for the most part. I'm amazed at how happy you are to stay outside for longer than I would think.
You've recently started saying words as well as signing them. Last time I counted you had 30+ signs. Verbal words come slower. I was so excited to hear you talk. When we prompt you - "can you say ...?" - you use this funny high pitched voice. You can say Mama, Dada, Da (Del), Baba (Noah), Nah-na (Nina), and Poob (Poobah), Boo (boots), Bar (bark) ... and all sorts of animal sounds. But when you're sad, you use your regular voice and just keep saying "mamamamamamama". This is super heart breaking.
You still are nursing like a newborn, but often a hug will do if you need comforting.

We're so glad you're part of our family. We're having so much fun making memories with you!
Love always,

No comments: