Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Love letter to a toddler

Dear Deaglan,

It isn’t because I had nothing to do on the eve of your 18 month birthday that I looked up the word “toddler” in the dictionary and found the meaning to be disproportionate to the event in real life. It said that a toddler is someone who toddles, a young child learning to walk. I think that this is equivalent to saying that water is wet – sorely lacking in the rich and finely wrought details that embody the idea.

If I was going to define toddler I would include particulars like the definitive way you’ve been letting us know when you are finished with a specific toy or food these days – and of course, like with all things there is room for refinement here – a screechy cry, and then vehement head shaking followed by throwing that particular item on the floor will not always be acceptable forms of expressing your censure. And just on a side note, your Dad spent a lot of time and effort making those chicken nuggets, meatballs and perogies you so easily brush off of your highchair without so much as a courtesy nibble. You have no idea the lengths to which he went to puree the vegetables he concealed within them. I, for one, thought they were delicious. I’m just saying – would it kill you to take one bite just to humour him??

And speaking of my opinion, I’m not sure that you are old enough to be graduating into the Toddler Room at daycare this week. I mean if we go back to the dictionary definition of this point in your life, how can they justify moving you to a class with one less educator if you are just learning to toddle???

On the other hand they just might know what they’re talking about because their cribs have high enough sides to prevent you from climbing out. This issue has recently come to our attention at home – something else missing from Webster’s scant definition of toddler-hood. You are now sleeping in a big boy bed because last week we noticed that you are a monkey-climber and can balance your entire little body on the ledge of the crib making it possible for you to break your little neck which panicked me to the point where my worst fears flashed before my eyes and I had to sit down just to catch my breath but not before I demanded that your Dad take down one of the sides that very minute.

And so Deaglan it isn’t that I’m frustrated with all of these recent changes that just happen to coincide with this first rite-of-passage (which hasn’t been properly defined by Webster’s Dictionary if you ask me), the one they say is when a child first learns to leave the safety and comfort of his primary caregivers. It’s just that I’m watching you grow taller, stronger, smarter, braver, definitely and heartbreakingly cuter and my worry (and this is most likely just first-time-mother anxiety in me) is this. That you may someday outgrow me.

Love Mom


  1. oh yes. He's at the age where they do something marvelous just about every day! Enjoy!

  2. Kim,
    Yes, this is the marvelous age. You are very conscientious and alert to your child's changes and growth. That is good parenting!

  3. Maybe only to the point that he pats you on the head like big boy does, but he still s loves and needs me. :D

  4. Kim, some day he will be angry you published this. Then some day, later, he will so love you the more for it. Just a guess, but...

  5. Uh oh, you have a monkey climber on your hands now :) Deaglan's adventurous side will soon be emerging big time. I feel for you and Shaune when he decides to let the food "fly" off the table. I remember those clean up days. I'm sure that Deaglan is going to live out his toddler days to the fullest!! Hold on and enjoy the ride. Remember that Deaglan will never outgrow his love for you and Shaune.

  6. I don't think he will ever outgrow you. There will always be a special place in his heart for you no matter how old he is. This is a wonderful and fun age.

  7. what a beautiful letter. You are so articulate! I love reading your blog.

    Toddlerhood is alot of fun. Enjoy it while it lasts.......I can't seem to remember it much with Jacob and Allie,....crazy huh? time just flies....

  8. Ahhhh toddlerhood. It's so fun to watch their personalities start to emerge. Good times ahead.

  9. Oh, Kim, I am so there with you in your statements to your little one. I could change the name and send this note to my little one.

    I can especially relate to the crib thing. This weekend T Rex learned how to get out of his crib - 18 1/2 months old. It's like he crossed into a new realm of toddlerness!

    I did the exact thing you did - immediately took down one of the sides to the crib and we are now shopping for a twin bed. So glad to know some one else is paranoid like I am!

  10. This blog was so honest and sweet that I teared up.- jt

  11. Terrifying
    Raisins(they eat them by the pound)

  12. ooooooooooh!!! your post is so humorous and so heartfelt, all in one. you write so well, and you are such a great mom. your son is so very lucky!

    and webster's pretty much blew the definition of toddler. hahahahah. so funny! :)

  13. Enjoy it while it lasts, 'cause it doesn't last long!

  14. Oh Kim, I love this post. You are such a great Mom!!! And, it is so true that dictionary is Whack!!! (I just may have dated myself on that one) :) Well, all I can say is let the fun begin. Each day is so much fun-the learning for him and for you. Honey, I wish I could list all of the things that you are going to face but that is impossible. The key is to go with your gut instincts-you two will grow together. :)

    BTW, I was teaching some Spanish-speaking adults recently and needed a translator. The translator looked at me and said, "we don't have a word for toddler". Can you believe it? Go figure...


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