Dear Connor: Month 29

Dear Connor,

Two big things happened this month: we introduced you to Blue’s Clues, and we converted your crib into a toddler bed. Both have been spectacular successes, each in their own special way.

1st night in the big kids bed

A few weeks before we planned to make the transition to a toddler bed, we ordered the Sesame Street book Big Enough for a Bed (featuring Elmo), to get you used to the concept. We’d ask you if you thought you were ready for a “big kid’s bed,” and you’d always nod “yes.”

Around that same time, we switched out the furniture in your room to be a little more toddler-running-around-the-room appropriate: we relocated the tall (slightly rickety) dresser to the closet, moved your bookshelf from the closet to where the dresser used to be, and swapped out the antique rocking chair for the sturdy green thrift-store chair. Mommy also (finally) put up the art that used to be in your room in the old house.

Connor's bookshelf and wall art

We chose a weekend to transition you to your “big kid’s bed” where nothing else was happening — no parties, no babysitters, nothing out of the ordinary. Mommy took that Friday off of work so that Daddy could sleep during the morning and wouldn’t need the nap that he might not get during your first time in the toddler bed. Daddy took the front off the crib and brought the mattress up off the floor and into the lowest position, and attached the crib rail. Add brand-new Elmo sheets, and presto! A big-kid’s bed!

Toddler bed, ready for naps!

We brought you upstairs for Quiet Time, and as soon as you saw the bed, you exclaimed, “A big-kid’s bed!” and ran over and climbed up into it.

climbing into your new big kids bed

You love your “new” bed. You don’t climb out at night, and you only climb out in the morning once you’ve been awake for a while and start to get antsy. Usually, though, you’ll stay in bed and read board books — or you’ll climb out of bed and get some more “friends” (i.e. stuffed animals) off the bookshelf and take them back to bed with you. So far, you haven’t emptied out any of your dresser drawers (in the changing table or in your grandfather’s dresser), but you have emptied out the box of diapers. (After Daddy asked, you did put the diapers back in the box — albeit a bit haphazardly, as two-years-old tend to do.)

We expected the transition to be at least a little rocky, but after a little more than one week, it’s going better than we had hoped.

The bed was the biggest change this month. The next biggest was the introduction of Blue’s Clues* to your life.

Before this month, the programming in our home was mainly limited to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, and Totoro, with the occasional episode of Curious George thrown in for good measure.

Mommy saw that Blue’s Clues was highly rated and co-created by one of the creators of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, so we recorded some on the DVR to see what you’d think. First impressions: you loved it, but it annoyed Mommy and Daddy. (We’ve since become used to it, so it’s not as annoying.)

snow day with blue's clues

You are obsessed. You carry a book around that you pretend is either the Blue’s Clues book from the intro, or the Handy-Dandy Notebook, or a Letter From Our Friends. You frequently break into song (“…if we use our minds, take a step at a time, we can do! anything!”), and every time you open a book, you make the little book-opening sound from the intro.

The only thing that really concerns Mommy is that you request TV much more often than you used to (or so it seems). You’ll wake up in the morning and want to watch Blue’s Clues on TV, and I’ll have to break the news that it’s a Daddy Day, so we need to go downstairs and have breakfast, then come back upstairs. Sometimes you throw a fit about it, like you used to throw a fit about not being able to play with Mommy’s iPhone.

The iPhone problem was resolved by relegating phone time to right before meals. You sit at the kitchen table and play phone while Mommy makes dinner (or breakfast, if it’s a weekend). Then, when dinner is ready, you willingly trade the phone for your food.

You are definitely a fan of routines, and you like things to be just so. Bedtime has become much more standard and regimented than it once was — we didn’t used to give you a bath every single night, but now you request it, as part of the unchanging routine:

  • Turn on foyer light and go upstairs. Connor must turn on the light himself.
  • Upstairs. Get robe and overnight diaper from bedroom.
  • Turn on bathroom light. Again, Connor must do this himself.
  • Connor turns on the light over the bathtub. Mommy puts the rug on the floor.
  • Connor gets Lysol wipes from under sink for quick bathtub scrub-down.
  • While Mommy fills the tub, Connor gets the Mr. Bubble from under the sink.
  • Mommy puts one capful of Mr. Bubble in the running water.
  • Remove Connor’s clothes. Mommy helps with shirt and pants. Connor gets socks.
  • Turn off water. Mommy removes Connor’s diaper.
  • Bathtime. Mommy must make eww face when Connor asks if Mommy wants to drink the bathwater.
  • Drain tub when bubbles have disappeared. Collect toys while tub is draining.
  • Dry Connor. Put on overnight diaper and dinosaur robe.
  • Set up step-stool and brush teeth.
  • Allergy medicine. (so Mei Kitty doesn’t make you itch and sneeze.)
  • Lotion on cheeks. (if necessary. This has alleviated the rosy red cheeks problem!)
  • Comb hair. (again, if necessary. Only if your hair is wet, and we don’t always wash it.)
  • Put away step-stool and rug and turn off lights. Go into bedroom.
  • Off with the robe, on with the jammies.
  • Read three books in the green chair.
  • Climb into bed and cover up. Sing one or two songs (lately, a variant of “Goodnight, Daniel” sung to one of your stuffed animals).
  • “Have a good night’s sleep, and dream sweet dreams, and Mommy will see you in the morning. I love you! Good night!”

The routine starts around 7 or 7:15pm, and ends around 8pm. If part of it gets upset, you throw a hairy conniption fit, so Mommy tries to keep everything the same as much as possible.

One last thing Mommy wanted to be sure to mention about this month is your friend Harper’s birthday party! Her parents had a big party at their church, with lots of other kids. And balloons. And cake. You had a great time!

There were lots of other things that happened this month, of course, like your vocabulary continuing to expand like crazy, and you singing songs and dancing and climbing Mommy and cycling through favorite foods. You change so much every month; it seems you’re becoming more and more of a big boy every time I look at you.

On the Couch

 

* Of course, over the couple of days that Mommy took to write this, you decided that Dora the Explorer is the new hotness. You still carry around your “Blue’s Clues” surrogate board book and sing the songs, but now you ask for Dora instead of Blue. Luckily, there are always four episodes of Dora available for free via Video On Demand.

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