Dear Connor: Month 33

Looking Out the Bathroom Window

You thrive on routine.

For a while, you were doing the cutest dance before bathtime. After you’d disrobe and we’d take your diaper off, you’d declare, “I’m nakeeeeed!” and stomp your feet wide so that the parts that don’t usually see the light of day were swinging free in the breeze.

The bathtime routine is much like it was five months ago, with a few additions. Now that it’s summer, we don’t bring your big, fuzzy robe into the bathroom with us. Instead, after bath, you finish the bathroom routine wearing only your diaper — then we go into your room to put you in your jammies. Also, you like to help with more things yourself, like pouring the bubbles into the bathwater.

There are a few more steps (read: stalling strategies) that you throw in sometimes, like wanting to lay down naked on the bath rug and cover up with the towel and pretend to sleep. Then you like me to pretend that your bottom is a pillow — until you bounce your bottom up and down under my head and you yell, “I’m not a Connor pillow! I’m a Connor boy!” You also like me to pick you up so you can open the bathroom window and look outside.

You have to do everything yourself. You push open the screen door to the garage and say, “Super Connor!” You turn off your bedroom light when you leave. You climb up into your kitchen chair (the high chair rarely gets any use anymore). You turn off Mommy’s phone when you’re done playing YouTube or PBS Kids.

You love to play with Mei’s kitty pole; we have to watch you carefully, though, since it’s made of wire instead of string, and you like to whip it around pretty fast.

Kitty Fishing

Mei isn’t quite sure what to think when you try to pet her nowadays. She kind of puts up with it, but she really isn’t down with it. For the most part, you’re gentle enough — except when you want to hold her tail, which she really doesn’t like. At all.

You’re quite distracted and distractable. When we need you to do something, we count to three and after three, we do the thing instead of letting you do it. Worst punishment ever.

We tried to take you out to have some frozen yogurt one evening, and I forget what we didn’t let you do by yourself — run off to the car, I think — and what had started out as an enjoyable outing ended in a giant temper tantrum all the way home.

Frozen Yogurt trip

You love books.

You’ve got Dr. Seuss’s ABC just about memorized, along with several other books. Most of your favorites (current or past) are ones you could recite from memory, actually.

We discovered a series of Blue’s Clues books and got you about a dozen of them. You love them — they’re basically super-short encapsulated episodes in book form, with three clues and the Thinking Chair and a little arts-and-crafts project on the last page.

We also found a used copy of The Color Kittens, which was one of Mommy’s favorites when she was little. You requested that one almost every night for the week after we brought it home. Mommy was perfectly fine with that, since she likes Color Kittens much better than Blue’s Clues.

You do not like having Mommy wake you up in the morning. It reminds me of how I was when I was little. Or in college.

Sleepy Connor

As always, you’re quite the chatterbox. Now, though, you usually speak in complete sentences, and we can understand you most of the time. Some of your pronunciations are super cute, like “lellow” and “bagina.” Some of your words we still can’t understand, and we repeat them back to you until we can puzzle out what you’re trying to say.

Some of your common phrases:

“I can do that for you!”
“Excuse me! Comin’ through!” (or, “Excuse me, Mei,” to the cat)
“OK, OK, OK.”

The picky-eater factor has been up and down this month.When you’re not dealing with a stomach bug, foods that tend to disappear off your plate first are grilled cheese, PB&J, macaroni, salmon, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, and broccoli.

One evening, I tried to give you raspberries, cheesy rice, and broccoli for dinner. You asked for salmon, as well, and when I said we weren’t having salmon, you declared, “I want meat!” On other occasions, you’ve declared that you want more fruit — specifically, the day that I introduced you to peaches and plums.

On the topic of eating: you sat in your first booster seat this month!

Cooling off his Quesadilla

We walked you into our favorite authentic Mexican joint, and the server brought over a booster seat instead of your usual high chair. We kind of shrugged and went with it. Once we figured out that you should be on the inside instead of on the edge of the booth, it was smooth sailing.

You love playing outside, with sticks and rocks and dandelion “puffballs” — since you were pretending to play baseball with rocks and sticks, we got you a t-ball set, and you seemed to like that for a couple of weeks.

T-Ball in the back yard

Tee Ball

You also love just playing chase, or kicking your giant blue Avengers ball around the yard.

Playing with a stick in the back yard

One Saturday morning, you wanted both lunch and outside. So Mommy did something fun and exciting and had a little picnic outside, with PB&J on a quilt in the yard, complete with real cups of water and a real picnic basket. (Yes, that’s the first real picnic action that wedding gift has ever seen.)

We had a great time, even if Mommy didn’t think to put sunscreen on your neck.

Connor and Mommy having a picnic

You often ask to take a stroller ride to the park. That’s a 20-minute walk there, usually a half hour or more of play time (which now includes time on the big swings and the little slide, a snack, a drink from the water fountain, possibly throwing away random garbage, and washing our hands in the bathroom), and a 20-minute walk back home.

On the big kid swings

At the Park

Playing with the doggie water fountain

Using the Hand Dryer

We have our tantrums and our standoffs, but we also have our sweet moments of dinner conversations and goodnight kisses. Here’s to gradually seeing less of the former and more of the latter.

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