Mine

Dear T.,

tonight we had great fun before bed time. We were playing at the horse and while I was galloping with you on my back you started saying “Mom mine! Mom mine!” thumping your chest to indicate you.

We went back to the bedroom and you kept looking at dad and telling him “Mom mine, mom mine!”.

Now, I don’t know if that’s what you meant or if I understood what I wanted to hear. But I surely loved to hear it. You are not sick anymore and your weirdness towards me is gone. Who knows what’s in your head sometimes. You are my sweet baby again, and today yes I’m all yours. Love,

Mom

Ps. Word of the day: toto (cocco)

Pps. Last night we were attaching letter stickers to your table while reciting the alphabet and you started repeating after me. I, jay, key, elle, emme, enne (you said this to perfection!), o, pi, erre, esse. Amazing! But you do have a problem with the camera because as soon as you realise we are filming you you stop doing the cute thing you were doing. And I can’t even complain too much because I run from the camera myself. Darn it, among all things you could have taken after me, this one?? And the love for spoonfuls of peanut butter.

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Rejected

Dear T.,

You are the youngest man who’s ever made me cry. And not just once, but several times. When you were born. When you were sick and cried all night and couldn’t sleep and I cried with you, thinking I can’t resist being up another night. And yesterday, again at night, when you pushed me away.

You are becoming more and more a daddy’s boy, which is cool, even though I always hoped to have that special mother and son relationship everybody talks about. But lately you haven’t been sleeping and the only one who can calm you down when you wake up whining is dad.

You must have canines coming out because you’ve been waking up several times a night and so did yesterday. It was 3am and I was the first one who comes to you trying to calm you down. I understand you more than Dad, I think, because I know you don’t like it when we leave. But he got up and left to use the bathroom, right when you were reaching out to him, so that you just lost it and started screaming. I would have never done that, I would have hold it and waited or at least I would have told you that I was going to be right back. So since I get all this and don’t do anything that in any way could make you upset even more, I would at least expect some gratitude, but no. You pushed me away when I was just trying to comfort you telling you dad would be right back.

This upset me so much I got secretly mad with dad because if he didn’t go away or if he had touched you or looked at you or told you “I’ll be right back”, you might not have screamed so much like you felt abandoned with me. You are still so little, and can hurt my feelings so much.

I just don’t get it. I know I’m the one who make you brush your teeth, change diaper, wash your hands, wash your hair and do all the stuff you don’t like to do, but I can’t justify you preferring your dad so much. I’m not jealous, I’m just hurt and I don’t understand. I’ve been wanting to be a mother since I was 3 while I had to force your dad to finally have you, and I’ve been with you since the beginning, talking and spending time with you even before your first smile, not caring that you were so little. Your dad was the last one to get a smile because he wouldn’t do anything to get one -not funny sounds, nothing you would find funny. He felt strange to be a clown to a little thing who didn’t do anything. And now all of that seems not to matter and you pushed me away.

I hate not being able to calm my baby.  I am little so I get it if you are more comfortable in dad’s arm. It make sense. I can barely lift you and there is just not enough space on me for you to be comfy. But you pushed me away. I don’t know why.

You act like women do: go after the ones who treats you badly (figuratively, obviously. What I mean is that Dad can call you little shit and tell you he is tired of you and that he is done and I couldn’t do that because I would feel like a horrible mother).

The funny thing is you have this preference only at night and when you are whiny or sick.

And then this morning when I woke up from my few hours night sleep with red eyes and went to the kitchen, you woke up and repeated  ‘mamma, mamma” and left the bed where dad was sleeping and came to the kitchen and stayed with me getting ready and playing from 6.45 to 8 when we left for school. You didn’t even realized your dad was still in bed, you didn’t ask for him once. So what is this?!? it s going to sound bad, but I felt a little better after this morning. Maybe we just need more time together? I’ll try to make some. I’m sorry I have to work full time, and when I get home I need to make dinner. I’ll try to be more organized so we can play more when I get home.

Anyway, I hope these canines will come out soon because this is very tiring!

To happier things now! Your love for destroying stuff just became love to build, and we’ve been building with the magnetic tiles little boxes where you like to put all your pastels. You finally learnt how to ride the bouncy pony and you really are an energetic hopper! We gotta watch you because you have no idea of what your are doing and fall backwards or forward every time.

You have a passion for high heels and you put my shoes on and try to walk and get upset when you lose the shoes.

You like to play pretend cooking and feed both me and dad and your stuffed animals.

You are not scared of the hairdryer anymore and want to use it for 5 seconds every night.

New words: “morn” (good morning), potapota (potato), allora (this is what you say better. It’s a word I overuse and dad makes fun of me repeating it and now you repeat it as well and sound very grown up when you say it).

I asked Dad to pick up food for dinner tonight, so we can have some quality time.

I’ll be home soon!

Mom

Smarty pants

Dear Tristan,

you are opening and closing the bedroom door putting your hedgehog out and then pulling it back in instead of going to sleep. I’m taking the chance to write a few lines as I’ve been trying to do so in a while. At this moment, you can say a few more words, like mouth, morning, occhi (otti), si (ti), yeah, puppy, eyes, nose, and you can repeat quite a lot if you want to. You imitate me everything I scream when I drop something on the floor and I feel like you are mocking me already!

Today we went to the park all morning because your dad wasn’t willing to acknowledge either of us (I went to get my hair done yesterday and it took me a bit longer than expected and when I got back he was not happy. He didn’t want to talk about it, he only mentioned paint all over the kitchen and that you were naughty and he was done with you. What the heck did you do??!!) and you surprised me with how strong you already are. We have a small slide in the backyard our neighbours gave us and you’ve been going up and down for a while now, but today at the park you went all by yourself on a big slide! You also tried the climbing wall and you went up so fast i almost panic because I could barely reach you and couldn’t make you let go.

You are a smart little dude you know. Very independent already. You love outside (“a”) and water. Thank god we live in Florida! you love using the pump to water everything and now you figured out that if the water doesn’t come out you need to go to the tap and open it. So yesterday you were done with lunch and wanted to go outside. The screen was locked and you unlocked it, open the screen door, went out, close the door behind you, followed the pump to the end, tried to water, but water wasn’t coming out, so you came all the way back to the house, opened the tap and went back to water the plants. You were out there on your own for al least 20 minutes, then you lost a shoe, so you came back to the house and had us putting the shoe back on, then we were gone again!

You are still eating well, now you love broccoli and zucchini, uva, pineapple, and still cheese.

Now when you poop you say “pupu” and touch your butt, but so far by the time we put you on the potty you are already done. But we are getting there! It’s not bad for a 19 months old!

At day care they split your class and now you are only with kids your own age, we were worried you would miss Ms Elizabeth but you are having the time of your life and are much happier. The teacher is impressed with you and she told me you are the only one allowed to open the mini fridge because yu go, open it, get your water cup, drink, put it back and close it, so she trusts you :).

Sometimes you dance and try to sing, but your vocabulary is not enough for you to do so. You are very observant and remember everything, and you never cease to amaze me.

There is more I wanted to say but I hear suspicious noises coming from your bedroom so I need to go check.

Never mind, you are back and now you are going to want to type over here. Gotta go.

Love,

Mom

Potty

Last night I was making lasagna and you were ‘participating’ when I smell something. I checked your diper and was ok, then I asked you “You gotta go potty?” and you said “Yeah”. So I tell you “Want to go get your potty and poop in there?” you said yeah and went. I heard a loud noise and a cry of frustration, then you came back empty handed. I told you to be patient and to ask for help (we are working on the “help’ sign instead of getting mad when you can’t do something), so you put your little hands together in an attempt of sign “Help”. I went and got your potty. You sat on it still dressed, and I let you do your thing, thinking it’s good to get familiar with the concept. And…. You actually did it!! You sat and pooped in the potty! You just forgot to take your pants off 😉

Well done, big boy!!!

Love,

Mom

Big.

Oggi sei grande.Sei diverso. ieri sera per la prima volta in mesi hai dormito nella tua camerata tutela notte. Dormendo ti sei spostato sul tappeto e ci sei rimasto la maggior parte della nottata, mentre io me ne stavo sveglia ad ascoltarti respirare e a sentirmi in colpa a lasciarti per terra ma non volendoti svegliare.

Ti sei svegliato di ottimo umore e a scuola continuavi a raccogliere i cereali che Bryce buttava per terra e a borbottare “no no no”.

E oggi, quando sono arrivata a casa, invece delle solite richieste di essere preso in braccio e non farmi cucinare, tu eri impegnato a spostare tutti i tuoi pupazzi in soggiorno, e papà ha detto che era già un bel po’ che lo facevi. Eri concentratissimo e felice, regalandoci un sorriso smagliante di tanto in tanto, sapendo di avere un’audience. Io e papà abbiamo persino chiacchierato una buona mezz’ora senza che tu cercassi di attirare l’attenzione perché ti sentivi escluso.

Adesso siamo in camerata pronti per il bagno ma tu sei di nuovo impegnatissimo a preparare da mangiare con le tue pentoline. Ti devo solo convincere a lasciarle e una volta in acqua non vorrai più uscire. Stai imparando ad intrattenerti da solo e non mi stancherei di guardarti fare tutte le tue cose e meravigliarmi per ogni tuo piccolo gesto, vecchio o nuovo che impari.

L’altra sera mi hai abbracciata, stretta, cosi dal nulla. Papà scherzando ha detto “Cosa vorrà?” e invece tu te ne stavi li, senza far nulla, solo abbracciandoci, per qualche minuto. Poi ti sei staccato, mi hai sorriso in quel modo da rubacuori, e ho sentito il cuore sciogliersi. Basta poco per dimenticare tutto il resto.

Love,

Mom

Last few days of 2017

Dear Tristan,

You are changing so much that even if I was better at keeping this blog, I still wouldn’t be able to write it all down.

We just had your second Christmas and we stayed at home, just had an early dinner with the neighbors. Honestly, it didn’t feel like Christmas. At the same time, we didn’t feel up to travel to -20F in Minnesota.

You met Santa at school and didn’t like him.

You were really good, like you usually are with other people.

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Now you run (in a funny way) everywhere, and the cutest things you do is you like to ride on my back and you neigh like a horse and also click your tongue. What melts my heart is how you grab me. You couldn’t do it till a few days ago, now you got it. Another cute thing you started doing is taking my finger and use it to point at things I asked you about. Like, we are reading a book and I ask you where is the puppy and you take my finger and guide me to touch the puppy. Like you are teaching me.

You learnt a few new words: mom, dad, pepper, puppy, awa (water, acqua), bye, hi, boo (book), mu (moon) and some more I believe, but you know the meaning of so many!!! It’s rare that we ask you where is something and you don’t know or get it wrong. It’s really amazing, and you know it in both languages! You flap your arms like a butterfly and you waddle like a penguin, and you can make a monster face (actually, this is already passed). Now your favourite song is “A is for apple” and we listen to it on our way to day care, a few times during the evening, and it’s also your bed time song. I ask you if you are ready to go to sleep, and you nod. I ask you if we can switch off the light, and you nod and say “A-a abo” so I tell you to put your head down, and then I’ll sing. I sing it a couple times and you are out.

You still sleep wth us. Yep. Not good! But we are lazy and we can’t even think about fighting at bed time. BAD PARENTS. Also, so many people are telling us that they had the same exact problem that we don’t feel as bad as we probably should, about it. My theory is that if we weren’t happy you wouldn’t want to sleep with us. But you do, so you are comfortable and we are happy.

Your favourite foods at the moment are pasta, cheese and more pasta and cheese. You like pretty much everything but you’d never say no to those two. Lately you are loving chinese rice noodles with soy sauce.

You are a daddy’s boy, or at least I see it this way, and I have to admit it hurts a little. As much as I love to see you getting along, I’d like you to be a mommy’s boy. Also, and Dad can’t deny, he always make me to the bad guy when I need to force you to brush your teeth or change your diaper or wash your hands. You fight me off and then he comes, like the hero, take you and tells you ‘come here, buddy’, so I look like the evil witch. GRRREAT. Oh well, you’ll thank me later, maybe.

There is some news. I got promoted and I might be sent to China on a business trip. This means I will have to leave for at least a week. I said yes, but I had to make myself accept. Actually, I don’t want to go. I can’t imagine leaving you for days and be so far away from you. I can’t imagine leaving you without anybody to make sure you brush your teeth and eat your vegetables without giving up at your first scream of protest. I don’t want you to lose your routine. And most of all, I don’t want you to think I left you. I’m afraid you’ll think I abandoned you and will ignore me once I’m back, and I couldn’t stand it.

But there is still some time before March, so we’ll see.

Some days I see you so big and like a real toddler, when you communicate and protest. Sometimes you are still my little baby.

We talked about a second baby. We talked about it and changed our mind. Or better, Dad changes his mind almost every day. I know I want a sibling for you, but to be honest after years with your Dad I became much more rational and I haven’t insisted about this with him yet. I know how hard it’s going to be, being you still very needy, and not having any family around. I know I won’t leave the little one at day care at only 3 months, and that we won’t have a choice. I know you already have very little time to spend with us and that little time will be cut in half if a new baby comes along. I know all the reasons not to do it, and even if I also have many reasons to do it, I don’t feel 100% sure it’s the right thing yet. I think of us as a family and I know how hard it was with no help at all, and how stressed we were, and I’m afraid more stress might break us. I also know we don’t have any major work on the house to finish anymore, so that part would be a big weight of our shoulders. Still…. If we proceed with the original plan, next Christmas we might be in 4 already. But, like I said, we haven’t made up our minds yet. You are enough, and I can’t imagine loving somebody else like you. I also believe that a mother’s heart can get bigger, so no love would be taken away from you. I’ll love you even more when I’ll see you with the baby and hopefully you guys will get along. I’d like a little girl, because I’ve always wanted a big handsome brother who could protect me and prevent me from being too girly. I think you would have made the perfect big brother.

Anyway, I’m gonna go for lunch now (I’m writing to you from work, since everybody seems to be off this week).

Love you always (even if you don’t seem to love me very much lately 😉)

Mom

Ps. Update of the day: we had a great evening!! You had some apple cake before dinner and I guess we experienced what’s known as sugar rush. You were like on crack, but hilarious!!! You started ‘talking’ in a language that sounded like backwards english and crawling super fast with your hands pointing inward. You looked like a little devil and wouldn’t stop. It was a great evening and I felt you loved me again (especially when you jump on my back to do the horse riding and you grab my shoulders).

15 months

Dear Tristan,

I’m ashamed of my negligence for not writing sooner. So much happened these last 2 months I don’t even know where to start.

First of all, history: we escaped from out first real hurricane! Last year we prepped and Matthew was a joke, but this year we flew away from Irma. A trip to dad’s family in Minnesota was long due and the idea we might be without electricity for some time didn’t sound appealing at all, so dad got tickets and we went away. You were sick with fever from the day we left to 3 days later, and you were the cutest little thing. I held you for so long my arms and back were aching but I wouldn’t let you go… just days before I was comparing you to Tommaso, my friend’s Denise’s boy who is 7 weeks older than you and fall asleep next to her every afternoon and kisses her and shows her affection like you never do. But when you are sick you become a little adorable koala bear who just wants to be held in my arms. You were so good on the plane, all considered, and during the trip as well. It was very hectic and not a good time to be up there, but you were such a trouper! Got used to the people, sleeping on the floor, sleeping on an air mattress, on a different bed, in 3 different places, you were so awesome staying in the car for such long drives… Both me and dad were real proud!

We came home to our untouched house, but the yard suffered from Irma, and it wasn’t even a direct hit! So we are back to the beginning. We lost your barbados cherry tree and half of the avocado tree, all the hibiscus and some plumeria. But we can’t complain! We found out we never lost power so if this happen again we might stay… so we’ll live the experience of a hurricane.

By 15 months you can:

-understand both english and italian, everything, basically. Even something like “If you don’t sit down I won’t let you open the water. If you sit, then I’ll open it” (because you want to take your bath standing).

-know about 15 words, between english and italian: dada, papa, mamma, nana (banana), nanna (sleep), all daaa (all done), bo (ball), appa (acqua), abo (apple), vvvvva (uva/uvetta), mo (more, with sign), na (that/there), bye bye, tata (patata-potato), the (tee-three), blu…

-open every drawer/cabinet

-put hands in dirt even when the dirt is invisible to human eyes

-you learned how to open doors!!! Omg I didn’t know if i felt more proud or annoyed, as so far it’s been the only way to keep you out

-love cleaning. Seriously, you always have a broom, a mop, the swiffer thing or the spray cleaner and a rug in your hands, and you get pissed off if I don’t let you help.

-you are still scared of the vacuum (vroom vroom!) but it also fascinates you and you keep looking for it

-can recognise a koala, a parrot (and make sound), cat, sheep, fish (and you do the fish and make bubbles), lion (and roar), snake (and you hiss!), a bat, a spider (and you out your hands together to make the Incy Wincy spider), a bee

-you have a crush on your teacher Elizabeth, and you are jealous of the younger babies in your class

-last night dad was caressing me and you were half asleep, you jumped up, crawled towards us, moved his hand away and gave him a stare down. You did that all evening until dad gave up. I felt so important even if I wasn’t sure if you were jealous of him or me!

-put the phone on your ear and say “Naaaa?”

-try to clean your ears with a Q-Tip and cut your nails with the nail scissors (or my nails)

-a few nights ago I finally managed to make you fall asleep in your crib/toddler bed. That lasted 3 nights then you had vaccinations and dad said you deserved a pass that night and let you sleep with us again. Weak.

-you are 32″ tall and weight 24 pounds. Still super blond, still super cute, walk well and try to run. You wear 24m/2T and a size 5 of shoes.

-you’ve been moving shoes around, bringing them to us. not sure why.

-you keep hiding stuff in the garbage bin and we lost a couple toys… you also like to hide your things in cabinets. Even in Minnesota you found an empty cabinet in the kitchen and you hid your tippy cup and a piece of cheese in it.

-you are pretty good at drawing, colouring and stuff. Day care helps!

-You have been for a while, but you can feed yourself with a spoon or fork, even if you prefer hands

-you eat everything, the only 2 things that so far you haven’t liked are melon (cantaloup or honeydew) and hard boiled eggs

-your favourite food so far is the leek quiche.

I was watching some old videos with you today, and you look so different even if it was just a few months ago. That’s crazy how much you’ve grown. You do not look like a baby compared to in those videos. I understand now why people say time flies and to enjoy it now because it goes too fast.

-I’ve been thinking of having another baby. Not that I feel the need, you are still very needy and we have not enough time and i do not want to have to share the little time we have between you and another child. But I never wanted an only child and dad said if we have another one it has to be before he’s 40… so… not much time left. It’s probably not a good idea, considering we are alone with no family or friends around, and waking full time, and you need still so much attention… But i know we’ll manage, somehow. Everybody does, don’t they? We’ll see. I don’t know if you’ll ever appreciate a sibling, but hopefully if not in childhood you’ll appreciate it as an adult. It will give you more freedom in your choices. Like, would i ever left my family to move to China, and then decide to start a life with a man in America, where I’d never been before, if I was an only child? I don’t know. Maybe, but the guilt I would feel would be much bigger, if there wasn’t my sister to compensate for my absence.

Also, to be honest, I need another child because I’m too attached to you. I need to be able to share myself more. You are so loved that I don’t think I could love another one, there is just not enough space in my heart, you fill it all. I know a mother’s heart can get bigger and make more space. I need to prove that to myself.

And last, and the saddest thing of all… If something happened to you, i couldn’t stand it. I don’t think I would find the strength to see going. Not for me, not for dad. I think it would break me. The only thing that could give me strength to survive, would probably be another child who needs me, so I would find the strength somewhere to be, for him, or her. It’s sad, but true. I didn’t know before you came… I totally underestimated a mother’s love.

Unconditional. So true. No matter what you do and how mad or tired or annoyed I can be, in a second everything is forgotten and i’m ready to give you a thousands kisses! I was never able to be like that before… it would take a while for my anger to go away. You have so much power on me… good thing you can’t read just yet ;)!

Love,

Mom