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November 18, 2004

 

Dear Jacob,

 

Happy 2nd birthday!  In the past twelve months, you learned how to walk and speak (in my opinion, your first discernable sign was “hat” and your first word was “bye”), you traveled internationally, you went camping and you started pre-school.  More importantly, you remain a delightfully happy baby—spunky and smiley, fully enjoying life and spreading the joy to others.

 

Some of your cutest mannerisms of the past year:

 

* the “backward wave.”  When you first learned to wave goodbye, you waved your hand with your palm facing toward you.  You also did the “royal wave,” where you would pivot your hand at the wrist just like a beauty queen.

* the “grumble-growl.”  When you eat food you like, you make a satisfied grumble-growl while chewing.  You also would often accompany this with satisfyingly loud lip-smacking.

* the “victory lap.”  When you want something to eat, and you get it, you take a “victory lap” around the kitchen as you eat it.

* when reading books right before bedtime, sometimes you would get so tired that you would get off Mommy’s lap (or mine, if I was reading), go to your crib and point at it as a way to signal that you had enough.

* when you got REALLY excited, you would get so much energy that all four limbs would move rapidly at once.  Things that cause this energetic flailing include (1) Daddy dancing for you while you are in the high chair, and (2) hiking in the baby backpack.

* when I don’t come home until late, or when Mommy and I took a weekend trip, you go to a picture of us and point at it.

* “Chatting with Snowbear.”  You sleep with a stuffed bear called “Snowbear.”  When we put you to sleep, you make a lot of chatty noises in the crib, like you are recounting your day’s events to Snowbear.

* you were transfixed by clocks.  You were especially fascinated by the LED clocks.  We had one in our bedroom and you would come onto our bed and just stare, mesmerized, at the red LED letters.

* you liked to crawl around people’s feet, especially when we would sit for a meal with company.  You would push your way around and then take rests on your back, smiling at anyone who would peer under the table.

* in the book “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?,” one page asks “Does a dinosaur swing his neck from side to side?”  You would shake your head whenever we got to this page.  In the book “Where the Wild Things Are,” the “rumpus” pages would get a screen of delight.  More screeches of delight when the canoe goes over the dam in “Jamberry.”

 

Some of your favorite things:

 

* “Sesame Street,” in particular the Journey to Ernie, Count von Count and Cookie Monster segments.

* books!  You love to take books off the shelf and flip through them, page after page after page.  Your favorite books are the Sandra Boynton books “Philadelphia Chickens” and, to a slightly lesser extent, “Rhinoceros Tap.”  You especially like it when Mommy or Daddy sing the songs to you.  You will flip to a page that has the song you like and point at the page repeatedly until one of us starts singing the song.  Once you hear the notes, you will rock back-and-forth rhythmically and then immediately flip to the next song you like and start pointing at that.  Other favorite books include “Goodnight Moon,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” and “The Big Orange Splot.”

* being outdoors.  You can’t say outdoors, but you say “…side” a lot.  You like to play outdoors—on the slide in the park, in piles of leaves, with a basketball.  You don’t seem to mind bad weather; you get a huge smile when the weather is especially frigid.

* the tent.  Mommy got you a cheap indoor tent from Ikea.  You go crazy in the tent!  You will say, in a demanding tone, “ten, ten, ten!!!” to compel everyone to go into the tent (including Kitty).  Then, you like to crawl around us, pushing your way around.  You also like to be in the tent alone and push on the sides, causing the tent to roll over and tumble.

* elevators and automatic sliding doors.  If you spot an elevator, you will run towards it, saying “E! E! E!” and you cry when we pry you away from it.

* Kitty.  You follow her around, point at her with a big smile, and stroke her very gently.  You are so sweet with her!

* your plastic ride-in car, which you often refer to as “Ka! Ka!”  However, you only know how to go backwards, so you back up until you hit a wall and then fuss/cry.  But you love being pushed around by Mommy or me!

* red balloons

* some of your favorite foods (these tend to evolve): strawberries, chips and guacamole, toasted bread (bagels, waffles, toast), popcorn and, most exciting of all, chocolate raspberry sticks.

 

I hope you enjoy simple pleasures like these for the rest of your life.  We love you.

 

Love, Daddy.