Month 21

This month Thomas gave me a nose bleed. This isn’t completely out of the ordinary for toddlers. When David was this age he gave me a black eye. In fact, I’m sure many caregivers reading this are nostalgically remembering their own black eyes, bloody noses, and chipped teeth.

That’s what living with a toddler will do to you. You lose touch with reality so much that you find yourself feeling nostalgic about a black eye.

Thomas didn’t mean to bloody my nose. We were playing a rousing game of “WHERE’S MOMMY’S NOSE?” and he got a little over excited. It happens.

It’s been two months since I wrote an update and, let’s see. What’s changed? Thomas is still climbing and chock full of mischief. Because of Thomas, we’ve had to baby proof our house in new and creative ways that we’ve never had to before. This morning he dumped the cat’s bowl and replaced the food with grapes. Just after we got him dressed for church, Thomas silently climbed into the shower with Tom and stood there, fully clothed.

Those are things that haven’t changed.

Like Mary Virginia’s one-liners, if I wrote about all of Thomas’s mischief then there would be no room left on the Internet for funny cat videos.

Thomas’s new and most annoying habit is that he pushes chairs around. With a chair he can access the stove, the sink, the counter, and anything we leave on the counter. Think about everything you leave on your kitchen counter.

His cue to get a chair is anytime I’m in the kitchen for any reason. I tell him no and replace the chair, and he does it again, and I do it again, and he does it again, and now dinner will be at least three hours late.

I can think of no solution other than getting rid of our chairs, which is not out of the question.

Thomas climbs so much that nothing surprises me anymore. I’ve pulled him off of every single piece of furniture in our house, from the top of the toilet, and out of the book shelves in our living room. Recently I found him in the kitchen sink.

Nothing surprises me, but I do still make sure to take a photo.

Thomas is a full-blown toddler, Even though I still call him Baby Thomas.

He’s talking more, and losing his baby fat. Now, when Tom leaves for work in the morning Thomas shouts “BYEEEEE!” It’s so cute that sometimes Tom walks in and out so he’ll do it over and over.

He says whoa, fun, and play-play. He tells everyone to come on — “UM ON!” — and he says Bon, May, and Day for Brigham, Mary, and David. He loves to “pound it” and I’ve realized how much we pound it as a family because anytime I say it, Thomas comes running with his fist out

He’s such a new talker that whenever he responds it always takes me off guard. For example, when I ask Thomas if he needs a new diaper and he says “no!” it’s so cute that I completely forgive him for lying.

Thomas also asks for gum all the time. He does it because he’s seen his siblings do it, so he stands at the counter and says “GUM! GUM!”

Thomas has never had gum and he will not have gum for several years, but hearing him ask for gum is hilarious enough that it makes me wish I’d taught him some other age inappropriate demands, like, “SUFFRAGE FOR ALL!” or “IT’S 5 O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE!”

His most obvious toddler-ism is that he’s throwing actual, legit tantrums. Thomas is not messing around anymore. He doesn’t just doesn’t just allow you put a jacket on him, or strap him into a carseat whenever you want. When you pull him away from the cat food or tell him to not climb, Thomas is going to let you know how he feels about it. Spoiler: he’s not happy.

Thomas’s favorite thing in the whole world is to be outside. He is happiest in the fresh air, running, jumping, digging, climbing. 

Whenever he’s having a grumpy day, we find shoes and jackets, and once we’re outside it all all evaporates. Seeing him so happy to be outside reminds me that even though toddlers are mostly ridiculous and illogical, they do get some things right. Like that the best way to spend a day is with friends, in the fresh air, eating Goldfish.

Dear Thomas,

People talk a lot about third babies. They say subsequent babies are laid back, go-with-the-flow. They’ll go anywhere, sleep anytime, and eat anything. Ya know, cause they’re just happy to get food!

They say third babies are easy.

I completely disagree. (Though, in the moment, I always agree. ALWAYS AGREE with anything a stranger tells you about your kid. If you disagree the stranger will hold you hostage until you agree that they know your child better than you do.)

Some of it is true — you do go on more outings and playdates and doctor’s appointments that aren’t for you. You’re more laid back probably because I’m more laid back. But you are not easier. In fact, in many ways you’re harder. You’re into more because my back is turned more. You make more messes because you have access to more mess (Legos! Markers! Play-doh!). And you get more privileges (GUM!) because you can’t be left out.

I want you to be quieter, calmer, easier, because it would be convenient. But if you were, you’d get lost in the commotion of our day.


We keep the bathroom door locked because if it is unlocked, you will climb from the commode into the sink and invite all your friends over for an indoor pool party.

One evening at bedtime you climbed into the sink and ran water over your pajamas. I was so frustrated. Now I had to change your pajamas again, and at 7:30 p.m. I only have patience to wrestle a wild boar into one pair of pajamas.

When I went to get you, you were trying to use Mary Virginia’s comb. You handed me the comb, and so I combed your hair (something I’ve never done). When I did, you looked in the mirror and said, “Whoa! HI!”

You smiled, looking so proud and handsome. So (dare I say it) grown up.

Thank you for creating that moment.

I hope you always make noise. Never let anyone overlook you, and always climb as high as you can. (Figuratively, of course.)

I love you,



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