My littlest Bird,
"Tomorrow you go to Germany! And get treats [read: chocolate] and maybe a present, okay, Mama?"
"Yes, exactly. And then where will mommy be?"
"Then in Texas! And then you be home."
Discussions about 'where mommy is' have dominated our conversations for the last month, and that breaks my heart. After spending many weeks together at the end of the summer/beginning of the fall, going to the beach and playing outside, I've been traveling pretty consistently for the last three weeks. While I enjoy the work and I like seeing different places, I miss you. I miss you a ton.
We bought this giant throw rug that has the continental United States on it, in addition to a world map stuck to your wall, so you have some kind of idea where I go when I'm not at home. (Because I don't like the idea of you thinking I've disappeared in the backyard for a few days at a clip; I want you to know I'm somewhere else, and not hiding from you and daddy in a tree.) And while I don't take pride in all of the time I have spent away from you this month, I am very proud of your knowledge of geography, and how you apply it to your everyday life.
"You went to California!" And you'll run like hell to the large yellow state on the far left side of the colorful map. "And I like Texas. Let's change my diaper on Texas, okay?" And we'll swap out your undergarments while you plant yourself on the large state, setting your shoes carefully within the borders of "New Mexico, right there, aw-wight?" You know where Rhode Island is on the world map, along with most of the states on the rug. And you can find England, Germany, and Australia without too much trouble. Thank goodness. I still don't know my left from right, so I'm glad you're cultivating this global sense of where things are.
New obsessions this month include Coldplay's Charlie Brown ("I sing Charlie Brown now!"), Adele's Rumor Has It, and alt-j's Breezeblocks, in addition to the international penguin sensation known as Pingu. (Pingu isn't educational, and won't groom you in any way for higher education, but he makes us laugh like hell. And his father doesn't smoke his pipe, but instead seems to stick it into a hole in his throat to smoke it, leaving his beak available for flapping. Amazing claymation going on there. Pingu rules.)
You sing The Wheels on the Bus (a lot - those wheels go 'round and 'round and freaking 'round in our house) and The Farmer in the Dell, and you confuse me by insisting that Old McDonald has a butterfly on his farm because how am I supposed to make a butterfly sound? Or a spider sound? Come on, Birdy. Can't you go easy on your old mom?
I love you, my strange little friend. Daddy loves you. Your grandparents and aunts and uncles love you. So do your friends. And so did this beluga whale from the aquarium. You're a likable chum. (Get it? Terrible pun.)
Be good while I'm traveling, my love. I'll be home soon.