I need to write down some of the things Matteo has been saying/doing lately before I forget them forever. For me the best part about the move to Abu Dhabi is the chance I have to be at home with Matteo full time; I don’t want to forget the precious “little things” that fill our days:

  • He is obsessed with robots! He will grab the TV remote, point it at me and refer to me solely as “robot.” I then have to speak and move robot-like or he will LOSE IT. If I try to say something not in a robot voice, he will squint his eyes and say, “please mama? be a robot?”
  • I think he may think our last name really is “Robot” — as in, “Daddy Robot, Mama Robot, Teo Robot”
  • His name! When asked, he will finally answer that his name is “Teo” — this is a big step up from either staring blankly when asked his name, or answering “Baby”
  • We’re in potty training mode, so we’re really emphasizing what a big boy Matteo is — over the weekend he stopped us and said, “No! I not a big boy. I a TEO!”
  • Ever since our visit to Aunt Julie’s house and his chance to play with Millie’s Doc McStuffins doctor kit, Matteo loves to give us check-ups, using the little baby grooming kit I received as a baby shower gift before he was born. He uses the thermometer, comb, nail clippers (with safety on), medicine syringe all as if they’re doctor’s tools. The best part is he starts each check up by shaking your hand while saying, “Hi, I’m Doctor. Nice to meet you,” and then forces you to lay down for your “check up” that mostly focuses on toes and ears. It’s become a nightly ritual, as he loves to give Tony a check up — i think its because Tony is so ticklish and that cracks up Matteo.

I am amazed by this child. He has handled the move across the world far better than I ever could have imagined. Tony and I don’t take lightly that while pursuing this chance to be expats was our dream, our precious son was quite happy in his familiar life. Now he’s stuck in a hotel room, with just a few of his old toys, but does he complain? NO! He finds new games for us to play everyday.

One of the biggest reasons Tony and I are so excited to get in to an apartment is so that we can give Matteo back a room of his own. We’re having a lot of fun coming up with ideas for his room (including a bed with a blue canopy tent!) so that he can have a fun play space all his own again. Cheesy as it sounds, Tony and I want Matteo to come out of this experience with at least some understanding that home is where your heart is, and for us that’s wherever the three of us are together. Still, if one of the perks of expat life can be a really cool room — well, that’s nice too.

With his 3rd (!) birthday just days away, I remain grateful beyond words that I get to be his mama. We will be celebrating this sweet, hilarious, clever boy on October 2nd, that’s for sure.



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