Saturday, January 15, 2011

Letter to Lucia: 15 Months



Dear Little One,

You’re fifteen months old now, and changing fast. You are becoming your own person. This is hilarious and wonderful to watch, and also, at times, frustrating and exhausting to deal with. You are no longer a baby who can be distracted from what you want, who can’t understand what we’re saying, who forgets about things when they’re out of sight. No—if you see something you want, there is a great deal of pointing and inquiring “Ma? Ma?” sounds. If I don’t know exactly what you’re pointing to (which is often), you swat away what I offer you with a forceful “No no no no no.” If I try to hide something (say, a canister of puffs I foolishly left in your line of vision on the counter), you know where it is. Indeed, you know where things are in general—like your pacifier, which I try to restrict to the nursery but which you know is always on the table by the glider and which you sometimes sneak off to retrieve. Sometimes you’ll disappear for a moment and return proudly with the pacifier in your mouth.

Though you occasionally stump me, I am pretty well versed in deciphering your pointing. If you point at the CD player, you want me to play some music. If you point at your high chair, you’re hungry. If you point from your high chair fervently into the living room, you want your regular roster of eating-time books. You always want bananas or Mum-Mums if you see them. And you’ve started walking to the front door and pointing at it and to your stroller when you want to go for a walk. (This does not stop you from screaming when I actually put on your coat and put you in your stroller. But once we’re outside you seem content.)

You dance constantly. You love all kinds of music. You will snap your fingers even to a chanted nursery rhyme. You prefer your Music Together CD above all else.

You are not a great eater, and I’m struggling with this. Oh, the quantity usually isn’t a problem, though of course we have our days; it’s the variety. If you could live on pasta, cheese cubes, Ritz crackers, bananas, grapes, and raisins, you would. I can get you to eat cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots if they’re mixed in with Fat Baby ™ pasta (my own sauce creation of butter, cream cheese, and half-and-half), and sweet potatoes if they’re mixed with half-and-half and butter. But meatballs—meatloaf—pretty much anything else—well, we’re just not there yet. You take a bite, make a hideous face, and let it ooze out of your grimacing mouth. It’s lovely. I thought I’d have a baby who loved hummus and falafel and spinach. Perhaps you will be this baby in your sixteenth month.

Your napping these days is atrocious—an hour most days, an hour and a half if I’m lucky. This must change, dear one. I have work to do. Things to do. And I need a break during the day. You are cute and precious but you require constant attention. Look away for a moment and you’re trying to climb into the bathtub (and getting closer to doing it). Try to clean up the kitchen and you go off to stand up on the very edge of the ottoman. Turn my back and then look at you only to see you chewing an unidentified, hardened food bit you’ve found on the floor. It is exhausting.

But you are cute, getting cuter, especially now that you can do lots of cute things like point to your nose and toes, and follow along with the lyrics on songs (when a song says to clap your hands, you do). You giggle and play games with us. You snuggle your blankie. You kiss our cheeks. These moments outweigh the raging, boneless baby moments by a good ratio, so I think we’re doing okay.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

i was told at a conference on childhood obesity (clearly not your issue:) that it can take children 10-12 tastes of a new food to accept it. so i'd just keep offering. and btw-- her variety sounds pretty good.