Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Letter to Lucia: 17 Months

Dear Little One,

What a joy you’ve been to usher in your seventeen-month birthday! Over the past week or more, you’ve been silly and fun, playful and calm, with nary a tantrum in sight. It’s been wonderful.

You are doing your best to out-cute yourself each day. Your newest thing is kissing, and blowing kisses. You blow kisses to dogs on the street. You kiss your stuffed animals and you kiss pictures of animals in books. You’re especially fond of a picture of a cat in a book called Passing By; you kiss the picture, but you also do your snuggle-snuggle-snuggle motion whenever we turn to that page—snuggling so violently that if you’re in my lap I have to lean back to escape your elbows. You make a real little kiss sound with all of this, and it is exceptionally cute.

You are sleeping well and eating okay. You surprise me sometimes—like asking for forkful after forkful of asparagus risotto—and frustrate me as well, such as when you refused the chicken fingers I made for you from scratch. I bought a cantaloupe this week, after many months of doing without, and your mania has not abated. Today you carried your empty plate all the way back to the bedroom to find me, crying “More! More!” I think you would be a blissful baby if you could eat nothing but cantaloupe, raisins, Gerber Biter Biscuits, and string cheese.

You are adding more words to your repertoire and refining those you’ve been saying for a while. “Up,” for example, which was always “uh!” is now a very definite “u-pah!” You now say sit, baby, bye-bye, beep-beep, and pop. (You are very good at sounds.) Daddy claims you say truck, but I haven’t heard it yet. You babble constantly, and I believe you’re going to be a very verbal baby. You’ve already given up your children’s books for novels. (Well, not really. But you are intensely interested in holding whatever book is on Daddy’s bedside table.) You still prefer to sit on your ottoman by the window, with a book, either “reading” to yourself or having me read to you, than do just about anything else.

You hate having your clothes and diapers changed. Hate. Your happy mood instantly deteriorates and you become a writhing, boneless, screaming protestor. I always prevail. But sometimes the contest is close.

Yesterday at the playground you enjoyed walking up stairs and going down the slide over and over again. But when you spotted a little girl pushing a toy stroller, you stopped and pointed at it plaintively. You love toy strollers more than anything else, and I just hadn’t gotten around to buying you one—bad, bad Mama. It was pretty heartbreaking to see you just staring at that stroller, pointing it out to me whenever it came our way. And so today, little one, you got a stroller of your very own. We took it to the playground and you proudly pushed it all around, wearing your black puff coat and your striped leg warmers. I took a considered look around the playground and confirmed it: you were the cutest baby there.

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