Friday, April 15, 2011

Letter to Lucia: 18 Months


Dear Little One,

A year and a half old! After today you’ll be closer to two than to one. You’re so cute these days that Daddy and I both agree this is our favorite age yet. You’re so personable, so funny, so engaging—you’re a fun little baby to be around. You make us laugh, and you laugh with us.

Eighteen months in, I believe you’re still the cutest baby in the world. I’ve become That Mother—smiling indulgently as you push your little stroller down 5th Avenue, swerving in front of other pedestrians; looking around at others to confirm your cuteness when you scream and bark at dogs on the street. You saw a dog when we were walking the other day, and I asked the owner if the dog was friendly and if it would mind a little pat. She frowned at you in a I’m-doing-my-best-to-be-nice-to-this-scourge way. “You little toddlers are unpredictable,” she said. I convinced you to just wave and blow a kiss to the dog. I wanted to explain to the woman that you are extremely gentle with animals, always have been; you’re not a baby who runs up and grabs or hits a dog, scaring it. But I realized it wouldn’t matter. Not everyone is going to see that you are perfect and wonderful. People now and later in your life are going to disagree. But I, as your mama, will always know the truth.

You have taken your babbling to a new level recently, and the stream of chatter coming from your mouth sounds so very much like sentences in some mystical elfin language. You are trying so hard to communicate, and you’re gaining new words all the time, as well as more effective ways of expressing what you want. But you have also gotten very, very particular about certain things, like songs. You love being sung to—but not just any song. You usually have a particular song in mind that you’d like to hear, and when I sing the first notes of another song, you shake your head vehemently, saying loudly “No no no no no.” Yesterday I kept singing just to see what would happen, and your little face got redder and your No’s got louder and louder until I thought you were going to cry. I moved on to another song. I eventually hit the right one about 70 percent of the time. One of these days I’ll have to count up the number of songs in our repertoire.

You have outgrown most of your twelve-month clothes, finally, though it’s still chilly outside; so most days you’re in a sweater that comes to your belly button, with sleeves that rise above your wrists and pants that stop above your ankles. I feel like I’m stuffing you into some of your clothes; but buying new winter clothes now seems wasteful. So we carry on with what you have. Eighteen-month things are still a bit big in the waist, so we may have a couple of awkward months while your next clothing size shakes out.

We went to the Prospect Park Zoo this morning with some friends, and Daddy joined us—he left for Australia today and wanted to spend the morning with us. The highlight for you was getting to feed a few pieces of food to a goat. You poked your little hand right through the wire, fearless, and didn’t flinch with the goat nibbled the food out of your fingers.

You’ll celebrate your eighteen-month weekend with Grandma, who arrived today to keep us company in Daddy’s absence.

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