Sunday, May 15, 2011

Letter to Lucia: 19 Months

Dear Little One,

It’s official: you’ve taken your cuteness to a new level. Besides being an almost constantly pleasant and happy baby, you are learning at a speed-of-light rate and regularly surprise us with the new things you can do or say. For months now I’ve been keeping track of the words you’re adding to your vocabulary, but it’s at the point now where I think I will bring the list to a close. You add new words all the time. Just this week, we were at the park and you were touching a tree, which I told you had “rough” bark. Now, whenever we see a tree, you point and say “rough.” Your current favorite word is “cry,” which you learned last week and now use consistently whenever you hear a baby crying. We visited Baby Alex this week, who did a bit of infant fussing, and each time he cried you pointed, very concerned, and announced, “Cry.”

We have to be careful what we say around you these days. Tuesday night, I was giving you your bedtime bottle in your nursery, and Daddy came in to kiss you goodnight. On his way out of the room, he told me he was going to move the car. For the rest of our singing/bottle time, you kept looking up at me and saying worriedly, “Car.” When it came time to put you into your crib, you put up a crying, panicked fight—and only once Daddy returned did you calm down and go to sleep. I think you now associate cars with things that take someone away, and you thought Daddy was leaving. It’s one of the hardest things about this stage: you know and understand so much, but it’s still so hard to make you really understand certain things. Moving the car for “alternate side parking” isn’t something we can easily explain.

You are a playground baby now. Gone are all traces of the hesitation and displeasure you showed in the winter; now you strain to get out of your stroller as soon as we roll through the playground gates. Exploring new playgrounds is very exciting for you, as well as discovering new aspects of familiar playgrounds, like ladder rungs you can now climb. You aren’t afraid of other kids anymore, but you still hang back when more aggressive or older kids cut in front of you or push you out of the way. I’m getting better at making sure you get your turn on the stairs and slide and so on, but you, too, are beginning to hold your own. When an annoying kid is holding up the line on the stairs or taking too long to go down the slide, you point insistently—and you now even go right up and jab the kid on the shoulder. I’m not condoning bossiness or pushiness, of course. But I’m glad you’re doing a mild Lucia version of self-assertion.

You love books, balls, pushable toys (stroller, shopping cart, etc.), stuffed animals, and a small cat figurine. When we are at home, you are never without Blankie or your paw-paw (pacifier). Blankie seems to be taking on a kind of human form for you: you feed it things, offer it your milk, even try to comb its hair (however it is that you imagine it). I make it sing songs. Once white, it is now gray, both from use and because it is nearly impossible to figure out the logistics of washing it. Filthy or not, there’s nothing we can do but oblige when you press it against our faces in the morning so we can snuggle it.

It is finally summer, little one. Much fun awaits us.

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