This letter is slightly late, but in a way that’s good, since it gives me the chance to remark on the vast changes you’ve undergone in just the past couple of weeks. I feel like I blinked and you morphed from a cuddly, docile baby to a toddler with a mind of your own—you are as cute as ever but are now at the receiving end of my “No!” just as often as Lucia.
Your big thing right now is stairs—all you want to do is go up. You’re pretty deft at this, but since you have absolutely no idea how to climb down (you think you can simply step off the top like we do), this is ridiculously dangerous. Just before we left for Christmas, I spent an insane afternoon chasing you as you ran for the steps again and again, screaming when I peeled you off and sometimes grabbing the railing and refusing to let go. I blocked the steps with the piano bench, but you climbed under it. Needless to say, I’m counting the seconds until our new baby gate arrives. In the meantime, we’ve managed to block your access with an outdoor bench and a box of firewood.
You’re finally saying words beyond Mama. Bibi was first, and, just last week, you added zoom (which you say, adorably, when pushing toy cars around), puppy (thanks to the presence of Franny and Zooey over Christmas), up, and no. Though your repertoire is still small, you seem to vocalize constantly, usually by yelling MEEEEEEEEEEEEE and EEEEEEEEEEEE while reaching dramatically for what you want.
And you are just having more fun these days, flashing your whole-face jack-o-lantern smile for long stretches and scream-laughing with Lucia. Over Christmas, you were thrilled at your ability to ride the rocking horse at Gra and Pop-Pop’s house—you could rock on it yourself, which you did, squealing and smiling the whole time. And our days have gotten noisier now that you and Lucia have found some common ground in your love of jumping, running, and screaming at the top of your lungs. This seems to happen primarily late in the afternoon. Though it is truly ear-splitting, and everyone gets much too wound up, it’s pretty cute to stand by and watch you two play and giggle together.
The summary of this month is that although you are just too ridiculously cute, you’ve become a true handful. We all went to Target together yesterday; usually, when I’m shopping with you and Lucia together, you’re so quiet I forget you’re even there. Not so, yesterday. You sat in the cart and took off your shoes; pulled your legs up and turned around in your seat; tried to stand; tried to grab things. Keeping you from hurling yourself to the ground distracted me from my excavations of the 70%-off Christmas shelves. For once, you were the instigator, prompting Lucia, too, to take off her shoes even though she’d been happy enough letting me pile things on top of her in the cart. Shopping with you both, a staple of my wintertime survival, may prove to be impossible now.
You love waving and will wave for any reason. You are solid on your feet, nearly running now. You like to sit on a chair at the little art table. You eat bananas whole, refusing any bites I cut for you, holding the banana out to me when you’re ready for me to peel a little more. You’re still putting things in your mouth, but this has gotten a bit better. You love reading and are clear about which book you’d like to hear. You still want to be doing whatever Lucia’s doing. You squeal with delight when Daddy comes home after work.
Favorite toys/activities: Little People nativity set, play food, stacking cups, putting things in bags/buckets, bouncing a ball, carrying around the child-size broom, pushing around small cars/trucks/buses while saying “zoom”
Favorite books: Twas the Night Before Christmas, Duck and Goose It’s Time for Christmas, Ho-Hum, Fifteen Animals, Snuggle Puppy, Ten Little Ladybugs