Dear Baby AB,
Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written of your exploits here, even though – or perhaps because – you’re continually astonishing. There is so much to catch up on!
At the end of this month, you will be a year-and-a-half old. Eighteen months. That’s big.
The first thing I guess I have to concede is: you’re not really a baby anymore. We call you Baby or Bébé a lot, because you’re still the baby of the family (I called E “Bébé” until you came along), but you are now officially a toddler. You toddle like the dickens.
You took your first independent steps on November 12th – toward your Papa – but you didn’t make a habit of it. You practiced by tromping around with your stabilizing doll stroller until you were ready to muckle onto walking, over the Christmas holidays.
As you careened around in your wobbly, intrepid way, Uncle D observed that whoever coined the term “toddler” was right on the money – it’s almost onomatopoeic, visually speaking.
In these physical ways, you are the opposite of your brother at the same age. You are adventurous; caution is not a priority for you. You started pushing against boundaries practically the moment you were born, and you push more strongly every day. Incidentally, I would not call you “mellow” like your brother was either – you know what you want and don’t want, and you will do what (you think) it takes to have your way, no matter how loud or rough you have to be.
Here are some things you’re into, now that you’re a toddler.
- You love high fives. If someone nearby is getting one, YOU MUST HAVE ONE too.
- You like patty cake. Hearing you say “patty cake” is awesome (though it sounds more like “pie-cake”).
- You feel entitled to get right into cupboards and make yourself at home.
- You are a dancer in your soul. The aforementioned stroller has a button that plays a few bars of music, and you love to push the button and dance. We (and now you) call it “dance break!”
- Just in the last few weeks, you have learned to “tiptoe.” You mince about in your little slippers and it’s ridiculously cute.
- You aren’t nervous about being out of our sight. Recently we spent an afternoon celebrating a friend’s 8th birthday at a church gym, and you wandered around freely, trying on other kids’ boots, gregarious and curious and not at all worried. Luckily, there were some small maternal types around who were happy to keep an eye on you.
- You are pretty swashbuckling on the bouncy horse. Sometimes I think you even post-trot.
- You are snuggly and very affectionate. I mean, you have your limits – if you aren’t in the mood for snuggles, you make no bones about it – but when you decide it’s time for kisses, everyone present gets kisses. Same with hugs. You hug your brother and then turn to each person in turn and say “Hug too.” It’s incredibly charming. No one has ever declined yet.
- In fact, you love to love your peeps, in general. You learn names in a flash, and nobody can resist hearing you say their name. The other kids at day care vie for your attention.
- Speaking of affection, we recently bought something you are more passionate about than any other toy: a doll like your brother’s. You like cars and dinosaurs and books, but you latched onto that baby as soon as you were mobile; whenever you saw her, you would grab her and lick her face and say “baby” a lot. Of course E gets suddenly possessive about any toy you show an interest in (even if it’s been on its face in the corner for a week). One night there was a heartbreaking scene in which both of you cried bitterly about that doll, right at bedtime. When I tried to interest you in your Cabbage Patch Kid (usually a favourite), you cried harder. You didn’t want the “doll”, you wanted the baby. The next day I brought you your own new baby, feeling like a pushover… but I think it was the right decision. You caught sight of it the second I walked in the door, and you knew it was for you. You said, “Baby, baby, open baby!” until I got it out of the package for you and you hugged it fiercely. You needed it at bedtime, and the first thing you said when you awoke in the morning was “Baby.” You LOVE that baby.
- Right now, admittedly, the baby fever is not quite as all-consuming as it was. Now it’s spring fever. The thing you are most obsessed with is “go outside, walk around!” We’ve been outside to walk around a few times lately, but it’s hard with the current weather. Giant frigid puddles are problematic, especially because you love them and seem not to notice the cold. Even worse is the sheer ice they turn into (the day after the puddles, you wanted to find them again but they were frozen solid and you kept wiping out). When we bring you inside, you thrash and cry tragically, “No no no, walk around!!!” I think we’ll be outside a lot this summer. I can hardly wait to walk around with you sans snow gear.
You know, I think we have so much to talk about, we’re gonna need several chapters to cover all your news. And… probably a video montage at some point.
Please tune in again for the next installment, coming soon to a blog near you!