Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy 13 months, Helen!

Dear Helen,

I used to tell people if I had to describe you in one word, it would be "happy". But this month, I need two words "happy" and "mobile". It seems as if once you figured out that motion was possible, you just haven't looked back. Let me be the first to officially welcome you to the upright movers club. It's not that you don't crawl around still when you need to get somewhere fast, but starting this month, you have often shown you would prefer to wobble your way upright. Because, as you have so keenly figured out, you can carry things in your hand when you are not using them to support you.

You can follow simple commands, know how to sign "more" and "all done" and can say "mama", "dada", "du" for duck, "buh buh" for bye-bye and occasionally still bust out with a thank you, but it's rare, at best. I think you're trying to figure out a word for Connor but what it is, we do not yet know.
You took many steps this month guided first by two helpful hands, then one helpful hand, and now you can walk the distance of the hallway without any help at all, though you do appreciate having a wall to lean on every now and then. It's hard work balancing for so long.

You also showed your adeptness at motion by climbing the attic stairs, climbing up Connor's kitchen stool, climbing any staircase that was nearby, and generally getting into even more stuff than you used to get into. For a while, I thought you had lost interest in your previous favorite game of unroll all the toilet paper while Connor and I brush our teeth in the morning or while I shower, but you have embraced it with a newfound love the past few days.

At the beginning of the month, we were instructed by our realtor to stop using the top of the refrigerator to store baggies, saran wrap, and tin foil, so instead we moved them to a cabinet. You, naturally, discovered these "toys" immediately and proceeded to pluck every baggie out of a very full box and scatter them about the floor while I prepared dinner. Small price to pay for a content toddler, I suppose.

You are officially a member of the play group that previously you were only allowed to attend because you had "sibling" status. And, after being surrounded by 6 boys Connor's age, a girl your age joined, so now you have an actual peer to play with, or beside, I should say.

You love the idea of being able to color with crayons, markers, pens, and pencils, but I am less thrilled. I only allow it when you are seated at the dinner table in your chair and have no ability to escape. The swing in the basement gets a lot of use these days because I cannot leave you for even a moment without worrying you will be halfway up the stairs. You have the sweetest laugh, and you love "finding" someone. It's funny every time, my dear. Your dad and I took you swimming one day and were reminded how much you love the water. I'm thinking of starting my regular swim dates at the indoor "beach entry" pool up with Connor again now that winter is here, but this time, I'll have TWO kids with me, and I'm very excited about that.

The one thing that continues to perplex me is that while you love to look at books and flip the pages, you almost never want anyone to read them to you. Instead, you take the book and sit next to whomever was reading it and pretend to read it on your own. Well, I think you're pretending, anyway.