Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Month 16!

Dear Helen,

A few days ago, you turned the ripe old age of 16 months. I remember exactly what Connor was doing at this stage A quick look back reminded me what was going on, and you know what? As different as the two of you are, there is one thing that is the same. You LOVE playing peek-a-boo. How you have not managed to smash your fingers, I do not know. You are constantly going into a room, closing the door, and then peeking out and saying "boo". And then you laugh, oh, how you laugh.

Your vocabulary is exploding and while I wouldn't say non-family members understand your words, I do, and your dad does. But most of all, Connor seems to understand, and that is probably the most important. Last Sunday, we were playing at an indoor park and Daddy asked you if you'd like to play or eat and plain as day, you surprised no one by saying "eat", except it was a bit of a surprise that you could say "eat". You also picked up "Mike" instantly and a bajillion other words and you have also, infrequently, strung a couple of words together. Your most reliable communication tool is still your made-up sign for more, which is you pointing with your index finger of your right hand into the palm of your left hand. It's often done rather insistently, and is equally likely to mean you want to continue getting something as you'd like to have something. The confusion this universal sign causes has been noted frequently as your dad or I say "what, what? Can you point to what you want? Can you show me?" while you scream that we are incompetent fools.

We spent a week away skiing and you cried quite tragically the first morning we went to the mountain without you, but it lasted fewer than two minutes (I know, because I was standing outside the door ready to save you, if needed) and I'm not even sure you noticed our departure other days. And really, who would? On the days we took Connor with us in the morning, you had two grandparents willing to play peek-a-boo almost endlessly, read books to you, play with your dolly with you, and generally indulge you in just about anything you wanted. Except the stairs. It was a spiral staircase and for my sanity, you were not allowed to climb it. And amazingly, you understood this rule. You often would go to the stair, look around, and then say "sit, sit, sit" (only we all know from last month that your "sit" sounds like something else) and sit down on the bottom step. It was a fairly convincing act, pretending like you had no desire to climb higher. A few times each day, though, you would somehow con your dad or I into following you all the way up that gigantic staircase and it was frightening every time because you could easily have fallen out the bannister - or even between the steps. You loved getting about halfway up and then calling out the names of everyone you could beneath you so they could either faint or applaud you.

You found your first friend, and no surprise, it's Mia - or MiMi as you call her. You see, our au pair decided to leave with ONE DAY'S NOTICE - two days before we were moving - and I almost had a heart attack. Lucky for me, THREE women in my mom's group totally saved me from losing it (Susan was willing to share her nanny, Ellen followed-up on an au pair ad she'd seen, and Laurie said we could drop you off at her house). Ultimately, you and Connor went over to Laurie's home 4 days each week and as Scott put it, Zoe adopted you, and you adopted Mia. Each morning you would arrive and Zoe, or "ZoZo" as you call her, would feed you breakfast. Never mind that you had already eaten breakfast. Then you and Mia would do whatever it is babies do all day, and then all night long you would chant "MiMi, ZoZo" over, and over, and over. And when our new au pair finally arrived, it took a little getting used to not seeing your girls each day, though we still see them quite often.

You learend the words to an Sandra Boynton favorite, Moo, Bah, Lalala - and even added your own actions to the last page. When the reader says "It's quiet now, what do you say" you shush everyone very gently. You can identify most of the animals in Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and you walk around saying "book, book" all the time, even though often you only wish for the first couple of pages to be read. Either that, or you think the reader stinks and you carry off the book as soon as possible to stop the displeasure you are feeling.

You are excellent at anticipating things, and this is naturally a problem, because you DO NOT want to be left without me, and if that happens, you would like your dad near you. On the ski trip, everyone was shocked at how quickly you seemed to pick up that you were being left behind. Eveyone, except me, because I'm around you enough to know that if you even begin to smell a rat, you start to nurse and cling.

You got eight new teeth. All at once. While we were on vacation. It wasn't pretty. But, given the circumstances, you seemed to do remarkably well.

You toddle everywhere you go, you are indignant whenever someone suggests you can't do everything your brother can, you make friends everywhere we go together, and your smile lights a room. You grunt all the time, get mad when you are not understood, yet you remain the BEST SNUGGLER EVER. You like to clean things, carry bowls of snacks around, and if dinner does not appear on time - watch out, chef, because you and your brother are like buzzards circling roadkill.

When your brother was this age, I heard the song "You Ruined Everything" and Helen, it's true with you too.


1 comment:

  1. It's true: she is the best snuggler ever! We saw her at storytime this week and she kept walking from me to Scott to Mia to Zoe giving out hugs, pats and snuggles. Yum!