Well, let’s start with your birthday party. We had some wonderful people here to celebrate with you. We found a great bakery that specializes in egg-free cupcakes and we were really pleased with how delicious they were. You were, too! You ate your first cupcake with great gusto, and behaved very well for a little boy who was hopped up on sugar and who hadn’t napped. I was proud of you.
You continue to make great strides in your physical abilities. When I wrote your last letter, you had just figured out how to climb one or two stairs. That lasted about a day and a half. You very quickly figured out how to climb the whole flight. You are so pleased with yourself - you laugh and smile and stick your tongue out in glee while you work your way up. You were less impressed when we installed a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs.
You are free-standing all over the place. You cruise the walls, the furniture, and anything you can get your hands on. And you finally discovered your walker! You love roaring around the main floor - you became very adept very quickly (within a day or two you went from a sort of drunken stagger to moving with a great deal of control) and I’ve even caught you driving with only one hand. It won’t be long before you walk. I’m even willing to bet that it will happen before I write your next letter.
And my darling, it finally happened. Just a few days after your first birthday, you got your very first tooth. It’s slightly to the left on the bottom jaw, and boy did you ever work hard for it. Your little puffs go “crunch crunch” now when you eat them! I’m sure more will come in soon - you are still drooling like a St. Bernard. Some days you go through a bib an hour.
You’re also starting to vary how much sleep you need. Some days you only end up taking one nap, other days you still want two. Right now two seems to still be the trend, so we’ll keep that schedule until you let us know that it’s time to change it.
You are such an affectionate little boy, Moe. You love giving hugs and cuddles - both to the people you love and to your dear Saskatchewan Bear. There are other stuffies you’ll hug, like Humphrey the Camel, but no one compares to Saskatchewan. It’s heartwarming to watch you.
You are fiercely independent. You increasingly don’t want help with things and strive to do them yourself. You always impress me with your ability to quickly get over your tears after a fall or a bump. You got your 12-month vaccine in your arm this time, and didn’t cry at all. You just sort of yelped indignantly, but got over it very quickly.
You love finding little hidey-holes for your toys - in the couch, under the furniture, or tucked behind things. What stuns me is that you remember where you hide everything! You can identify a lot of your toy fruit and vegetables - if I ask you to pull a certain one out of the bin, you can. You still love to take off your socks, but now you try and put them back on. It’s adorable - you sort of place them over your feet and pat them as though you’re trying to get them to stick to your feet. Another thing that you are able to do, and which we are asking you to do daily, is to put things in the laundry hamper in the living room. You are able to crawl to it while carrying a dirty bib or some socks, and place them in the hamper. Daddy calls you our little “hamper monkey”.
We have a number of music cues throughout the day. We sing a song when we brush your teeth (or tooth, I guess, since you just have one). We also have a bathtime song, and you’ve had naptime music and bedtime music for a long time now. You love to hear us sing, and sometimes sing along. You roll your hands (the action for the “Roly Poly” song from playgroup) to ask for a song. We sing Old MacDonald and look at your farm animals, we sing through meals, and we sing in the car. Also, you love to dance to any music you hear.
You haven’t found your words yet - in fact, you’ve gotten increasingly screechy in the last month. But you can now say “mamamama” consistently, and you seem to be talking about me when you say it, which is pretty awesome.
You got some lovely toys for your birthday, and particularly love your new keyboard, your farm animal puzzle and your Bubble Wash. You also got a red wagon from your Grandma and today we took it for its inaugural trip. I think we’re going to have some great times with that wagon this summer!
Our goal has always been to raise a little person who loves reading, and you’re off to a great start. We read books together every day - I’ll choose three and you decide how many of them we’ll read and in which order. Usually we read them all. You were so enamoured with the book Heads by Matthew Van Fleet. It’s a great touch-and-feel book with pull tabs and textures. You especially loved the burping hippo - you make the burping noise, which is hilarious. But one day when you were reading it with Daddy and got a bit too excited and ripped that poor hippo’s head off. You were stunned, and tried to fix it right away. You pressed the hippo head onto the page, trying to get it to stick. You tried it on a number of different pages before you seemed to understand what had happened. I’ve since fixed the hippo head, but it’s very fragile. Also, other parts of the book are damaged - not due to your overenthusiasm, but because you read that book four or five times a day for a month or two. So now you’re not as likely to bring us that book to read. But I suspect Daddy may get you another copy - or a copy of its companion, Tails. Other books you love right now include Where’s My Sweetie Pie?, My Nose, My Toes and Me, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
You pretty much won’t eat jarred entrees any more. You tasted Daddy’s Lamb Tikka Masaala, and that was it. You eat all kinds of finger food - there’s very little you can’t eat, as long as it doesn’t have eggs in it. We found a great recipe for egg-free pancakes for you, and you loved those. And we confirmed that you can eat chicken now, so that opens things up quite a bit. Feeding time can still be quite challenging - it can turn into a real power struggle. You want to hold the spoon, but you won’t bring it to your mouth. You’d rather use it to get your hands into whatever food is in the bowl. Sometimes I feel like a limp rag at the end of the meal.
The biggest change that has happened in the last month is that I went back to work. My first day was Family Day, the day after your birthday. It was very, very difficult to go from spending all my time with you to only seeing you for a few hours a day. But I try really hard to make those few hours count, and I love spending the whole day with you on weekends. I’ve been working a compressed week, which means I work an extra hour each day and then I get every second Friday off to spend with you. I get up at 5:20am, start work at 7:00am, and get home around 4:45pm. It can get long, but it’s worth it for that extra day with you.
Right now, you spend your weekdays with Granny or Grandma. Daddy takes Wednesdays. Knowing that you’re with people who love you and know your routine has made the transition at bit easier for me.
You have dealt with the transition with your usual flexibility. You stopped sleeping through the night for the first three weeks, but you seem to be getting back into the swing of things. Other than that, and some separation anxiety during that first week or two, you’ve been just fine.
Moe, you are so much fun. Daddy and I can’t get over how much we love to spend time with you. We live to make you laugh and smile, we love watching you figure things out, and it is just such a privilege to share our life with you. Everybody loves you - you’re sweet and fun and easy-going. It’s so fantastic to watch you grow into such a lovely little boy. We love you so much - you’ll never know how much. I don’t even think that we understand how much we love you.