Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dear Moe (14 Months)

My darling, you turned 14 months old yesterday. I’ve been back at work for two months. Somehow, this past month has been even harder than the first month back. I think it’s that you are just so much fun to be around.

You have become incredibly affectionate in the last month. You love to give hugs, you love to receive cuddles, you love to put your head on someone’s knee and have your hair stroked. You love it when I lie down on the floor and you come up to me and lay down on my belly and we cuddle. It’s fantastic. And you don’t discriminate – you hug your Daddy, your grandmothers, and your aunts and uncles. Trust me when I tell you that it makes everybody’s day. Uncle Jay compared it to being shot in the heart with a rainbow. In fact, you hug Saskatchewan Bear less and less because you’d rather hug people.

We read books together every day. You particularly enjoy the First Mighty Movers book – you love pointing out the cars and trucks, and when we get to the police car, you go to your speedway and grab your police car to show that you know they are the same thing. You like My Nose, My Toes and Me, and are getting better and better at identifying your own body parts. You know your mouth, your belly and your toes, and you have been known to also identify your eyes and ears correctly. No luck with the nose yet.

You’ve done some nice little road trips this month. We took you to visit your Great Aunt Carol and Great Uncle Kevin in St. Zotique, and you did super well. You visited your Grandpa in Kemptville, too.

We also did a morning drive to Ogdensburg with you, where we hit Walmart to pick up a few special toys. We got you a water table for the back deck, as well as a ball for outside and a bright yellow metal Tonka dump truck. You had never seen one before, but as soon as we took it off the shelf you screamed in delight and begged us to let you hold it. We play with it with you in the driveway. (Side note – our driveway is very slanted. Granny’s is a safer place to play when dealing with toys with wheels and a little boy who isn’t 100% sure on his feet.) When we go on wagon rides, you insist on bringing the Tonka truck along. I caught you cuddling it the other day.

You’re down to one nap a day now, and it’s been a long process, but we’ve finally moved that nap to after lunch. You generally nap from about 1pm to 3pm, and it works well for everyone. You sleep well at night, for the most part, generally getting up once for a diaper change. I can’t fault you for that.

You’ve had a cold for the last week, which has meant that the nights haven’t been as great as usual. Unfortunately, I was in Waterloo for the weekend when you came down with the cold and your Daddy was on his own with you. Then HE got sick, too! But you were both troopers, and you’re getting less sniffly every day. The key is to keep you well hydrated, and to ignore your cries of distress when you see us coming with a Kleenex. We’ve also gone back to giving you a steam room at night when you wake up congested – we haven’t had to do that in ever so long. But it seems to help you.

My trip to Waterloo was a lot of fun, but it was my first time away from you for an extended amount of time. I missed you terribly, but it was good to get away and recharge my batteries a bit. We both had some separation anxiety, but things are back to normal now. It didn’t help that you were coming down with a cold at the time, you poor thing.

You have ALL kinds of teeth now, small sir. At least two up top, and I think three on the bottom. (It’s difficult to say; you’re not a fan of having your teeth checked.) After so long without any, it’s very strange to see teeth in your mouth!

Let’s talk about eating. You’re a good eater, you aren’t picky, and you enjoy your food. But mealtime is still pretty challenging. You like to be able to play with your food, and we’ll let you, if you’re eating at the same time. But if you stop eating and just keep playing, well… the spoon or the sippy cup gets taken away and the tears and recriminations begin. You like to use your spoon, but not to feed yourself. You used to bring it to your mouth, but now you’re all about using it to burrow into the food and to fling it up, bringing food with it. This is why there’s a tarp under your high chair now. Sometimes we feel like we should be wearing the tarp.

You have become a lot more verbal in the last week. I suspect that words aren’t far away. To date, you do “mamama” and “dadada” with some consistency, and you make fantastic lion noises.

You have a wonderful sense of humour, sweet son. You like to tease us with a very cheeky “will I or won’t I?” smile. It might be when you’re about to pop something in your mouth, and then you suddenly stop and smile. Or when you’re about to drop your bib in the hamper (a job for you that is going very well), and you leave it hanging there with a cheeky smile.

You’re motor skills are improving, too. You can put your discs on and off the wooden pole with great ease. You can make your wind-up train go, and you love pressing the buttons on your phone.

You took your first independent steps with Grandma shortly after I wrote your last letter. I was very gratified to have been there when it happened. But then you didn’t take any more! You won’t do it when we ask you to – it’s as those you’re scared – but we’ve caught you walking unassisted a few steps at a time when you are busy and don’t notice that you’re doing it. Otherwise, you’re cruising all over the place, or walking with our help – but you don’t need two hands now, you can do it with just one a lot of the time.
I took out some toys from the Toy Lending Library, and it’s been fun to watch you play with them. One is a rocking horse – you enjoy it, but don’t like being on it for long. I don’t think you like feeling “stuck” somewhere. The other is a set of toy pots, pans and plates. You have a great time with those.

We realized the other day, to our great dismay, that you can totally reach the outer six inches of the dining room table. We have some work to do. I’m hoping to get a lot done this weekend – we need to get more of the house ready for you. As Uncle Ted puts it, the babyproofing tide keeps rising!

Your Tia and Tio sent us a lovely gift for you. It’s your very own chair! You tried it at Sean and Jeannie’s and really liked it, so we wanted to get it for you. But Tia and Tio beat us to it! It’s red, and it’s set up like half an egg. It spins and has a canopy that you can pull down. You like sitting in it for a little bit, but you LOVE standing in it. I think we’ll be putting a stop to that, as my heart can’t take it.

We’ve started hunting for a day care provider for you. We’re hoping that you can start part time care in September. It will be good for you to play with other children every day. I’ll tell you, sweetie, I don’t think anyone out there is good enough for you, but we’ll work hard to find the best person we can.

We love you so much, little Moeling. You make us laugh every day. You’re just so much fun to be around. Our time with you is the best part of any day. Keep being so wonderful.

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