Fifteen Months: I have people for that

Dear Miriam,

You are turning into a toddler in attitude if not in action. As your Aunt J. recently observed, when you greet a new thing, you don't look to us for a reaction; you look to us with an opinion.

You are charming and infuriating, whether you are hucking your food from your high chair or insisting on handling the teh-tone, or telephone. Your word count far surpasses 50, which is a good thing, because you can often tell us exactly what you want, even if we have no idea where you learned that word, or that desire.

When you were sick earlier this month, you had your Papa walking the halls with you, you fussed if he so much as looked at a chair. But on a lap through the kitchen, you spotted the cure for what ailed you: ba-na. Banana? How do you even know that word? Petrified of constipating you, I dole out bananas like they're some holiday treat, once a year will do. Yet there you were, insisting on a banana by name, and you devoured the whole thing and clamored for more. You've been requesting ba-na at least once a day since then, as well as crackers, beeps (grapes) and beep-beeps (any berry), (green) beans and peas-peas. You have this way of diminufying words, in spite of our refusal to talk baby talk with you, and darned if we don't find it utterly irresistible.

Papa is your name for Grandpa, it started off as Pap-pa, with two distinct p's, but has since settled into a reliable construction. This is the month you started calling us by name, Papa first, then Mommy, then Daddy, followed by Eh-MAY (Esme) and Moki. Your grandmothers and aunties are not yet named, but we think the multiples confuse you. We can't imagine why you'd name Yudi, given that
he's still mostly petrified of you. But you do know Henry, an irresistible Prince of Bernal; we think he won your heart by pushing you around in your pushcart.

Which brings us to the title of this month's letter. MZ, you threaten to be quite a little princess with your imperious ways. When you want something and don't know the word, you merely grunt and point languidly, knowing that someone will surely bring it to you. You refuse to walk, or even to crawl sometimes, and if a ball rolls out of your reach, you will say ball over and over, pointing, to make your expectation clear. This morning I left the room while you were in your highchair with your cereal, and when I returned, you had hucked every single crumb onto the floor, in concentric circles that made clear your mounting annoyance at being left to dine alone.

But your communication is sweet, too. You holler hug! from across the room when you're missing us, you nuzzle into us every morning while you have your bot-tle, you tell us up when you want to be held. You holler up! up! in the swing at the park, until you're done, when you quietly say all done. Your requests culminate fifteen minutes into any car ride, when you call out all done, then up! and finally, hug! in a mostly-cooperative attempt to let us know you're ready to be out of your car seat.

Your shift to one nap a day is proving quite a challenge. No longer do I have an hour or two to collect myself each morning. Now when you're up, you're up, and I find it difficult to do anything at all around the house. I barely manage to get some clothes on while you dervish around the room, and when I pick you up and say let's go, you squeal and kick your feet with glee. While you still greet new experiences with watchful quiet, in no time you are hollering gibberish, then throwing yourself into the adventure, whether it's climbing the stairs to a slide or figuring out how to make a push-toy go without actually walking. You've learned open and close this month, and are always on the lookout for something to open, whether it's the liquor cabinet or a new book.

Miriam, I am exhausted these days trying to keep up with you, but I'm also delighted with these changes and the chance to spend more awake time with you. Every nice day (which have been sadly rare in recent months) includes a trip to the park, and you are great company at the grocery store, where you greet people happily and lunge at colorful packaging. I'm looking forward to trips to the zoo and the Discovery Museum, now that we don't have to cram everything into the 3-4 hours between naps. Hey, kiddo, let's go see the world!

Love, love and more love,


At 27.4.06, Blogger Roasted Squid said...

I'm astounded by MZ's talking abilities!!! 50 words? I'm lucky if LG murmurs "mama" in my general direction when I'm in the room! Must be nice to know exactly what MZ wants (even though she might not get it).


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