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Dear Moe (17 Months)

My sweet, sweet sweetie, you are 17 months old today. That is almost a year and a half, and it’s hard to believe. We have had a lot of fun together this past month, and you’ve made some awesome leaps and bounds in your development.

Giggles

You’ve started talking, and it’s fantastic. Your first word, other than “mamama” and “dadada” was “car”. You tend to say it twice, “car car”, like the song Car Car by Elizabeth Mitchell. It’s one of your favourites. You have also said “hug”, your own version of “Granny”, “Grandma” and your own name (all of which kind of sound the same), and “yeah”. You love the song Mercy by Duffy, and sing along to the chorus, chanting “yeah, yeah, yeah”. You also love to sing along to John Lithgow’s version of “I Had a Rooster” and you sing “doodley-doodley-doo”.

The day after you said your first word, I was telling Grandma what strides you had made that day. I told her you had said “car”, “hug” and “yeah”. She turned to you and asked, “You said ‘yeah’?” and you looked right back at her and said, “I said ‘yeah’.” It was your first sentence, on your second day of talking!

You are getting more and more comfortable in your own skin, little sir. You love to walk backwards (probably because it cracks us up) and you can now sit very proudly by yourself in your red egg chair. The other day you sat down and happily swivelled for about two minutes. Now that you can get in and out of it on your own, you love that chair.

We have always said that we wanted to make music an important part of your life, and we’re succeeding. You often ask for us to turn on iPod player. In fact, you are now asking for specific songs, and not just music in general. If we sing a bit of a song to you, you want to hear it on the iPod. And while you used to be quite content to hear a song once and then listen to the rest of the playlist, now you often want to hear a song again. And again. And again. (It’s a good thing Mommy actually likes the song Yeti Stomp by the Backyardigans, little man.)

You really enjoy playing with crayons. You like to draw, but you also love to line the crayons up and look at all the different colours. I’m proud to report that we’ve only had to scold you for putting a crayon in your mouth once or twice.

Cars have been your favourite toy for some time now, but we recently introduced you to your train set, and that’s been a lot of fun. You aren’t sure what to make of the magnets in the train cars (why do the cars sometimes stick together and sometimes won’t stick at all?), and you like helping me build the track almost as much as you enjoy dismantling it all. The kit we bought has over 100 pieces, but right now you only have access to a few cars and the tracks. We’ll eventually bring down the other pieces when I can be sure you won’t put the little bits in your mouth.

We had a magical Canada Day together this year. As per tradition, we spent the day at Uncle Ted’s house. You swam in the pool for about an hour in your jaunty new lifejacket. When we got you out of the pool, you enjoyed wandering around in your shark robe. You looked like a little boxer. Uncle Ted set up the slip and slide, and you very happily played with the water tub while everyone else went tearing down the slide. Your Daddy got some great photos of you.

IMG_1304

Uncle Ted and the Pool Filter

I was one of the first to go down the slip and slide, and the slide wasn’t terribly wet yet. You were sitting on Daddy’s knee, and you watched me run, jump, and stop halfway down the slide. Everyone in the yard went, “AWWWWW” and laughed at my expense, and you, gallant little boy, burst into tears. I asked, “Why is my little boy crying?” and someone answered, “He’s sad that you’re a loser who couldn’t make it down the slip and slide.” We have great friends. No, really.

Decked out for Canada Day

We have said goodbye to bottles forever, Moe. It only took a day or two, but you made the transition from bottle to sippy cup at bed and naptime very easily. Now the routine is easy – before nap or bed, we watch an episode of the Backyardigans while sitting on the floor cushion together, you drink your sippy of milk while you watch, and then we go upstairs and after a short cuddle, you go into your crib and go to sleep. There were a couple of nights when you cried because you weren’t getting a bottle upstairs, but I cuddled you and agreed that change can be hard, and you resigned yourself to it and went to sleep without any more fuss. I’m so proud of what a good sleeper you are. We worked really, really hard to teach you to fall asleep by yourself, and it’s paid off for us all in a big way.

Let’s talk about your ankle, my love. The back of your right ankle has been giving us trouble for months and months now, and we reached our wit’s end. There’s a crack in it surrounded by eczema. If you wear shoes, it gets worse. If you don’t wear socks all the time, you scratch it to bits. We have found you in your crib with your sock off and your fingers bloody. It’s horrible. It has meant that you can’t play at the park – you can’t wear shoes, and you can’t play in the sand without shoes with an open wound. Dr. D. prescribed some antibiotic cream, but it did nothing. We didn’t know if we should put cortisone on it because the skin was already so weak. So she sent us to Dr. L., who gave us a really strong steroid ointment for it and a regimen of specific instructions. That was Monday. It’s Wednesday today and your ankle looks better than it has in weeks. I’m very hopeful that if we keep this up, you should be healed well enough to play on the beach in Maine in August and finally wear shoes again. I was getting very concerned. I want you to enjoy the ocean as much as you can, and I’d also like you to get some wear out of those shoes we bought you before you outgrow them!

Footprints

You have become very adept at using the potty. You have used it many times now with great success. (We’ve had to put a towel over the tank to hide the flusher handle, though, or else you will flush repeatedly and forget why you’re on the toilet in the first place.) You don’t seem to mind spending time on the toilet, which is fantastic. I am optimistic that when you’re able to ask to use the potty and we can toilet train you in earnest, it will go fairly well.

You are hilarious and have a great sense of humour. You make us laugh every day. You constantly amaze us with how quickly you learn new things. You know your mind and you know how to tell us what you do or don’t want. And we’re working on getting you to tell us those things in a polite way. You have learned to blow kisses and to ask nicely for “more” of something. You are sweet and loving, affectionate and kind. We had a really successful play date with your buddy Koen where you both shared well, played nicely together, and waved goodbye to each other at the end of the morning. Koen’s mom and I were both flabbergasted and delighted.

Reading with Uncle Luc, Aunt Kimmy, Noah and Caleb

Keep being such a wonderful little boy, Moe. We love you so much it’s insane, and we’re not the only ones. Granny and Grandma are crazy about you, your aunts and uncles genuinely seem to enjoy spending time with you, and our friends and neighbours are enchanted by your smile. You are growing into such a great little person.