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Dear Moe (20 Months)

Hello, my darling. You’ve had another very busy month - I almost don’t know where to begin.

We have greatly enjoyed the changing of the seasons. Fall has brought us your footie pajamas, the joy of gathering choke cherries and dropping them one by one down a sewer grate, picking up leaves and stowing them in the bottom of the stroller, and your complete and total refusal to wear a hat. It brought us a wonderful morning at the Farmer’s Market, lots of time walking outside and exploring, and two little pumpkins that sit on our front step. You say hello and goodbye to them every time you pass them. Granny has been working furiously on your Halloween costume, and it looks fantastic. We just have to get you to wear it! You love how soft it is, and you like cuddling it, but we haven’t gotten you INTO it yet. It will come. You’re going to be a turtle.

You have become so much chattier this past month. We know you’re speaking in full sentences, we just don’t know what they are yet. You have learned to hoot like an owl, roar like a dragon (like in The Paperbag Princess, when the dragon burns down 50 forests), and so also say “Lightning” for Lightning McQueen (although it sounds more like “Ning”.) Robin even reports that you have said “yucky” to tell her that you have a dirty diaper. And you have the best new babble ever - you say, “jubba jubba jubba jubba”.

Yes, let’s talk about Lightning McQueen. Months and months ago, your Grandma bought you a little Lightning McQueen matchbox style car. In the last month, you have suddenly adopted this car as your security blanket. You always like to walk around with a car in your hand, but more and more you have shown your preference for Mr. McQueen. I have to admit that he’s a pretty swanky car, and he has eyes, so maybe that’s the attraction. (The only other exposure you’ve had to him is sitting in the Lightning McQueen car at Chiquicuts when you get your hair cut.) Bathtime isn’t any fun without him, and you’ve taken to sleeping with him in your crib now. (We are drawing a line at ONE car in bed - I don’t need your crib to turn into a parking lot, with cars hitting the floor throughout the night.) We didn’t intend to let you bring cars into bed with you, but one day Granny was putting you down for a nap and she couldn’t pry him out of your hand! You slept three hours that afternoon. We now have two Lightning McQueens, and one more tucked away in the closet in case of emergency.

You are definitely almost two. You want independence like it’s a drug. You love to climb things (we frequently have to remind you that couches are for sitting), you want to do everything yourself, and you get very, very frustrated when that doesn’t work out for you. But you are slowly learning patience (if you’re not too tired). We have had some epic meltdowns, and Daddy and I know there will be more. But we do our best to calm you down (often, you’re just overwhelmed by your own crying), or at the very least, pick you up off the sidewalk before you hurt yourself. Sometimes, you just get really excited, and when that happens, you tend to start throwing things. You find this hilarious. We’re really trying to curb you of this, especially since you pegged one of the little girls from day care in the eye with a puzzle piece.

You still love your bath. For some reason, you recently decided that you were done with this business of always standing in the bath, and now you only sit and refuse to stand to let me wash your bum. So Daddy has to lift you up, which you love because you can kick at the water. We have a deal that you can stay in the tub until the water in gone, and you really won’t get out until the bitter, bitter end. You also know how to close the drain once we’ve opened it to let the water out. You show us that there is still water in the tub by splashing your hands in it, even if it’s the shallowest puddle. It’s lovely that you love your bath so much.

You also love going to Robin’s. You come home zonked and dirty and very happy. One of the things we love about Robin is that she writes us these daily reports that tell us all about what you did that day. Her comments about your development are fantastic - for the most part, they confirm what we already know. Here are a few examples:

“Moe is wonderfully enthusiastic and responds so readily to everything he sees around him. He is very curious about how things work.”
“Moe is very easy to care for. He is naturally easygoing and listens beautifully. He is not fearful and seems willing to take physical risks, climbing and exploring and seems quite engaged with the other children in day care.”
“Moe loves to examine each puzzle piece and is careful with putting them back in their places. He is a methodical child. He organized bunches of crayons in groups (he tried drawing on the chairs).”
“Moe is perhaps the most insatiably curious boy I have ever met.”
“Moe’s sense of humour is very developed!”

We’ve had some wonderful fun this month. We had a great morning at the Farmer’s Market with JD and Evan. Our walk with Zaphod and Uncle Mark and Aunt Janine has become something of a Saturday morning tradition now. We went for a great walk in the Arboretum. You had a lovely play date with your buddy Koen - it was doubly fantastic because we got to hang out with his parents, who we love. We can pretty much take you anywhere as long as we respect your limits and listen to your needs.

I spent three days in Brockville at the start of October for a course. Before I left, I recorded a little video of myself singing our song, “Mommy Loves Moe.” Daddy played it for you six times that first night, feels it helped you cope with the separation. You still ask for the video now.

When I got home from Brockville, it was just in time. I hadn’t been home a full day when you came down with a terrible fever. It was an ear infection. You had only just gotten over the one you had in September. Moe, it was so sad to see you suffering. The fever gave us one very tense night. Your whole body was so warm, and you were trembling with the chills from the fever, and at one point your lips were even blueish. But we nursed you through it over the course of one long, exhausting Thanksgiving weekend. We had to cancel our plans to go to Toronto to visit Tia and Tio, and it’s a good thing we did. You had a bad reaction to this round of antibiotics, and were a miserable little boy for a good many days. The infection affected your balance really badly, and it was very hard to see you struggling to keep upright, or crying in frustration when you couldn’t stand up from sitting. When you developed a rash, we took you to the doctor again and she gave you a new prescription. You tolerated that one much better, and are now totally back to your normal wonderful self. Over the course of that weekend, we took you to the doctor twice, called Telehealth twice and brought you to two walk-in clinics (only to leave because of wait times). We’re all glad that’s behind us.

There’s a new toy in the house that has been a great success. We bought you a little push car off of Kijiji. You can sit on it and use the steering wheel while powering it with your feet, or stand behind it and push. You love it. Come spring, we’ll get you another to keep inside the house and this one can go outside. You’ve become very adept at steering it, and are proud of how easily you get on and off.

Your letter this month is a little late because we had such a wonderful weekend together. Today was especially fantastic. We met Grandpa and Debi for breakfast at O’Grady’s, where you flirted with the waitress and with Debi. Then we headed to Jen and Albert’s for your play date with Koen. We all had a wonderful time and left feeling like we’d had a mini-vacation. After your nap, Granny and Grandma both came over and you were showered with love. And you ate a good dinner and went to bed without issue, snuggled up with Leary the Otter and Lightning McQueen.

I know the next months won’t always be easy as you navigate the waters of what you can and can’t do. But it’s never hard to remember how incredibly lucky we are. You are so very easy to love, Moe. We can’t imagine life without you, nor would we want to. Keep being so full of awesome.