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Dear Moe (21 Months Old)

Hi, sweetie. You're 21 months old, and I can’t get over how awesome you are.

Your speech is developing slowly but surely – your words are getting clearer and clearer. It’s just a matter of getting you to say them. You dislike being coached in anything, so you really need to be totally engaged before you’ll take that extra step and say a word. If we ask you, “Can you say (insert word here)?” the answer is always a firm “NO”. (That’s one word you have no problems with, by the way.) But you’ve said “Lightning McQueen”, “Blue Lighting”, “Cookie”, and “Yogu(rt)”. (You also love to say “Blech!”, which can be discouraging if it is in relation to a meal I have just put in front of you.)

You are very independent, and things have to be your idea for you to do them. We used to look at your Big Book of 300 Things, and I could ask you, “Where’s the (insert word here)?” and you’d happily find it for me and point to it. But now you want to do the pointing and you want me to say the words. I’m trying to find a compromise because I’d really like you to say the words, too!

You do love to sing. You sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Twinkle, Twinkle, The Alphabet Song, and The Wheels on the Bus. You do the hand gestures where appropriate. It’s very sweet to hear you singing to yourself – you carry a tune well, so we always know which song you’re singing!

You give wonderful hugs. You always have a hug for Matisse and Alex at day care, and when we visited Aunty Kimmy and the boys, you happily gave Noah a hug, too. That was a lovely visit for everyone – you loved playing with the big boys, and they kept offering to give you all their toys! If I hadn’t stopped it, you might have come home with a dozen new cars. They are so generous.

We had a great Halloween together, little man. We worked very hard on getting you used to your costume, and you embraced it fully for an evening of trick or treating. We did a few houses on our street, visited Grandma’s house, and then went to Uncle Mark and Aunt Janine’s where Aunt Janine took you to see her neighbours. Everybody loved your costume and you were the sweetest turtle I have ever seen. You did so very well, not protesting at all about the shell or the head cover. Granny, who worked very hard at making your costume, was very gratified. She felt it was well worth all her hard work.

We had some other lovely outings this month. You and I hit Parliament Hill with our friend Jane and her partner Brutus. You loved exploring on your own, and especially enjoyed climbing up and down the stairs at the Summer Pavilion. We have visited Grandpa Reg twice in his new digs. You behave very well there, although you are fascinated with his clock and his waste paper basket. Daddy and I both had a day off with you on a Monday a few weeks ago, so after a haircut, we took you to the Aviation and Space Museum. You enjoyed playing in the children’s studio and loved the play structure behind the museum. We liked it, too, because it was just the right size for you and very clean. It was also a lovely day, so you were able to play out there for as long as you wanted without getting cold. Granny and I took you to the Science and Technology Museum yesterday, and you had a nice time there, too. You liked riding in the antique car and walking through the digital network tunnels.

It hasn’t been all smiles, unfortunately. You took a pretty bad fall in Robin’s driveway a week or two ago and landed right on your face. You bit into your lower lip very hard, scraped your chin, bruised your cheek, and rattled your two front teeth. Your lip was bleeding on and off for a couple of days, and I can still see two white marks inside your lower lip where the teeth went through. You also caught another cold (you and Daddy both had it – only Daddy’s turned into strep throat!) at the beginning of the month, and right now you’re recovering from what we hope is a 24-hour stomach flu. That last one made for a long Lysol-filled day. Phew.

But through it all you are sweet and kind and loving. You share your snacks freely, you are generous with hugs, you wave and blow kisses to say goodbye. I spent a day or two in Waterloo at the start of the month for work (and to visit Aunt Marsha and Uncle Gavin), and I missed you so much. I missed the way you put your arms around my neck and rest your head on my shoulder. I missed the way you keep pressing the bathtub drain closed when we try and let the water out of the tub at the end of your bath. I missed the way you guffaw when Daddy kisses your belly. I missed the way you immediately start to dance when I sing “Mommy Loves Moe”.

You love your ride-on toy. You ride it everywhere around the house, from room to room. You still love playing with your cars, but lately you’ve found a new way to play with them. You love to balance things on other things. Cars on each other, a block on a car, a car on a train… you shout in triumph when you can get it to stay. It’s fantastic. You’ve really gotten the hang of your shape sorting blocks in the last week – you hardly need any prompting to find the right shaped hole. For the most part, you’re an excellent listener… unless we’re outside. You really don’t like being told what direction to walk in, and your hearing becomes very selective if I ask you to walk a different way. But overall, you do listen well, as long as it’s in line with your goals. :)

Let me tell you a bit about your Aunt Janine and Uncle Mark. Oh my goodness, you love them so much. You see them pretty much every weekend, and you smile whenever we mention their names. You give hugs freely to them, they make you laugh, and you love your doggy Zaphod. And honey, they love you, too. It is so wonderful that we’re continuing the tradition of “chosen family”. They are so proud to be your aunt and uncle.

We’re watching less Curious George these days, because we noticed that you were starting to express yourself a lot like George! Although it’s wonderful that you can communicate so well non-verbally (it certainly makes things easier for us and for Robin), we do want you to speak with words. So we only watch Curious George before bed. We’ve introduced you to Sesame Street, although we turn off the episode when Elmo’s World comes on because Elmo makes Mommy and Daddy kind of stabby. You also enjoy most episodes of Mighty Machines, and still like the Backyardigans.

Pookie, we love you so much. You can be exhausting, stubborn and mercurial, but more than anything, you are FUN. You make us laugh, you have a great sense of humour, you are loving and kind, you adore exploring, you yearn to do everything yourself, and you still have the best freaking eyebrows I have ever seen on a toddler. We love you. Keep developing into the wonderful little boy you are.