newsletter: month thirteen
Last month you turned a year old, and I cheated. This month, I’d best come up with something entertaining and new to write, or else face the possibility that you’ll get bored, stop reading these newsletters, and toddle off into the sunset. Happily, for now you’re still not walking independently, my tiny little captive audience.
We had a birthday party for you, which at this age is mostly a party for everyone else. There were so many everyone-elses that we ended up moving the shindig to a nearby frozen yogurt place. This turned out to be a brilliant idea; there was much merriment, which you took in impressive stride given that it lasted three whole hours. You received many fine gifts, most of them letters that we’ll be requesting every year and saving for later reading. (Thanks for the idea, Offbeat Families!)
Baby NAZ, the love you engender in your social world is astonishing. Your first birthday had to be moved out of the house because so many people wanted to attend. I can only hope that whatever magic you carry today will stay with you in the future. But if it starts to wane, there’s always glitter and frozen yogurt.
(Can it really be that I don’t have a single photo from your birthday party? Yes, it can.)
A small list of ways in which you are barreling towards toddlerhood:
- You’ve entered the stage of using a single word (in this case an emphatic tah) to mean most things for which you would like to have words. These are: fan, light, lamp, cat, dog, [pick me] up, and others. I hear this is a common thing in baby language development.
- The above notwithstanding, you have actual words! This development is recent: the first one emerged this past weekend while we were visiting our friends in New York. Avocado is cacacaca (Mark points out: it stands to reason that your first food word is four syllables long). Today you managed to create recognizable versions of apple and stuck.
- Besides all this, in the last few weeks you’ve been holding forth in fairly long conversational tirades. A language explosion is just around the corner, or already happening, depending on how much the whole “intelligible” thing matters.
- Your hair has gotten long enough that civilized people would trim it. I, of course, am compelled to clip it away from your face and let it grow out a bit. Did you know that there are no baby-safe hair clips? Choking hazards, all of them.
- One morning a couple of weeks ago I left you sitting in the middle of the living room while I went to pack up the lunch bag. I returned to find you standing on the other side of the coffee table from where you had been, holding on to it and looking at me, all, what? Yeah, I pull myself up now. No big deal. Since then you’ve been practicing pulling yourself up on the big bed every morning, holding on to the headboard, prompting grim visions of you tumbling off the bed on the side where the foam bumpers aren’t.
- Speaking of heart attacks, knowing that your newly found interest in climbing stairs (carpeted and bare) is healthy doesn’t stop me from wishing sometimes I could superglue you to the floor until you’re eighteen.
- Oh gods, the preferences. You know a lot more about what you want, and of course don’t have the language to get it yet, so you do this point-and-whine thing. We’ve stepped up your exposure to sign language, because babe, the whining a thing I can take only in small doses. Happily, you seem on board with the sign language, and you practice too.
Last weekend we got in a car with Mark and Eleanor and drove due west, into New York, to visit Sianna and her kids. The weekend getaway was perfect—a sprawling farmhouse, glorious homey food, a dance party in the living room, and a museum floor full of big boxes. You sat inside your very own tiny fort for something like half an hour, exploring the adhesive properties of duct tape.
There’s more, always, but it’s time for sleep.
(ps more pix, and videos)