Today you are 16 months and one week old. I must mention the one additional week, because all attempts to get this letter written and uploaded on time have been thwarted by a multitude of events combined with my general lack of motivation and energy of the last month. You and I have had a rather interesting last week with major car repairs, 2 stovetop fires, phone outages, emergency repair men and me trying to keep up with you which is now becoming a physical impossibility. I hope you cut me some slack on the face this letter is so late. Procrastination is one of your momma's faults. But I do try to work on it.
However, I do admit that your increasing speed (running) combined with my ever-declining speed (waddling) is making for some interesting moments. You see, you can run now...and I cannot. It has made for some interesting and awkward chases in public. And as a result our social calendar and outings have dramatically diminished as we enter this last phase of waiting for your baby brother to show up. But just so you know, you are definitely my role model for energy and enthusiasm. I aspire to be like you even though I am fairly certain that is still a few weeks away...maybe longer. The good news is you won't remember much of this time when your momma just couldn't keep up.
I am happy to report that the majority of the developments you have had over the last couple of months I view as mostly positive -- namely, the fact that you have gotten much better in the last two months at communicating your needs and wants. One of the most stressful things to me about the little tiny baby stage was that all crying sounded the same to me, and until you got old enough to point or gesture or in some way help me narrow down the reasons you might be fussing, I felt like I was constantly engaging in a big guessing game or what I affectionately called "Baby Charades". Now you are really working at speaking actual words. You are not really taking to the baby signing thing no matter how many times you have watched them...but I keep trying - albeit half-heartedly. But when your words are coming along so well, it is hard for me to really be concerned about the signing. I think you are just going to leap on ahead to talking. You say mama, ma, ball, balloon, bubble, bottle, outside, apple, diaper and my personal favorite, "hi"....but you don't just say it in a normal voice. You say it in this very perky way, like you haven't seen the person you're greeting in years and you are overcome with joy. "Hi!" You say it this way to total strangers, which got you a lot of attention in grocery stores, hardware stores, doctors offices, dentist offices...really wherever we happen to be. It is all unbearably cute. And all this communicating it really is helpful, too, because most of the time, I can ascertain fairly quickly what you are talking about, and then move on.
What I am not loving so much about your new-found ability to express yourself is the early stages of tantrum-throwing. I dont think they have reached full blown status, but I fear what is coming as I can see the early warning signs when I tell you "no sir" about something....like using your slide as a ladder...
But enough about you. Remember those tantrums? Here's the truth about those: I'm not proud of how frustrated this all makes me some days and you don't even have them that often...I feel like such a wimp. I am finding myself having to take a deep breath every once in a while to try to regain some patience before I set about dealing with whatever meltdown you are having at the moment. The good news is they are not very frequent...yet I still struggle mostly because I am so physically uncomfortable. Yesterday, it even occurred to me that teaching you how to take a deep breath might do us both a world of good. So I showed you how to do it, and weirdly enough, you caught right on! I'm not sure you really understand the point of the whole exercise, since you generally go right back to fussing after you let out the big "aaaaah" at the end of your deep cleansing breath. Maybe if I enroll you in baby yoga you will chill out. It's probably also true that some of this can be chalked up to the fact that you have broken through four molars which cannot be comfortable. In the meantime, the whole thing is revealing my own inner tantrum-throwing toddler who just wants her way. Temporary or not, I think you and I have hit a stage in our relationship where we're going to have to exercise some patience and grace toward one another. Since I am the adult, and I love you, I'll go first. Since you are the baby, and you love me too, I'm sure I'll be rewarded with lots of big, slobbery kisses, which make up for a whole lot on the rough days. Keep those coming, OK?
I love you,