Sunday, February 13, 2011

Eighteen months?! Letter to one and a half year old Natey.

Dear Nathaniel,

You're eighteen months old! And you are keeping me very busy. Your energy level continues to be high (much, much higher than mine!) and being stuck inside during the winter - buried under tons of snow - has not helped. You're faster and more coordinated, running everywhere instead of walking. I can't wait for the snow to melt away and the temperature to warm up enough for me to take your boundless energy and ever increasing mobility to the park so you can run wild.

Games & Play
You cannot get enough of coloring. We probably color/draw ("dru-dru") ten times a day. I usually really enjoy coloring with you. I say usually because there is always the chance that you'll start throwing crayons or coloring on the rug after I've reminded you to stick to paper - but that doesn't happen all that often. I can think of far worse ways to spend our time (like chasing you around the un-baby proofed parts of the house in circles, telling you "no, don't stick your hand in the dog's water...no, don't turn the fan on....no, don't turn the microwave on...") and it's a great venue for teaching. We talk about sharing, team work and not grabbing. Since you always want the crayon I'm holding, I've been able to teach to you ask "please" instead of (or at least before) yanking it out of my hand. We've been working on colors and with the exceptions of red and orange you seem to know them all. You can say pink, blue, green, black, purple and brown (which I think is your favorite color given the amount of Sesame Street characters now smeared with brown crayon in your coloring books).

The rest of our play time at home is usually spent:
  • With you taking fake naps - you cutely say "map" (nap) or "seep" (sleep) - sometimes accompanied with the sign for sleep - and then rest your head on whatever soft surface you can find. This never ever results in an actual nap.
  • Playing with play dough. You enjoy it when I make hideously misshapen animals and then give them to you to feed out of the equally misshapen play dough food and water bowls I've constructed.
  • Acting like animals. You started this game all by yourself and it's adorable. You pretend you're a cat by simply crawling on all fours and saying "cak" (cat - formally pronounced "gaht"). When prompted you will give a soft "mow" (as in meow, rhyming with now). Sometimes you'll change it up and suddenly become a dog. You let me know by signing DOG while you continue to crawl.
  • Playing with toys and books. New favorites include your rocking horse, Bep (we have no idea why you chose this name), and your Sesame Street book set. Old favorites include your zoo and "vacuum."
  • Putting things on your head and sitting in anything resembling a box.

1. "Mapping" 2. Enjoying your Valentine's Day present from certain 6 month old hottie 3. Putting your drum on your head 4. Riding Bep  5. Climbing into the box 6. Climbing into a basket 7. Another "map"

Other assorted stuff
  • You're really into hugging and kissing. When you want a kiss you say "keesss" in the sweetest little voice and it gets me every time.
  • Your verbal speech has totally taken off. Every day you surprise me and daddy by saying yet another new word. Sometimes it's a word that only I would understand - and thank goodness for sign language, which you often use to clarify what you are saying verbally. Now I know "bee" means bean, because you were able to use sign language to tell me what you were talking about. But you say so many words crystal clear.  I stopped keeping a list, but I estimate you say about 100 words now. You're starting to put two words (or a word and a sign) together more frequently. Here are some of our favorites -

  • You're counting. Okay, not really - you're pretending. You go from object to object on a page, pointing and saying, "Two...two...two...two." It's adorable.
  • You're very into the alphabet. Q is still your favorite letter, but you also know A, B, C, D and X really well.
  • You have SIXTEEN teeth! PLEASE feel free to take a break from teething, you poor thing.
  • Every visit or out of the ordinary outting makes a huge impact on you. We'll talk about the people we saw and things we did for days, if not weeks. It's so cool to hear how much you remember and understand. 

I love you more than tongue can tell.
~ Mama

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