16 Months

December 3, 2006 on 10:51 pm | In General, Progress, Year 2 | No Comments

Dear Julien,

In a change, I’m writing your letter a little bit early this month. You will be 16 months old tomorrow and it’s been a busy month for you. You’ve cut one more tooth, bringing your total up to 7 and you’re working on molars. Your comprehension of the world around you made a big leap in the last month. There’s not one big thing that shows this, it’s lots of little things.

You give me high fives, not just slapping my hand when I hold mine up, but also holding your hand up for a touch. You still love peek-a-boo, only now you pull blankets up over your head, or burrow down behind a pillow to play the game, you participate and initiate it instead of just watching me and laughing. You point to things and “ask” for them with increasing fluency in your babble, meaning that sometimes the sounds you make actually sound vaguely like the thing you’re asking for. You repeat the sounds that you hear with more and more accuracy overall. You’re using “uh oh” for more than just tossing your cup off the table: any “oops” type thing earns a cute little “uh oh” and a questioning look from you now.

You’re trying to figure out what the rules are, how everything works as you become more and more able to interact with your world. This means that toddlerhood is well and truly upon us with the accompanying proto-tantrums. One of your less endearing habits right now is ear-piercing shrieks, be it just to try your voice out or expressing displeasure at being hugged too hard or having things taken away from you. You’re also demonstrating a bit of a flair for the dramatic, casting yourself face down onto the floor when you’re told “No” or when something you really wanted to play with that isn’t safe is taken away. For now, you’re still responding well to distraction and comfort when you’re frustrated. Chances are good that if I interest you in some other toy or game you will switch focus quickly and easily to the new thing and get wrapped up in that.

Every month you and your big brother get more and more attached to each other and more and more able to interact on a similar level. Now that you’re fully mobile with walking mastered and running very nearly so, you and Vic can really play together. You wrastle on the bed, climb into boxes together and play with toys side-by-side. Vic tries to involve you in cooperative play, but you’re not quite there yet of course. That will come in time and I think the two of you will have a lot of fun together building things with Legos and running trains on the tracks and pretend-cooking meals and constructing forts out of boxes and blankets in the living room.

You’ve been going through a rough patch sleeping-wise, probably due to all of these cognitive leaps you’ve been making and all of the teeth that are growing. It’s really exhausting for me, especially because you’re nursing quite a lot when you wake at night. We’ve decided to slowly start moving you out of our bed and into your crib full-time in the hope that this will help you to sleep better. You seem to like having your own space and I’d certainly appreciate being able to get more than an hour or two of shut-eye at a time. I’m also slowly starting to replace nursings with a cup of warm cow’s milk to soothe you in the later parts of the day, because you need a lot to drink these days and that means an awful lot of nursing to get the number of ounces that you need. Just tonight for instance, you spent 20 minutes nursing and didn’t want to stop, but I was feeling tired and sore so we got you some milk and you drank a whole 6 ounces on top of what you’d already nursed!

We take a slow path towards weaning, but that’s really what this is. We’ll still nurse for a while longer, but I want to start encouraging a gradual decline in feedings and see where that takes us.

You laugh more than you cry, smile more than you frown and have a lot to say in your own language about the world. You are snuggly and cuddly and love to play and run around and interact with everyone.

You and your brother get closer every day and it makes me so happy to see the two of you becoming pals as well as siblings.

Love,
Mommy

Vic and Julien

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