Dear Julien … Letters to my second son.

Sunday, 4th February, 2007

18 Months

Filed under: General,Progress,Year 2 — Beth @ 15:53

Dear Julien,

Today you are 18 months old, a whole year and a half and what a year and a half it’s been! This second year is full of so many milestones, first steps, first words, first hugs and kisses marking the inexorable shift from baby into toddler. You’ve hit a lot of those milestones already and today marked another one: we took down the side of your crib, lowered the mattress and put up a side-rail converting it into a toddler daybed. You’re already so good at climbing in and out of our bed that there was no real reason to keep you crib-bound anymore, not to mention the fact that you were getting pretty close to being able to climb over the side anyway. It will be easier for you to get in and out as well as easier for us to pick you up and put you down for naps and bedtime.

I missed your 17-month update: it’s been a busy time in our household and time has done funny things with my memory so that I’m no longer sure which things you did last month and which things within this month. Here are some of the new and fun things that you are doing since I last updated.

New words: open, up, shuz (shoes), Bati (Badri – your daytime caregiver), mine, Ah dat? (What’s that?)

You’re also shifting your pronunciation of “Victor” so it sounds closer to his name, though more often than not you call him “Buppa” which we think is “brother” since he calls you “brother” all the time instead of your name.

Your use of the word “No” is also becoming much clearer and you sure do like to use it a lot as well as “Bew” for “Boo” and are now a willing participant in games of peek-a-boo or hide and seek. You toddle along after your big brother hiding and trying to keep quiet then laughing crazily when you’re found.

Your favorite games are peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek, bang the (blocks, balls, toy hammer etc.), Yankee Doodle, jumping around on our bed, tickle fights and running around in circles crazily until you fall down.

Blue Eyed Baby - Feb 4 2007

This month you started trying to put on your shoes by yourself. Robeez don’t really lend themselves to this though, so I’m considering getting you some “real” shoes with Velcro so you can start to teach yourself how to put your shoes on as well as taking them off. You help out now when you’re getting dressed, pushing your arms in through sleeves and butting your head through shirt openings, though getting dressed continues to be one of your least favorite activities.

As with your big brother, we’re starting to let you have diaper-free time around the house and the potty will be moving into the living room shortly to help you get used to the idea of putting pee-pee in the potty instead of in your diaper. We’re laid back about this though and won’t start serious potty training until you’re a bit older. This stage is just about increasing your awareness of what’s going on.

You’re eating with great appetite right now and are well able to feed yourself. You like to have a fork and spoon provided at meal-times, but you still use your hands a lot. Though you throw food on the floor often enough (a habit we are discouraging) you are a fairly neat eater and I don’t often find much on your clothes, so a small bib is all you’ve been needing. You like food a lot and don’t stint on helping yourself to other people’s food as well, which is funny now, though it’s also a habit we’re trying to gently steer you away from.

Right now your focus is all on exploration, you’re into anything and everything so we’ve gated off the kitchen and we keep a very close eye on you as you try to climb the bookcases and pull everything out to see what’s on the shelves. You like to play with bags filled with objects for instance and this often something that I’ll give you to try to keep the books in their proper places.

You have a lot of teeth coming in. After your first eight, there was a long lull in between and now all of a sudden, your body seems to be trying to shove all of your remaining teeth through your gums as quickly as possible. This makes for some very long, very rough nights when nothing helps but nursing, so your Mama is a little bit of a zombie at the moment. I know that soon though, you’ll have a full pearly-white smile to show off and that this stage won’t last forever and before I know it, you’ll be sleeping through the night in your bed.

On a good night, you’re sleeping for about 4 hours in your crib, then you wake up, have a short nursing and go back to sleep with me for another 4-5 hours, though you are still restless very often in the early hours of the morning. I know this will pass in time and I’m pretty confident that once this bout of teething is over and you’ve finished passing through this latest stage of rapid development and growth that you’ll probably start sleeping a bit more soundly and a bit longer at night.

Your personality is upbeat and cheerful, though toddler tantrums are beginning to appear when you don’t get what you want, when you want it. The storms rarely last long though and it’s easy enough to distract you most of the time unless you’re really really tired. A little bit of “sibling rivalry” has started to crop up as well as you become more and more able to keep up with Victor and understand more and more about how the world works. We’ve had some small battles over toys lately and when one of you gets a hug, the other is usually not far behind to get one too. Sometimes you get quite upset if I give your big brother a cuddle, but overall you and he are getting to be good pals. We’ll just work on sharing and taking turns as you get older to help defus spats over toys and games.

You are funny, mischievous, cuddly and affectionate and we love having you as part of our family. In another 6 months it will be your birthday again and that time seems both long and short at the same time. For now I am just happy to enjoy the tail-end of your babyhood because this time will run away from me before I know it and you too will be a tall, strong boy going off to play with friends.


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