Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dear Daniel, (Eighteen Months!)

Signing "please"
Hi sweetheart. It's been a few months since I've written an official update letter, so I think it's high time. Tomorrow you'll be 18 months old! That's a year and a half, don't you know?!

You've gotten your first four molars since I last wrote an update: the tops first, then the bottoms (left ones first, then rights). We went on our first (just us) family vacation, and you seemed to enjoy yourself for the most part, though it was also really difficult for you to be away from our home and your familiar routine.

You also had your first haircut recently, which turned out really well for all of us in the end. I feel relieved that we decided to give it a try, because the success has given me more confidence about trying other new things (with similar intentional preparation).


Not only can you walk very well, but you can (slowly) run now, which is cute and funny (and also sort of challenging in a new way). You love to be chased, stopping intentionally to be caught and tickled or cuddled, which is one of our most favorite games to play together. You climb up and down the stairs (and the furniture) all day long, never seeming to get enough of that kind of full-body physical activity.

You still enjoy nursing, though the overall frequency is definitely decreasing. (I'm pretty sure that photo above is of you asking for Momma's milk, please.) Some days you only nurse once or twice (usually about three times) and other days you nurse every hour or two during the day. It seems to depend a lot on how well regulated and well-rested you're feeling, as well as if you're sick or teething. The duration of nursing times is also shorter, as you ask to nurse for comfort and (re)connection more often than for sustenance these days.

The words you know are: Momma, Eddie, Papa, bye-bye, hot (ahhh or ahht), hi, bean (me-mean), baby, and pee-pee. Your signs are: nurse, more, all done, diaper, wash hands, food, potty, please, ball, and cheese. (Those last two are a little iffy, but you use them sometimes.) I've been working more lately on teaching you the signs for "play" and "thank you." You also let us know when you want to brush your teeth (though not with a word or a sign): you stick your tongue out between your teeth and make the "L" sound. I have no idea how you came up with that one, but it communicates perfectly well, so I'm for it!

You're making strides at OT; now you're able to tolerate being on your back (a little, sometimes) as well as moving in different directions and twisting your body. You're making eye contact more, and you're starting to be able to share enjoyment in play with Papa and me (unlike before). I deeply and desperately wish for you that your life was easier, and that you didn't have these sensory challenges. They demand so much of your attention and keep you from enjoying things other kids love to experience, and that's just not fair. You are doing a lot of hard work right now—our whole family is—and I can see our work is beginning to make a difference.

I love how you laugh when other people laugh, and how you clap at the end of TV shows (how do you know?) and when you really like a song that's playing. I get a kick out of you pointing your index finger at my hand, as a way to ask me to extend my own index finger for you to hold onto so that you can lead me somewhere. I love how you start saying "Papa" over and over when you hear the phone ring or the text message notification sound on my phone, and how you repeat "hi" whenever there's someone on the other end of the phone. You also say "Papa" while running to the door at the end of every day when you hear the key turn in the lock, and it melts my heart to see you two so excited to see each other. I love how you always sign for "more, please" of something, with those big brown eyes looking up at me expectantly.

I am surprised and delighted by you every day, and every day you teach me something new. I love you so very, very much.

Love,
Momma

3 comments:

  1. I love your monthly letters, please keep them coming!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love those days of awkward toddler running - so cute! Daniel is getting so big!!

    And TY for the sweet well wishes on Ailia's arrival :)

    ReplyDelete

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