This is your first combined newsletter and I'm not planning on making it a regular event. The last couple of months have been so busy and hectic and by the time I sat down to write your 16 month post you were nearly 17 months old!
Now that it is summer you spend as much as time outdoors as you can. As soon as you see the door you start to point and scream and vibrate with excitement. Sort of like what I would do if I saw the New Kids walking down the street only without the shirt flinging. There are a ton of little kids in the neighbourhood and they love to play with "the baby". Your two best friends are Megan and Melissa. They are about 8 and will come to the door and ask if you can come out to play. I almost always say yes and then follow you as you run screaming past me and out the door. You are still too young to be left entirely on your own so I sort of linger around the outskirts. I don't want to dampen the kids' fun but I still need to watch you. This means I have become fast friends with all the kids too and we have long conversations about spy school and how dumb boys can be, all while you sit and throw rocks in the air. You have become a playground fixture and you love being with the big kids so much. I love watching you, and all of them, interacting. It brings back so many memories of my own fantasy-driven childhood and it makes me happy to see you so happy.
You are so much stronger physically now and much more sure of yourself. You will climb up, over, or under anything and can go down the slide by yourself too. You still love to dance as much as ever but have added some sweet arm waving and squat moves that, I hate to say this, remind me of the kids using the toilets in Korea. Your facial expressions are priceless and you make me laugh a hundred times a day with your funny faces. You are throwing tantrums now as well which despite their intent, also make me laugh. There is something about seeing a tiny person throw themselves on the ground and kick and scream that makes you chuckle. I try not to let you see me laugh but sometimes, when you do, you start to laugh too and then the two of us are sitting on the ground, your face streaked with tears, and we are laughing like two crazy people. Which I guess, we are.
You went on your first family hike in Banff and we all had a great time. We bought a special hiking back pack for you but true to form, you wanted to do it all yourself. My brothers both came from Edmonton for the hike and of course, Grandma and Grandpa. Once again it confirmed how lucky you are to have such a supportive, caring and fun family. We all have so many adventures coming our way.
You have progressed from taking everything out of where it should be to putting things away. This has been extremely helpful. Especially when Dad couldn't comb his hair before work because you had hidden every comb and brush in the house in the garbage can. Which is also where I found my iPod and asthma puffer and a few pairs of socks. Sometimes you are kind enough to put things away in our drawers. Fortunately your Dad and I have a trusting relationship, otherwise finding a handful of lipsticks in his bedside table might have been an issue.
You are talking all the time now and although I still don't really know what you are saying, I can tell it is very important. You have added hand gestures and intonation and sometimes get very frustrated when I don't understand you. You must think I'm so dumb. I can't wait until you start talking because I can tell you are going to have so much to say. What you don't know yet is that being at home for 17 months without another adult around has left me with even more to say. You are going to wish you never opened that door.
We've had a lot of adventures over the past eight weeks, and as always, I enjoy your company so much. You and I went to Edmonton for a few days and had a great time watching the ducks and playing on the slides and then Dad joined us and we took you to Hawrelak park. We both had so many fond memories of our own childhood's there - funny that neither of us remembered the inches of thick slime covering the picturesque pond. You went into the hot tub at Grandma and Grandpa's for the first time and went to the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes where you were a big hit. You tried ice cream for the first time and then refused to eat anything for the whole next day - you just screamed and pointed at the freezer. How did someone raised on organic vegetables and whole foods develop such a taste for junk food? Come to think of it, maybe I just answered my own question.
In the past two weeks in particular I have noticed a big change in you. You are turning into such a kid...teeth, words, walking, pigtails. All these non-baby things and as much as I feel awed to watch it happen in front of my eyes, I feel a bit sad. I remember when I first had you I carried you everywhere and had such sore shoulders and arms as I worked muscles I had never used before. The pain soon stopped and I used those new baby muscles everyday. Now you are over 23 pounds and I don't carry you as much anymore. You want to open things yourself, close them yourself, brush your own teeth, eat by yourself, walk by yourself, climb the stairs on your own. All these things are good - it means you are becoming your own little person. At the same time I know that those muscles are atrophying and the days of me doing everything with you on my hip are over. I have already started to watch from the sidelines and I couldn't be more proud.