Dressed for warmth while camping.

Dear Baby,

You are quite the monkey boy these day. Not only do you delight in climbing onto every possible surface in the house, but you ape whatever you see us do. Yesterday in the shower I was amused when I looked down to see you with the scrubby gloves on your little hands, busily scrubbing your face as you’ve seen your father do many times. Then I laughed when next you lifted one leg to the side of the tub (standing balanced on one leg in the tub!), and started to scrub down your lifted leg, as you’ve seen ME do many times.

We also have to speak with caution, because you like to repeat every thing you hear. As a couple of people have told me now, after spending a few hours with me and Christian, they are overcome with an urge to repeat the last word of each of my sentences as Christian unfailingly does. While he likes to say short phrases now (“get it” or “back der”), his favorite verbal activity is naming all the members of the families of the kids he knows. Most often you start with “Anna,” immediately followed, by “Siewa” (“Sierra”) and “Olibur,” etc. Then you move onto Momoca, her brother Senna, and mother Yoshie. Another favorite family group (besides our own – you love yelling for Bella), is naming Ganma, Gampy, and Mak (Granma, Grampy, and Max). In fact you make a point of it every single time we pass their picture in the hallway. If we mention your cousin Sammie, you unhesitatingly remember the pet pig, Oblio. Lots of associative learning going on right now in that busy brain of yours.

You can reach the door handles now, and yesterday managed to open the bedroom door by yourself for the first time. Walking, and even running, is old hat – although you still enjoy the challenge of climbing (and re-climbing) a good set of stairs. Likewise, walking along the top of a narrow brick wall will entertain you for a toddler’s eternity (ten minutes).

Last weekend in Santa Barbara motel room you saw your first bit of TV (a SpongeBob cartoon, whom you already know via the iPod touch) and I was grateful that we don’t have TV in the home. I could see that it would be a hard trap to avoid setting you in front of that mesmerizing machine for a few hours every day.

And deadly too, because there already aren’t enough hours in the day to burn the tremendous amount of energy you have. What are you, a gyroscope? It doesn’t seem possible sometimes, how far and long you can go before dissolving into a cranky heap. The outdoors remains your favorite place, and we’ve been lucky enough to squeeze in a camping trip every month for the last several months. Next weekend we head out to Joshua Tree (Ganma and Gampy’s house), which will be your “wilderness” fix for the week. On weekend mornings anymore, when I ask Chad what he wants to do for the day, he invariably responds with, “Whatever it takes to exhaust the guy.” That means time outside. If we don’t take care of that energy, then it becomes difficult to get you to sleep at night, and your parents NEED THEIR SLEEP!

We love you and you continue to make us grin and laugh. You cheerful sweet boy – how did you get to be a year and half so fast?

Love,

Mama

Photo by Ellen, minutes before he took a tumble (not off the deck!) and gave himself a purple goose egg in the middle of his forehead.

How can you not adore a boy who looks at you like that?

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