Dear Emby 14 months

Dear Elanor

14 months (and 3 days)!

I last wrote you a letter on December 16th.  And in it, I forgot to mention that you have a new cousin!  On your Dadi’s (paternal grandmother’s) side of the family, a new little girl cousin was born in early December.  We haven’t been down to meet her yet, but hopefully we will soon.

Since then you haven’t had any major medical appointments.  You got a flu shot, and your leg was cast for a foot brace.  You don’t seem to be gaining back the weight, so I’m guessing our next gastro appt isn’t going to go well.

We spent Christmas with your Grandma and your Aunt Debbie.  We didn’t do a tree this year (with your panache for destruction it seemed like a bad idea), so we put all the presents on the couch.  Last year was the Christmas of sleeping on and off throughout the day, and with very little interest in the proceedings.  This year was the year of being far more interested in wrapping paper or your old toys.

We spent New Years with your Dadi and Dada and some of their friends at one of their homes.  We forgot the pack n play (not that I think it made a difference) and you were so excited by a new place to explore and people to hang out with that the last thing on your mind was sleep.  You made it to midnight to everyone’s (but your parent’s) amazement.  Of course about three seconds after we began the drive home you were totally out.

On New Years Day we had a playdate with some of our Isis friends.  You spent the day following one little boy around in particular and kissing him while he ignored you.  I commented several times that watching that go down was like reliving high school (tongue planted firmly in my cheek).  I hope by the time you read this you’ve learned to reserve your affection for those that return it (I’m only half joking).  Then we went over to your grandparents where hung out and played bridge until far too late in the evening.  Proving my hunch right, we did try to put you down in the pack n play several times only to have you become hysterical.  We ended up getting you up and then whoever was dummy (bridge term) played with you.

In other adventures, I took you up to the Portland Children’s Museum in Maine.  I was psyched to find out that our Boston Children’s Museum membership got us in for free.  You loved the play grocery store where you happily took things off shelves and put them into a basket.  You also liked the vet’s office where you petted the cat and dog painted on the wall.  We also checked out the local indoor playground called “Inside Playground” which was a blast, if overly crowded due to school vacation and a bitterly cold day.

Our biggest adventure was this past Monday when you and I drove up to Maine and stayed overnight by ourselves.  It was my first time traveling with you alone (we always go with Daddy, except for the one time when we went with Grandma and Auntie).  I had always pictured us doing so when you were older, and perhaps with good reason.  It was tough to get everything around with you, but we did it.  Perhaps the cutest thing was that you explored for a good half hour, including some time spent with the mirrored closet doors giving your reflection big kisses, was when you took your coat and walked to the door as if to say “Okay, let’s go home now.”  We went up to visit with your great Grandpa and your Great-Great Auntie Eleanor (among other Eleanors whom you are named for).  They loved seeing you in person although I do try to keep everyone up to date on you.

You are up to 12 teeth (all of which I’ve felt it seems).  You’ve also sprouted several inches, which isn’t helping the whole waist circumference/inseam mismatch at all, but it’s great to see some growth.  The 6-12 pants from Gymboree fit for the most part so I’ve put you in those so that we’re not exposing several inches of delicate leg to the harsh New England winter.  Sadly, your head has also gotten bigger so that your helmet doesn’t fit, so I need to call to see if it can be adjusted and if not to have a discussion about whether or not you REALLY still need it.  Because if you do, it will be a $750 out of pocket expense for us…to put it into perspective, that’s 20 weeks of gymnastics AND 14 weeks of Isis…we’ll do it, but I’m just sayin’.

What I’ve really enjoyed, not just for the past few weeks, but the past few months really is watching your personality flourish.

The positive side is that you are loving.  You give babies, big kids at Target or a restaurant or your class hugs and kisses.  Hell, you give them to babies in a book.  You are fearless-always the first to run and try something new (and it is RUN these days) at a class or to explore a new space (as long as you can see me and I’m reasonably nearby).  You are independent-you dislike being helped and want to do everything yourself.  You are connected with your family-you regularly run to me and give me hugs and kisses and are becoming more affectionate with Daddy every day (you used to just kiss his hand), and our friends and family you see regularly.  You love books and are especially in love with your touch n feel farm animal book and my first words (with sound buttons) book.  Music is a passion already-if it plays music, you will spend hours with it.  When we’ve gone places with an obvious music source (the inside playground has a speaker) you stand right in front to “dance” (bounce up and down) to the music.  You’re interested in the world around you-you will stop dead in your tracks if a new person comes out of an apartment when we walk down the hall, certain that they’ll talk to you-or you will stop to see what’s so interesting in a store if people are looking at it.

The negatives.  The affection, while adorable, is not always welcome by the recipient.  The fearlessness also means that you lack a sense of self preservation.  The independence makes physical therapy difficult and often makes a task that is challenging you ten times worse because you won’t let us help you once or twice to make it easier.  It also means you don’t want to be in your stroller but don’t want to stay with me in a store, causing me to put a backpack leash on you for lack of any other solution.  You are strong willed and when you don’t get your way, you throw tantrums which are unpleasant both to witness and when what you’re protesting is a time out you deserve and you’re whacking your very hard skull back against me.  In other words?  You’re one, and it has its less fun moments.

But know that overall, of the time you’re awake, I enjoy you at least 85% of most days.  Some days more and some days less (if you’re tantrumy and won’t nap and tired on top of it all, it takes every once of willpower I have not to sell you on eBay).  But you are always loved.



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