Eighteen

Dear Thomas

You are one and a half! And you’re growing so fast. This last month it feels like you’ve had a massive growth spurt. You feel heavier and bigger, and you’ve suddenly grown out of all the 9-12 month size trousers that have lasted you so long, jumping straight to 18-24 month size!

You seem more grown up in so many other ways too. You’re still the bright, curious, mischievous and fidgety little boy that you’ve always been, but there is a calmer side emerging too. You’ll sit much more quietly when we read together, actually listening to the story, rather than just searching for touchy feely bits, or showing off your skill at turning the pages. You still like you broom, but you’ve become much more effective and adult like, as you walk and sweep at the same time. You sometimes hold and lean on your broom like a tired old woman! Taking on the adult role has also been a big feature this month and you love to feed us your dinner as we once used to feed you, or offer your food and drinks to your teddy bear, which is endearing to watch. We’ve all drunk enough cups of imaginary tea to fill a bath tub! In fact, you’ve become much more creative in your play in general, loving your paints and crayons – which you hold almost in a proper grip at times – and playing with your Martian Moonhouse and trains almost as if you are making up stories. You can push your trains properly around the track now, rather than just on the floor, and as a consequence the track stays much more intact. Yes, you’re definitely less destructive, but I don’t think that boyish trait will disappear for a long time yet and you still love stripping the bookcases and knocking down towers and the sand castles I build in your new sand pit. Dropping things was a favourite game a few months back, and that has now progressed to throwing things as far as you can – which is surprisingly far at times!

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You now run, or rather hurtle, everywhere. We can always hear you coming as your feet bang on the floorboards towards us. You are also developing a real love for the playground and you point determinedly at it if we try to pass. You’ve had the odd full melt down if we’ve not gone in and then twisted a strained to stare longingly back towards it after we’ve passed. When we do stop to play (frequently) we could stay by the slide, going up and down over and over again, all day long. You declare “weeeeeee” at the top of your voice as you come down, before rushing back to the steps to go again. You’re beginning to get in to a few scrapes as you’re pretty fearless and have no idea about most of your limits. Hardly a day goes by without a bump or two, and this month you got a nasty scrape on your chin, which is definitely your worst injury so far.

 

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On knowing your limits though, you do know some things that you should not be doing, such as playing with the phone or climbing the stairs on your own. You wait, poised to do it, looking at as cheekily and waiting for us to say “no” which you immediately parrot back to us. At least half the time you go ahead and do what you know you shouldn’t anyway, but who can blame you? If you can’t be a cheeky monkey at one and a half, when can you?

The absolute biggest change we’ve seen this month is the explosion in your language. You’ve picked up so many new words. Bubbles have been a big thing for you for a while, but you now declare “Bubble” whenever you spy a pot of bubbles or a wand. It’s one the most unmistakable words in your vocabulary. We also have lots of other ‘b’ words “book”, “boo”, “ball” and “bis-bit” and lots of ‘d’ words like “dinner”, “door”, “digger” and “duck’. We’ve also got sentences creeping in such as “I wan dat” of course!). One thing is for sure: you’re almost never quiet. There is a constant stream of chatter, noise and songs coming from your mouth. Most of it still makes no sense to us (although I’m sure it does to you) but it’s so funny to hear these clear words sprinkled in amongst your streams of babble, and some of the real lyrics set in the tunes of your favourite songs that you’ve been singing for a while.

This month also marks a full year of having been at nursery, and that is a stark reminder of just how much you have changed. Back then you never napped, would not take milk from anything other than me, were just beginning to eat solid food and could only just sit up. Now your naps are still hit and miss but your sleep is much improved overall, you still like my milk, but also eat and drink anything and everything, happily feeding yourself, and you run, climb and explore everything that you can.

You never sit still, and I can foresee years of chasing you around, unable to keep up. But you have such a sweet, open and honest face, with your cheeky grins and coy stares and all manner of ways to express non-verbally how you feel,that I hope that as you learn to speak more and more you don’t lose that expressiveness and the pure joy that you paint across your face as you giggle, grin and flap your arms in excitement. You never stop exploring and investigating and when I watch you trying to master a new skill, or figure out what something is and how it works, my heart melts. I really hope that you never lose your curiosity or sense of wonder.

I love you so much that I still haven’t found the words to express it. I’ll keep trying, for all of you life, but I hope that you will always know it anyway.

Love always,

Mummy

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