Dear Paisley: Month 17

October 25th, 2011

There’s not much I hate more than doing work twice. And that’s what I’m doing right now. I already wrote this month’s letter to you, but it’s gone. It was really funny and I was in a super emotional mood when I wrote it so I was very detailed in what I wrote. But that’s gone. And now I’m sitting here and I don’t feel well, I’m exhausted, and I know I have to knock it out because another one is due in 17 days. I have this really terrible habit of opening blank text documents, writing in them, not saving, and then getting really, really irritated when they’re gone. At least I made notes. So I’ll do my very best to re-capture last month for you. I’ll apologize now, there are going to be some holes in the story. That’s why I write these every single month, because there’s so much I don’t want to forget with you that my brain can’t hold it all. Memories are funny that way, so slippery.

Let’s get down to business. You sprouted your 15th and 16th teeth. It was mostly uneventful. According to your baby book there’s only one or two more sets of molars and you’ll have a full set of teeth. A set of teeth that you’re slowly but surely working to remove the enamel from because you love lemons and would eat them like apples if I’d let you.

You’re loving the new house. In fact, you say “home” every time we pull up in the car and I love that. You know you’re home. You have an incredible command of the stairs; if you could just get an extra inch or two on those legs I think you would climb up and down like a regular person. You’ll do this if we hold your hands. You also slide down on your belly, crawl up on your knees, or recently have started sitting on your bottom and scooting down one step at a time. You also get rather belligerent with me if I try to carry you up the stairs. Damn it, you can do it on your own! Haven’t I seen you do it!

You’re also a big fan of our front yard and patio. That space kind of belongs to you. You have your playhouse, car, and chalk, plus the entire front yard and the side walk. You insist on taking walks every morning, which I think is fantastic. You’ll come up and tell us car, and then runnnnn over and hop inside and patiently wait for us. We usually walk our block. When we return and park the car, you insist on taking an actual walk. So you’ll take off down the sidewalk and wait for me. The walk down our block and back takes roughly 30 minutes. To pass about eight houses. You want to meander and take in everything. You’ll gather acorns, sticks, rocks and anything else in our path and hand it off to me. You like to watch the neighbors mow their lawns; in fact, you’re fascinated by this and have plopped down on the sidewalk to watch, as if it were a show. We live so close to the park that it makes it easy to get out for a nightly walk. We give you the option of walking, the car, and the stroller, and depending on your mood you will declare which you’d like to take by name.

Your vocabulary astonishes us every single day. It’s constantly growing and is a point of pride for me. You’re very verbal, but it’s never been in a nonsense, jibberish baby way. When you speak it’s meaningful and you try very hard to be clear and tell us exactly what you need or want. You rarely get frustrated. If we don’t understand you, we all take a moment to work through it. Often it requires you pointing to something or taking us somewhere to show us, but we always work it out. I can’t tell you how fantastic it is to understand you. You and I have conversations. This makes life easier for both of us. It’s also fully entertaining because you are still a baby and have your own versions of words, not to mention the way they sound in your little itty bitty voice.

Some of my favorites are:

Bye Bye [   ] – water, daddy, Ellie, Jessica, etc.

See you! – this is usually “Bye bye! See you!”

Read That – you’ll sit down with a book and say this.

Shoe Off – you don’t like to leave them on any longer than you have to. Socks have to come off too.

Pock-Pock – this is your little pink backpack that we use as a diaper bag.

Rock Rock – this is what you tell me when you want to sit in your chair and rock

Nope – You’ve told us no for a very, very long time. You recently added the p sound, making your dissents even sassier.

Toes! – when the blanket (fuzzy) covers your feet you tell me toes! toes! I have the same problem, they can’t be covered.’

Sure – Finally, an affirmative answer to my questions! Ususally in response to me asking you “are you sure?”.

You’ve also started letting us know about each. and. every. ouchie. that you get. No matter how insignificant or grossly painful, you are sure to tell us about your “aww-chee” as soon as possible. You’re a big fan of bandaids. You also like to have your ouchies kissed. Days, even weeks, after they’ve healed, you’ll still point to the wounded spot and say “knee ouchie” looking for sympathy. I always kiss them and you always tell me “better.” It’s very sweet.

Our beloved Jessica needed a day off last month (her first since January. How dare she!), so I took the day off to hang with you and Eleanor. It was such a treat and made me wish I could do more of it! We spent the morning at Botanica’s Children’s Garden – a place that I was very impressed by. You and Ellie had a blast and we probably would have stayed longer but the heavens opened up on us so I decided to bail. It worked out because we left there and had a surprise lunch with Grandma Ann, which everyone enjoyed. You were both very adventurous, wanting to look at, touch, and climb on everything you found.

I had to spend a week in New York last month for work. Those trips getting harder and easier every time I go. I know you’ll be OK while I’m away, but I know you’ll be doing all of your awesome things and that I’ll miss out. Skype helps, a lot. You’re usually good for a Skype call for the first minute or two, and then you’ll wave, tell me bye bye, and walk off. This was the best homecoming I’ve had yet, though. I didn’t get in until about 9:00 at night after a very long day of travel. Exhausted, I rounded the corner to find you standing next to daddy with your Elmo jammies on. When he pointed me out to you, you took off running in that amazing wiggly-body-all-over run that you have, squealing, and I scooped you up and held you so close and so tight. The three of us had a good long hung in the airport before we drove home and resumed life as usual.

I love you bug –