Thursday, July 24, 2008

Butter Bulletin: 17 Months

Dear Eliot,

On Monday you hit the seventeen months' mark. You may have noticed that I skipped a few months there, and honestly, I don't have a great excuse. I probably don't have to tell you that I am a big fan of procrastination, so just be happy that this is not Butter Bulletin: 17th Birthday.

Obviously, quite a whole lot has happened in the past four months. Most notably, you started walking shortly after the last Butter Bulletin. You were pretty hesitant at first, just a couple of steps a day, until one day you were just walking. Everywhere. All the time. It was as though you wanted to be really confident that you could do it before you finally had the courage to just stroll. And do it well. Though, that said, you have managed to fall on your face a couple of times. In one horrible example, you were walking on the sidewalk (yes, I think we all know where this is going) with Daddy at Grandmother and Pop's house, and your hand slipped out of his and you faceplanted in the driveway. It was a bloodbath. I have never seen your father so freaked out in my life. Did I mention the blood? There was tons. I was sure I would look in your mouth and see your few little teeth hanging by threads. Fortunately, you just busted up your lips (and good - you looked like a sad little duck) and you healed right up in no time. And the fall did nothing to instill a natural sense of fear in you. Apparently, one year olds are fearless little death-seeking machines, and you are no exception.

You are also a talking machine now. I started to keep a list of all the words you picked up, but then I realized I would be writing night and day and I wouldn't have any time to keep up with all the blogs I read or maintain my knowledge of useless celebrity gossip, so I decided to give it up. Here's a sampling of your favorite words of the moment:

  • NO! - this word is being said by you a little more than necessary, in my opinion, anyway, so if you could start saying - YES! that'd be great
  • Cheesie - means cheese, mac and cheese and goldfish crackers - this is your favorite word by far
  • Doll - means doll and baby - you refuse to say baby for some reason, even though when you say 'Big Bird' it sounds just like baby
  • Door - you love to close and open doors, and you especially love to pop out behind a closed door in an attempt to surprise someone
  • Paw Paw -means cup; you say this word a lot, because you have an unnatural obsession with drinking containers
  • Keys - which you love to attempt to put in skeleton key locks throughout the apartment
  • More - which is no longer just a sign, but a gesture accompanied by a word "Mo"
  • People's names: Lila, Emma, Hannah (Nahnah), Paw Paw (the person, not the cup), Maw Maw, Laura (LaLa), CeeCee, Na, and most of all JJ. "Who's on the phone, Eliot?" "JJ." "Who's at the door, Eliot?" "JJ." It's JJ this and JJ that. She must have been some freakin' awesome babysitter.

Your imaginative play has exploded in the last couple of months. You can be found playing with your kitchen (a set of pots, pans, and implements courtesy of Aunt LaLa as we will be referring to her from now on) and a cardboard box that I drew 'burners' on. If anyone asks what's cooking, your answer is always "Cheesie!" and it is always punctuated with an exclamation point. You love to feed your creation to anyone who's available for a taste, and that includes animals in books, dolls (real and alive), and action figures.

You spend lots of time organizing your things. You enjoy grouping things; all the cups go in here, oh, then you move them over there, oh and again, back over here and repeat. You have a very serious and determined look while carrying out these tasks. You genuinely seem to enjoy helping us 'clean up' and putting things in their place. This is all the proof your father needs to know that you are indeed his child. That and your obsession with all things sweep-related: brooms, mops, vacuums. You're smitten. You are a little domestic diva (or whatever the male equivalent is). I look forward to the day when you and Daddy work together to put things 'away' where I can't find them and constantly talk about scrubbing the floor. I know, its a crazy concept, but people actually scrub - with brushes - their floors. Regularly. I'm fairly convinced that these people are in a group consisting only of your paternal grandmother and aunts, but I don't have hard proof yet.

You are also obsessed with 'riding' your bike, which consists of us pushing you halfway up the block before you announce that you are "Done!" You are infatuated with playing with your Dadas - a small collection of your father's old GI Joe's, many sporting his trademark beard, hence the moniker. You are still over the moon about books, books, and more books. You are out of your mind crazy about splashing in the Tower Grove fountain or any water infused area. And you are on the edge of insanity when it comes to Sesame Street, especially Elmo and Grover - which is the opposite of what I thought you'd be into before I was a parent, which was that you would be obsessed with modern art and beat writers by now. But I guess that's what separates the parents from the hipster doofuses, and if letting you watch 10 minutes of the double S once a day is what it takes for me to brush my teeth and dress while you maybe learn about the letter C through the magic of Cookie Monster, I'm all about it.

We recently went to visit your grandparents, aunts, uncle, and cousins in Pennsylvania. It was really great to see you with Ava and Riley: playing, fighting, hugging, chasing, laughing. Now that you are more than either a blob o' newborn (at the 2 month visit) or the sickest kid in Western Pennsylvania (at the 10 month visit) you can fully interact with those two and you held your own. You're really lucky to have such a big family that loves you, in multiple states.

And another thing - you are an awesome traveling companion. You did great on both plane rides, which I will take some credit for, as I packed the most primo snacks, new library books, stickers, crayons, and your tea set. You snoozed in the almost 2 hour car ride each way, and were completely relaxed and ready for whatever we had planned each day. You slept and napped great almost every day, and I'm pretty sure you were teething for most of the trip. You did so great that I'm taking you (by myself) to Canada to visit your arctic cousins, and I'm hoping you and I will have lots of inside jokes and embarrassing stories to laugh about later.

And speaking of teeth, you finally sprouted some more, after not having any new chiclets since January. And then your gums savagely pushed five chompers out in a matter of 2 weeks. I was getting a bit worried that you were only going to have 6 teeth for the rest of your life, and those implants are kind of pricey, so you would have probably had to been partly toothless for a period. Like until you could get a full-time job. Though, I'm sure we could probably find some mighty fine dentures to fill in until then.

As for Nipsy: it's still a part of our lives. We have been slowly but surely weaning the past few months and now we are down to two meetings per day, once in the morning and once at night. I'm both looking forward to the end and dreading it. I had hoped that you would be the one to initiate the break-up, but alas, you are still in love with the Sssss. Fortunately, you have made up for your loss of nursing with lots of extra (and unexpected) snuggling.

We moved into our new apartment and frankly, we're loving it. You love your big room, and the openness of the place. I love that everything is on one floor, which makes chasing you a bit easier. We are in the center of the neighborhood, so you are making lots of new friends, as am I. The Butters are in a really good place right now. And of course, you are the very center of that place.



Sylvia's Mom (my entire identity) said...

Finally, though damn if it took me like all f*ing night to read it!!! Had fun with my Butters today. And yes, I was an awesome babysitter!