Day 480

Dear Elliot,

I know it has been far too long since I wrote to you. I have been slack and that is lame and you could well argue that you are coming off a little second best in the letter writing department (or maybe that was third best…?) but that totally doesn’t mean that I love you any less. You know that, right? Your sister would argue that you are actually getting the lion’s share of attention but then you are somewhat demanding. Like when you want food.

ElliotMar-May-2

You are very food oriented my child. This is an incessant desire with you. First thing in the morning, all through the day and anytime you are awake really, we will get the sign for food. When you are thirsty, we get the sign for bottle and the word as close as you can utter it but for whenever you want to eat, we just get the sign. Or, you know, you climb into your high chair and yell at us as if to say how can you people be so slow? Hello, your child is hungry here. Practically wasting away to nothingness. Rapidly falling into a decline that is entirely to do with a lack of sustenance! So you eat regularly. And whenever anyone else eats, that is fair game and undoubtedly meant for you too. Your dad sat down to have a snack the other day and as he did so, said three, two, one…baby. And over you went with your mouth open like a little bird expecting to be fed. You are such a mooch! But you are a cute mooch.

You have reached the age of being able to hug back. It’s not just the tired drape and snuggle as you mold yourself to my upper torso as though you intend to meld into me and have no intention of ever being parted from your mother again. It’s also not the brace of an arm around my neck that ensures you would be able to account for any sudden movement of mine whilst carrying you. No, you now will fully wrap your little arms right around my neck, smoosh your cheek up next to mine and squeeze. It’s one of the best feelings ever. Which is almost directly in contrast to your reaction when you are suddenly distressed.

ElliotMar-May-7

I am getting to the point where this reaction of yours doesn’t totally freak me out but neither is it at all pleasant. Whenever you feel totally abandoned, like when I have the audacity to go to the toilet and shut the door with you on the outside as happened the other day, you get yourself so worked up that you stop breathing. You start crying and as you sob, you keep expelling breaths until you run out of air and just sit there going blue in the face for a number of seconds. Even if the source of your distress is removed, it still takes you time to remember how to start breathing again. You have not yet gotten to the point that you have actually passed out and rendered yourself unconscious and neither is it an extremely regular occurrence but it has happened a handful of times and it would kind of be nice if you stopped.

It would be nice if you stopped headbutting the floor in frustration too as I am occasionally concerned that you will give yourself a concussion one of these days. Whilst your sense of self-preservation seems to be evident in your considered climbing and the way you generally do not hurl yourself out of my arms as I have seen some children do to their parents on a regular basis, you do not seem all that concerned with the discomfort that results from thumping your head into the floor because you are unhappy. I am still not sure whether it is best to intervene with this type of behaviour and make a big deal out of it or laugh it off and hope you grow out of it or finally knock some sense into yourself…please grow out of it.

ElliotMar-May-5

You are growing into so many other things at the moment. Including more clothes. For once I have stated to transition you into the next size and range of wardrobe options rather than hanging on to favourites just in case I don’t get to see them again. We also need to transition to new entertainment though. Gone are the baby toys that are designed to be hung or attached. They actually lost all appeal a while ago. Now you are far more excited by toys that have “bits”. The Little People garage with its people and cars, the shape sorter bucket and stacking ring and also Noah’s Ark. You are also a bit of a fan of Barbie, Ken and the Barbie Cadillac but usually only when your sister is also playing with them as you don’t seem to specifically seek them out.

ElliotMar-May-6

What is great to see though is that you also love books. You have taken ownership of the board books in the house and regularly bring one up and dump it on my lap to say read to me, Mummy. You can say “book” and you can also say parts of your favourite book, “Moo, Baa, La La La”. Its very charming. Occasionally as I sit with you on my lap and read this book, you will read along with me. You know that a “Cow” says “Moo” and that the three singing pigs say “La La La”. You are so pleased with yourself when you get to say that. You know that the big dogs go “Bow Wow Wow” which comes out a little more “Ba Ba Ba” and you tell me that the duck says “quack”. You actually had that one before though as we have a real duck.

I seem to recall that your sister’s first word was “No” which she said with both regularity and alacrity. You on the other hand, don’t seem to comprehend this word. It’s not in your vocabulary. Your first word was “chicken”. You love chickens. And animals. You love our chickens in the backyard. So much so that you will wander off towards the run every chance you get and when we take you away from visiting with them (or the alpaca, sheep and goat), you often burst into tears. You love eating chicken too. With you father’s crazy diet, one of the easy things for him to consume is the roast chickens from the shops and every time we strip one of these for the flesh, there you are on your kitchen stool demanding more and more and more.

I’m sure there are other things I could tell you but whilst there are things that I notice here and there, you have not passed any particular milestones of late. Although you did cut all of your baby teeth. Apparently you were not content to just sit and acclimatise to your new molars for a while. At 14 months you had to get started on your canines too. The ones that generally don’t make an appearance until 18 months! Are you just impatient? I swear, between you and your sister at the moment…you are getting all your baby teeth in and at four years old, she is beginning to lose hers!

ElliotMar-May-3

As for the rest of the physical developments, you are walking with more and more ability and purpose but still stepping rather than striding. The opposite arm and leg movement is not quite there yet. You can be quick when you want to be but you have not yet figured out how to belt across the room at a dead run. You have your nights of sleeping well, waking only once or twice but more often than not, wake multiple times. You have also been sick a couple of times.

Most recently, we have had a suspected case of hand, foot and mouth, the sum total of which’s symptoms seems to have been a single blister on your hand. In retrospect, you also had what we suppose could have been a blister on your head, your neck and your cheek but there was no fever, you weren’t really out of sorts and there was nothing evident on your feet or in your mouth at all. So if you did get off that lightly, you are lucky. You have also had a persistent and ongoing cough for weeks. One that has been quite severe at night and occasionally present in the day. I hasn’t responded to Ventolin specifically so we don’t think it’s asthma but you just can’t seem to fully shake it. When your sister first went into child care though, she had a cough for a good six months so you could always be getting exposed through her now. We are very thankful that you don’t have her gag reflex whilst coughing though or I would be changing your sheets WAY more often. Then there was also the time that you want to hospital.

You had been coughing and were obviously sick. You were also breathing faster and shallower than normal. I didn’t think you were struggling to breathe though and you seemed to sleep reasonably peacefully when you did go down. When the doctor saw you though, they recommended that you get checked out at the hospital. As it was, they checked you out and you did not end up requiring any intervention per se but you did end up going to the hospital.

ElliotMar-May-4

Apart from that, you are still my beautiful little boy with the smile that can light up a room.

Adore you to bits and much love,
Mama

Day 407

Dear Elliot,

You are officially a toddler. You have been walking for a couple of weeks now and you are getting better and stronger every day. You have been very near for so long, surfing the furniture as you move your little body from A to B but now you can do it on your own. You are a careful walker though. You are not pelting from one side of the room to the other, helter skelter and tripping over your own feet at every opportunity. You are stepping one foot at a time, placing each down before you take the next step. Occasionally falling back on your bottom but moving further and further each time you venture forwards. You have the core strength that stops you looking like an orangutan with its chest puffed out and its arms seemingly flailing at the sides but really there to keep balance. You march more than you waddle and I am aware that this stage of your life will pass so quickly turning you into my little cheetah that is so fast…and hides everywhere.

EJ_8Mar-2

So it becomes ever apparent that you not only like to climb places still but you like to hide as well. Or perhaps not hide exactly as you are not yet fussed whether we know you are there or not but you like to secret yourself in small spaces. Frequently. I am used to you playing with the plastic bowls and cups that sit at the bottom of one of our cupboards in the kitchen. I came into the room the other day though to find you actually inside the cupboard with most of the plasticware on the outside. That is not the way it’s supposed to be, buddy. And every Sunday in crèche, there is usually some point at which you will be found inside the toy kitchen. I have been told it is where you seem happiest in the midst of the cacophony of sound and movement that double digits of children generate. The toy kitchen is unfortunately missing most of its shelves but this makes it perfect for your little body. As are the shoe lockers by our front door your father tells me. I would have thought you’d be a little too big for these but he assures me no. You can disappear inside one of these completely. So there is a new place that we can lose you until you get too big. At least we can keep you indoors at the moment. We will be in for some real trouble when you can open the front door by yourself.

EJ_8Mar-3

You have taken a real liking to being outside. If one of us deigns to go outside without you, you will stand at the screen door and bang and shout as loudly as possible. You want out. And you’ll throw a tantrum if you don’t get your way. Like you always do now. If we put you down and you want to be held, you scream. If Genevieve tries to take something off you that you are still playing with, you scream. If we pick you up but you want to be on the floor, you throw your body away from whatever it is you don’t like and if we ignore your demands and tell you no, you headbang whatever suitable surface is available. I am hoping that last one is a phase that is going to dissipate more than it is going to develop. Screaming as a response to displeasure is not preferable either but it’s also not something we’re going to get rid of anytime soon as that is precisely how your sister deals with it and we haven’t cracked that one yet either. Although at least you sometimes scream because you’re happy.

EJ_8Mar-4

For some reason, when you see me after being apart for a while, you have taken to screaming in excitement. It’s not really a conventional way to greet people, just so as you know, but it is always nice to know that you’re happy to see me. It’s nice to get your cuddles and giggles and it still brightens my day to see you smile. I still not sure if we’re actually getting purposeful words yet but you seem on the verge of speech as well. If prompted, you have Mama, ta and car and we think you try and say bottle and chicken but unbidden, what comes out of your mouth is more like babble so I’m not sure. But neither am I paranoid. You are a boy, you are a second child and you are exposed to far too much tv so you get more leeway before we start to question your development.

EJ_8Mar

One thing we certainly do not have to question developmentwise is your teeth. You have cut all four of your molars! No wonder you have reverted to waking 3 or 4 times a night. Your teeth are probably giving you grief. Those molars that most kids see between 15 and 16 months? Yep, you decided you needed them at 13 months. Got to be able to rip into those steaks, huh? On the down side though, they probably don’t feel so great when you’re trying to go to sleep. I get it. I’d be unsettled too if I had that many new teeth. Actually, I’d probably be worried because I’m not supposed to get any more teeth at all but you know what I mean. You are handling it brilliantly. But it’s still be nice if you slept in longer stretches at night.

Much love,
Mama

Day 384

Dear Elliot,

You are my big one year old boy now. You have not been a baby for a while but now we can start counting your life in years, not months as you launch yourself into your life with gusto. Your birthday came and went with a minimum of fuss as you were really none the wiser. You did of course have an awesome elephant birthday cake which you showed no particular interest in whatsoever but then there are far more interesting things to do as an energetic little boy. For instance, you are a climber!

EJ_14Feb

You are not a kamikaze daredevil but definitely a climber. If you can find any way of elevating yourself above the floor you will be right there. In like Flynn. Chairs, couches, steps…you name it. You particularly like the kitchen helper that your Dad made for Genevieve to allow her to reach the bench. More than once I have heard a plaintive wail or a distressed cry when you have reached the top and realised that you do not yet know how to get down.

EJ_14Feb-5

I am aware that you are now mobile and as such can manoeuvre yourself out of my sight. So most of the time, if you move off in the direction of not too many things that are likely to hurt you, I just let you explore. Which is fun for you until you get stuck. Then you have to wail until someone takes notice and occasionally, that is not immediately. Ok, so most of the time it’s not immediately. I can tell the difference between I’m hurt and I need help and I’m not getting my way and I want it fixed so on more than one occasion I have waited to see if you will get over whatever is bothering you. Then, when the complaint doesn’t stop and I have thought what is it now, I have usually investigated to find you hanging on for dear life at the top of the kitchen helper. Sorry about that. It’s not the easiest thing to get off either.

Most of the climbable platforms around our home are ones you can navigate all by yourself. Not ones you necessarily do navigate on your own but ones that you can. Even the ladders in the back yard. We were down in the playground area the other day and you decided you were going to go up the ladder. All the way up. So we’re figuring you don’t have a fear of heights. We did know you were going up the ladder by the way. We saw you when you started at the bottom and then your Dad shadowed you all the way to the top to make sure you didn’t fall. We’re not totally irresponsible parents. Then, when you had reached the top, your Dad made you climb all the way back down again by yourself so that you’d know you could. Life skills, yes? We’re all about teachable moments. Even if they’re ones that would scare the pants off other parents. Now we just have to teach you to climb down backwards off the kitchen helper. And perhaps to hang on more, especially when you’re tired. Good thing you have a hard head! Go hard or go home, right? Seems to be your philosophy on food.

EJ_14Feb-3

You still eat like a horse. You pack it away like a junk yard crushing its intake into compacted bricks. I’m not sure where it all goes on the inside but it definitely looks interesting on the outside. With the summer months, grapes and berries have been in season. Bags of grapes and both blueberries and raspberries by the punnet seem to be the favourite snacks in this house. Especially raspberries. You inhale those given the opportunity. When you have assuaged the first wave of hunger, you are sometimes happy to play at feeding us food from your tray. Your Dad might hold his mouth open for you and you think it’s really hilarious to put in a grape or a blueberry inside and have him gobble it up. If he holds his mouth open when you have a raspberry in your hand though? Not a chance. That little sucker goes right in your mouth and you are never going to part with it. Then you look so pleased with yourself. It’s very funny to watch.

EJ_14Feb-2

Much love,
Mama

Week 109

DecemberDear Genevieve,

Holy Moses, you turned 2 in December! I feel like saying how did that happen but that would seem a little ridiculous because I was there, you know? For your beginning and your continuing thus far…And to date, you’re still “little” and still free at a lot of places which, quite frankly, we’re very pleased about (sadly no longer on airlines though), but you are not really a toddler anymore and you are certainly not a baby. You are my bonafide pint sized bundle of energy. You are a little minx. On occasion, a toad. But mostly my zany little girl.

December-4

You have this ability to embody still and quiet as you put your baby doll to bed or you prepare a cup of tea in your kitchen. You also have this urge for movement as though you can’t possibly be contained and you have to be everywhere at once. When you run from one place to the next, you never go straight there but rather have this wavy trajectory towards your end goal. Your arms will pump furiously by your side and then they will be up in the air as though to help you veer right and then left. Sometimes the running is interspersed with little jumps because this discipline is slightly different again and sometimes you seem prepared to leap and bound from place to place.

December-2

We got to see all this at your play centre birthday party. Miraculously, you chose this morning to sleep really late so by the time we had you up, dressed and breakfasted, it was time to head out. You were therefore well rested, happy and full of energy when we got there. And you went off. For hours. Then we gave you sugar (birthday cake) and you went off again. I was sure that we’d need to keep you awake on the way home because you would no doubt pass out as soon as you got some quiet and a bottle. I think I was quite looking forward to that little bit of down time. But of course, you were wired from all the people and presents and stuff because hey, toddler roller coasters! so you defied sleep until the family who had followed us home for lunch left and there was nothing left.

So that day was fun. I’m not being sarcastic either. It was tiring for sure but it was also fun because you are joyful to watch. I am also still intrigued by the way you put things together. In our bid to teach you appropriate behaviour, we now give you the consequence that you will be removed to your cot (the place with bars where you can be contained, it’s true) until you apologise. We should probably be using a naughty corner or something so you don’t start to associate bedtime with punishment but it’s been working for the moment. So much so that when you do something wrong, you occasionally put yourself in time out. When you apologise quickly, I don’t insist on removing you but then you will look at me with big sad eyes and say “cot?” repeatedly until I place you in there, you apologise again and we move on.

December-3

Are you going to be a stickler for the rules? You’re not a Libran so equality and fairness are supposedly not driving factors for you. You do like things to be just so though. We have started to joke that you are our own Professional Standards Manager because you are quick to tell us if we are doing the wrong thing. Seatbelt on Daddy! You are very good with the orders. Not always with the please. Or “pease” as it were. We are still working on that one. We are also working on getting it with the rest of the sentence. Frequently we have conversations like this:

Genibean: have more?
Parent: where are your manners?
G: pease!
P: please what?
G: have more.
P: can I have more please?
G: have more…….pease.

December-5

At other times though, you have speech that sounds very put together. You have started to speak in simple sentences and occasionally phrases that we must utter repeatedly. I know these are actually single units of speech to you rather than individual words you have put together. I’m  not sure whether you actually comprehend what they mean or just where they should go but you are very cute when we say hurry up Genevieve and you sit there calm as a cucumber and reply just a minute. It’s not so cute however when you bat our hands away from something and repeat no touching! Cheeky monkey.

December-6

And speaking of cheeky, trouble found a best friend when we took you camping for New Years. We joined three other families over the holiday break and went camping at Nambucca Heads. One of the other little ones there is almost exactly one month older than you and you two were thick as thieves. When Riley did something, you did it too. If he went somewhere, you had to follow. You bossed him around in turn though and found great joy jumping on an air bed together at every opportunity. You were very disappointed when we left before he and his family did. On the plus side though, we took you to Bepi’s house and grandmothers can make anything alright!

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 104

November

Dear Genevieve,

You started singing to yourself this month and it was quite adorable. We heard constant renditions of the song Baa Baa Sheep. The colour was apparently irrelevant. There were a couple of different versions that seemed to feature frequently, or perhaps it was merely that you have no qualms about jumping into the middle of a song at random. Yes sir, yes sir is after all an easy line to begin. It’s the “ha hawa oo(l)” that is a little trickier to get your tongue around. Then of course there are those lines that are very similar and each begin with the same three words. Some might argue that the repetition could make them easier to learn but you seem to feel that the repetition is more of a placeholder or a suggestion really and its only worthwhile making an effort to articulate say master or lane.

November-5

But then again, it might be that the emphasis on those final words in a line makes them easier to differentiate because you love to join in when we read you rhyming stories as well. Two new favourites that we have added into our reading list this month are What’s in the Bathroom, affectionately known as “Farmer Palmer” and a book we picked up at a garage sale, Rudie Nudie. Which is just the cutest little Australian story about rudie nudies and bathtime. I enjoy reading that one. There are certain pages or words that you really like and once or twice you have also sat beside me and giggled to yourself whenever we said the word “dizzy”. And that’s ok. It’s a cool word.

November1

Your other acts of cuteness this month extended to a lot of dancing, usually done in your car seat or in front of the television. You are quite adept at swinging your legs and pumping your chest out as your head bops in time to music in the car. You know how to boogie in place when required. You also know how to do this funny jump-dance thing which somehow reminds me of your Aunty Ishy when your favourite theme music plays. At the moment, you can’t get enough of Timmy Time and Dinosaur Train which both have rather catchy theme tunes that top and tail each adventure. When you are not strapped into a highchair because we are trying to feed you in the mornings, you jump about, throwing your whole body from side to side as you alternately punch your right or left fist in the air, depending on which way your body is being hurled. You always land with your knees quite bent and your little bottom slightly out, just as in a skiers stance except with some high-5 motion going on…The grin on your face is also huge and never fails to make us smile.

November-6

What wasn’t so happy this month was the time we spent feeling sorry for ourselves as sickness ripped through the house. Your Dad was a bit of a show off and he went as far as being hospitalised with influenza B but about a week after he succumbed, you got the virus as well. Thankfully you were not deathly ill, you were just sick. But you weren’t happy. At least not all the time. You are never totally happy when you are not well. You did seem to be digging all the Mummy and Daddy time seeing as you had to miss about a week of Kindy though. And being left at Kindy is something else that doesn’t make you happy at the moment either.

November-3

You actually love Kindy. You have a great time playing with everyone and judging by your teachers’ apparent love for you, you are a favourite. What you don’t like at the moment is the drop-off. Your father gets this honour usually but when he was busy lying practically comatose in bed, we had to arrange ourselves so I could drop you off. Now I expected you to cry. I wasn’t worried about it. I knew you’d be over it 30 seconds after I’d walked out the door but I figured you would make a fuss because I was screwing with the routine. What I later learned from your father though was that he is getting the same thing. You are no longer racing off with barely a wave or a see ya but are hanging on for dear life as though we are selling you off into slavery. Sorry Kiddo. But Kindy is not indentured servitude. They just make you put away toys occasionally.

November-4

They can’t apparently make you play with the other children though. Rowdy, boisterous groups are clearly not your thing. We had a birthday party to go to this month for a girl that often plays with you at the centre. You were very excited about the party. You were definitely looking forward to seeing your friend. But then we got there and there were other people there. How inconsiderate! There were as many kids as there were adults and there was a ball pit and bubbles and…it was all a bit much. So you just found yourself a doll and started playing quietly on your own. Parties are therefore cool but a social butterfly you are not. You are great with one-on-one interaction but wide scale competing for attention is not your thing. You apparently take after your mother in that respect. So Genni was a little quiet that afternoon. As Genni is what you now call yourself.

November-2

When we named you Genevieve, I knew there would be a number of names that could be derived as nicknames. I was never partial to “Jen” or “Jenny” as I thought of them and thought you might become an “Evie” or a “Vivi”. Of course, I now call you Genibean every now than then which is not really any easier to say than Genevieve really and it seems that the decision on a preferred nickname has been largely taken out of my hands anyway. One of your friends from Kindy refers to you as Genni (as I am going to spell it) and you have adopted this for yourself. You love to look at photos of family members that we have strewn about the house. You point out Gigi and Grumps and Bepi and Aunty Tess but this month you also saw a photo of your younger self and announced that it was Baby Genni. So I am guessing that this is going to stick.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 100

october

Dear Genevieve,

Your vocabulary is ever growing as is your ability to use it. We are now getting two words together as you become more adept at communicating your ideas with us. The most common ones across the month being “Bepi sad” and “oh no, red!”.

The Bepi reference was after one of your grandmothers fell down and broke her arm. Your father took the afternoon off work and drove you up to the central coast to be close to her and make sure she was ok. However, what started out as an afternoon excursion turned into a very long day as you didn’t make it back to Sydney till about midnight. Whilst you were out though, I gather there must have been a lot of explanation about how Bepi was very sad because she had broken her arm and how the doctors at the hospital needed to take a special photo (X-ray). Ever since then, at random times, you put on a very serious face, nod your head sagely and say “Bepi sad”. When we ask you why Bepi is sad, you dutifully tell us “broken arm”.

october-7

Your other favourite expression also seems to have come from your dad as he is inevitably present for most of the time you happen to spend in the car. Now, every time we drive up to a traffic light signaling us to stop, you announce loudly with an attitude of sheer panic as though we are about to make a grave error “oh no, red!!”. You are terribly concerned when we are confronted by a stop light. Your eyes go as wide as saucers and there is an urgency to your voice that seems rather incongruous when we are already gliding gently to a stationary position. I’m not sure whether you are actually distressed that we might miss the instruction to halt somehow or you just enjoy making all your expressions as extreme as possible. In any case, my response is to calmly tell you “that’s ok, we will just stop and wait”. I’m kinda hoping you just grow out of it.

And speaking of the car, you have a new favourite song. The clapping song is still high on the list but it is now closely followed by Dolly Parton’s song 9 to 5 of all things. Whenever this song comes on, you are a mass of smiles and you often sit there bopping away in your seat. I’m not sure what it is about this song as we have played you things that we think are similar in aspects like beat and orchestration etc. You have shown no inclination at becoming attached to any other song though. There is apparently just something magic about this one.

october-6

So this month has been a busy one where we have filled our days with kindy and activities like the “trampoline place” or swimming (you have started lessons with your dad this term) and our weekends with activities far afield. Early this month, we drove out to Thirlmere and spent a day with Thomas. Which if your response was anything to go by, was absolutely awesome! We all got to ride on a real steam engine which your dad really enjoyed. I got a new lens as a present  that morning so I was able to play and take photos of everything. You were just happy to see a life-sized Thomas. Really happy. The day was hot and there was not much shade whilst we were out which was a bit of a shame. Being confined on the steam train eventually frustrated you as well. The day still made an impact on you though because the first word out of your mouth when you woke up the next morning was “Thomu!”.

october-3

That wasn’t the only major day out for us though. We also took you back to the zoo to see the Seal Show again and we took you to play with your friend Riley whilst the dads drove right across Sydney to get you more presents! They had the hard job of working in the sun whilst we got to play inside. And you did play. With each other. It might sound strange but I have never really seen you actively play with other kids. I have seen you play beside them, perhaps doing the same thing, perhaps not. I have not seen you working together to play a game with another toddler though. You two seemed to be having a blast and were giggling your heads off though. It was very cute.

october-4

And at the end of the day, you had a new cubby and a trampoline. They were free which was great. We don’t have anywhere to store them away either so we figured we would just “give” them to you. I do wonder though whether we are stopping you from truly appreciating gifts as things just keep on appearing for you. A kitchen here, a car there, now a cubby and a trampoline. Nothing will be special soon. You also get presents from your grandparents “just because”. Last time we were in Canberra, you got a new book which has fast become a favourite. Moo, Baa, La La La is the new go to book. Mostly because you like saying “La La La” with us I think. You are also very good at waving your finger at the same time as saying “no, no”, one of your other frequently used words.

We are still getting a lot of the single words sentences even though you are starting to string things together. Commands are also more impressive if they are simply expressed in the imperative. If your father or I climb back into bed after springing you from your cot to try and absorb that last waning slice of still and quiet before the day starts in earnest, it never seems to take you long to issue “come” and “out” till you get the desired response. You are a very cheeky little minx. You have even taken to calling me “Alex” on occasion whenever your father happens to inadvertently remind you that this is in fact my Christian name. I’m trying to nip that one in the bud. That is not the way a “young lady” behaves and to be such seems to be an idea with which you are quite taken. You like to remind us or perhaps reinforce the concept that you are in fact a “young lady”. Often.

october-5

Although I’d like to point out that in my opinion, young ladies don’t go about opening the front door at random as if to make a jail break. You haven’t actually gone walkabout yet but you have mastered flicking the lock over and opening the door to apparent freedom. We may have to start key locking you inside the house! Either that or watching you like a hawk and then there would be less “ipsey” when “(wh)oops” you do something that you didn’t mean to…which would be a shame because that is quite cute.

october-2

So my little one, continue to grow and learn. Test yourself and your surroundings constantly but please bear in mind that we are human and learning too. And when you wake up consistently at 5am, your parents have more difficulty processing everything!

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 96

september-2Dear Genevieve,

You are turning into a very chatty young lady at times. Albeit with lots of single words. You haven’t quite grasped the concept of phrases yet, let alone sentences, but you are certainly putting multiple ideas together. We took you to the zoo this month and it made quite an impact. Ever since that day, whenever we have a quiet moment (usually when we are trying to put you to bed) you tell us all about it.

“Zoo. Se-al. Watch. Ball. Nose. Se-al. Nose. Zoo. E(le)phants. S(l)eeping.”. Words are sentences in and of themselves with a clear pause between each one. Important words are repeated for emphasis and “seal” clearly has two syllables. We dutifully confirm that yes, we went to the zoo and watched the seal show. We saw one balance a ball on his nose and we also saw the elephants sleeping. You then tell us everything again, just to make sure that we didn’t miss anything the first time around. You are very serious when you want to make sure we understand something. It’s quite cute. When it’s not well after bedtime.

september-7

You do like to chat before going to bed though and apparently when you are somewhat delirious. You had a fever earlier this month and you were going non-stop for quite a few minutes there. I didn’t really have any idea what you were talking about at the time but you sounded like you were having an in depth conversation. This is as opposed to the single word command that is becoming somewhat of a constant refrain in our house.

When we are dressing you each morning, when we are drying your hair or pretty much when we do anything to you or for you we are starting to get “self!” or it’s close cousin “No… Self!”. We are actually all for you becoming independent and doing as much for yourself as possible but sometimes it is a little frustrating when it is something we truly believe is beyond your capability. Like clicking yourself into your car seat or putting on a nappy. It is also inconvenient if we have failed to add in the Genevieve factor when we are scheduling the process of getting out of the house in our heads. We have these wonderful plans where we think we will actually be on time for something (for once) and then we run into the self. The self that trips us up. The self that requires time.

september

And that’s really what you want at the moment. You want time. With us. When you are awake and it seems even when you are asleep. After your fever earlier this month and after the spectacular diahhorea that followed it (and it was spectacular – six nappies in two hours!..wet ones…like the poo was just sloshing around in them…very gross) you were consistently ending up in our bed. You were happy as a lark during the day with no outward appearance of being ill but you were unsettled at night. So much so that your father and I started to struggle with the lack of sleep and peace. We would therefore eventually cave and bring you in with us. Where you would almost immediately fall sound asleep! Horizontally across the bed. While your father and I would be twisted at odd angles or suffering dead limbs so we didn’t disturb you…I think we may have just created a rod for our own backs and can see some hard love and sucking it up in our future to get you accustomed to a full night in your own bed again. Sigh.

But for all the times and behaviours that frustrate us or baffle us, there are just as many that completely enchant us. You currently have a newfound delight for the “clapping song” and “rock-a-bye your bear”. The “clapping song” is in actuality Billy Joe McGuffrey off the Vegie Tales soundtrack. You ask for this song ALL THE TIME when you are in the car and whenever it comes on (or we switch the track for you), your whole face lights up with pure joy that beams out with the force of a thousand suns. This song is apparently that good. Besides, clapping can be done in your car seat. The rock-a-bye your bear song is one that you have known for ages (it was a “tadpoles” song last year at the kindy Christmas event) but you have a fresh appreciation for performing the actions. We had an audience for our impromptu duet in Canberra one night and some strangers thought you were just too adorable.

september-4

I actually think you are adorable when you find things funny. I noticed this month that you would occasionally chuckle away to yourself when you were watching Postman Pat or Shaun the Sheep. With no person to mirror or react against, you would genuinely sit there and giggle at the antics within the claymations. It was quite charming. As is when you count in numbers or recount your colours. The numbers thing is rote, I know. You can’t actually count to four. Or rather, you don’t really have a concept of what four is but you can genuinely identify a bunch of colours which is apparently on the advanced side for your age.

september-6

Whenever you draw with your crayons (another passtime high on the like list), you will pick out many different colours to put to the page. Or pass them to us and make us draw with you. Or perhaps that was merely draw you. Not a picture of you but rather an outline of your hands or feet. You really like having your hands and feet traced at the moment. You are also not adverse to having them drawn on either I should add. There was one night this month when your father and I were having a proper conversation whilst getting you ready for bed and we made the mistake of taking our eyes off you for a couple of seconds only to realise that you were happily drawing all over your feet in indelible ink! Cheeky bugger.

september-3

But you are on the whole a delight and your father is VERY sorry that he shut your finger in the car door. He has also felt suitably chastised every time you held your finger up over the next week and said “car” in a sad little voice. Which was relatively often. Way to go twisting him around your little finger, kid. You are ok though. We checked. You were NOT IMPRESSED when we tried to get it x-rayed as this scared the bejeezus out of you but you are ok and no lasting harm was done. At least to your finger. Apparently you only like to be scared when things are a “surprise” like your father sneaking up on you multiple times within a short window of time. You don’t like the fear that you might be eaten alive or tortured by strange machines. Which means you could possibly grow to have a love-hate relationship with amusement parks. So take my advice, you may love the rides but stay away from the horror houses and fright nights.

september-5

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah