Babel, you babble, a lot! And we love it so very much! Talk, talk, talk. Almost all day long. Of course, we have no idea what you’re saying yet, but that’s okay. Since we’re raising you trilingually, we know you’re very likely to really start speaking at a later age than your monolingual peers, so we’ll just have to be extra patient.
Papa thinks perhaps “chin chin” [penis in Japanese] could be your first word! You have discovered your little penis, and of course you like to play with it. Lately, you seem to try to repeat “chin chin” when Papa tells you that’s your “chin chin”. When you say it sounds more like “dju dju”, but it really seems like you’re trying to say the same thing as Papa. We’re not quite ready to officially claim that as your first word, but you’ve been doing it quite consistently.
Many months ago, the first distinguishable sounds were “abu”, “ma ma”, and “nay nay nay”. “Ma ma” obviously made me very excited, but you didn’t really mean me though, you just made that sounds over and over and over. “Nay” [sound of no in Dutch], is probably something you picked up from me when I was trying to stop you from getting yourself in danger. You stopped saying all these sounds before you turned one. From then on “da da” and “uh-oh” took over for a while. Again, with “da da” it doesn’t really seem to mean Papa to you, but sometimes you say it with the right timing and then we want to believe you meant it that way. You saying “uh-oh” has been quite funny, because you said it appropriately many times, like when something falls to the floor. And you often said it with such conviction. You don’t say it much these days, but it is still in your repertoire.
Nowadays, you make so many various sounds, it’s amazing. Lots of “g” sounds like “ga ga” and “goh goh”, lots of “l” sounds “lalalala”, and many more. We’re so excited for you to start speaking. We can’t wait to find out what’s going on in that little head of yours. I wonder about what funny questions you will ask us, how you’re experiencing things, and how you make sense of the world.
You’ve really been a little boob monster this past month. There was about a week or two, where you ended every single feed by biting my nipple. Ouch! That really hurts, but to you it was like a fun game. Every time you did it, I squealed and that made you laugh out loud. That made you so happy, it was hard not to smile or laugh myself (after yelling out in pain first of course). I tried to stay vigilant and pulled out my boob before I thought you would bite, but apparently that was a rather enjoyable game to you as well, and all that really did was remind you to bite me after your feed. The biting phase seems to be over now, and I certainly hope it never comes back.
Now, you’re a little boob acrobat. You’ve always put your foot in my face while nursing, and I usually respond by kissing it, so I don’t think you’ll stop that soon and that’s totally fine. But these days, you’re doing some serious gymnastics while nursing. You stay latched on, but move and wriggle everywhere, bum in the air, climbing all over me, jabbing and bruising me with your little legs. You must think my nipples and boobs are made of elastic the way you move about while drinking. It’s hilarious, but also uncomfortable and often painful for me. I can’t understand the appeal of nursing acrobatics to you either, you don’t look too comfortable doing it. While I guess it’s just another phase in our breastfeeding journey.
Sometimes, after you finish nursing, you’re smacking and licking your lips. It’s like you’re saying, “mmm that was really yummy, mommy”. It’s really cute, and that doesn’t have to be a phase, you can do that forever.
I wonder if you’re learning empathy. We were playing with your duplos recently, and I had built a tower. Your alter ego, Babel the Destroyer, walked by and smashed the tower to the floor. I hid my face in my arms and pretended to cry about it. You walked around the table, stood next to me, held my shoulder, leaned forward so your face was next to mine and smiled ever so sweetly when I looked up. Wow, that melt my heart! You were so adorable and it felt like you were making sure I was okay. I tried the same trick later but it didn’t work the second time. Still, I was mighty impressed the first time.
We ended last month with a rather unhappy Babel. You were a bit ill and crying lots of unhappy cries, you were quite frustrated a lot. That seems to have ended and you’ve been enjoying yourself quite a lot lately. You point at things now, mostly with your entire hand in an almost perfect Vulcan salute, and often with some kind of “I-want-it” grunt. You’ve pulled my face once, to make me look in the direction you want me to look. You are a delayed waver. I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, as it seems like you’ve been doing it forever now. Whenever someone says “bye bye”, you have learned it’s appropriate to wave. And you do wave, but usually after the person has left. You do it in real life and on FaceTime. Your waves almost always seem to come with a delay, and with floppy up and down hands. You haven’t mastered a proper wave motion yet.
You seem to have worked out a new sleeping schedule for yourself. You usually wake up after 11:00, then we get ready for the day and have some brunch. After that you nurse, you play, and around 15:00 you nurse yourself to sleep. You nap 2 hours on average, some days an hour shorter, other days an hour longer. Then usually it’s time to play with Papa, who’ll be home from work by then and FaceTime with Oma, while I prepare dinner. After dinner, every other day, you bathe with Papa and then play the rest of the evening until we all go to bed at midnight. We’ve been going to playgroup for two months now (you’re loving it), and this new sleeping schedule fits Friday early afternoon playgroup perfectly. It’s like you did it on purpose.
You are so curious. You love exploring the world around you. Every night while I get ready for bed, Papa lets you walk around the top floor of our house. You run between our room and yours, pull open drawers, try to climb on things, and now you’ve discovered there is space under our bed. Lots of space to crawl, and of course you do just that.
Climbing is still one of your favorite activities. Onto the TV unit, the trolley, the couch, the stairs, the bed, the kitchen table from your high chair. You also love to pull the couch and chair pillows down and out of the way to create your own soft play obstacle course. You’re such a monkey. You’re really good climbing on and also off of almost all those things as well. Which makes keeping you safe from falls much easier. I’m just glad you haven’t figured out you can climb onto the ottoman and escape the living room like that, yet.
Doors, gates, and curtains are all great fun. You can’t seem to stop opening and closing doors and gates, they are a source of endless fun for you. Even though, you’ve gotten hurt a few times, it’s still one of your favorite activities. Open, close, open, close… And then there are the curtains, they make excellent dancing partners.
You love dancing, no one ever taught you how, it has always come from within you. You love it when Papa plays the guitar or your new ukulele. Sometimes you help him play, but you usually you dance. Your dance moves have evolved from the but wiggle you used to do. Now, you love twirling in circles with your arms out, and your hands in fists moving in circles at your wrists or up and down at your wrists. The but wiggle still comes out now and then and the foot stomp usually accompanies it.
We bought you a ukulele because you love music so much. You love to listen to it and you love to make music too. You’ve been fluting on your recorder (and Duplo) for quite a while, and you’re also always trying to play Papa’s guitar. You often bring us the ukulele or guitar because you want us to play it for you (you don’t even care that I’m really bad at it), and your ability to get music from these instruments is improving as well.
You love water! Not just for drinking, but also for playing. If it was up to you, you’d play with it all day. Ever since we moved here you’ve been bathing in the large tub with Papa. It’s great quality time for you and Papa, and it gives me a chance to take a quick shower in peace. Your favorite part is when the water is flowing from the tap into the tub, you can just reach the cold water tap from the side, and you love splashing water everywhere!
At the playgroup, when they’re filling the large sink for playing, you rush to the running tap to splash water everywhere. They also have little kiddy sinks at your height and you just stand there until I turn on the tap for you to splash, over and over.
It’s been quite hot this month, so we got to try out the paddle pool in the park. The first time, it had just rained so it was a little cold and you were hesitant to get into the water. Of course, you did do some water splashing from the side. The several other times we went after that, on hotter days, you were in water heaven. You easily walk through the water and you just love splashing water! There’s also a thick stream running fresh water into the pool from the side, which is just a huge running tap to you, and we know you love that! That paddle pool is definitely the best thing in the park and I just love taking you there.