Little Babel, you’re 17 months old! We’ve had more than 74 weeks with you and still you manage to amaze us every day. We don’t understand how you do it, but you get cuter every single day. You are such a sweetheart. You always feed us, hug us, smile at us, and even kiss us now.
You’re getting much better at kissing. No real kissy lips or smacking sounds still, but your kisses are much more purposeful now. One time this month you took my face between your hands and kissed me. You also blow kisses, especially to people over FaceTime. Sometimes the person on the other side gets a ‘real’ kiss and you just kiss their face on the screen.
You suddenly started saying the word “this”, very clearly. You basically call everything you want “this,” and point at it too, for good measure. It makes total sense, because whenever you’ve made the ‘I-want-it’ sound in the past and pointed in some direction, we pick up things hand it to you and ask “this?” We do this over and over again until we finally get to the correct thing. So no wonder you think everything is called “this”. I guess it is your first official word, something you’ve picked up yourself and you are pronouncing correctly.
You also say a lot of “papa” and “bapaah,” and even though you still can’t pronounce “chin chin” correctly, you definitely know what it is. Oma has taught you a Dutch onomatopoeia “toet toet” for cars. You know we mean car when we say it and when you play with cars, or trains, or boats you make the sound “tooh tooh” very clearly. Oh, and iPhones and iPads are “gong gong” or “gang gang” in your language. You’ve been very consistent in your usage of these sounds for these Apple products, no idea where you got it but we kind of think it’s an improvement.
You’ve officially cut 9 teeth now! I’ve just discovered the 9th today. At the beginning of this month you only had 6 teeth: your lower central incisors, your upper central and your upper lateral incisors. Next were supposed to be your lower lateral incisors, but instead I discovered an upper first molar on your left earlier this month. I’m not surprised, you like doing things out of order, your own way.
Then a couple of days ago, I spotted your first lower lateral incisor peeking out on your right, and tonight I saw another upper first molar on your right. You’ve cut 3 teeth (the orange-lined ones in the picture) this past month, and I think your left lower lateral incisor will probably make an appearance soon.
I hope the new amber teething necklace has been helping you deal with the pain. At the very least, people keep mentioning how fashionable you are. You have your first appointment with the dentist next month. It’s a good thing you already know how to brush and floss your teeth. Kind of.
These days I take more videos than photos, simply because they capture more of the moment. I never want to forget what you sounded like when you were small, or the way you moved or danced. My photo albums on Flickr are starting to feel kind of ignored…
Luckily, we got to see uncle Djamo one last time before he moved to Kuwait, as he always takes loads of gorgeous photos of you, so he nicely filled up the photo album for month 17. He took some especially gorgeous photos of you in the park pool. They really represent our first summer in Derby to me, as we spent so much time at the pool with you. Unfortunately, they emptied the pool in the beginning of September, so we’ll have to wait until next year to go splashing there again.
I really have to remind myself to take photos of you these days because my default is video recording mode now. I edit your videos a bit on my iPhone (usually in the middle of the night when you’re nursing yourself to sleep) before I post them on YouTube. This past month the amount of Babel videos on my channel increased rapidly. You’re the one who watches these videos the most, you love them. You watch them all the time, on the iPad or on TV. It helps to keep you occupied for a bit when I’m trying to get something done. You especially love the videos with Papa and those with lots of laughter.
The other day YouTube switched over to a video of another little boy. You were watching him take his socks off, which reminded you of your love of taking socks off. You tried taking yours off immediately, but you weren’t wearing any, so I quickly put some on so you could take them off, This triggered a memory from Japan. You were asleep on the floor and Oma was afraid you were cold so she put your socks on. As soon as they were on, you woke up swung you legs up so you could pull the socks of your feet, and went straight back to sleep. It was so funny!
For about a year we’ve been bed sharing with you. It was never something we planned on, but it’s the best. It’s really easy with breastfeeding through the night and having you next to us at night is so cosy and comfortable. When you feed to sleep you always make sure that your legs or arm is on Papa, so you can feel us both while you drift away into sleep. Unfortunately, we have a small bed and it’s getting kind of cramped. Especially since you like to spread out and Papa likes to roll, so I’m often trying to roll Papa off of you. So I’ve taken off one side of your baby jail and pushed it between our bed and the wall.
The first night, you thought it was an exciting new nook to play, but when it was time to feed to sleep you climbed right over me to your favorite spot between us. After you fell asleep I tried putting you in your crib, this woke you up and you crawled right back into Papa’s arms for a snuggle and you wanted more milk too. After you fell back asleep again I tried again and you ended up sleeping in your crib for a few hours until one of your later dreamfeeds. During that feed you already wriggled your head back onto the main bed, and in the morning I woke up with you right next to me in the main bed again.
So far, you spent just a few hours a night actually sleeping in your crib, and the rest next to me in the main bed, next to your crib. I don’t mind at all, because the little extra space still makes a huge difference. It gives me more space for my arms, especially when I’m feeding you. You and Papa do seem to miss each other in bed, now that I am in the middle. But this way, I don’t need to worry about Papa rolling on top of you or you rolling out of bed. We love our family bed, it’s the best way to sleep.
You are your father’s son and you love to entertain and make people laugh. You like squeezing your face in the biggest smile to get people started. You also love to press your face through the safety gates or the stair banisters, and make funny faces or dole out kisses that way. You’re an excellent walker, you can even run now, yet sometimes you like to do a really funny walk on one or both of your knees.
You are still a big fan of dancing, and we’re fans of your dancing. Your favorite and best dance move is going in circle, and you’ve also mastered standing and dancing on your toes. This kind of sounds like you’re turning into a pirouetting ballerina. But then there’s your squat walk dance, which makes you look like a sumo wrestling monkey.
You’re very good at concentrating on things. When you want to learn something you try over and over, and once you’ve managed to do it, you do it over and over again. Once you’ve accomplished something you throw your arms wide into a pose, as if you’re saying “tadaah” and wait for us to praise and applaud you. You really love the praise, it makes you smile widely and then you help us applaud.
You’ve learned how to buckle your high chair lock, luckily it’s still too hard to unbuckle it for you. Actually, it’s also very hard for us, so hopefully by the time you can do that you won’t need a high chair anymore. You love opening and closing things. You’ve tried the buckles on your stroller, but they’re hard. You repeatedly take off and put back lids on markers and glue sticks. Doors and gates (and their locks) need to opened and closed again and again.
You’ve also learned how to walk up the slide in the park. You don’t know how to safely slide down in a sitting position, yet you can walk up it without holding on to anything. You have learned how to slide down safely though, you just do it on your belly, legs first. This is how you also safely climb off the bed, the couch, tables, etc. Also, you climb down the stairs by yourself now, again legs first. You’re becoming quite independent, soon you won’t need us anymore.
Normally you bathe with Papa, but he was away one evening last month, so you had your first solo bath in the large tub. You loved it, and you even managed to lather your own hair and tummy. Of course, the bathroom was soaking wet after you were done.
One of your favorite ways to travel now is on our shoulders. It’s much easier for us to carry you that way and you look extremely comfortable on top of one of us. I guess you have a great view and extra bonus is the opportunity to pull our ears and hair. A couple of weeks ago, you discovered you can use your little fingers to painfully pinch our skin. Of course, you didn’t know it actually hurt a lot, you just loved seeing our reactions, so you kept doing it. Thankfully, you don’t do it anymore. If now I could only make you stop pulling my hair during feeds…
You actually flew the kite yourself this month! You really seemed to enjoy it, I was half amazed the kite didn’t pull you in the air. Of course, you had lots of help from Papa, but it was really exciting to see you hold that kite while it was flying high in the sky, and you knew it too, as you were looking up at the kite as well.
You discovered something fun to do was to let go of the reel and see Papa run like a mad man to catch it and keep the kite from flying away. It was truly hilarious to watch that as I was filming it. Papa managed to get the kite back twice, the third time it went to high and the reel got caught high in the trees and eventually the kite fell down somewhere in the trees. Goodbye awesome kite, we had a lot of fun with you this summer.
We still go to loads of playgroups and playdates, the amount has increased into quite a busy playing schedule for you! You start to notice other children more and interacting and really playing with them more. I’ve learned I should always bring a change of clothes for you, because you can get really dirty and especially very wet.
Last week we brought your first piece of art home. I actually forgot it when we left the Children’s Centre, so I had to go back for it. One lady had to go really out of her way to go and get it with us in the back of the building. She probably thought it wasn’t very much, but this is the first thing you’ve created, ever! I want to keep it, laminate it, and move it from country to country with us. Maybe that’s silly, but hey I’m your mom.
You eat more and more these days. You shove away loads of rice and tortilla chips. You love nectarines (unfortunately they seem out of season now), strawberries, tangerines (to suck the juice out), and you love drinking vegetable-fruit juice straight from the juicer.
Oh, you eat bananas these days, albeit kind of weirdly. Once you ate right through the skin. Just today, your peeled banana was on your table and you bent down to eat bites from it without touching it, like a dog. You also managed to open and peel one in the blink of an eye. I turned around and suddenly there you were eating a banana. Life with you is always interesting.