Babel Monthly – 18

One and a half year! You have a superpower. Well, at least you seem to think so. Whenever Papa comes at you pretending to be an attacking zombie you blow short and loud raspberries with your mouth. These raspberries (sometimes ‘achoo’ sounds are thrown in the mix as well) always makes the Papa-zombie back up or jump back. So it seems like you do have a zombie-fighting superpower.

You now weigh 13.25 kg and you are 83 cm tall. I don’t think you believe that’s tall enough, because you love standing on your toes making yourself seem taller. Even though you’re growing fast lately, you are still wearing clothes we bought more than a year ago. That’s because back then I bought all your clothes several sizes too large. I did that because you grew out of your clothes way too quickly during the first months of your life. Some things you only wore once, if that. So I’m pretty happy getting so much use out of your current clothes.

You love kissing people, especially with your face pressed between a gate or fence, and they are becoming more and more like real kisses. You’re still blowing kisses with your hands and you also love to high five people. The latter two need to be initiated by others first, real kisses and waving at people are usually initiated by you. You’re not just shaking your head ‘no’ anymore you also know how to nod for ‘yes’. You can run, and when you do you usually flap your left arm backwards and forwards.

Derby City Peeps

Your vocabulary is growing. You definitely understand “choudai” [Japanese for ‘give it to me’] and we use it a lot. You almost always bring us what we’re asking for. Also, the word “oide” [Japanese for ‘come here’] helps us to make you come along with us.

All day long, you are saying “this” and “this this” with vigor, with different intonations and always excellent pronunciation, especially the ‘th’ part. When you want to breastfeed, you poke my boobs and say “this this”. I like it, it’s very clear what you want. One time you went even further, you climbed onto my lap, laid down in feeding position, poked my boob and said “this”. Even easier!

You also say “bal” [Dutch for ‘ball’] very clearly. It’s close to the English word, but the pronunciation is clearly Dutch. You call balls, pumpkins, balloons, basically anything round “bal”, which makes sense to us. You also use “bal” when asking for books, when we correct you and say “boek” [Dutch] or “book” your “bal” turns into a “bao” sound. You’re trying so hard.

The last time Oma was here she already taught you “toet toet” for the sound of a car. You love playing with your cars and this month Oma taught you the actual word “auto” [Dutch for ‘car’]. You love this word almost just as much as “this”. I heard you repeat “hello” once before and when Oma was here we practiced “hallo” [Dutch for ‘hello’] with you. You are getting good at saying that word as well, even though it kind of sounds like “hado” most of the time, but that could be because you’ve had a severely stuffed nose the entire time we tried it.

You talk in your sleep. You already laughed in your sleep quite frequently, and now you’re talking. Once, you said “auto,” but all the other times you say “this”. Sometimes it’s just part of your dream, often it is you actually asking for a feed, arms sticking in the air, eyes still closed. You also talk a lot of gibberish, I love it all. I can’t wait for you to start calling me “Mama,” you’ve had “Papa” down for a while now.

Licking Papa's ears

We all know you love dancing and you pick up dance moves from the music videos of songs you like. It’s not only adorable but also useful as you use these moves to request songs to be played on YouTube or live on an instrument.

Your first ever request was Bruno Mars’s Lazy Song. We didn’t know it yet, but you wanted Papa to play that song. So you brought him the ukelele. Papa played some random song. You grabbed the ukelele out of his hands and walked away. You came back immediately and handed the ukelele to Papa again. Puzzled Papa played the same thing and you did the same thing again. This happened three or four times. You seemed to be resetting Papa’s song choice by taking the ukelele away and bringing it back, but Papa didn’t play any song you liked.

You gave up on the ukelele and started pointing at the guitar through the baby gate. Papa got his guitar and you did the head-nod dance moves the monkeys do in Bruno Mars’s Lazy Song music video. I recognized it and it finally clicked! I told Papa to play the Lazy Song and boy were you happy! You were jumping and smiling and doing an epic dance while Papa was playing and singing.

Other songs you love and have successfully copied dance moves from are Radio Fish’s Perfect Human and Pikotaro’s PPAP. You love these songs and you love dancing to them. It amazes me how often I see you do dance moves for songs even before they’re shown in the music video, meaning you’ve remembered from a previous time.

Whenever you want to see PPAP (and this happens a lot, especially when Oma and her iPhone were here) you hold your hands near you head and make the ‘I have a apple’ and ‘I have pineapple’ gestures. These days you often wake up, sit up, smile, and request PPAP that way, first thing in the morning. You are a huge fan of Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen.

You’ve acquired a few more skills this last month. You can operate the iPhone and iPad cameras. You can take selfies, and sometimes I open my photos app and find photos of something random you must have taken. You’re starting to distinguish between different kinds of shapes. When we were playing Duplos, you stacked the same shapes and sizes of bricks on top of each other. I tried giving you different shapes, but you weren’t fooled.

Seat at the bottom of the stairs

You are able to sit yourself down on kid-sized chairs and benches. You usually climb all the way up on it before sitting down on it. When you sit down on the bottom of the stairs, on my lap, or on a pumpkin, you do sit down the ‘normal’ way. These days, you don’t like your high chair very much and prefer sitting on the adult chairs.

Now that it is colder, we often have the heating on. This fascinates you. When it is not on, you go and check to make sure. If you can’t feel any warmth you make sure by gently touching the radiator. When it is on, you slowly walk towards the heater putting your face closer and closer until you can feel the radiating heat which you really seem to enjoy.

Oma saved some change for you and introduced you to the concept of a piggy bank. You’ve already learned how to empty my wallet and put all the money into your plastic pig.

You’ve been through a bit of a banana phase this last month. It didn’t last as long as your blueberry, grape, or strawberry phases, but you sure ate a lot of bananas (in interesting ways) for a short while. One day, you managed to eat almost four bananas. You never really ate banana before your phase, you still eat banana now but less than one a day.

With potty training, I want to follow your lead, as we have done with everything else. Since you were very little, you have not done poopies at night. And for a very long time you’ve not done any poopies unless you are home, never when we’re out and about. You like to poop where you’re comfortable. Your favorite place is the tight nook behind the TV. You usually go there, squat down, look sternly and make difficult noises. When you’re done you usually come to me to be picked up. I smell what’s happened and we go for diaper change. Once you came to me after a poop and pointed at your bum, as if to ask me to change your diaper. So you may be ready to use a potty before long.

You’ve had your very first visit to a dentist. It wasn’t easy to find a new dentist, but we found a really nice one. I am very scared of dentists. I don’t want to transfer that fear to you, so you sat on Papa’s lap in the dentist chair. I would be too tense and you would sense that. You didn’t like the dentist poking around in your mouth but you did really well otherwise. Your teething is a bit behind schedule, but nothing to worry about and your teeth look great. You received a ‘cool patient’ sticker afterwards, and me too. The dentist clearly recognized who the real baby was in the room!

Sand

You’ve done a lot of playing this last month. Each week, we have been going to multiple Children Centre playgroups, the park playground and we even had some playdates at home and at your little friends’ house.

We also went to an indoor play zone for the first time last month, and it was so much fun. It has a huge 3-tier climbing frame with slides and a ball pit. We all love that place. It’s amazing to see you climb through the soft play structure and go wild in the ball pit. Your first few times sliding sitting up have also happened at the slides there. We’ve already been there again with Oma and Papa, and I plan on taking you there many more times!

75 Weeks Old76 Weeks Old77 Weeks Old78 Weeks Old

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