Your development has taken quite the leap this past month, it has truly blown our minds. I can’t really keep track anymore of all the words you’re saying in your three languages. You’re so clearly communicating with us now, both verbally and with gestures. It is getting so much easier for you to make yourself understood. It feels so good to see you develop so quickly and to interact with you on this new level.
You’re saying so much, and you’ll copy nearly any sound. It’s impossible to cover everything but here are some of our and your favorites: Dutch – uit [off], aan [on], aardappel [potato], hoppatee [exclamation]; Japanese words – jouzu [skillfull/good job], oishi [delicious], aka [red], ao [blue]; English words – happy birthday, and woof woof (or rather “fhoo fhoo”) for dog.
For so very long you’ve been saying “this this” and poking my boob when you wanted to nurse. Every time, I’ve answered with “melk melk?” [Dutch for ‘milk’] hoping you would repeat after me. I often wondered if you were hearing me at all, because you always answered me with another round of “this this”. Until this month! You’ve finally started asking for “moh moh” and now it’s become “mehl mehl”! It makes me so happy and proud.
“More” means any kind of food. It’s very similar to you thinking every single item is “this this”. Whenever you’ve eaten stuff, we’ve offered more of it by asking “more?” So it makes sense you think any kind of food is called “more”. Food in general is more interesting to you these days, you’re actually eating larger amounts. You have been surprising us every meal these past few weeks. You’re a grazer, not a feaster. You don’t seem to understand the point of having a larger amount of food at meal times. You like to snack on food whenever and wherever you feel hungry. I think that’s very healthy and I’m going to foster that behavior. Just keep listening to your body and eat or nurse when you feel you need it.
When you’re eating or drinking something you almost always have to “cheers” that with us before you take a bite, repeatedly. Papa showed you once how to do and say “itadakimasu” before a meal, and now you keep doing that too several times during one meal.
We went to a new clinic to measure your weight and height, and you didn’t like it at all. You were screaming your head off. You haven’t really gained any weight, but you may have grown taller. You were fighting it so much, so you’re either 86 or 87 centimeters, not quite sure. You have all eight incisor teeth, all four first molars, and your four canine teeth have cut and are still making their way down.
We’ve celebrated your friends’ birthdays. We just went to a play zone to celebrate Noah and Ezra’s third and first birthday, and earlier this month we went swimming to celebrate Robin’s second birthday. We had a lot of fun and now, it’s time to start thinking about your second birthday! Your actual birthday we will be in Japan, but when we’re back we will be throwing you a party and all your little friends are invited.
It’s no secret that you love dancing. You just can’t help yourself, whenever there’s music you’re dancing. I used to think all babies and toddlers did this. But at your friend Robin’s birthday party it was clear it is not a typical baby thing, it’s a Babel thing. They played music the entire party and you were the only little one constantly shaking his booty. You also love to make music. You already have quite the collection of instruments and this month we added a little drum set, for which you needed no explanation.
You like holding hands. It’s especially fun when there are two people holding your hand and you yell “jump” and you’re lifted into the air. You even try to have us do that when you’re going down the stairs. You also enjoy holding the buggy while walking next to it. We never had to teach you, we just showed you once, and you took right to it. You hate sitting in your own buggy more and more each day, but you don’t mind sitting in the buggies of your friends.
You think holding your hands in front of your face makes you invisible. That’s because every time you do it, we pretend to not see you and ask out loud in all three languages where you are. Then you surprise us by popping out from behind your hands and we pretend to be very happy to have found you. Yeah, you love this game.
You have entered a possessive phase. You like to hoard toys, especially balls, and carry them around with you (even when climbing stairs). Others are not allowed to touch whatever you’re clutching onto, and if someone tries you shriek “no” and give us your teenage face frown.
You’ve learned how to use an elevator. You rode a merry-go-round and a baby roller coaster without crying (except for the last few seconds). You’ve been trying to help me with cooking and cleaning. You love spraying us with water from a plant sprayer. You are the king of lining things up, especially cars!
You’ve developed a love for cartoon characters. Your favorites are Paw Patrol, Pikachu, Mickey Mouse, and unfortunately Peppa Pig. You love singing and dancing to the theme songs. When we’re in town you always point out the characters in the store and say their names. I’ve bought you a bunch of clothes with these characters (well, all except that pig) and you love them. If it were up to you, you would wear them all at the same time. You chose a Pikachu pillow at Primark and insisted on carrying it home yourself, in a bag so large you could fit in it yourself.
You love living life barefoot and are always taking your shoes and socks off, even when we’re out and about. We even lost one of your shoes in the mall after you kicked it off, luckily someone found it and returned it to us. You threw a new toilet roll in the toilet bowl, and if I hadn’t stopped you the other rolls would have ended up in there as well.
Last month, you killed the TV, by throwing a metal car against it. Having the insurance replace it should have been easy and quick instead lots of things went wrong and two weeks later we were still waiting for a TV. I almost missed the phone call about the delivery because my phone was on silent. Babel to the rescue! You were watching Netflix on my iPad, saw the call come in, and answered it for me. I heard a lady say “hello hello”, and quickly switched the call to my phone. I was so happy you caught the call.
You caught a tummy bug and developed a diarrhea problem. You’ve had this before, and I know it comes with loads of poo-splosions and lots of changes of clothes. You haven’t had a bowel movement in your sleep since the early days, so it never crossed my mind to worry about your diarrhea at night. The first time I have ever woken up in the middle of the night, reached over to you and felt you lie in a pool of liquid poo, was about a week after we started sleeping in our new super king size bed with an expensive memory foam mattress. Thanks for breaking that in! Our old bed was too small and the mattress was very uncomfortable. After a thorough clean our new bed is lovely once again, and there is finally more than enough space for all three of us.