We’ve moved to a new home. One even closer to Papa’s work and your future nursery: we’re literally across the street now. This will make things very easy when you start nursery in September. I’m not sure how you’re going to do when I leave you behind at nursery, though. I think it could go either way. We’ve already been on a little practice play there this month. You loved it! The best part was digging up lots of worms and feeding them to the baby chicks.
You’ve been really good with the move. You keep referring to the new place as the “andere thuis [🇳🇱 other home]” but you’ve not been asking to go back to Clovelly Court or anything like that. We all love the new place. It has a huge living area with an open kitchen where you love to literally run wild with your friends, or Papa. I actually donated loads of your toys (especially the bigger ones like the slide and ride-on toys) before the move, because I was afraid it would be too crowded in the new place. I regret that now, because it turns out that that was completely unnecessary.
Just before the move, the day before I had planned to take down the stair gates, you had a very nasty fall down the stairs. It was so scary to witness. You’re actually very good at climbing and descending stairs now, so it was completely unexpected. I ran up the stairs to catch you as quick as I could and caught you somewhere on the middle. Lots of tears and boob later, you were okay, but man that was scary. Thankfully, the new place is an apartment so I don’t have to worry about any stairs.
Still, you already had another falling accident in our new home. You were asleep in the bedroom when we suddenly heard you cry loudly. I ran into the dark bedroom, without turning on the light because I didn’t want to wake you up any further. I just wanted to boob you back to sleep as soon as possible. I felt around on the bed, but couldn’t find you anywhere. You weren’t crying anymore, so we used Papa’s iPhone flashlight to find you. You were under the bed, legs sticking out, asleep.
You’re moving pretty wildly in your sleep these days. You crawl all over the bed, end up in the weirdest spots in the oddest positions. But this was definitely the most outrageous place. While moving around in your sleep, you had rolled out of bed, and crawled under the bed. The pile of moving boxes hiding under the bed stopped you from moving all the way under the bed. The fall obviously hurt enough for you to cry out loudly, but not enough to wake you up.
After that we gently pulled you out from under the bed, and built a border of pillows and duvets between you, the walls and under the bed and left you asleep on the floor until I came to bed with you. You have no idea any of this happened.
You go to bed before me now. We used to go to bed together around midnight, Papa was usually the first to fall asleep, and if I was lucky you fell asleep before me and I got to edit some photos or videos. But sometimes you would not go to sleep for hours. And you obviously you would always get up late, making morning activities hard.
But sometime this Spring things changed. You no longer take naps. Well, you usually want to take a nap around 16:00 though, but I fight to keep you awake. Because when you don’t nap you go to sleep much earlier, usually before 22:00 sometimes even around 21:00. Then you wake up in the morning between 8:30 and 9:00, which is great! You usually wake me up nowadays: “Mama, wake up! Wake up!”
You love talking. As you’re learning how to communicate with language you want to get as much practice as possible. You love repeating people’s complete sentences. I am always amazed at how easy it is for you to correctly pronounce and repeat what you’ve just heard in any of your three languages. Over this past season, your sentences have gone from short to longer (when speaking), and really long (when repeating).
You’ve gotten really good at using the right language with the right person. Therefore, I don’t hear much Japanese anymore. Which is kind of too bad, because I was learning a lot from you. When talking to both of us, you just switch between Dutch and Japanese depending on who you are looking at. Same topic, same conversation, you will literally look at the other parent and immediately switch language. It’s really cool.
You love expressing when you like something. You tell us something is “so cool, right?” or “I love it!” You give us the thumbs up and a “good”, or you say “Babel likes it” or more specifically “Babel likes milky”. Then you like to make sure I’ve heard you with “Mama, I likes this.” And our favorite is when you say “I like it, though.” You use that all the time, and it’s just so funny when you use it.
You’re also very vocal if you don’t like something. You usually utter a strong and loud “I don’t like this” or “I don’t like that” when you don’t want something. For now, you usually say this when you’re referring to food you don’t want.
You started out saying “don’t talk me” when we were talking to each other and you wanted our attention. You were trying to tell us to stop talking to one another and instead talk to you. Nowadays you say: “don’t talk to me, talk to Babel.” For a little while, you also did a little finger wag when you were saying “no”, it was adorable.
When you’re concentrating on something, it’s like you’re in the zone. Trying to get your attention is near impossible then. I’ve often repeatedly said your name to get your attention and when you’re still not noticing, I will say “Babel! Yoohoo!” So now when you want to get my attention you will say “Mama, yoohoo!”
You used to say things were “spicy” when you didn’t like it, but recently you’ve been saying things are “yucky”. Which surprised us at first, as we never use that word. We have no idea who taught you, probably one of your friends or perhaps even Paw Patrol. These days you don’t only learn English from us, you pick up so much from other people around you, so you’re going to keep surprising us with new English expressions, I’m sure.
When speaking English, you haven’t quite figured out the difference between “I” and “you” thing yet. You keep asking for help by saying “Can I help?” Also, you say “I can’t” when you ought to say “I can” and the other way around.
You love singing and you’re getting better at it too. You carefully listen to lyrics and then repeat them pretty well. You’ve had quite some success with the Tayo theme song and the Paw Patrol theme song, but you’re especially good at singing Blippi’s Firetruck and Dinosaur song.
Other frequently used expressions:
- Don’t worry, Papa/Mama.
- Good idea, Mama!
- Phew, that was close.
- Thank you, everyone.
- Just fine (in response to “are you okay?”)
- There you are!
You love animals. You have been around the neighborhood loads of times with Papa, looking for and observing cats. Whenever you see someone walking a dog you exclaim “cute!” You always ask to touch them and you’re very happy when you can pet an animal. You also enjoy playing cat or dog. You will crawl around, wanting to be petted and your will speak in a very high voice.
We went to a farm and you had a great time feeding goats and sheep. You preferred the goats because the sheep were a bit more chatty and quite loud, so they scared you a little. The goats were pretty quiet and very eager to eat. You really enjoyed having them eat the feed from your hands. Every single time the goat ate, you exclaimed “wow! He’s eating something right?!”
You are very good with your hands. Drawing and crafts are easy and fun for you. We’ve painted new rocks to hide around Derby. We’ve done paper crafts and we’re continuously making things from Jumping Clay. You’re very experienced and very good at that. You never lack inspiration and always have new ideas of magnets you want to make. You’ve certainly made more than a hundred by now. You’ve proudly stuck them on all on the big white fridge in our new place.
You are also extremely good at Legos. You just need the bricks and instructions and off you go! The lego picture instructions are easy enough for you to understand. You’ve built houses, animals, castles, cars and much more. After building, you take them apart and start over, on repeat. You love legos. Like most people, I love them too, so I have no problem spending hours on end playing legos with you.
You love to play pretend ice cream shop. You come over to take our order, then run off then come back with the imaginary ice cream, we pretend to eat it quickly and with gusto, then the whole things starts over. One time, I had ordered a bunch of different flavors (banana, vanilla, strawberry, mint etc) already, so we switched roles. You had four goes and these were the flavors you ordered: bloemkool [🇳🇱 cauliflower] ijs [🇳🇱ice cream], mensen [🇳🇱people] ijs, chocolade [🇳🇱chocolate] ijs, and last but not least chocolade-bloemkool ijs.
I know you love to eat cauliflower, but you’re used to eating that in a sticky sweet and sour sesame sauce, which just doesn’t seem like a nice ice cream flavor to me. Then ice cream that tastes like people?! Yes, chocolate ice cream is common, but chocolate-cauliflower? I hope they never make that. I do love your originality!
In the old house, we had a microwave. It was a rather crappy microwave so we got rid of it when we moved here. Which means we don’t really have a way of easily heating up leftover rice (which we eat almost daily), so Papa shapes the leftover rice into onigiris. You always get peckish about an hour before dinner and look for snacks to satisfy your hunger. Now, I usually have these rice balls to offer you. I just wrap some Korean seaweed around them and you absolutely love them!
I don’t know if I’ve written about this before, but you are an avid food smeller. Anything you consume, needs to be smelled first. Actually, it’s not just food, drinks too. You must have that from me; I like to try to imagine the taste of things first by smelling them. This seems to be exactly what you do, you smell stuff and then you decided whether or not to have some. I also often see you deeply smelling foods and drinks you like while you are consuming them.
Talking about smelling things. You love smelling your hands after touching your penis. Then you offer your fingers to us and ask us if we want a smell as well. Yes, thank you, what a lovely offer. The other day, I found you with your pants and diaper off in front of the TV, playing with your penis. I asked you whether it was hurting or itching or if it just felt good. You told me it felt nice. Another time you were sitting on the toilet and told me to go away. I left but looked on from the hallway. You didn’t spend your alone time peeing on the toilet, instead you were playing with and inspecting your penis, smelling your hands.
- Paw Patrol: You used to watch all kinds of things on YouTube and Netflix, now the only thing you want to watch is the same two seasons of Paw Patrol, on repeat. Whenever one of us tries to watch something else, or even if we try to have you watch some other kiddy show, within minutes you makes sure it gets turned off and it’s back to Paw Patrol.
- Hooks: you are a huge fan of hooks and loops. All and any of them. You are obsessed with hanging the hand-towel on its hook, clothes hangers, your buggy hook, the keychain hook, and of course Cranky’s hook and many more.
- Our new tea towels: They are mostly white and you keep getting them out of the cupboard to play ghost with them. You run around the room with a towel on your head going “wooohoooo” and when we pretend to be scared, you pull of the towel and say “it’s just me!”
- Handbags: After having used your diaper bag, to transport my wallet and other little things when going out, your whole life, I’ve recently got out one of my handbags again. Of course, that was mighty interesting to you. You picked one of my old purses, and you wear it around your body like a messenger bag and it transports your plastic smartphone, your set of keys, and your fidget spinner.