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A Letter To My Sixteen Month Old

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Sixteen months of joy!

Dear Cullen,

I know I say it every month, but this month you really do seem to have become your own little person.  You know exactly what you want, and you do your best to tell us over and over again, even though sometimes we can’t quite figure it out.

When we are inside, you are practically climbing the walls, and this week you taught yourself to climb onto the couch.  But you are happiest when we are outside, and playgrounds are your new obsession.  Long gone are the days of just gliding back in forth in the baby swing.  These days it’s all about the slide!

Your long hair was getting pretty unruly again this week, so we took you for another trim (your third!) a few days ago.  Hard to believe it was just a month ago that you had your haircut, and already it had grown way over your ears and down over your collar.

You look like such a big boy with your new clean cut, but in just a matter of days it seems like it’s growing out again already, and the back is still filled with gorgeous curls.  You are lucky you got your dad’s fabulous hair!  Mom is very jealous.

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You are getting two more molars right now, which means you are being a very picky eater.  Yesterday you pretty much existed on muffins.  They were healthy muffins, but still we can do better.  Right now you love blueberries, grapes, hummus, almond butter, noodles, and your absolute favorite broccoli.  We are counting down the days until summer berries return!

Your personality shines a little brighter each and every day.  You hung out in the childcare area while I went to a Barre3 class this morning, and when I came out you were drenched in sweat from playing so hard.  The girls you were playing with said they couldn’t stop laughing at your crazy facial expressions and your wild babbling.

While we’ve had a lot of laughs and smiles this month, we’ve also had some growing pains.  You are asserting yourself more and more often in the form of throwing things and hitting when you don’t get your way.

You will have incredible tantrums and throw your body to the ground, and then be up and smiling again 30 seconds later.  I don’t feel quite ready for this phase just yet, but it seems to be here anyway.  Sometimes I look at you and can’t believe how big you’ve gotten, and then I see the elementary school kids arrive to the playground, I and realize you are still so small.

You love to say no and shake your head from side to side, and you are a lot more stingy with hugs and kisses these days.  But you still give one big wet sloppy one right before bedtime, and it makes up for even the toughest days.

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You’re still fiercely independent, and will happily entertain yourself when you’re in the right mood.  But most of the time, you’re looking for more interactive play now.  You like when we build towers (and then knock them down, of course), play peekaboo, read piles and piles of books, and you can’t resist a good tickle fight.

We moved your play tent into your sunroom a few weeks ago, and you’ve had so much fun playing and hiding in there.  You love to burst out and do peekaboo, and sometimes you invite me inside to read a pile of books.  It feels like I’ve been invited into your secret clubhouse.

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Whether you know it or not, I still go into your room every night before I go to sleep.  I put my hand on your cheek and feel your soft, cool skin.  I listen to your peaceful breath and watch your belly rise and fall.  Your dad has to come get me almost every night, because I end up staying in there so long.  Even though we’ve been in this together now for sixteen months, I still find myself in awe of how much I love you.

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Thanks for another great month!

To read more posts from Emily, visit her personal blog, Daily Garnish.  Or check out her recent Babbling!

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