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Dear Gem – Month 21

gem-21-months

You’ve become quite the little monkey this month, climbing all over everything. You’ve always been a bit of a climber, you were climbing bookshelves as soon as you were walking. But this month, you managed to climb your way right out of your pack ‘n play.

I noticed your kung fu kicks while you were in there. I thought they were cute, but I didn’t realize how productive they were – until you hooked your ankle on the upper edge, and then pulled yourself up and over. Such strength! I watched in slow motion from across the room as you rolled over the top of the rail, and fell to the ground, landing on your feet, deep knee bend, then up to standing with your arms raised high and a big smile on your face. You stuck the landing like a little Olympian.

It was one of those moments where I was immensely proud of you, and at the same time, terrified. I’m not ready for you to be able to roam the house at will. Your crib rails are lower than the pack ‘n play, which means you can get out of your bed as well. I’m not sleeping much since your little triumph – I keep my ears peeled, listening for the midnight pitter-patter of little feet.

gem-21-months

Your acrobatics are not limited to the escape act, you’ve also started turning summersaults. It was the funniest thing. You would start out in this deep downward dog pose, with your butt up in the air.  You’d just hang there in that inverted position, looking around at the room upside down while rocking back and forth.  After you’d done that several times, I decided to help you on over.  You thought that was pretty cool! Then you kicked your legs over all by yourself in the slowest summersault imaginable. But, oh, my, what a grin.

I guess Daddy and I are going to have to start saving up some money for gymnastics lessons.

gem-christmas-tree

You couldn’t get enough of the tree this Christmas.  We only put up a handful of ornaments, and made sure they were all safe for you to play with – but you still weren’t supposed to mess with the tree.  I guess it was just to amazing to leave it alone.

Santa (or Sassa, as you call him) brought you toys and books that focused on letters and numbers. That was so perfect because you surprised us with being able to identify numbers in print.  At least one through six, or as you pronounce them: none, two, free, foof, sigh, sick.  You also know a few of the letters, odd ones like Q, and I.  For other letters, I can tell you’re starting to get the picture.  You held up a cutout of a C on it’s side and called it a U.  Makes sense to me.  You held up a V and said Y.  How are you learning these letters? I haven’t been teaching you.  You are such a little sponge, just soaking up information.  Sesame Street is probably helping with that as well.

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You are so precocious, and quite a handful. You’ve started asking why.  You shush people when you put all your babies down for a nap.  On the other hand, you are so sweet.  You’ve been very protective of me lately.  I’ve had a terrible cough, and every time you hear me cough you come over and say “K?” and keep repeating it until I tell you I’m OK. Then you smile and give me a big kiss. On days when I’m stuck on the couch, you bring one of your blankets (you call them buddies) and cover me up – and of course, give me a big kiss.  You are very demonstrative with your affection.

I am so proud of the sweet girl you are becoming.

Love, Mommy

Seattle writer, Judy Schwartz Haley, blogs about raising a toddler while battling cancer, finishing a degree, and fending off ninjas. Also, she needs more coffee.
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