17 Month Newsletter

Dearest Sweet Gwennie,

Over the last month you have really started talking. Every time you say “mommy” my heart melts and I just want to pull you up into my arms. Well, ok, not every time. You started off saying it only when I would go upstairs and leave you down with Daddy. You would hang on the baby gate and cry “Mommy!” over and over until you became hysterical. I can’t say that made my heart melt.

Your very first word was “kee ee” for Kitty. Every furry thing you saw was a “kee ee” but now, they are all “Goggies!” You point them out every where we go. At Target you see “Goggies!” In the supermarket, “Goggies!” Sometimes they are actual dogs, but most of the time, it just means generic animal with or even sometimes without fur.

At Rhayn’s school, the goats and sheep and “goggies” as well as the ducks. I did get you to call the ducks, “ducks” but the goats remained “gogs.” At the zoo, there are “Goggies” in every cage. A baboon? “Goggie!” It is cute, but I gently tell you the real name of the animal. I know you will get it sooner or later.

Some other words that have escaped your mouth are “kank ooo” (thank you) and “Peese” but that was ONLY said once, quite enthusiastically for pudding. You signed it while saying “Peese!” “Peese!” rubbing you chest nearly raw with vigor. I just wish you would sign please when you want milk, instead of grabbing my shirt and yanking it up or down.

This week we went to the library for “Baby Time” and it was interesting. Your Mama felt so out of place until my friend Mona showed up. All the moms were like me, middle class, with babies ranging in age from birth to 24 months. Only they all looked like they had a bottle in their diaper bags. I over heard conversations about scheduled c-sections. At least I had Mona, whose little boy T, wanted milk as we sat there, and since he was nursing you wanted it also. (he is only 6 weeks younger than you.) You really didn’t like baby time at first. There was a parachute that we did a dance with and you grabbed me and held on tightly. The only thing you really were into was “Wheels on the Bus” You totally rocked out, using all of your dance moves. Mona and her boys arrived late, but as soon as you saw them, you calmed down. You were shy of all the people, but T is not, and you followed his lead. I can see in you personality traits of my own so often.

You have mastered pushing chairs around to get to things. Right at this moment you are on your sister’s “Patrick “ (from Spongebob Squarepants) chair, turning our light on and off. A few weeks ago I let you stand at the kitchen sink and play in the water. It was great fun for you, at the end, when I made you stop, you threw a major tantrum. I hope its as bad as they get. You scream with a high pitch that drills into my head. You sit down and scream. You pushed the chair passionately to try to get back to what you wanted. I have to say that you are willful. When you want something, YOU. WANT. IT. NOW. I know that its good, because you are not pliant with your convictions. You probably won’t go along with the crowd if you do not believe it’s the right thing to do. I hope, anyway.

This month you have finally decided that certain women are ok. You love men, and I know that scares me a little. Your sister’s teacher and some of the dads at school are ok. You go to them willingly. I try to make sure you have a male doctor because you cooperate more readily. I don’t want you to fear men, but you will go to stranger men if they are slightly pudgy and smile at you. Women are almost always a no go. This week though, you went to a few separate women. One was Rhayn’s first ever play-date at our house. Her friends mom stayed and chatted while the girls played happily upstairs. You went to her, like she was an old friend. Maybe it was being in your safety zone? Because the next day you would have nothing to do with her at the school pick up.

You are in full separation anxiety swing. I hope it is over soon, I keep leaving for little bits of time, so that you will be ok. I don’t want to foster this behavior, but I don’t want to discount it either. You need to be able to see me, in all situations. It is another instance where you and your sister are polar opposites. Maybe its because she would go and stay at Grandma’s from about 8 months? I can’t leave you just yet. I know that they would love to take you, and it might be nice to sleep naked like we used to before kids and between you two. I am not ready to wean you, you are not ready to be weaned. Sometimes I feel like those close to us are pressuring us, daddy, your grandparents. They think its all about me, but its not. Your sister was still having a bottle at this age, until she was two I think, even though I tried to wean her from it. Rhayn wasn’t ready at that point. Just like you aren’t ready. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to do what I thought was best because of reading books and listening to those around me. This time I am listening, but I am following my instinct. I have been since I was pregnant. I listened to myself with your birth, I listened to myself with nursing you in the beginning. I will listen to you and my own heart with weaning as well. I will know when we are done. Then you can go and stay with Grandma and Grandpa, until then it will be something special that only Rhayn does. And she needs that.

I love you,

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