18 Months

May 17, 2011

Dear Nicky,

Today you turn 18-months!  Unbelievable!  This month your vocabulary has exploded.  You still aren’t talking much, but you know so many words.  You love when we ask you to find things and point at them.  You get such a kick out of knowing what we’re asking and being able to respond.  And it’s so much fun for us to get a response when we ask you questions.  And you’re getting more adventurous at trying to say words.  When prompted, you can repeat “guck” (truck), “guckle” (tickle), and “uh” (up), among others.  It seems like you are right on the verge of a talking explosion.  Whether that means you’ll be talking up a storm by the end of next month or three months from now I can’t tell you, but I know you’re getting ready!  I can’t believe pretty soon you’re going to be talking up a storm.  How did you get so big?

There were lots of things about this last month that were HARD.  You officially moved into the big kid room at day care, which is great because all of your favorite friends are in the big kid room – namely Anna, who has been your girlfriend since day one at Happy Campers.  You’ve been delighted to finally be included with the big kids, but it’s been a tough transition, mostly because they only take one nap in the big kid room.  And to top it off, since you sleep on cots in the middle of the room and you aren’t sleeping in a separate space from the play area, as soon as one kid wakes up, you all wake up.  So you’ve gone from napping 3+ hours at school to napping 1 hour.  That may not sound like a big difference to you, but let me tell you, it’s a game changer.  Not to mention the fact that these kids are just bigger than you and it takes a lot more energy to put up with the constant barrage of daycare when you’re the littlest one in the room.  You’re pretty good at keeping up, but I think it takes a toll on you by the end of the day.  So our evenings have been somewhat less than peaceful and I keep remembering Grand-Doug’s near constant wish for “a nice, relaxing evening” when we were growing up.  How true those words sound now! 

With the lack of sleep has come a whole host of behavior problems.  Tantrums.  Hunger strikes.  Crying.  I have to admit that we’ve been relying pretty heavily on pacifiers to get us through this month.  For a while we were really good at only giving you a pacifier in bed and in the car.  But there’s only so much crying mommy and daddy can listen to after a long day at work when we’re trying so hard to get dinner on the table.  The problem is one pacifier isn’t enough to combat this extreme exhaustion.  You need at least two: one to suck on and one to hold in your hand.  You especially love to shove your hand-cifier (as we like to call it) in your eye or ear like a lovey for extra comfort.  Hey, if that’s what it takes, so be it.  You’ll get back on track with your naps soon enough and we’ll sort out the whole pacifier dependence thing then. 

Our weekends have evolved a bit too this month.  We used to push it pretty hard to pack in as much fun as possible.  Most morning naps were spent in the car driving to some type of fun activity.  As long as you got a little shut eye in the morning, you were generally ok.  Not anymore.  Our biggest weekend focus has turned into making sure you get the naps you need.  You’ve been napping 5+ hours a day on the weekends to make up for missing naps during the week.  Arranging our schedule so you can have 5 hours in your crib has become priority number one.  We still manage to squeeze in quite a bit of fun too: a picnic in San Francisco; trips to the zoo, the children’s discovery museum, and the goat farm; hours and hours of playing in our yard with your neighbor friends and at the playground; lots and lots of artwork; and just goofing around at the house have filled up our time pretty well and made for lots of good family fun.

Adjusting to dropping your morning nap is bound to take a long time.  I have a feeling that next month’s letter will be a lot of the same – it’s a big change after all.  But I hope for all of our sake’s that life will return to normal sooner rather than later.  In the mean time, we’ll do our best and try to have as much fun as possible.  And no matter what, even when we’re all cranky, know that mommy and daddy love you very much!!!

Love, mommy

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