Dear Natalie: 14 Months

N-14months-web

Dear Natalie,

In many ways 14 months feels a lot like 13 months. When I was writing these letters to you weekly, especially during the first few months, something new and groundbreaking was happening with you all the time. One day you weren’t even aware of your own feet, and the next day you had not only found them, but realized they were pretty much the best thing ever.

But now? Feet are old news. You’ve got bigger fish to fry. And your growth is more noticeable month-to-month than it is day-by-day. You’re learning and figuring things out (always!) but these new skills are built gradually on your old ones, rather than sudden epiphanies that lead to epic discoveries…like feet.

One common theme this month that I suspect we’ll be exploring for a long time to come is your intense desire for independence and the beginnings of boundary-pushing, existing alongside some separation anxiety and, of course, your complete disregard for your own personal safety.

In other words, you get really really really mad at me for stopping you from blithely strolling off the top of the stairs, but can’t eat oatmeal unless I pre-load your spoon and hand it to you.

You have your fair share of times when you’re so tired that you just can’t even, but most of the time you’re an absolute delight to be around. Music is your favorite — any music, but you have two songs that are far and away your favorites: Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass and Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. Whenever either of those songs come on the radio you stop whatever you’re doing to dance. Doesn’t matter if you’re eating lunch, playing with your blocks, or in the middle of climbing the stairs. Dance party. NOW. 

We even hear you chortling to yourself in your car seat if those songs come on the radio when we’re in the car.

Your moves are…interesting. Original. Very creative. Usually you bounce up and down like a spring-loaded baby, but sometimes you’ll change it up with a sideways or even a backwards shuffle/squat type thing. And then the music moves you to fling your arms over your head and run around the kitchen until you trip on something and fall over, but even then you keep on dancing.

In other news, you’ve made some fast friends this month: the cats. Your dad bought a cat toy that’s basically a toy mouse attached to a dowel with a string, and your absolute favorite thing is to march around with the wand until you find a cat to bother. I mean, play with. Beckham loves this game, even if you do accidentally bop him on the head with the stick end instead of the mouse end.

Beckham rolls around and tries to catch the mouse, and you just stand there giggling and throwing glances to me and your dad like, ARE YOU SEEING HOW FUNNY THIS IS RIGHT NOW. SRSLY.

Even though you are BFFs with all three cats, Beckham is the only one that really loves you back right now. Thumper and Roo are still afraid of you. I get it, though. You’re SO EXCITED to see them all the time, and don’t really understand “gentle.” We work on it every day and I know you’ll get it eventually, but at the moment your exuberance outweighs your self-restraint.

I will say I’m a little disappointed that the cats and I share the same name right now. If we ask you to say “Thumper” or “Beckham” you answer with an enthusiastic “MAMA!” You can sort of say “Roo,” but prefer to call him “mama,” too.

That’s not as bad as when you pointed to a hippo in your board book the other day and called that “mama,” though. You owe me for that one, kid.

Love always,

Mama/Beckham/Thumper/Roo/hippo

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