Thirteen Months

Dear Andrew,


You are now thirteen months, still a little peanut, but walking around like a big shot,  filling every room with your amazing personality.


Sometimes I think that you couldn’t get more fun. And then you totally do. You understand so much. When we ask you a question, you shake your head side to side (even if you mean “yes”). You sign for “more” just to ask for food or even to listen to Michael’s Lion King cd again. You run to the door each day, looking out at the front yard and you point to the door and say, “Da! Da!” You know when we’re waiting for him to come home. And you also say the same thing when you see Grandpa coming up the walk. So, you’re close.


You still love to be chased and tickled. You’re definitely getting more hardy, and you and your brother will wrestle and flop around in the blankets. You giggle like a maniac, and I can just tell how thrilled you are to be big enough to participate in his shenanigans. Sometimes, he needs his space, and you’ve gotten content to go your own way. And come up with some shenanigans of your own.


One thing that I have noticed about you is your persistence. I saw it a few months back, when you were learning how to stand. You’d pull yourself up using the couch, let go, balance for a minute and drop back to your bottom. Then you would do it again. And again. And again and again and again. Now, you do it with steps. The small back stoop, you step up, step down, sometimes you stumble, then you step up, then down. You’ve done it on the slight hill that connects our front yard to the neighbors’. Walk up the hill, walk down the hill. Repeat. The three concrete steps out front that you tumbled down a few weeks ago, scraping up your forehead and nose. Climb up on all fours, climb down on all fours. Now you’re even starting to try to come up on two feet. You make me nervous every time, but you’re so confident and determined to figure it out, I force myself to fight my overprotective mommy instinct to scoop you up and save you. You don’t need me to. And you’ll fight me when I must.


Speaking of climbing, you can get yourself up onto the top of the toilet seat. You can get yourself onto the end table, over the arm of the couch and proudly bounce on the cushions where your brother is. You do chin-ups on the edge of the dinner table. You reach your hands up as high as you can because you know if you just stretch a little farther, you will be able to access all the forbidden things. You are constantly reaching, striving, processing and figuring out your own limits and the limits I must set for you.


You turn and check in with me when you know you’re doing something I haven’t allowed before. You smile and tease, but you do comprehend and obey much of the time. Just like with your brother, I try not to say “no” to too much, so that when I do, you know it’s for your safety or the preservation of property. When you head for the street, I call you back and firmly say “no.” You shake your head back and forth and walk smiling back toward me. I’ll call that a win. For now.


You’re so adventurous and determined that the occasionally bump, scrape, tumble or bruise is inevitable. You tripped down the concrete steps a few weeks ago, and man, you sure scared the heck out of your mama, who was sitting right next to you and still couldn’t keep it from happening. But I scooped you up and brought you in, and as soon as I sat you down on the kitchen counter to wipe up your forehead and nose, you stopped crying, looked around amazed at the new scenery and smiled. Because you are always looking for the next adventure. And nothing’s going to slow you down. At least not for long.




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