Seventeen months

We are in Austria right now with your Oma and Opa. When we arrived, on a rainy afternoon, we went straight to the supermarket for supplies. While Michael was putting our shopping bags into the car, I noticed some horses walking through a nearby playground, and I showed them to you. ‘Neigh neigh!’ you said. Up till now you’d only ever seen them in books and in the ‘Old Macdonald had a Farm’ song on youtube. When you woke up the next morning, before we even got you out of your crib, the very first thing you said was ‘neigh neigh!’, and pointed desperately at the window. ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘there are some horses around, we’ll visit them later’. Requests to visit the ‘neigh neighs’ haven’t let up yet. Every time we take you to see them you want to see them again immediately.

Your favourite word right now is ‘more’. You want more yoghurt, more songs, more peas, more spins in the air, more horses, more cows, more tunnels, more raspberries in your bath water, more tickles, more little trecks around whatever strange thing has caught your interest. It’s not always a request, sometimes it’s just a statement that you’re going to do something again, or even checking with us if you should do something again. When we were stuck in traffic on the way down here, you were trying on my sunglasses, peeping out of them, saying ‘daaaa!’, and then, when we laughed at you, ‘more?’ And you would do it again.

It’s very cute to hear you say ‘peas!’ The word always seems to be exclaimed. Some of your new words, apart from ‘more’, are ‘bubble’, ‘turtle’, ‘key’, ‘moon’, ‘star’, and ‘yoghurt’. You’re favourite song right now is ‘Tiny Tim’ (a song about turtles and bubbles), and you are getting very good at the actions.

You’ve got very good at bossing us around. You like to sit on a step, and point to the spot next to you to indicate that I should sit down too. Or you stand up, point at the floor until I stand up too, take my hand and lead me to where you want to go.

You had your last breastfeed the day before you turned 17 months. It was more my idea than yours, I’m afraid, but you took it in your stride, which I’m pretty sure you would not have done a month earlier. I miss it a little but you are sleeping so much better now, and we still have lots and lots of snuggles.

When we were staying in the B&B in Denmark we had to wait until 7.30 for breakfast. Given that you woke up at 4.30, you were none too impressed with this. For the last ten minutes before we went in, you clutched your bib and your spoon, saying ‘yoghurt? Mama? Yoghurt?’ Again and again and again. And when we finally got in there and poured you a bowl of yoghurt, you burst into inconsolable tears, because it wasn’t in a little pot like you were used to. I had to take you outside and calm you down, and stop talking about yoghurt and offer you some cheese, before you were happy to sit in your chair again, at which point you contentedly put away about three bowls worth of yoghurt, after all.

Apart from the horses, your favourite thing about Austria were all the cable cars. The first time we took you on one you were amazed every time a carriage went past in the other direction. ‘More?’ You would ask. And sure enough, another one would show up. After that, if we were walking or driving anywhere, as soon as you spotted a cable car you would point and complain urgently, letting us know that you wanted to get on it immediately. As long as you had a banana or a piece of apple strudel to munch on on the way back down, you were pretty much in heaven.

This month has been all about connections, between things, pictures, words and people. It has been such a delight to see you form such a strong bond with your German grandparents, and you’ve also had a wonderful time lately playing with our neighbour’s daughters and some of our friends’ children. When we read your books at bedtime, one of them has a picture of a sippy cup, and you always excitedly point at the picture of the cup and then at your own cup, and at the picture of the bed and at your own bed. When we were out for dinner this evening, you were fingering the buttons on my shirt. ‘Buttons’, I said, at which point you hastily pulled up your top and pointed at your belly button. When Michael returned from America with a t-shirt for you with a picture of a tyrannosaurus on it, the first thing you did was rush to your bookshelf and pull out the book about the Gruffalo, and say ‘argh!’ They did look quite alike. Then you dug around in your duplo box until you found your duplo dinosaur. You are so much fun to be around right now.

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