month nineteen

Dear Brooklynn, I realize that this letter is a little late, but in my defense, we just had the coldest few days of the winter. It was cold enough that your mom got her second snow day off this year just because the weather outside was a little nippy. It's the coldest it has been in Denver since well before I started living here. I know that you don't understand what a high in the negatives means right now other than the fact that we aren't going to take you to the park to play, but trust me. For our home, it means it's pretty cold outside. Your grandparents might tell you differently, but don't listen to them. They're just jealous of the mountains we see everyday and 300 plus days of sunshine we enjoy every year.

Let's Go!

Anyway, it's been cold enough that your mom is back to baking, so we try to make things that you can share in once in a while. We made cheesecake truffles, which you really liked, chicken alfredo pizza, which you didn't care for as much as you have in the past, and rice pudding with raisins, which is pretty much the greatest food ever invented. Maybe the banana and honey stuffed French toast might have been close. Or the cake pops (crumbled cake mixed with frosting formed into a ball and dipped in chocolate). And you'd probably like the butter-finger bars, except that we still aren't giving you nuts of any kind.

This month, you have really taken to bananas for breakfast and the noises you make when you see one kind of remind us of a monkey. Draw your own conclusions from that. Even though I talk about all the good food you've been enjoying, you still stop eating when you get full, we make sure you get your fruits and veggies in, and you actually haven't gained any weight since just before Thanksgiving. Yes, you made it through the holidays without putting on a pound. All across America, Brooklynn, people wish they could be like you.

Hanging Out

Maybe your lack of weight gain can be attributed to how much you run around. From the kitchen to the living room and back, up and down the stairs, you get around. You typically don't wander too far away from where we're at, but we know if we are on the move, you won't be too far behind. You just want to be part of the family, as in, include me in whatever you are doing part of the family.

We got you a play kitchen for Christmas which has been fun. You play with it pretty much every day, and it has been a little bit of a gateway to the real kitchen. You like demand to stand on a chair in the kitchen and watch what we cook and do what we do. There have been several evenings that you have stood beside me with a pan and wooden spoon and "cooked" just like me while I make supper. We have to watch and make sure you aren't too close to the hot stove or the knives, but other than that, I'm pretty sure you will make a great helper.

Kitchen Helper

You already run errands for us, carry things around the house and throw garbage away. We can ask you to pick up your toys, put away your blocks, and clean up your kitchen and it all usually gets taken care of. You especially like to take things like towels or bowls or balls back and forth between your mother and me. "Take this to Mom" will set you cruising around the house to deliver whatever the latest parcel may be.

As you can tell, you are starting to understand words and phrases. Take off your boots and coat, Go find Mom, and Time for a bath are very well understood. You will blow your own nose, find shoes for us when you are ready to go outside, and once in a while, you even lay down all on your own for a diaper change. You blow on your food to cool it off (even when it isn't hot) and you make sure your baby and stuffed animals are never wanting for food or water from your cup.

Homework

Along with understanding a lot of what we say, you are starting to use more words. Up, down, yes, yuck, hot, baby, hi, bye-bye, ball, Mommy, Daddy, please, thanks, sorry, and of course, uh-oh and no. Your pronunciation could use some work, as could your singing, but I guess there is a little bit of time to develop those skills. You know who you are, pointing to yourself when asked "Where's Brooklynn?". You know how to clap, wave, blow kisses, give high fives, and bump knuckles. You know your hair, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, belly, butt, legs, and toes. I mean, wow. Are you really the same kid who could barely move around just a year ago?

Polka Dot Coat

You've had a couple of colds this month, but no trips to the hospital. You have 12 teeth with two more on the way. (You're missing your canines and second molars on all sides, just in case you're curious.) If you get your finger caught somewhere or bump your head, you come to us for kisses to make it better. You like to go down the slide at the playground (but you still need someone to hold your hand and go down next to you).

I know, I say it every month. We don't have a baby anymore. And each month, it seems impossible that you could keep growing and learning and developing at the rate you do. And each month, you seem to speed up. Now, three word phrases, sentences, reasoning. Then, calculus. And maybe in somewhere in there, we'll work on not being scared of the noise the garage door makes when it opens.

Flower Power

Love, Dad