Letter to Samuel: 17 Months

Dear Sam,

Life sure is fun with you, kid. You make us laugh every day with your new tricks, and it’s amazing to see your personality really beginning to blossom. You are silly and sweet. You are a genuinely caring boy. You are adventurous. And you love to exercise your independence.


This month brought new challenges, of course. Like trying to get you to sit in your booster seat for meals. You much prefer to sit — or stand — in the big chair. And let’s not even talk about how quickly you can climb onto the kitchen table. You are also far too efficient at pushing the chair over to the counter and climbing up onto it. You still try to scale Lucy’s gates, and you can crawl up and slide down the stairs almost as fast as I can walk them. You giggle hysterically when we hang you upside down or sit you on top of the refrigerator. You love to jump on the bed and free fall into piles of pillows. And, although I am trying to block this one from my memory, it is worth noting that we have watched you try to climb out of your crib. You use your arms to pull your chest up onto the rail while attempting to swing your legs over it. This is big trouble, mister, because the crib mattress is as low as it can go.


Though you sometimes make Mommy hold her breath with your acrobatics, I continue to be impressed with your coordination. You can now walk on your tippy toes and jump and spin. And you really only have one speed these days: fast. I love to hear the sound of your bare feet against the hardwood floors as you run around the house. You also still love, love, love to dance. As in you hand me the Xbox controller and try to push the ottoman out of the way and demand we break it down. You stomp your feet and kick your legs and wave your hands in the air … like you just don’t care. Sam, I hope you are always so free-spirited.


More new tricks this month include clicking your tongue and blinking your eyelids. You have also developed this incredibly cute little wave. You hold your hand close to your face and wiggle your fingers and say bye-bye in a high-pitched voice. And this little wave is often preceded by kissing your hand and blowing it into the air. Yeah, this combination is quite the showstopper. You’ve directed it towards ladies at Chipotle, baby girls at Barnes and Noble, and Lucy whenever we leave the house.


Speaking of Lucy, she is still your best bud. You two honestly look out for each other. If she’s in her crate while you’re eating (because it’s the only way to prevent her from jumping up to your plate), you will only eat about half your meal before you’re down and demanding we let her out. Then, of course, you sneak bites to her. Seriously. You do it under the table and behind your back. We’re on to you, pal! You also try to hold her water dish while she drinks from it, and you like to give her biscuits from her treats jar. The two of you make me dizzy with the laps you run around the kitchen — you with your ball popper and Lucy with her stuffed raccoon. Boy, I can’t wait to watch you play together in the backyard this spring!


It’s not all fun and games, though. Sometimes there are meltdowns. In fact, you had your first official “toddler tantrum” at music class this month. I believe this happened for a variety of reasons. 1) Our new class starts at 11am, and you typically nap at 11:30am. 2) We are now in the “big kid” class, and I think you were slightly intimidated by the two- and three-year-olds. 3) Your friend, Reese, shared a special snack with you right before class started. I tried my best to sneak it into your diaper bag. But you caught me. And you were obsessed with the bag for the entire class. And by entire, I mean until I took you out of the room, kicking and screaming, 10 minutes before class ended. Oh, buddy.


Other equally dramatic fits have occurred when I’ve attempted to leave you in the kids care room at Mommy’s new gym. I have promised you it’s a fun and safe place and that I will always come back for you. But you cling to me and scream as soon as we enter the building. The first time you cried for about 90% of the time I was gone. The second time was just slightly better. And after two weeks you still cry, but at least you calm down enough to sit at the table and watch the other kids play. Maybe next month you’ll actually decide to play with them?

Your sippy cup and Mr. Ribbit have become your security vices when I’m away from you. And your binkies, too, of course. You still use them — usually three of them — to sleep. But every morning and after every nap we “throw them into your bed.” Sometimes you whimper and prolong it, but you always end up tossing them in. And I’m trying to break you of the habit of using them in the car. I’m not looking forward to the day when we completely take them away. Though I would like to accomplish this before your second birthday.


You fell in love with Mickey Mouse this month. So many of your little friends watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and I finally introduced it to you. We only have three episodes on demand, but you don’t mind watching them over and over. I typically only allow you to watch one episode per day, even when you whine for more. Your favorite parts are when the characters sing “oh, toodles” and when they do the “hot dog dance.” Nana and Poppy have a gigantic Mickey Mouse at their house, and you love to talk to him on Skype. And you were absolutely obsessed with him when we visited this month.


We still try to do at least one playdate per week. We’ve attended a toddler bookclub and a Mardi Gras party and are looking forward to painting Easter eggs with friends next month. On Tuesdays we go to storytime at Barnes and Noble (though you are more interested in the train table and the lego table than the actual story) and on Wednesdays we go to Kindermusik. Sometimes you run errands with Mommy and you are usually a very good little buddy. Of course, it’s best if I have a supply of pretzel sticks in my pocket. And the first thing we do when we get to the grocery store is beeline for the deli counter where we get a slice of cheese. Sometimes you even get a chocolate chip cookie from the bakery. And you eat the whole thing.

Sam, your sweet tooth is seriously as big as your Mommy’s and Daddy’s. One of your favorite things to do is stand on the chair and help me bake. You dump flour into the bowl and watch the mixer swirl the ingredients together and then, of course, you lick the spatula. You haven’t met a chocolate dessert you don’t like.


You are still a very good eater, though you are easily distracted. You have mastered both the fork and the spoon and you can now slowly sip water from a big cup — as opposed to taking one big gulp at a time. And I’m pretty positive you went through a growth spurt this month because some days you just could not get enough food into your belly. One day you ate three — three! — whole bananas. Which you now ask for as “buh.” That same day you took a four-hour nap. Mommy checked on you at least three times. But you were perfectly peaceful with your arms and feet tucked in and your booty high in the air.


You regressed just slightly in the sleep department this month. There were several days where you napped for only 30 minutes, or skipped it completely, which meant you were a bear by 4pm. And we had some early morning wakeups. But you’re back on track now.

Diaper changes have become much easier. In fact, you now lay your bottom right in your diaper when we ask you to. Of course, you still like to run around naked after your bath. One night you pulled a few toys from the bin in your room: a cloth basket to hang around your neck, Mr. Potato Head’s green glasses on the tip of your nose, and a teething ring around your arm as a bracelet. You were still completely naked, otherwise. You had me rolling on the ground in laughter. Who says dress-up is just for little girls?


Sometimes during diaper changes we sing “five little monkeys jumping on the bed.” You anticipate the next lines by touching your head and shaking it for “no more monkeys jumping on the bed.” You also now do “itsy bitsy spider” and “the wheels on the bus go round and round,” as well as “five little ducks went out one day” with your rubber duckies in the bathtub.

You communicate with much more purpose and in more logical context than last month. Meaning you make consistent sounds for banana, cracker, bye-bye, hi, hot, ice, Lucy (baa baa because I suppose we say “bad Lucy” far too often?), momma, dadda, pop pop (for your ball popper), down, drum, and dance. You also have the sweetest little sing-song voice, which you use when you play with your trains and trucks.


You have 12 teeth — 4 on the top, 4 on the bottom, and 4 molars. You wear size 5 shoes, size 4 diapers, and mostly size 18-24 month clothing. You weigh about 24 pounds (and Lucy weighs 34 pounds!), and you seem significantly taller than last month. You can easily reach the door handles and countertops and have no problem climbing onto the couch. Some days you completely wear me out, but your snuggles at the end of the day make it all worthwhile.

Can’t wait to see what comes next.

Love Your Momma

3 thoughts on “Letter to Samuel: 17 Months

  1. With as much as Sam seems to enjoy music & dancing, you should get the “Party Like A Preschooler” by Go Fish cd from iTunes if you don’t already have it…such fun and upbeat twists on classic songs!

  2. Oh, that crib thing scares me! I guess no matter when it happens it’s a big change, but shouldn’t you get a few more months in the crib? Yikes.

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