Letter to Samuel: 13 Months

Dear Sam,

It feels like just yesterday that we were counting down the days until your first birthday. And I told everyone who asked that you were “almost one,” and then that you “just turned one.” Now I have to say “thirteen months!”

Wow, what a month it has been. You are now a toddler! And, boy, do you act like one. You started walking just three days after your birthday, and now it is impossible to keep you in one place for more than one minute. You are busy, busy, busy.

You run from one toy to another, pausing for just moments to push the beads through the maze, stack blocks, push the cars down the racetrack, or throw a ball. You love your tool bench and can identify the drill and the hammer. When I turn on Dance Central on our xBox, you immediately start to move to the music. You also love to push your lawnmower, ride your giraffe, and bounce on your turtle. Your favorite books are 100 Words and All the Ways I love You. But, perhaps, your current favorite thing to do is hang out in your circus tent (that has taken up permanent residence in the corner of our living room). You especially love when we position your tunnel inside the door of the tent. Daddy tries his best to crawl through the tunnel and into your tent, but you usually sit just out of his reach and laugh hysterically at him. Inside, you always have a selection of toys — blocks, rings, balls, Elmo. I suspect you’re going to be a fort kind of kid.

You now have five teeth — three on the top and two on the bottom. And you had your first haircut this month. Oh, man, was it traumatic. You sat in my lap and screamed, tears rolling down your cheeks. But you look like such a big boy now!

At your well visit a few weeks ago, you weighed 20 pounds 6 ounces and measured 29 inches tall. Officially tall enough to reach the door handles! Trouble …

We were fortunate to have a mild October, and we spent many hours outside. I believe you would live outside if we let you! You often bang on the door that leads to our patio and whine until we take you out. Then you spend the next hour walking back and forth on the patio, up and down the sidewalk, and around the driveway. You love to collect leaves and climb on the rocks of our flowerbed. And you insist on doing everything by yourself. Mr. Independent! Yes, you totally skipped the “walking while holding our hands” phase.

It is so much fun to watch you explore. And as your coordination improves, your confidence increases. At the playground, you can now crawl up and down the steps and slide down the slide — almost completely unassisted. You try so hard to do everything you see the big kids do.

This month we took you to an apple festival where you played in the hay and had your first taste of apple cider. We went to a pumpkin patch where you climbed on the pumpkins and tried to push a wagon that weighed more than you. We also visited a litter of puppies — and plan to bring one home next month! I’m still not sure how we’re going to keep you out of the crate.

We’ve been to so many playdates this month, too, and I love to watch you interact with the other kids. Though we need to work on “sharing.” Of course, you have no trouble sharing your binky and your snacks with Daddy!

We introduced milk into your sippy cup this month, and you are not a fan. In fact, your eating habits have changed quite a bit. Gone are the days of shoving fistfuls of food into your mouth. Now you examine each bite before eating it and sometimes spit it back out and throw it onto the floor. One day you will love grapes and chicken, and the next day you won’t touch either. You are fascinated by utensils, though, and spend half of dinnertime trying to pierce the food with your fork. You also insist on eating yogurt on your own, which always results in a huge mess. I know all of this is very typical of a toddler, but I miss my good eater!

Another development on the eating front: you are no longer nursing. You weaned yourself — completely on your own — right before your first birthday. I feared that you would no longer want to cuddle with me, but I was quite wrong. You and I still have our quiet time together every night, and in the morning, I bring you into our big bed to snuggle between me and Daddy for a few minutes before beginning our days.

Now let’s talk about sleep. It’s been a bit rough this month. Just another joy of entering toddlerhood, I suppose. Your naps are changing, and you only sleep for about an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon — often less. Eventually, I’ll transition you to just an afternoon nap, but I really don’t think you’re ready yet.

Nighttime sleep has been a struggle, too. Some nights you don’t settle down until 9pm. Other nights you go to bed at 7:30pm and wake up at 11:30pm. Night terrors, perhaps? Because when you “wake up,” you are screaming inconsolably, and it’s not until you’re fully awake that you stop. And then you just want to play. Seriously. Some nights we’re up until 1:30am. I know this is just another phase that you will eventually outgrow, but it’s always tough when we’re in the middle of it, isn’t it?

Despite these new eating and sleeping challenges, you are really such a joy, little man. You are energetic and spirited and you make friends everywhere we go. You stare and wave and babble at strangers until they say hello. And that hello is almost always followed by compliments on your smile and your eyes. You sing in the grocery store and squeal in restaurants, but you also have a shy side and sometimes bury your head in my neck.

You say Momma and Dadda and try to say “ball” and “bath.” Though you are not saying many words yet, you are constantly babbling, and you understand almost everything we say. You communicate with us by pointing and reaching for the things you want. You also sign “more” and “all done” without being prompted to do so.

The world is so much more exciting through your blue eyes. Every activity, every walk, every outing is an adventure. Your smile is contagious, and your hugs are still as sweet as ever. I love you, bud! To the moon and back.


5 thoughts on “Letter to Samuel: 13 Months

  1. Great post, and love his little boy haircut! I always feel like our Sams are living parallel lives, especially regarding their new eating habits. It goes without saying – you’re going to enjoy the next couple months so much! (Also, I fought the transition to one nap a day for as long as possible. At 14 months, I stopped fighting it and the days get so much easier – I promise!)

  2. So sweet and cute! Good luck with the eating thing! Toddlers are so finicky! Sometimes, those pouches with spinach, peas and pears and the other ones are my saving grace for getting good foods in my boy. Those and fruit… and yogurt. My son also likes to try to eat yogurt on his own. I try to save that for outside on the deck. 🙂 And the haircuts? The only thing that works for my little man is sitting on my lap and giving him a little dum-dum pop. Yes, it’s candy, and yes, we have to make sure we’re careful with the stick. YES, it’s slobbery and sticky. But it works!!! 🙂

  3. My little guy is only a month older than Sam and both of them have so much in common! They grow up so fast, don’t they? 🙂

    I have to say, we are having issues with sleep at night too. Before, he slept through the night and now in the last few weeks, it seems like every night he’s up and standing in the crib crying!

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