Letter to Eli, 19 Months

Dear Eli,

This month you have become OBSESSED with the names for everything. You point and say “Mmmm!”, which translates, “Oooh! What’s this thing called?!” The thing is, it’s CONSTANT. Nursing you now generally sounds like this… “Mmmm!” “Glasses,” I reply. “Mmm!” “Eye.” “Mmm!” “Nose.” “Mmm!” “Eye.” “Mmm!” “Eli’s eye” “Mmm!” “Ear.” “Mmm!” Eli’s nose.” “Mmm!” “Eye.” It goes on but you get the picture. Each “Mmm!” is accompanied by your pointer finger spearing the body part in question, because when it comes to the parts of the face pointing just isn’t enough.

It isn’t only while nursing though. While walking, “Blue car.” “White truck.” “Black van.” With your books, Monkey… Monkey… Drum.” Puzzles, “Cow… Pig… Chicken… Cow… Goat…” Even when we are driving, from the back seat, at night, it’s “Mmmm!… Mmmm!… Mmmm!…” And while it does get a bit wearing, I actually love it.You are learning, and soon you will be talking. I LOVE that you are so motivated because I so want to hear all that you have to say.

Your other obsession is with the Baby Signing TIme DVDs. You have learned a lot from them; I think you currently are using 29 different signs and are able to make your wants and needs pretty clearly known. But you want to watch them ALL.THE.TIME. You wake up in the morning, stretch, look at me and begin to sign Baby!Baby!Baby! And so begins a day full of Baby!Baby!Baby! while I try to distract you with other activities because I don’t want my toddler to be the one who is constantly glued to a TV screen. (I actually feel a bit guilty that you watch any TV at all at your age.) The problem is that THAT toddler is exactly who you want to be right now. Even when we are out when you recognize our neighborhood through the car window on the way home you often start to frantically sign Baby!Baby!Baby! So this is one area where we are trying to strike a balance. I should have heeded the warning in Hobo Mama’s review of the Baby Signing Time series where she wrote that it is the crack cocaine of signing babies in its addictiveness. Turns out she wasn’t exaggerating.

One development this past month that couldn’t please your father and I more is that you LOVE Barnes & Noble! If we are at the Town Centre and try to walk by the store you will dart in the door if someone happens to open it at that moment. You might be distracted for a little while by the stack of hand baskets inside the door, but then it is off to the children’s section, or sometimes the cafe. It’s almost as if you feel at home there due to the many hours you spent there in utero, as until recently we haven’t been able to spend much time there since your birth.

It follows that this would also be the month when you began to show an interest in books. I always thought I would read to you daily right from the beginning, but you weren’t interested. You would vigorously slam shut most any book I tried reading to you. But now you come to me and sign “book?”, and of course I always agree that that is a wonderful idea. You have a set of Sesame Street board books and an ABC book that are your current favorites. (Your very first favorite book was Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb which for months was the only book you would listen to and look at.) You still don’t like to listen to books but like to point at the pictures and demand we name them.

We went to the Pumpkin Patch this past weekend. Here is a picture of you on the same ride this year and last. It’s fun to see how much you have grown!

This last photo I’m including not because it is a good one but rather because it so well illustrates life with you these days. You are a blur of near constant motion. In the time it takes to snap a picture, more often than not you have turned away or left the frame altogether. You are so full of energy and life! We are trying our best to keep up.

I love you so very, very, very much!




  1. Jacki Sellers said,

    October 11, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Lovely!! I’m so happy that I get to be a part of your lives and see Eli grow up. The two pictures at the pumpkin patch say it all!!

  2. Inder said,

    October 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Ha! Eli does sound a lot like my little boy Joe – he was just too busy (a blur of activity) to be very interested in books for the longest time. He’s still a bit, ahem, easily distracted, but he’s getting more interested in story time. He loves to point at things and hear their names, and more and more, tells me what things are, which is really fun and exciting! I’m a great reader, so of course I imagined I would read to my baby all the time, but in practice, he wasn’t interested, and I decided that FORCING kids to read was a bit counterproductive! So I’ve tried to follow Joe’s lead, mostly because it’s just easier that way. And a lot of times, I count myself lucky if I can keep him interested in a book for 45 seconds before he decides he’d rather run laps around the house wielding a stick. What can you do? He’s definitely not a mini-me, that’s for sure.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog – I’m enjoying your blog too! Such similar blog titles, too!!

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