Dear Elsa: a letter at fifteen months


 You are fifteen months old and acting more the toddler every day. You are full of sweetness and happiness, and we can no longer imagine our days not filled with your actual laughs and your excessive fake laughs and big wide-open mouth smiles. elsa swing

The biggest change in you since you turned one is that you are now walking. You took your first journey of eleven steps at your Grandpa Joe and Grandma Pam’s house on February, in front of everyone, stopping to applaud yourself every couple of steps. But then, you stopped. We brought you home and would coax you to walk, even holding out your brother’s sippy cup as incentive, but you would stand for a second, consider it, and then drop down to your belly and kick your legs and laugh. But about three weeks later, you just kind of started walking. Everywhere. It’s still something we celebrate as you walk into a room, arms straight up, smiling wide, as if to see “TaDa! I’m here! Hooray!”  And now there are moments that you seem to be almost running, going from room to room in our house, or across baseball fields with your hands in fists up by your shoulders for balance.

Learning to walk has allowed you to participate in life more, and you love it. You do your best to join in with your dad and Owen’s running game, as your dad swoops you around corners, and you whisper “schhhh schhhh” while Owen looks for you. You squeal with delight when you see his face poke around corners, and any activity resembling peek-a-boo is basically your favorite thing in life. You play it back now too, covering most of your mouth and one eye with your fingers and laughing each time you lift them off. Walking has also increased your destroying capabilities, and you take great joy in removing things. All of the contents of the diaper bag. All of the clothes in a basket of laundry. All of the books on the shelf.

You’re just trying so hard to be part of things. You use all your might to pick up the fat bat, and swing it at the tee or the ball in your dad’s hand. When you make contact, you drop it, run a few steps “around the bases,” and then drop to your belly and kick your legs to “slide.” You look at us as if to say, “Did you see  that? I’m amazing.” You are always stopping to clap – for snacks, when you see someone you love, at animal books and talk of video and at your own efforts to climb and roll and walk and run. You try to build blocks but are mostly interested in knocking even the smallest towers down, much to Owen’s frustration, though he does build them on the floor, right in our walking paths.

When you were just over a year, you picked up Owen’s Goliath shield and hit it a couple times with his “spear,” and when he pretended to throw a stone at you, you fell down on the carpet, all the way down. You were delighted with yourself as we were delighted with you.  You go down slides and giggle. You swing and giggle. You hear the opening plastic of a snack and giggle and sometimes even throw in an “ooh!” For some reason, you think it’s so funny to lay down on the floor in front of us and roll around, kicking your legs up in the air – we’re not sure if you’re sliding or playing Goliath dead or what, but you think it’s hilarious, and so do we.

You’re also trying to talk. You’ve got “hiiiiii” down, and you say “mama!” all the time, but you call all of three of us “mama,” though you do throw out an occasional “da!” (May 14 you finally got the hang of that one, much to your own delight.) We’ll hear you talking softly to yourself upstairs after you nap, and when we go to pick you nap, you’re often sitting upright, playing with your bunny, and we always wonder how long you’ve been awake. You greet us with happy squeals and smiles, and as we head downstairs, you’re always peering out the back window and down the stairs towards where you can find Owen, questioning, “Mama?” On the rare occasions that you wake up before Owen, I have to do everything in my power to keep you from sprinting over to his room, pushing open his door, and waking him up. (When you finally do hear him wake up, you squeal with laughter and clap your hands. It’s adorable.)

elsa climb

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