Sunday, 19 December 2010

Boob be gone

So it looks like we’re winding down our breastfeeding relationship. Which is good. I think. I mean, right? This is what I want, isn’t it? She’s almost 17 months old. Old enough that I personally don’t feel comfortable feeding her in public and haven’t for around 6 months or so. Which is not say I have anything against extended breastfeeding, but I certainly have found my own comfort threshold with it. Eloise and I are starting our first step to growing apart as individuals. And while I will forever and always be Eloise’s mother - a permanent stamp on my identity, Eloise will become more and more Eloise, plain and simple (though far from plain and far from simple is she).

I can now get her to nap and sleep without nursing. A feat I have tried for near on 7 months off and on with no luck. Finally this last week, Eloise and I were ready. I had more resolve to stick it out and she no longer felt this was a battle worth fighting against so hard. So she signed for milk and I calmly gave her a beaker of cow’s milk instead. And I rocked her in my arms and she kicked and screamed and pointed at the old chair we usually nurse in, but I rocked and shushed and patted and after 10 minutes she laid her cheek against mine and started to fall asleep. And the next day it was 5 minutes of screaming. And that night. That night I held her and rocked her for maybe 30 seconds and she indicated that she wanted to be put down in her bed, so I did, and she curled into a ball, butt in the air, and I put the blanket on her, patted her back and left the room.

We are now embarking on day 5 of not nursing and there have unfortunately been many a moment at 1:12am, at 2:29am, at 4:38am that tears have sprung to my eyes while Eloise wailed and thrashed - because of teething, because of a cold, because of a tummy ache, because she likes a good challenge - and I thought I should just give in and sit in that chair and nurse her. But we both need to learn how to calm and be calmed by other means than my milk - and while cutting 2 molars without being able to nurse her through the discomfort has been a baptism of fire, we have stuck through it and she has woken every morning, happy and cheerful and slightly more independent to two very tired parents.

Will I be able to stay as strong tonight if she does the same thing? If she wakes up 4 times and takes a good HOUR to get back to sleep each time? I don’t know. I’m tired. I honestly don’t know. But I do know that Eloise and I are growing up. And I’m a little sad and a lot relieved. Because do you know what stopping to nurse means? It means that I can drink as much sparkling water as I want without it upsetting Eloise’s stomach. It means that I can wear bras that don’t pretend to hold my boobs up by flimsy Lego snaps. IT MEANS THAT I CAN DRINK DURING THE DAY AGAIN.IF I FEEL LIKE IT. IF I AM NOT NAPPING.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


Neil over at Citizen of the Month - a man who saw me start blogging during my carefree, boozy, childless life pre-Eloise - hosts a fabulous inter-faith holiday concert. This year I was sober enough to send a little clip of Eloise and me singing along with Fairytale of New York.

Lots of entertaining, heartfelt, beautiful and adorably embarrassing holiday videos can be seen. Go. Now. Fill yourself with holiday spirit and then come back and tell me how cute my kid is.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The weather has been a slight challenge and we find ourselves indoors a bit more often then usual.

Impromptu photo shoots happen frequently.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Baby Tings are everywhere

When Eloise turned 9 months, one of the babies we knew around her age started walking and I thought, wow, that's early! When Eloise turned 12 months old a few more of the babies her age had started walking, and I thought, ok, she can take her time, no rush. When Eloise turned 15 months old and nearly all the babies we knew her age were walking but her, I complained to the other mothers. I want her to walk already! It would be so much easier, I said. The mothers said to me, with one eye on their baby who was running away, careful what you wish for! Enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts!

And now at 16 months she is walking, and yes, there is more running around and chasing and the danger that she can get into has upped my mom senses to amber alert. But because my friends had prepared me for this next step, I feel ready. And since we waited so patiently, I am still in the proud mama bear phase (ps. Eff you Sarah Palin for taking the "mama bear" concept and smearing your giant Alaskan poo all over it). But what I was not prepared for was the spread of the baby things. Her junk is EVERYWHERE. What used to be contained to little pockets of pre-determined Eloise areas is now invading the rest of the house.

After she is in bed and I go around tidying the house up, I find rubber ducks in kitchen cabinets, baby spoons on book shelves, children's books in the bathtub.

She is taking over the house. And it kinda makes me smile.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Seizieme mois avec Mademoiselle Eloise

Eloise -

I won’t tie in the last few days with my recap of your 16th month on this planet, because if I did I would have to say that you’ve been a hot snotty mess with the ability to cry at the drop of a hat and cling to me or your father like the world around you is crumbling. But you’ve got a fever and molars the size of child’s fist breaking through your gums so we’ll ignore the last few days. Especially since this month is the month you learned to WALK! We’ve had little steps here and there and that great running-at-an-ever-decreasing-angle-between-me-and-the-floor-until-you-either-catch-me-or-I-face-plant walk. But this past week you have finally gone from bum shuffler to walker. You got a bit of Charlie Chaplin thing going on, and you often stop and look around you in surprise that you got this far and in even more surprise that the rest of the world moves so fast.

You love to sing and I am amazed at the speed with which you pick up new songs. I sing. A LOT. And I know one day you’ll get fed up with my singing and tell me stop. But for now, you love it. When I was pregnant I sang lullabies to you in my belly. I’d often take a bath at night to help ease the aches and pains and to have a calm place to let my pregnant emotions out. I would sing “Tender Shepherd” from Peter Pan and “My own Home” from The Jungle Book and The Beatles “I will” while rubbing my belly, feeling my body pulse with love for you. When you were born it was a few weeks before I could finish a lullaby without crying - my adoration for you was too new and intense and the words all felt too true. During your first year I sang to make you laugh, to calm you down, sometimes I sang just so the house would not be filled with your cries alone. And now 16 months of listening to me sing you’re joining in. And in tune. And it is awesome. Eloise, you can duet with me wherever whenever.

Along with the singing is the dancing.

You have different dance moves depending on the tempo. A slow song and you sway back and forth and I swear once I saw you raise your lighter in the air. A fast song and you are quick to rock your diapered hips and nod your head up and down.

You have also become a lot more affectionate. You hug and kiss on command - obviously not every time, but it is becoming less and less frequent that you’ll turn down a chance for a cuddle. The other day I was getting you ready for your bath and I put your sweater on my head, you stopped and looked at me with a huge grin, clapped a few times and then put your little hands on my face, pulling me towards you and planted a wet one on me. It was the first time you had kissed me without me prompting you and it was the best thing ever.

There are moments every day when my heart swells and I am overwhelmed at how much I love you. A new look, an excited smile, a contented sigh. You are my heart. And to think that my heart just might love me back, even just a fraction as much, is pure indulgent icing on this mammoth mama of a cake.

Je t’aime.


Friday, 26 November 2010


There's a half written letter to 16-month-old Eloise kicking around my computer. The post was written late because I wanted to surprise my mother who came to visit on the fact that her granddaughter is a walking being. The post is half finished because since my mother arrived Eloise went into full on sabotage mode and reverted to waking multiple times a night, nursing for hours non stop and generally complaining to whomever would listen.

I'll post more when I get some sleep that lasts longer than 3 hours and/or doesn't involve a snorting toddler trying to suck the life essence from me at 4am.

Until then....This.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Hover hover

Am I the mother I am because she is my daughter or is she the daughter she is because I am her mother? It is hard to see where her personality ends and my parenting influence begins.

At the moment I think I could be classed as a "helicopter" parent. When Eloise and I go to playgroup in the morning - big bustling rooms filled with newborns to four-year-olds and a whole plethora of toys - I struggle to leave Eloise's side - or rather, I guess we struggle to leave each other. I want her to be independent, to go forth and make friends and discover new ways of playing. Instead Eloise tends to either sit on my lap, or hold my hands as she walks around the room observing. When she does get comfortable in her surroundings and wanders off to read some books or play house, I try and keep my distance and chat with the other mothers, but I find I can't entirely take my eyes off her. To me she is just a fragile little child, incapable of running away or defending herself and when she is no longer attached to my jeans I fear that it will be only moments before she gets pushed down to the ground or the toy she's playing with will get unjustly ripped out of her hands.

But kids need to get pushed down, right? They need to learn to get back on their feet. They need to learn to share and also to learn that sharing is a tough lesson, one not everyone you come across will have learned properly. So when Eloise does (more often than not) end up on the floor in tears I squash the initial reaction to punt the other child across the room and help Eloise pick herself up and tell her these things happen.

But inside I'm thinking, Oh cruel world! What can I do to make sure nothing harms this beautiful little being before me. I hope I'm not alone in this (because if I were I would start to doubt my sanity) but ever since I became a mother, lost scenes from my upbringing have sprung to the foreground. I remember at my own nursery having the worried feeling that the adults did not have enough control, that there simply wasn't enough of them to witness all the injustice that was occurring on the playground. So clearly my anxiety has been there from the get go. What I don't want to do is pass this on to Eloise through nurture if she managed to dodge the anxiety bullet potentially handed to her via nature.

As I have spent these last 16 months getting to know Eloise, I can clearly see that she has a reserved personality. She takes her time and gets to know her surroundings before jumping in. She chooses who gets to see her with her guard down and who doesn't. I wouldn't call her shy. A) because I don't think she is shy and b) the more you tell a "shy" person they're shy, the more withdrawn they become.

I guess I'm just struggling to find the balance between honoring her emerging personality and exacerbating it.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Confessions of a Mother of a Bum-Shuffler

If she's not bum shuffling from room to room she is crawling.

If she's not crawling she is holding her hands out so we can "walk" her.

Adorable tights with frills on the bottom are now encrusted with garden dirt and playground sand.

A naively purchased pair of white trousers hangs unworn in her wardrobe.

As soon as I get into an interesting conversation with another mother at playgroup (and by interesting I mean anything not about baby poo), Eloise bum-shuffles over to me hands up in the air demanding me to walk her.

When I see other babies her age running around I know that I have it easy. The mothers look tired, and rightfully so, seeing as they now have to look after a child that walks like a drunk elf and has the same concept of danger as one.

But I envy them too. I want to see where Eloise will go. I want to chase after her at the park. I think I am finally ready to see her walk away from me.

Monday, 1 November 2010

A kiss Goodnight

What if I don't remember the little details of being her mother in the days before her memory takes hold? What if I forget that the first time I put her to bed without nursing her I had tears in my eyes while she drank her cup of milk reading Goodnight Moon. What if I forget that when she lay down in her crib, belly full and a smile on her lips, she took her bunny and teddy bear and pressed their lips together with a kiss.

When she gets too old to kiss me on the lips what if I forget the day she first kissed me?

Tonight after she brushed her teeth in her father's arms, he handed her to me and she planted her minty mouth to mine. She pulled away and we both laughed. She kissed me again and again, laughing each time. Then her father said, Et Daddy? Bisous a Daddy? And when he leaned in for her to kiss him, she pushed her father's face towards mine, preferring that he kiss me instead.

What if I forget this? What if the pictures and even the words aren't enough to remember exactly how it felt to have her in my arms at the exact age she is now, to hold her so completely in my heart.

Hopefully some things are never forgotten.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Review of the 9-12 month wardrobe

Despite being born at a hearty 8lbs 5oz Eloise is now a petite toddler. Most of her little friends have all filled out with plump baby fat while Eloise remains rather dainty. Because of this she has been wearing her 9-12 month wardrobe well past her first birthday. It is only in the past week or so that her wardrobe has tipped to be mainly the 12-18month size.

So it's taken me a bit longer than usual to compile my ode to the new baby wardrobe we get to indulge ourselves in every 3-6 months. Going back over these pictures to choose which ones to add made me see just how much Miss Eloise has changed since last spring/summer. Her face is now less babyish, more young child. This of course makes me very broody.

Sometimes we rock a do'-rag.

Sometimes we rock it hard. Dress by Next UK. Tights vintage. Bandanna model's mother's.

Sweater by Jean Bourget, dress vintage

Blue romper and pink onesie by Peacock's

Peter Pan collar shirt vintage, jeans by Sainsbury's, star-spangled shoes by Next

First shoes by Peacock's, green leggings by Babylegs, pink polka-dot romper by Sainsbury's, white cardigan vintage, England cap by Pub Landlord

Blue tie-dye by Denver vintage, Jeans vintage, First shoes same as above

Pink top Arizona vintage, Jeans by Jean Bourget

Long white sleeve shirt by Sainsbury's, Floral top by French designer whose name escapes me

Bug dress by Zutano, hot pink tights vintage

Grey tank and star pants by Ikks

Navy striped top with matching jeans Arizona vintage

White long-sleeve shirt same as above, purple overalls Nottingham vintage

Purple vest and pants gift from cousine Eloise

Floral jumper and matching pants Chicago gift

Handmade hoodie and matching dress Denver gift

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Quinzieme mois avec Mademoiselle Eloise

Eloise -

As I write this you are sleeping in your crib. This of course is nothing out of the ordinary, except this time it was not me that put you to bed, but your father. Oh what a break through! While we've had nights when you've struggled to let me send you to sleep and I had to call in reinforcements this was the first time your father did the final bedtime routine all by himself. We're trying to move away from me nursing you to sleep. Your father and I have been meaning to make this bedtime routine change for a while now, but by the time we get to the hand over point we're both so tired that we just go with what is tried and tested to get you to sleep.

After 15 months of putting you to sleep I am thrilled at the liberty of no longer being the sole person who can. And of course as I have quickly found that motherhood is full of contradictions, I also feel slight melancholy. It seems that just as I have come to terms with the idea that I am a slave to your every need - you stop needing me as much.

The biggest change this month has been getting the hang of the one-nap-a-day routine. We're taking full advantage of the many morning play groups our town has on offer. It is really interesting to see the difference between your private and public persona. At home you strut and dance and blow raspberries on any part of my body you can access. At home you explore the house on your own, singing to yourself. In playgroup you are reserved and observant. You hold my hand and watch the other kids play before cautiously choosing where to join in.

It is frustrating and exhilarating watching you learn to communicate. When you want your doll you say 'Mama' in a spookily accurate imitation of how your doll says Mama. You make the sign for 'eat' when you're hungry and say 'mmmm' when you like what you're eating. You sing little snippets of songs to let me know you want me to sing to you (my favorite is when you say 'up above' which sounds more like 'uh buh buh' for me to sing Twinkle Twinkle). The frustrating part though comes when you vaguely point in some direction and keep repeating 'dat! dat!' with increasing intensity which sends me on a scavenger hunt at the whims of a tiny dictator with a very short attention span and limited vocabulary.

This past month I've had a few "down" days as I deal with future career decisions. I assume you have been none the wiser to my change in mood. Not because I don't think you are smart enough to know when your mother is upset about something. Children - even 15 months old - understand a lot more than adults give them credit for (one of my favorite quotes of late: One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it). No, I think you are none the wiser because it is practically impossible to let things such as a job or money alter my mood when you look at me with our shade of blue eyes, smile and lean your head into the crook of my neck.

I know I've said this before but you are so much fun to be around. I am just so excited at the fact that I get to be your mother. Imagine that you are say, 6 years old and you get a seal puppy for your birthday. A baby seal! All for you! Can you just picture how eye-poppingly excited that 6 year-old is? This is what being your mother feels like. Like I'm the only 6-year-old on the block to have a real live baby seal as a pet.

Je t'aime


Wednesday, 6 October 2010


My biggest downfall as a daughter was my inability to clean up after myself. I think my sister would agree that this was her biggest downfall as well. It certainly wasn't intentionally out of a lack of respect for our mother, more a lack of respect for the act of cleaning. I just could never understand why bother cleaning something if you were just going to mess it up again.

I remember when Claire and I would hear our mother's car in the driveway there would be a mad dash to put dirty plates into the kitchen sink and move school books to the bottom of the stairs to avoid being yelled at.

It's only recently that I've got a bit better at cleaning and especially with the addition of Eloise there is a certain level of hygiene I try and maintain for her safety. But there's a lot of cleaning tasks that I am still rubbish (ha!) at.

When my mom would tell me to clean my room, a hot rage would burn in my stomach. It wasn't so much that I minded cleaning my room. If I was in the right mood and with the right "cleaning" music, I could actually quite enjoy it, and certainly enjoyed the satisfaction of having a clean room. But something about being told to clean up would make me seethe.

These pictures have nothing to do with the post. But someone needs to knit me that sweater in a mom large.

I know my sister's and my inability to pick up after ourselves drove my mom crazy. And who can blame her. Single mother, working hard, and her two intelligent, thoughtful daughters can't muster up the energy to keep their mess in check. I'm impressed all she did was yell.

I want to do whatever I can to avoid this struggle for cleanliness between Eloise and me. So I've made a point of singing songs* as I clean-up small messes, or putting on good music to clean a whole room. I'll use the vacuum to suck up her shirt to make her laugh. I read a tip saying that when your baby is old enough, get them to help with the cleaning. If they throw all their food on the floor - no problem, but when you're done with the meal, get the kid down there with you helping to sweep up.

I don't know if what I'm doing is going to have any impact in the long run, but this past week Eloise has snuck baby wipes behind my back and started wiping whatever surfaces she could find. The other day while I was wiping the food that missed her mouth off of her highchair, I turned around to find her wiping my chair clean with a baby wipe. And you better believe I praised the shit out of that behavior. My voice shot up 8 octaves "Good Girl! Are you cleaning? You are so clever! Mama's little helper! That is some REALLY GOOD CLEANING ELOISE".

So of course now that she has shown an interest in wiping down surfaces I am doing what I can to show my support as a mother in what my daughter enjoys. Which lead me to what happened yesterday when I found myself sitting on my fat ass with my feet propped up drinking a cup of coffee while my child was on her knees below me mopping the floor with her own toilet paper.

*Does anyone know of any good clean-up songs apart from that horrible "Clean-up, clean-up, everybody everywhere.." that makes me want to punch myself in the head?

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

How can I be lonely when she never leaves me alone?

The other day a grandmother at one of the morning play groups Eloise and I go to asked me if I find motherhood lonely. Now you know you're giving out super happy content-with-my-life vibes when a stranger who is currently spending her well earned retirement as an unpaid babysitter asks you if you could use a friend.

And sure, I guess I've been a little mopey lately because I'm unemployed and our savings are slowly seeping out of our bank account and I'm trying to stretch the household income as much as possible which means being frugal and not pampering myself as much (two things I am not good at) - but am I lonely? A 1 year old doesn't really give you time to be lonely, do they? I finish my day with Eloise and my feet hurt from running around with her and my cheeks hurt from smiling and my heart hurts from adoring.

And while I do sometimes need to make sure I get some adult conversation into my day I can think of quite a few people that are far less interesting to talk to than my 14-month old who knows all of 7 - wait - is meow a word, or a sound? - 6 words.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Because there are not enough posts on breastfeeding in this world.

Sigh. Breastfeeding. I'm still at it. We're still at it. If you had told me when Eloise was born that I would still be nursing her at 14 months I would have said you clearly don't know me that well. Turns out I don't know me that well.

My plan was to go to 6 months. The disastrous Paris trip knocked back my confidence and I just couldn't bring myself to wean her. So I said we'll nurse until her 1st birthday. Then she can have cow's milk and I can have my boobs back. Or what's left of them.

Well 2 months on from her birthday and we are no closer to being weaned. I had a one week period where I offered her cow's milk more often and was going to take it from there, but I didn't really pursue it much more than that. She still gets a couple glasses of cow's milk a day (which she never finishes) and of course she's going without breast milk when she's at nursery twice a week.

But when she's with me and those little hands are furiously making the sign for milk! milk! milk! Dear GOD woman whip one out and FEED ME! with those big blue eyes I cave in nearly every time.

I don't breastfeed her in public anymore, because I'm slightly embarrassed by it now. Partly because we're not feeding as often so I'm more aware of it. At the beginning you're feeding your baby more often then you're not feeding her and if I hadn't nursed her in public back then I would have turned into a reclusive mole person who smells faintly of mildew and cream. And partly because I remember how I felt seeing a mother nurse a baby/child Eloise's age and it kinda creeped me out. I'm vain enough to care what others think of me and I just don't have the passion for breast feeding to back myself up. If I were a militant breast feeder who had read all the facts and chose to nurse my child until, what is it age 4? as recommended by the WHO? Then I would happily nurse in public and proudly explain my pro-breastfeeding stance to any naysayers. But I am not a militant breast feeder. Sure, I believe if you are able to, in the early stages, giving your baby milk created especially for him/her with your own friggin' body is the best option. But do you know what trumps that option? Making sure your baby does not go hungry and that you as a FAMILY are happy and healthy.

No, I am still breastfeeding my 14-month old baby because I am one lazy mother. I am feeding her with my own milk because I just can't face the week it would take to train her to nap without nursing. I am nursing her because on the nights when she wakes up at 4am, popping open my nursing bra and falling back to sleep in the chair next to her crib is the easiest option IN THE MOMENT. I am nursing her because on the rare occasions when she has a total freak out and is crying hysterically I know the quickest way to calm her down is to nourish her with my own body in the best way I know how. And if I am honest with myself, I am still nursing Eloise because I am afraid that if I stop I will no longer be as important to her as I am right now.

I know it needs to stop sometime. Sometime in the not so distant future. There is a long night at the pub with my name written in beer foam all over it. I want to take drugs again - no, not the fun bad kind, just some sudafed once in a while would be nice. I want to one day not be such an integral part of her bedtime routine. I want to know what other super powers as a mother I have up my sleeve. Powers that I have yet to discover because Eloise and I still can't get over the fact that my body? PRODUCES FOOD.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Eloise takes London

A few weeks ago the three of us went down to London for a friend's wedding. We decided to go a day early to settle Eloise and get the lay of the land as well as hit up an old friend from our Paris days.

Everything went very smoothly. Well, a part from my mad panic getting Eloise and I to the train station on time, the bus not stopping to pick us up - most likely because I was an overloaded sweaty mother who clearly had somewhere important to be - so we called a taxi. When the taxi came I realized I didn't have any money bar some coins. I figured I could call the Frenchman to meet us to pay the fare. On the taxi ride over I got a text on my phone saying I had just run out of credit. Luckily the taxi driver was the same man who had driven us to Manchester for our trip to Chicago and he let me off with paying just under the fare. This is why I'm glad we always tip generously.

Eloise naps through London

AnyHOO... We went to dinner at a big american restaurant called Maxwell's that came recommended as family friendly. We got set up with a high chair and some crayons and once drinks arrived Eloise was very happy to drink her milk by dipping her hand in her glass and sucking the milk off her hand. Perhaps not the most charming of methods, but if it keeps the kid happy in a busy restaurant I'm all for it. The company was fabulous - but we had to wait a good hour for our food. Eloise for the most part handled this wait fairly well - we had to keep her toys in a steady rotation and occasionally take her our of the high chair so she could have a change of view, but there were no tears. Then the food arrived - which was insanely hot - and the poor thing after waiting patiently, had to wait even longer for Mama and Daddy to blow on her fish fingers and chips while she nibbled on the cucumber and tomato from her salad.

Near our London hotel

Being hungry she ate heartily (as did we) and proved her English roots by devouring the little cup of baked beans that came with her meal. Once she was finished eating she started turning towards the other tables and flirting, saying hi! and waving. It was here that a table not far from us got up and left, but before they did, the grandmotherly-american woman came over to us. I'm sorry she said, but I just have to tell you that she is such a good baby. Oh! Thank you, I said. No. No. She emphasized, that is a REALLY good baby.

I'm not going to lie - despite the fact that Eloise happened to be in a good mood during a longer than anticipated meal which I can take no credit for as a parent - this was music to my ears. And I will replay her voice telling me what a good baby I have on days like today - when Eloise decides to spend most of her time screaming in my face because I am clearly not meeting her demands.

Eloise and I at the wedding.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Quartorzieme mois avec Mademoiselle Eloise

Eloise -

You took your first steps the other week. After months of aided walking and bum shuffling and stopping dead in your tracks the second any one let go of your hand you finally took a leap of faith and toddled between your father and me. I cried. I know, what an emotional boob am I?We spent three days gleefully practicing this 4 step dance between us, and now suddenly, walking upright is so last season and you are back on that cute bottom of yours, getting around in the way you know best. And that's just fine. As fun and exciting as it was to see you take your first steps, I do not want to rush you, because with those tears of joy also came a bunch of holy cripes my life is about to change. So thanks for the preview but your father and I are happy to wait for the main event when you feel good and ready.

You've been showing a cautious interest in animals. Cats in particular, which will please quite a few people in your family as you come from a long line of crazy cat ladies. A big friendly black cat has started hanging out in our back yard and from watching your father and me you have figured out how to call the cat close to you, reaching your little hand out and making kissy noises. However once the cat gets too close you retract your hand and back away saying no. Then when the cat moves further away, you call him back, frustrated that he's out of arms reach again. It's a rather hilarious display of woman being afraid of what she wants.

You have become more and more social. While you often still take a little while to get used to new surroundings or people, you're coming out of your shell a bit quicker each day. When I take you out in the pushchair people smile and wave at you, and not just because you're adorable, but because you're the one who initiated the wave. You say hi all the time now - starting conversations with strangers that you cannot finish. Most people of course give a jolly Hi! right back at you and often the two of you will say Hi back and forth for quite sometime. Not everyone likes babies though, or maybe some people are just having a bad day, or think you'll drag them into some long boring conversation about your favorite diaper brand, but whatever the reason, occasionally when you give a happy little Hi! to a stranger they don't respond. I can completely understand that not everyone wants to engage with a very young child and do not push you on them, but inside it just breaks my heart to see your greeting go ignored. Here you are pleased as punch that you can talk and make yourself understood and interact with the world around you and the person cannot even muster a quick Hi! back. It takes a lot of self control for me not to scoop you in my arms and say, nevermind, that person is just a heartless ass.

We are transitioning from two naps a day to one. You've been fighting your morning nap more and more and then when I would get you down it would be past 11 and you'd sleep through lunch and be totally off schedule. (well, whatever mild semblance of a schedule we try and keep). So not only would you be out of whack but instead of doing something fun together we would spend a good chunk of the morning fighting each other in your darkened bedroom. I remember when you were a lot younger and reading about how at some point between 1 and 2 years of age most babies will drop the morning nap and I thought, ugh how dreadful. I do not know what I'm going to do when there's only 1 nap. Turns out - I LOVE IT. I love having more time with you, being able to have little outings in the morning together. And don't get me wrong, I enjoy your nap time - I get to tackle some of the house work and then make myself a cup of coffee and read what's left of the weekend paper. But you know what kid? You are a lot of fun to hang out with.

The other day your father was downstairs working while you and I were in your room, after awhile your father came upstairs and said "What are you two laughing so hard about?". The two of us can get a serious case of the giggles - usually caused by you blowing raspberries on my stomach or me chasing you on all fours. See what I mean? Fun to hang out with.

I loved you, was in love with the mere idea of you, years before you were born. I started falling deeply in love you from the moment you were placed on my chest and I have kept on falling. And while I think it is important to remember that I am the parent and you are the child, this past month I have been so excited to see that we have become such good friends. And while I am not in the habit of wiping my friend's bottoms, for you my dear Eloise I will make an exception.

Je t'aime


P.S. Hi!