My dear Max,
You’ve turned 17 months old today! Another month has passed so quickly as mommy and daddy introduce you to new experiences and watch you thrive.
You began taking Parent and Me swimming lessons with daddy two weekends ago and both of you enjoyed them tremendously . For half an hour each week, your daddy takes you into a heated pool with other daddies and their babies to practice all kinds of cool aquatic moves that mommy cannot name. You surely showed your adventurous self, as you were not intimated at all with the new environment and happy to try new moves. Besides, you need not worry, your daddy used to be a very good swimmer and is definitely more than capable of keeping you safe. He couldn’t be prouder that you have taken interest in yet another activity he likes.
You are extremely competitive with your brother. You want everything he has: his drink, his bike, his teddy bear…etc. Sometimes you become so obsessed that you would drop everything you have in your hands to snatch your brother’s toy out of his hands! This of course made your brother angry, but he’s as gentle as he could be and never fought back. Sometimes he even shares his things with you, like half bottle of his favorite chocolate milk the other day. Other times mommy and daddy would plead with him to let you play with his toy. Apparently you both need to learn the meaning of sharing. You more than him though.
You are one stubborn child. You would make a dramatic scene every time you don’t get your way. This includes crying, squeezing tears out of your eyes, arch your back in protest, and drop your lower jaw so that your lower teeth bite onto your upper lips. Believe me, this is not pretty. So mommy and daddy do what we thought is best, we ignore you till you’ve calmed down.
You got some new teeth coming out. Mommy can see those two little pearly whites poking at your gum, though they are not out yet. I am sure it is very painful for you. That’s why mommy and daddy tolerate your stubbornness. We assume that you were bothered by something you could not control, like teething pain.
You began to relentlessly practice scary moves that challenges you, like climbing onto the couch, over the back and slip all the way down on the other side. The first time mommy saw this she was scared. Your daddy quickly moved to make sure you don’t fall and bump your head (again!), but your feet landed on the floor like a cat. We let out a long breath and found you began the cycle again. That daredevil in you, is it from your daddy and mommy? We are currently having a heated debate and will get back to you in a couple of decades.
You enjoyed visiting the Long Beach Aquarium. Since we purchased the annual pass a month ago we have already made another trip back there. To mommy and daddy’s surprise, you did not take any interest in the gigantic tanks or the curious creatures in them. What you loved more than anything was the spaces to run, climb, and crawl. It was certainly exciting to watch you run in front of the sea otter tank last weekend, zig-zagging through the crowd of visitors. Your super human ability kept you a step ahead of mommy and daddy’s grasps, at the same time prevented you from being crushed by other on-lookers. Sometimes you chase after your brother like a puppy, sometimes you climb over or under the handrail like a monkey, all the time laughing and running like there’s nothing in the world that would daunt you. That’s when the magic happened. For a brief moment, mommy and daddy had forgotten all the chaos surrounded us. We both looked at you proudly, then knowingly at each other, and felt the warmth of happiness washed all over us. In this life, we are so blessed with such beautiful babies like you and your brother. There’s nothing more important in the world.