Dear Lyra,

Happy 13 month birthday!

Although I thought you might be an early walker, you have only recently started to show any interest in walking. Most of the time you’d rather crawl, which you do insanely fast, but sometimes you like pushing your walker up and down the long hallway in our apartment. However, if we offer our hands to help you walk, you refuse, act like your legs have turned to jelly, and go back to crawling. I’m not sure if you don’t want help — you are already so independent — or if you just prefer to crawl. You’ve started climbing up into furniture — the couch, your toy box which is in front of a window, and a rocking chair that you “surf” in. It’s only a matter of time before we find you halfway up the bookshelf.

A few weeks ago we took you and Ada on a hike on Windy Hill with our friends Nick, Julia, and Oscar. Your Dad carried you in a backpack and you loved bouncing along and seeing the views. At the top I nursed you from a bench with a beautiful view. On the hike down you fell asleep (as planned) with your head hanging out to the side at 90 degrees (not planned). We tried to prop you up but you just kept flopping back to the side. It was pretty funny but we were a little worried you’d get a sore neck!

You don’t really speak very much but you say a lot of “da” and “diss” which we think mean “that” and “this”. You also call dogs (or cats, or goats, any animals that sort of resemble dogs) “rah-rah”. I think it’s because we have a few books that talk about dogs saying “ruff ruff”. (Your cousin Faye also called dogs rah-rahs when she was your age.) You sort of say Ada as “uh-duh” and when you are really upset or tired or hungry you say “Muh-muh-muh-muh-muh!” Your signing vocabulary continues to grow (“milk”, “bye-bye”, “up”, “more”, “tired”, “food”) and you like to mimic lots of sounds (tongue clicks, raspberries, laughing, coughing). One time when Aunties Meena and Sagarika were over, your Dad sighed and you copied. We all laughed and you let out a fake maniacal laugh! You are so cute. It’s fun to watch you learn how to socialize!

You are starting to develop a sense of humor. One of your favorite jokes is to say, “Boo!” and watch us jump. You don’t really understand the timing of the joke and your “boo” sounds more like “baa” but it still makes us laugh. Your dad likes to demonstrate by playfully surprising you with a well-timed “boo!” that makes you jump and giggle.

You are such a happy kid and it’s so fun to spend time with you. Even after a long sleepless night, I can’t help but feel excited when it’s finally morning and I get to play with you and your Dad before work. I feel really lucky that this is the life I have, even if I do wish it included a bit more sleep.

Love,

Mama

More photos at http://lyra.today