15 months

Dear Tristan,

I’m ashamed of my negligence for not writing sooner. So much happened these last 2 months I don’t even know where to start.

First of all, history: we escaped from out first real hurricane! Last year we prepped and Matthew was a joke, but this year we flew away from Irma. A trip to dad’s family in Minnesota was long due and the idea we might be without electricity for some time didn’t sound appealing at all, so dad got tickets and we went away. You were sick with fever from the day we left to 3 days later, and you were the cutest little thing. I held you for so long my arms and back were aching but I wouldn’t let you go… just days before I was comparing you to Tommaso, my friend’s Denise’s boy who is 7 weeks older than you and fall asleep next to her every afternoon and kisses her and shows her affection like you never do. But when you are sick you become a little adorable koala bear who just wants to be held in my arms. You were so good on the plane, all considered, and during the trip as well. It was very hectic and not a good time to be up there, but you were such a trouper! Got used to the people, sleeping on the floor, sleeping on an air mattress, on a different bed, in 3 different places, you were so awesome staying in the car for such long drives… Both me and dad were real proud!

We came home to our untouched house, but the yard suffered from Irma, and it wasn’t even a direct hit! So we are back to the beginning. We lost your barbados cherry tree and half of the avocado tree, all the hibiscus and some plumeria. But we can’t complain! We found out we never lost power so if this happen again we might stay… so we’ll live the experience of a hurricane.

By 15 months you can:

-understand both english and italian, everything, basically. Even something like “If you don’t sit down I won’t let you open the water. If you sit, then I’ll open it” (because you want to take your bath standing).

-know about 15 words, between english and italian: dada, papa, mamma, nana (banana), nanna (sleep), all daaa (all done), bo (ball), appa (acqua), abo (apple), vvvvva (uva/uvetta), mo (more, with sign), na (that/there), bye bye, tata (patata-potato), the (tee-three), blu…

-open every drawer/cabinet

-put hands in dirt even when the dirt is invisible to human eyes

-you learned how to open doors!!! Omg I didn’t know if i felt more proud or annoyed, as so far it’s been the only way to keep you out

-love cleaning. Seriously, you always have a broom, a mop, the swiffer thing or the spray cleaner and a rug in your hands, and you get pissed off if I don’t let you help.

-you are still scared of the vacuum (vroom vroom!) but it also fascinates you and you keep looking for it

-can recognise a koala, a parrot (and make sound), cat, sheep, fish (and you do the fish and make bubbles), lion (and roar), snake (and you hiss!), a bat, a spider (and you out your hands together to make the Incy Wincy spider), a bee

-you have a crush on your teacher Elizabeth, and you are jealous of the younger babies in your class

-last night dad was caressing me and you were half asleep, you jumped up, crawled towards us, moved his hand away and gave him a stare down. You did that all evening until dad gave up. I felt so important even if I wasn’t sure if you were jealous of him or me!

-put the phone on your ear and say “Naaaa?”

-try to clean your ears with a Q-Tip and cut your nails with the nail scissors (or my nails)

-a few nights ago I finally managed to make you fall asleep in your crib/toddler bed. That lasted 3 nights then you had vaccinations and dad said you deserved a pass that night and let you sleep with us again. Weak.

-you are 32″ tall and weight 24 pounds. Still super blond, still super cute, walk well and try to run. You wear 24m/2T and a size 5 of shoes.

-you’ve been moving shoes around, bringing them to us. not sure why.

-you keep hiding stuff in the garbage bin and we lost a couple toys… you also like to hide your things in cabinets. Even in Minnesota you found an empty cabinet in the kitchen and you hid your tippy cup and a piece of cheese in it.

-you are pretty good at drawing, colouring and stuff. Day care helps!

-You have been for a while, but you can feed yourself with a spoon or fork, even if you prefer hands

-you eat everything, the only 2 things that so far you haven’t liked are melon (cantaloup or honeydew) and hard boiled eggs

-your favourite food so far is the leek quiche.

I was watching some old videos with you today, and you look so different even if it was just a few months ago. That’s crazy how much you’ve grown. You do not look like a baby compared to in those videos. I understand now why people say time flies and to enjoy it now because it goes too fast.

-I’ve been thinking of having another baby. Not that I feel the need, you are still very needy and we have not enough time and i do not want to have to share the little time we have between you and another child. But I never wanted an only child and dad said if we have another one it has to be before he’s 40… so… not much time left. It’s probably not a good idea, considering we are alone with no family or friends around, and waking full time, and you need still so much attention… But i know we’ll manage, somehow. Everybody does, don’t they? We’ll see. I don’t know if you’ll ever appreciate a sibling, but hopefully if not in childhood you’ll appreciate it as an adult. It will give you more freedom in your choices. Like, would i ever left my family to move to China, and then decide to start a life with a man in America, where I’d never been before, if I was an only child? I don’t know. Maybe, but the guilt I would feel would be much bigger, if there wasn’t my sister to compensate for my absence.

Also, to be honest, I need another child because I’m too attached to you. I need to be able to share myself more. You are so loved that I don’t think I could love another one, there is just not enough space in my heart, you fill it all. I know a mother’s heart can get bigger and make more space. I need to prove that to myself.

And last, and the saddest thing of all… If something happened to you, i couldn’t stand it. I don’t think I would find the strength to see going. Not for me, not for dad. I think it would break me. The only thing that could give me strength to survive, would probably be another child who needs me, so I would find the strength somewhere to be, for him, or her. It’s sad, but true. I didn’t know before you came… I totally underestimated a mother’s love.

Unconditional. So true. No matter what you do and how mad or tired or annoyed I can be, in a second everything is forgotten and i’m ready to give you a thousands kisses! I was never able to be like that before… it would take a while for my anger to go away. You have so much power on me… good thing you can’t read just yet ;)!







Dear Tristan,

you are probably wondering who the heck is Matthew. Well, listen to this, kiddo: Matthew was your first (and ours) hurricane! We are waiting for it to hit us, yesterday we prepped the house with shutters and food and water, and now we are in this nerve wrecking wait. It looked so beautiful yesterday morning when we went for our walk, and right now it’s just drizzling and a little windy. It seems impossible that this is just the beginning of something that could be so disastrous. I’m worried about loosing all your frozen milk, about not been able to keep you safe. What am I gonna do if you have one of your major poop? How am I gonna wash you up if we loose water? I haven’t slept for days because you stopped sleeping at night and now you just start screaming as soon as we put you down. At 4am you are totally awake and ready to start your day, no matter if you were up most of the time during the day. I have been cooking and baking and filling containers with water and doing laundry since yesterday, and I just can’t seem to stop.

I have been wanting to write you at your 3 month day but I couldn’t find the time. I have so much to tell you! First of all, you are growing up so fast and you are learning a new thing every single day. It’s amazing to watch you. Now you grab stuff (and you might be a lefty… making your dad proud), reach out, and bring stuff to your mouth. You lick everything too – your favourites are shoulders. You smile a lot, if you are in the mood, and if you aren’t, then it’s a real challenge to steal a little smirk from you.

You also love to look at us in the mirror, and the other day you had aa major contagious laugh! I wish I videotaped that. But you are not easy to take on camera or on pictures: you look at the phone and stop smiling.

I bathe you every night, then we have our mom and you time when i nurse you and then read you a story and put you to bed. Ah! You LOOOOOVE reading books now, and i’M SO HAPPY!! At the beginning you would be quiet for almost a book, then 2 books, then 3, now you turn the pages!! You favorite one is with no doubt “Guess how much I love you”. How do I know that? Believe me, you can tell. As soon as I start reading or telling the story (yep, I know it by heart now) you smile and stay quiet and pay attention. Sometimes we read it twice. And I do so before you nap time or before bedtime, and you really relax and fall asleep a little after.

After the bath, I give you a nice massage. Another thing you didn’t use to care for, but now you seems to really like it.

One thing you don’t like anymore is getting dressed. You hate sleeves, and you better prepare because even in Florida, winter is on the way and you will need to put on long sleeves soon enough!

You love staying outdoors and you have a babysitter!! Tata Cathryn seems to be good, she makes you exercise with your tummy time, reaching, reading and playing music. Hopefully she can stay with us! I really do not want to put you in a day care for the moment.

You talk soon much and we have long chats especially when you are on your changing table. You make my day every day. You are sweet and a cuddle and even when you have your moments you are my world and I’m so happy you are here! And what makes me even happier is the dad feels the same :).

Let’s go wait for Matthew now – but before I need to change you because you are pooping right here right now on my lap!!!! The pumpkin is working! 😉