Dear Frankie, Aged 1¼

Dear Frankie,

Press play on this while I give you the lowdown here….

Gracie, Ben Folds

…(you just need to replace every instance of the name Gracie with Frankie).  If I could write songs and if I could choose the style of how I’d like those songs to be written, I’d choose to write like Ben Folds.

On moving from monthlies to quarterly letters you cunningly accelerated the amount of developments and notable points I now feel compelled to take down for/about you. You’re now THE most entertaining being and are doing more than ever before.

Stats
H: 76.5cm, W: 10.7kg.

Nicknames
Pumpernickel, Pumpkin Pie, Prookum Chank, Prink, Prinkle, Ladyhead, Sausage, Sausage Monkey, Monkeyhead, Frankielicious. 😐

Snippets

  • 06.11.2008: My fingers can only just touch each other by circling them around your torso.  I don’t know why I need to test that.
  • 27.11.2008: 8th toothmpeggery coming through, soon followed by your first premolar (upper right) . At time of going to press, you’re now up to 12.
  • Your fontanel is down to about the size of a ladybird now. I like the fact that I can locate it straight away whenever I feel the need. Which is more often than you’d suspect.
  • When you’re not stood over your toy box throwing things from it back over your shoulder, trying to find that one elusive toy, like a dog digging for a bone, you like to sit in it. It looks terribly uncomfortable.
  • When you’re sitting chilling, you can often be found shoving your index finger under your eyelid so you can stroke your eyeball. Extraordinary.
  • You’ve started on the odd bit of irrational behaviour. The vast majority of girls do this, you just need to learn to temper it. Ooh controversial. Other than the little tantrums that never last any longer than a minute really, there’s just two examples so far: 1. Freaking out at the sound of a hair drier and 2. freaking out when near a phone cable. Weird shit.
  • You’re so obviously testing boundaries. You’ll give us a knowing, checking look, like when you’re opening a draw or dropping food. Quite often you’ll even raise your eyebrows questioningly. It’s a real ninja test for Mumma and me not to fold into creases at your cheekiness.
  • Walking: you’d been making first steps just before you turned one. You had it nearly nailed down about a month after that. Now you walk around like the cartoon character that you are. It’s a bit of a waddle and you’ll fall over ocassionally. Just watching you walk has us in stitches too.
  • We had a really good xmas. A continual stream of Spratts passing through the house with Mumma doing you and I proud on the catering front. On xmas day you couldn’t work out how to unwrap but by boxing day you’d worked it out and were unwrapping like a professional unwrapper.
  • Food: you continue to have the appetite of a weight trainer. Currently some Italian biscotti that Auntie Mary left us are your favourite thing. When I say favourite thing, I mean I’ll be holding you, you’ll go “HMM” rather sternly and point towards the kitchen, we’ll walk with you towards the kitchen doorway, you’ll go “HMM” and point towards the other end of the kitchen, we’ll walk to the other end of the kitchen, you’ll go “HMM” and point to the packet, and then because I’m such a bloody nice chap, I take you to the packet you reach your hand in and starting munching on some biscotti. You biscotti muncher you.

Vocals

The chat’s coming on. Your vocab currently extends to: Mumma, Bubba, Dadda, gone, book, dog, cat, bird, bear, BEAR, BEARRRRRRRR. And you’ll mostly respond accordingly to lie down, food, bed, dinner,yes and no.

17.01.2008:  First two syllable word as we were reading another book for the 756th time. It was ‘tortoise’, only pronounced ‘tutu’.

Plus you do animal sounds:

Me: “How does a snake go?”

You: (purposeful pause) “Ssssss”

Me: “How does the cow go?”

You: (purposeful pause) “Booooo”

Cute.

Bedtimes

You’re still regularly waking up in the middle of the night. Around 1a.m. ish one of us comes and grabs you and brings you into bed to sleep with us. Supposedly this is what they call “making a rod for our own backs” – but fuck it, that snuggling is worth 1,000 back rods. Mumma tells me of my sleeptalking recently: “Yes but that doesn’t happen when you’re walking down the street Frankie.”

You love your books and you love your bears. Your favourite book was the one about counting Teddy Bears, but now it’s the one entitled ‘Noisy Animals’. It’s really not as good as you try to make out. Reading you your bedtime story is a full on privilege that we look forward to most evenings.

At any given moment we can get you to dance, a bit like a chained bear really. BEARRRRRRRR. We just put some beaty tunes on and you’re away. Or we say the magic words “Dancing, dancing, dancing” and you’re off, giving it some. Funniest is to do this in bed at around 6:30a.m. when you’ll normally be found sat on one of your parents heads. Your other equally comic parent will call “Dancing, dancing, dancing” you’ll gallop up and down, squishing your overflowing pants and laughing all the way, as it is quite rightly the funniest thing.

Toilet Humour

06.11.2008: I picked you up from childminder Wendy’s around 5:30pm, “She’s got a thing about toilets, well she took her socks off and threw them in the loo.”

You will often be found with your finger shoved firmly up your hooter. When I picked you up from Wendy on Monday evening she informed me that you’d had a nose bleed early today. How? By picking your nose so hard. You total eejit monkeynutjob.

Sometime around mid November you just grabbed the potty that’s been sitting in the corner of the downstairs loo and brought it over to us. Self taught potty action – another example as to how you’re just so very advanced. And on the last day of 2008 you got the order right of calling it and then providing us with your first crap in your potty. Naturally you clapped your hands in self-approval. The sooner you take over wiping your own arse, the better though. You have caught on to the fact that farts are the funniest thing too. You’ll let rip then search us out for an approving nod and smile.

Travels

Early December we caught the train over to Belgium to see Pops. It was necessary for you guys to see each as it had been a few months. You got your first experience of snow out there and in the place where he was living (I say was as he’s subsequently returned to blighty for a stint) there lived a stuffed marmot. Whenever you caught a glimpse of said overgrown squirrel your eyes would light up. A better story is this though: I put you to bed as  normal then carried on talking and drinking with Pops. A couple of hours later you woke up crying. I left you for a short while to see if you’d pipe down, you didn’t so I went to you, switched on the light and went to cuddle you. You immediately stopped crying and smiled at me looking all mop-topped and cute. And there, hanging out of your mouth was a good 2cm of spider’s leg . No sign of any spider though. Gulp.

Then mid December, Ma you and I took another little trip around Europe. You’ve now been to France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and South Africa. 7 countries by 1¼. Long may this rate of coverage continue, although don’t ever say to Mumma that you’ve ‘done’ a country. One has never ‘done’ a country, you should know that by now Frankie.

Thursday 20.11.2008 was a good’n as I got my first kiss off you. You’ve had so many kisses showered over your chubby little cheeksters over the past 15 months that maybe this was more of a retaliatory move. But now you’ve started and regularly dish them out and your kisses Frankie, are something else. And as I finish this for another while, you’re sleeping 2 floors above me and your Mumma’s about 4,674 miles away in Tanzania. She’s over there for work (meeting the Prime Minister amongst other things, no less) but we’ll be seeing her in Dar Es Salaam this Friday so until then it’s the Daddy and Frankie show. Every now and again you’ll look at me and say “Mumma?” – it’s only been 3 days but crikesome that’s heartbreaking. It’s gonna be an excellent trip and I can’t wait for us to get amongst it.

Love you,

Daddy x

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