Today you are fourteen months old. Somehow, every month, on the seventeenth day, you start cutting a tooth, and turn into a complete turd, thus forcing me to rethink all the nice things I was going to tell you in this letter.

I'm taking a deep breath, pushing the last thirty minutes aside, and remembering all the awesomeness over the last month.


You are really working on talking. This morning, for example, you pointed out a bird to me but before I even saw you sign "bird" I heard you making a quiet, "buh, buh" noise. SO COOL.

There are signs you sign without any noise at all, but the more important words in your life get sounds and signs.

Jacques was one of the first to get a sound assigned to his sign. You call him "À" - it's very distinct.

Papá, book, bird, toothbrush. They all get sounds sounding like the first syllable.

And you're very good at making actual sounds, perhaps because they are only one syllable. Cows are moo-moo, a horse is neigh-neigh, a polar bear is night-night.

I'll explain that one some day.

Along with imitating sounds came imitating actions. You and I brush our teeth together every night; you floss and then do a little brush-brush and then spit, repeat. Just like me. Or close.

But it really has me thinking: What do I want you to do as I say, and do as I do? What are my habits I hope you adopt and others I hope you never see? It's not that I've become self-conscious over the last month, but perhaps even more self-reflective than normal. Before I show you something, I do have to think, "Do I want her to repeat this behavior?" Because you're going to. Several times.

This wouldn't be the first time I've felt pushed towards becoming a better person by your presence. But it's now so much more clear, so much more cause/effect, so much more here and now.

I suppose I'm hoping you become a curator of habits, picking up what's useful and good for you and reflecting upon and discarding the bad. I'm obviously not perfect, and I hope you see that, acknowledge it, and strive for better.

And when you discover your own bad habits, either adopted or created on your own, I hope you do the same: Acknowledge, reflect, strive for better.

Or just sigh and accept it.

Happy Fourteenth Monthday.