“Are you going on a boat today?”

At 16 months Elza has several words in her vocabulary. Your first official word was probably ‘more’, closely followed by ‘no’, which you deliver with extraordinary eloquence and conviction. And of course ‘Bobo’ is a delight to hear when you run into his room and shout at him while he’s still in bed.

Several others are starting to come but aren’t fully formed yet – cracker, bye, car, tractor. More impressive are your animal noises – moo, quack, roar and Aba says you do a terrific elephant impression too.

Boaz’s language exploded after Elza was born and it hasn’t stopped. People often comment on your intonation but I think they’re jealous. You can repeat the most complicated words beautifully, you’re curious about new words asking “what’s corridor?” and you can recall and use them even after several days.

You are incredibly insightful and curious – your ‘why?’ period came on quite suddenly a couple of months ago, but since we figured out how to cope with the incessant ‘why’s – either by turning the question on you or by ignoring you – it’s become easier to handle and more enjoyable to help you discover things.

We had a wonderful time at the cottage watching the thunderstorms and talking about seeing the lightening and hearing the thunder and how it was like watching a clap and hearing it. I find it’s easier talking to you honestly and truthfully rather than trying to make up something childish to appease you, at least that way I can remember what I’ve told you. Maybe I’ve learnt that from Aba – you asked him recently ‘why do we build houses?’ and he told you about how we needed protection from the weather and a table to eat at together and beds to sleep in.

And it’s amazing to see how all of this is helping you become more eloquent. We called Savtal and Saba this evening, they’ve just arrived in New York after spending a week on the Queen Mary crossing the Atlantic. The first thing you asked was ‘Are you going on a boat today?’. Saba was so surprised I don’t think he realised who it was. Then you were still awake when Aba called after playing football and you got on the phone to him and told him how you had ‘gone to nursery today and rode a big bike and that Saba and Savtal had been on a big boat’.

But the best part is that you’re starting to communicate with Elza. She thinks you’re hilarious and you often copy the noises she makes when trying to speak. You hop like a frog and say ribbed and instruct her to be a lion and she dutifully roars, you race round after each other squealing and laughing historically, you are often quite bossy, telling her ‘it’s not funny’ or ‘don’t do that’ but you also take her hand to walk with her or try and comfort her when she’s upset. You are each other’s best friends – always remember that!

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