Letters to Squirm

Letters to Squirm: Now You Are Two

Dear Squirm,

I missed writing you a letter on your second birthday earlier this month. It’s been another busy one – filled with birthday visits for you (and your grandfather) and unfortunately with illness – we’re only just getting back on track again.

The last six months have been difficult as a family. Your dad has been working overseas for four or five weeks at a time, then coming home for a week. You miss him lots, especially right after he goes, but we talk with him on Skype every morning and try to spend lots of fun times together when he’s at home.

You’re speaking a lot now. You have a pretty big vocabulary and put sentences together regularly. You have a few favourite sayings – ‘whoopsie daisy’ and ‘carry up’ among them. You use your vocabulary to ask for things, but you’ve also learned how to say please and thank you regularly.

Your sleep has changed dramatically during the last 6 months. You now sleep through the night in your own bed and have just started putting yourself to sleep which feels revolutionary. Your naps have also become longer which seems counter-intuitive as you are getting older. You still eat a lot of food, though you have become pickier and I need to be more aware of offering a wide range of foods so you get all your nutritional needs.

You like to go for walks a lot – you love holding my hand or daddy’s hand and heading out somewhere. You also love helping, especially when it comes to cooking. You helped make biscuits the other week and did a wonderful job.

Trains and trucks and cars are still big interests. You love watching Mighty Machines, though you change your favourite episodes regularly (from Firetrucks to Ferries to Roadwork). You also enjoy Thomas and Friends, Pocoyo, Peppa Pig and Postman Pat. You have lots of favourite books, and you also rotate though these. You sometimes ‘read’ along with us and love cuddling in for your bedtime read. You’re starting to sing more – mostly with music but there’s a few songs you sing without accompaniment – Twinkle Twinkle, The Alphabet song (though only ABCD – then the last line!) and Down by the Station. You’re starting to count too and love it when we find things to count.

We had a wonderful day for your birthday, heading to the Rail Workshop Museum at Ipswich. It was a weekday, so the museum was quiet and you had a wonderful time exploring, driving trains, colouring and playing. You began to understand how birthday cakes worked too – and spent a lot of time calling out for them!

You’re a wonderful, energetic, creative, thoughtful boy and we’re loving getting to know your interests and thoughts and preferences. We’re looking forward to watching you grow over the next year.



2YrsOld 1 2YrsOld 2 2YrsOld 3

Letters to Squirm: 18 Months Old

Resize Chris Photos3

Dear Squirm,

You’re a year and a half old! That time has gone so fast – I keep look at you and wondering where my baby went to! At the same time, I’m loving the cheeky, adventurous, smiling, creative child you’ve become.

You have real interests now. You adore trains – you point them out in pictures, in books, on videos, in real life. You can clearly say ‘train’ and ‘toot toot’ now, and we hear both of those a lot during the day. Last week you got to ride on a train and (after initially being startled) you loved it. You especially loved it when the driver tooted the horn or we went past another train. Your grand uncles are pretty chuffed with this train obsession – you come from a long line of train lovers.

Your other big interest is dinosaurs. You’ve loved them from the time you heard the Justine Clarke song ‘Everybody Roar . . . ‘ and you have a convincing roar of your own. Our trip on the train was to see the dinosaurs at the museum and it was really exciting for you. Even more exciting was our discovery of good plastic dinosaurs at a local shop this week – you love playing with them already!

You also love books of all kinds. Your daddy has set aside reading time in the morning, and we both read to you before bed, but you insist on having books read to you no matter what time of the day it is. You’re starting to remember parts of your favourite books and sometimes you ‘read’ along with us. We keep a collection of board books and sturdier books where you can read them at any time of the day, and a collection of less sturdy favourite books for bedtime. Your favourite sturdy books are The Avengers Little Golden Book, Alison Jay’s Numbers and Letters, an ABC book, Where is the Green Sheep, Demolition and I’d Like to Be a Train Driver. Your favourite bedtime books are Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are and the Pigeon books.

You continue to grow in independence. You choose your own clothes from the drawer now and can bring us your shoes when it’s time to go out. You help us clean up and you love playing with your toy broom. You eat pretty much everything, but you tend to prefer things with strong flavours. You get your floor mat ready for dinner without needing help.

You’re also very physical. You love climbing, which is wonderful in the playground (though a bit disconcerting to people who don’t know you) but not so wonderful at home (where you attempt to climb the furniture). You run around a lot, love the tricycle Nana and Poppa gave you for Christmas and adore walking up and down hills and stairs. You also love your swimming lessons after a period of not loving them so much. I’m amazed at what you can do – kicking across the pool and back on your own with a pool noodle looped around your back, going under the water towards the wall and grabbing it, running on the mat on the water and jumping it. You still need to learn patience there, though – you always want it to be your turn!

Your talking has really started to take off in the last month. You have a collection of words including truck, car, water, bowl, up and Avengers. You ‘talk’ with us quite a lot and it’s wonderful watching you communicate more and more.

You’re also very good at getting into things you shouldn’t be playing with. We keep pens and pencils a long way away from you, because you cannot resist drawing with them on whatever surface is available. You love pressing the buttons on computers and pulling things out of cupboards. You often get very quiet when you’re into things, so noise is a bit of a blessing at our house.

I could write about you all day. You make me so happy, and I feel so lucky to be your mum and to spend this wonderful time with you. I look forward to all the adventures we have ahead of us!

Love Mum

Resize Chris Photos5

I want to include some of your favourite things to look back and remember

Favourite Foods

  • Cheese
  • Grapes
  • Olives
  • Bananas

Favourite Toys

  • Your stuffed sheep
  • Your trains
  • Your dinosaurs
  • Your trucks

Favourite Music

  • Paul Simon
  • Justine Clarke
  • They Might Be Giants

Favourite Things to Do

  • Play at parks with climbing things
  • Swimming lessons
  • Drawing
  • Reading

Letters to Squirm: One Year Old

Dear Squirm,

Wow – what a year we’ve had together. Although we had a very difficult start, and you made quite a dramatic entrance to the world, you have had a truly wonderful first year.

Somehow we seem to have avoided most of the concerns of new babies. Although you come from a family full of reflux sufferers, you have none at all. You haven’t been badly ill at all during the last year – 2 days of a running nose and watery eyes has been the worst. You’ve had a couple of small incidents with gas and some teething pain, but all in all, you’re an incredibly healthy boy!

You’re also incredibly active. You started crawling and standing pretty early, crawling easily by 7 months and cruising around on furniture before 8 months. Over the last week you’ve taken your first steps, and haven’t looked back – I regularly look up to see you walking towards me (and your spills have been pretty spectacular too!) Your favourite places over the last month have been playgrounds – especially ones with stairs which you can navigate on your own. You’re pretty brave on the playgrounds – climbing, crossing bridges, even figuring out how to safely get down slides (though you dislike the steep ones). You like playgrounds the most when there are bigger kids around – you love to chase them!

You also love your swimming lessons. You’ve been taking them for about 5 months now, and I’m truly amazed at how you’ve taken to the water. You often put your head in the water without being prompted, and you’re great at finding me and holding on. You don’t like crawling off the edge of the mat, though.

You don’t seem to have formed any close attachment to toys or blankets. You like your giraffe toy, and you enjoy playing with blocks and your plastic animals and various household items, but if you can’t find something to play with, you easily move onto something else. At the moment, while I write this, you’re experimenting with a metal tray, making some astounding noises!

You’re a massive eater now, eating almost all the food your father and I eat. We’ve started putting your food on plates and bowls now, and you really seem to have taken to them. You also love cutlery, though not always for eating. Your favourite foods include sultanas, rice cakes, tomato, cheese, chicken, rice, pasta, peanut butter, bananas, corn and rockmelon. You’re still breastfeeding as well, though you vary in how much you have from day to day.

Sleeping is not great, though you are better at napping during the day than you used to be. You usually wake to feed three or four times at night, which is quite exhausting. Sometimes you wake (really) early and refuse to go back to sleep which is also trying.

You love listening to and looking through books. We have books throughout the house for you to read, and we often see you looking through them. You also adore music, with Paul Simon, Frances England and Dean Jones among your favourites. I love watching you react and dance to music – you really, really get into it.

You’re speaking a little, though mama and dada are the main things we’ve worked out (I think you might be working on ‘duck’ too). You can understand some of the things we say now, and are very good at giving us things when we ask for them (though not so good at keeping away from the rubbish bin when we ask you to).

You love it when your dad gets home each night, racing to the door to greet him. You also love it when your dad leaves his boots out because they’re just the right size to fill with blocks. You love peek a boo type games as well as chasing games, but you can be very shy when you first see people – even when they’re family. You gave us a bit of a shock last weekend by cuddling in for a long hug with your Poppa, something you don’t always do for us!

In your first year you’ve had new friend born, been to three family weddings and, sadly, lost your Great Grandpa Ron. You’ve been alive for the closing of an Olympic Games, the reelection of a US President and the change of an Australian Prime Minister. You’ve travelled as far north as the Sunshine Coast and as far south at the Gold Coast, but you have travelled a lot within that area. You’ve been on trains, buses and ferries as well as on a lot of car trips. You’ve been to lots and lots of libraries, lots of playgrounds, a couple of art galleries and a few beaches.

We love you so very much, dear Squirm. We love the funny crease between your eyes which is just like your dad’s, and your funny little chin which is just like mine (and my whole family). We love your curiosity, your bravery, your energy and your love. We love you in a way we’ve never known love before.

With endless love

Mum (and Dad)

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Eight Months Old: A Letter to Squirm

Letters to Squirm: 8 months

Dear Squirm,

You’re so big now, and in a way it seems unfair. It feels like we’ve lost our little baby at times, and in his place is this magnificent little boy. We love all your new discoveries and adventures, but we so wish we’d had longer, more magical moments with the little baby – that we could just pause time for a little while.

It’s been a bit of a month of regular things. We’ve started swimming lessons, which you scream your way through, but I think you’re getting more used to them each time we go. It’s a wonderful little class and I love seeing the older boys and what they’re learning – and to think that you’ll be doing that soon!

You’re up and down with your eating. Some times you can’t wait to eat everything. Other times we have to help you with your food, or you’ll just refuse to eat out right. You’re still drinking plenty of milk, though. You don’t always make breast feeding easy, though, with your wriggling in my arms!

You crawl faster than we can move, sometimes, and you love playing chasy with us. You’ve also perfected walking around the furniture, and you zoom around the coffee table to the door when your Daddy gets home. You can also move from the coffee table to the couch. You try to stand up using our legs too, which is sometimes successful, but not so much if our pants have elastic waists! Your other favourite movement is chasing balls or objects that roll – especially if you get them out onto the lino.

While you’re still having some problems with napping (15 minutes is not a nap!) you’ve started to nap in your cot again, which is easier for you (less noise around) and easier for me (I can move again!). You’ve started falling asleep earlier in the evening, which is nice, but you tend to do your longest sleep while we’re still up, which means more waking when we’re asleep!

You’re up to 6 little teeth now and we’re still waiting and waiting for some more. We know they’re lurking there, just waiting to come through.

You’ve loving toys that make noise at the moment – all the bells and rattles and things that you can thump. We also found some puzzles for you, which you enjoy pulling apart, even if you can’t put them together. You also like to play with the DVD player, which has not been so much fun for us.

You’re babbling more and more and starting to make mama and dada more distinctly. You can also be incredibly loud when you’re talking!

You’re such a big boy who we love very much!



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Seven Months Old: A Letter to Squirm

Adventures of a Subversive Reader: Seven Month Squirm

Dear Squirm,

This is a slightly belated letter, since we spent your seven month ‘birthday’ on holidays. We took you to the beach for a week, just like your Grandma and Grandpa used to take your Daddy and Uncle to the beach. You did lots of walking with us, and when the weather finally cleared you sat on the sand, and finally enjoyed it! The last day we took you to the water, you enjoyed crawling into it – Daddy had to rescue you from the waves a couple of times!

You’re eating so well at the moment. Less of the food is ending up on the floor (though Daddy and I must look like Jack in the Boxes sometimes, with all the bending down to pick food up). You’re starting to get the hang of meat when we give you little strips, you love vegetables and fruit and cheese, and we’re noticing less and less food left over at the end of the meals. It’s so amazing to watch you feed yourself, and how you assess the food and work out how best to approach it.

This time last month, you weren’t really crawling. Now, you’ve perfected it, scooting around any and all surfaces. You can crawl really, really quietly when you want to, and you love crawling down to the bathroom when Daddy has his showers in the morning. You’ve also worked out how to pull yourself up onto your feet using furniture (or walls or doors) and you’re beginning to use the furniture to walk a bit. You’re still working on getting down from standing, though – there was a big celebration when you worked out how to fall on your bottom rather than your head. There’s also times when you need to be reminded to hold on!

You went a little backwards with your naps over the last month, needing to be near me to sleep again. It makes some things a lot harder, but it really is lovely to share those moments with you. Most nights you end up in bed with us, but we think that’s because you’re having some separation anxiety and really want us nearby. You always sleep better when you’re not going through big developmental stages.

You’ve also sprouted three new teeth during the last month – all at the same time. That’s left you extremely uncomfortable and a bit cranky at times, but its made eating easier for you and made your little grin even cheekier.

Your favourite toys at the moment are things that you can knock down or things that you can take out and put back. I bought you some stacking cups which you love. I’ll put them into a couple of stacks and you’ll carefully take a top cup off . . . then use it to knock all the other cups down. I’ve also given you a ‘drawer’ of things to play with – mostly household things – in the trolley in the kitchen. When I’m cooking or washing up, you’ll come over and pull things out to play with.

You’re also ‘talking’ a lot at the moment. Mamamama and Dadadadada are very popular phrases with you, though you’re still working to connect them to the right people. You’ve worked out a whole lot of other sounds, including an incredibly cute clicking sound that you love to make at us.

We can’t believe how much you’ve grown in the last month! You continuously amaze us and we love you so very, very much.



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Six Months Old: A Letter to Squirm

6 months

Dear Squirm,

You’re half a year old today. I feel like this deserves special celebrations and possibly cake, but we’re being restrained and just having a nice dinner – as much to celebrate your Daddy and myself as we are celebrating you.

You’ve started noticing other babies this month! It started at a rhyme time when you reached out to others and continued at our ABA meeting today. I think it’s probably time to make sure we have a weekly activity to give you more opportunities to interact with others. Rhyme time should be up and at it at the local library, so it looks like we’ll be heading there next week!

Over the last month, the biggest development has been starting solids. You’re a bit of a baby-led weaning champion. You usually pick up and try all the food on your tray, and you eat a decent amount of food for a new eater. You really enjoy tomato, cucumber, avocado yoghurt and broccoli – and you’ve had a lot of fun making messes with those foods and plenty of others. It’s been so much fun experimenting with food with you, and I’m eating so much better too!

The other development has been in how you move. Last month you could roll and move backwards. Now you can roll, move backwards, forwards, in different directions, from sitting to your front. You’re not quite crawling, more like a mix of crawling and commando creeping. You move really quick across the floor – especially if there’s something you desperately want on the other side of the room.

Your sleep patterns have improved, especially when it comes to napping. Most days we can be sure you’ll get two naps, some days we’re even lucky enough for three. You don’t need to sleep on me anymore either, which makes it easier to get things done, but I do miss those sleepy hugs at times.

There’s been times during this month when you really need me nearby, or at least you need to know exactly where I am. I suppose it’s a bit of separation anxiety, though you’re usually fine with other people as long as I’m nearby. You’re quite happy playing on your own nearby, though – you’re particularly fond of anything which makes noise, as well as your treasure basket and the discovery bottles I made up for you. You keep trying to get into any bags we have around in reach, so I’m making you a special bag to hide your treasures in.

It’s been a really good month, and we’ve really enjoyed watching you meet all these new challenges and your joy when you conquer them. Here’s to another great month ahead of us!



Read more letters to Squirm here

Letter to Squirm: A Special Letter

Dear Squirm,

Usually I write to you for your ‘month birthdays’. I talk about how much you’ve grown, and all the things you can do that you couldn’t do before. I chart your development and talk about the big moments in your life.

But sometimes I get so caught up on facts and milestone, that I forget to tell you something. How much I love you.

The way I love you in the early hours of the morning, when we hear the rhythmic thumps from your room and we know that you’re a) awake, b) exploring all four corners of your cot, and c) hungry. The way you snuggle into me when you feed, moving quicker than you ever do during the daytime. How you smile at us when you wake up properly, and you reach out to touch both me and your father, to reassure yourself that both of us are there.

I love the way you explore the world around you. You spent a good ten minutes yesterday, rolling back and forward between your father and myself, trying to work out that Daddy has hair above his lips and Mummy doesn’t. The way you’ll spend ages with a new toy, rolling it over, tasting it, listening to it, to make sure you’re satisfied with it. You’re so proud of your new discoveries – like the way you realised that kicking your feet on the lino made a different sound to kicking your feet on the carpet.

I love the afternoons and evenings, when we play giant games of peek-a-boo, and you laugh every time you see me, like I’m the funniest thing you’ve ever seen in the world. You work out ways to keep me in your sight when I cook dinner, rolling and squirming around until you get in just the right position to watch me. You go out of your way to watch other people too, and I love the way you make other people happy by smiling at them.

I love your round little head, and your perfect little ears, and the way your eyes flutter closed when you fall asleep feeding. I love how expressive your hands are – exploring, grabbing, waving in the air, stoking my skin, curled up while you sleep. I love your round little belly and your chubby arms and legs. I love that your legs manage to be both chubby and long and they almost never seem to stop moving.

I love you utterly and completely, and I hope you always know that.

With oodles of love


Special Letter

Five Months Old: A Letter to Squirm

Adventures of a Subversive Reader:5 months

Dear Squirm,

Five months old! Somehow it feels much more and much less than that all at the same time.

Just the other day (New Years Day, to be precise) a new little friend was born, and you stopped being the smallest baby in our circle. I went to visit the new baby and I was struck by how much you’d changed in just 5 short months. It made me hold you, hug you, kiss you, and whisper in your ear that I love you so very, very much.

You’ve made such big, big advances in the last month. You started sitting in a high chair to watch us when we ate, often chewing on your own plate and spoon while we eat. Your two little front teeth poked through, and we discovered how deceptively sharp they are. You’re getting more confidence and strength when you’re sitting up. And just in the last week you started rolling over easily and pushing yourself around the floor. The only problem is that you can only move backwards, so you get yourself caught in some places!

With this extra movement, we realise we really need to make sure we leave nothing in your reach! You’ve began putting everything in your mouth – from wrapping paper to the dining room table! Using your mouth was certainly a novel way to unwrap your Christmas presents, but you made it work for you.

You had a very busy, full Christmas this year because everyone wanted to see you. You got lovely presents from everyone, including some gorgeous books, lovely wooden toys, a little train set and a set of teething keys which have become your new best friends. You love all your toys that have teething elements now – they’re perfect for those sore gums. You also got to see all your great grandparents, which is always special.

Your four month sleep regression lasted most of the month. There were days when you’d only sleep for an hour and a half before you woke and then you’d feed through the night. It was very tiring, but it was lovely to have you curled up against me. This week you suddenly started sleeping longer again, much to our shock and excitement.

You’re still a charmer. I took you to both of my old workplaces on the last day of school and you got lots of holds. At lunch time, I didn’t have you for hours – you went to sleep in other people’s arms. You also had your first party in your honour, after your beautiful baptism. It was a very special moment, surrounded by lots of family and friends. You cried when the third lot of water was poured on you, but you also laughed when the Priest was giving you the blessing, so we don’t think you were too upset!

You ‘talk’ a lot these days too. Every now and then you figure out a new sound, and we hear it constantly all day! Then you start combining it with other sounds so we can have conversations. (Yesterday it was ‘da’) You also started blowing bubbles, which you obviously though was hilarious! Another quirk is that you scratch everything! You scratch me, furniture, clothing – even your bottom whenever we take your nappy off!

I get a little sad at times, when I see all these changes – it’s hard to see you changing so much. But I’m so glad that you’re a healthy, happy boy. About the only time you really get upset now is when you get frustrated that you can’t do something quick enough. That’s something we’ve noticed since you were first born – sometimes your desire to do things gets beyond your skills, and that really annoys you!

I love watching you move, love watching you explore, love watching you grab for everything around you.



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Four Months Old: A Letter to Squirm

Adventures of a Subversive Reader: 4 Months

Dear Squirm,

You’re four months old today! Now I can stop telling people that you’re nearly four months ๐Ÿ™‚

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been finding myself amazed at how long you are – you’re nearly as tall as your 11 month old friend. Your father and I keep remembering how small you were, how you used to curl up on our chests. Now you’ve started wrapping your arms around our necks when we hold you. We’re terribly thankful for the slings and wraps now – it’s the only way we can hold you for long periods of times. We have two new wraps now – a woven and a Manduca which let us carry you on our backs – something you really love.

You want to be involved with everything at the moment. You want to sit up with us when we eat and you are fascinated when you watch us do household tasks like washing the dishes or hanging clothes on the line. You laugh at some of these tasks, which definitely makes them easier to complete. You laugh at the funniest times now, but almost always at home. You’re not a big fan of laughing away from home!

You’re also even more involved with your toys. You love your giraffe still, but you’ve started to play with some of your blocks and some new toys with mirrors in them. We’ve also bought some squirting toys for the bath, which you absolutely love.

You were sleeping through most the night until about a week ago, where you hit your four month sleep regression. You’ve been waking at three, like someone’s set an alarm. When we go and get you, you’re usually in all sorts of funny positions – the other night you were completely upside down in your cot! Luckily the sleep regression has been matched with an increase with daytime naps which I sometimes share with you!

You keep on charming people, even just random people passing you on the street. You’re so smily at people – they can’t help but say hello to you. You had your photo with Santa yesterday, and you just smiled at the camera the whole time!

Everything is still going into your mouth! We think we’re getting closer to teeth – you get very upset and frustrated at times, and only gumming on something seems to make you feel better. It’s not nice when you’re upset like that, but luckily, you seem to feel better pretty quickly.

Your big step this last month has been sitting unsupported. You have to support yourself on your hands, but you really love looking at the word in a different way. You ย are really rolling from front to back a lot, and you are very, very close to rolling from back to front.

We’re still reading to you lots and taking you to lots of libraries. You’ve started to reach for books yourself, and you turn the pages on board books, though not always the right way. Your father gave you a catalogue the other day which you pulled to pieces ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s been such a lovely month together and I can’t wait for the exciting month ahead.



Read more letters to Squirm here

Three Months Old: A Letter to Squirm


Dear Squirm,

Three months old. A quarter of a year old. I feel like this is a milestone month, but since I don’t really read about what each month brings, I’m not really sure why. Maybe now I stop referring to your age in weeks, and start adopting months?

You’ve continued to grow strongly during the last month. You’ve become chubbier around your arms and legs and we’ve had to be extra careful when we give you a bath to make sure we wash all those little places. You’ve become heavier too, and I find myself popping you in the sling whenever I need to carry you around, because it supports your weight much better than my arms can.

I noticed, the other day, that you play a lot more now. I can lay on my back and balance you on my legs and you love it. You give me the hugest grin and, if I’m lucky, a beautiful laugh. The laugh is a new thing this month, and you’re still perfecting it, but it’s pure magic when we hear it. (Though why do you find folding nappies so funny?)

You continue to sleep for longer at night, but you also seem to have cracked the ‘nap code’ and most days you get at least one longer sleep. The days that you don’t seem to drag on forever, so I find myself doing all sorts of things (ok, wearing you) so you’ll sleep.

You helped us celebrate lots of birthdays in the last month – Poppa, Daddy’s, Heather’s, Auntie Barb’s and Grandma’s. You managed to charm a lot of people who hadn’t seen you before, and it’s a bit of a race when we visit family to see who will hold you first. I’m not sure you quite get the whole candles and singing thing yet.

You’re still very alert and into mobiles, but you’ve also started putting everything in your mouth. Hands, toys, burp cloths, wraps – everything goes in there at the moment! I ended up buying you some small round rattles from Ikea which fit all your needs – sound, something to grip onto and just the right size to go in your mouth! Occasionally you roll a little bit, but most of the time you’re too busy putting things in your mouth!

We’re still reading lots to you, including the Engibear book which your father bought for you. I feel like I should be finding a teacher book, but it just wouldn’t compete with a story about a teddy bear that’s also an engineer. You’ve started babbling when we read and you reach for the pages – but only the right side, like you’re trying to turn the page! You also play with your soft book that your grand Aunt and Uncle bought you.

It’s been a great month, filled with lots of lovely moments together. I look forward to the next month!




Read more letters to Squirm here