Guess who’s 18 months old today!
It’s true when people tell me that I’ll end up loving each of your stages. Well, at least so far I’ve found it to be true. And I’m optimistic about the future stages, even though I am bracing myself for some turbulence over the next few years. But I’ll tell you what, Buddy, I wouldn’t miss a minute of it with you, and I am thoroughly delighting in you! This particular stage is sweet to me as it’s obvious you are learning so much, your personality is shining through, and your heart is so tender.
As I write this, you are sleeping soundly at Pops and Meems’, dreaming about all of the amazing adventures you’ve had since being there. And I am counting down the hours until I can snatch you back up in my arms and hold you tight. I wonder if you’ll squirm to be put down and ignore me, or if you’ll receive my kisses.
I keep track of my favorite moments with you from each day we share together and there are some general themes I’m seeing these days:
Words. You’re constantly asking, “What’s that?” I’ll tell you what it is and respond with, “Say ____.” It’s not until you’re good and ready in your own time to say the word back to me that we hear it uttered from your mouth. You want to master it in your mind first, or somethin’. But you’re adding to your vocabulary regularly and these words are often heard:
Good girl Squirrel Star Go Bye-bye Dada Momma Dog Ma (for Meems) Nose Shoes Jesus (Sounds like Sss Sss)
I’ve even heard a form of “I love you” on several occasions! I believe Meems has received the clearest and loudest, “I love you,” that I’ve heard.
"No” is the one word used more than any others. Sometimes it’s said nicely. Sometimes you mean to say “yes” but say “no”. And other times, it’s a resounding "No!”
Books. You love to read! I’ve had nursery workers tell me that when they bring books out, you’re the first to sit in front of them ready to read. You point to pictures saying, “That?” and you try to point super fast to a bunch of pictures one right after the other to get us to answer as quickly as we can. You can identify nearly all of the pictures in First 100 Words. Your most favorite book is the Texas Wildlife book on our coffee table. You’re fascinated by all of the animals.
Helper. You are the biggest helper! When you get a paper towel or dish cloth, sometimes you start dusting, or at least after you throw it down, you pick it up when I ask you to <grin>. You have to have a grip on the Swiffer whenever I use it to clean Molly’s hair off the tile floor. The other day I accidentally knocked some books off a shelf and you came over and started putting them back on the shelf.
Gentle Heart. You sign ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ sometimes without me asking you to say it. We’re in the stages of learning how to share and not grab toys from other kids, but most of the time, your heart is kind. You don’t even mind so much when other kids want to eat your snack out of your snack cup you carry around, or you bring rocks (a favorite thing of yours) to share with another person. There are some specific areas we’re honing in on as far as training and teaching you, and for the most part, your heart is soft and receptive to our correction and guidance. You listen well and already in your young life, I have record of good choices you’ve made on listening and obeying us! You’re not perfect and we don’t expect you to be. In fact, I’ve devoured more parenting books lately because we have no idea what we’re doing and obviously have a toddler on our hands, but I do want you to know that I love your kind spirit and appreciate your heart, little boy. I also love how you hold your hand to your heart when you hear the Name of Jesus spoken. That’s a special thing Meems taught you.
Cars. That goes for cars and trucks on the road and your toys. That goes for Lightning McQueen and Mater…your names for them are “Go!”. And that goes for a fascination with car keys and trying to figure out how they fit (or don’t fit) into various items, like Molly’s ball.
Action. You love yourself some good ol’ action and movement. If you could, you’d climb just about anything. You made your way up some indoor playscapes on your own for the first time recently. When we’re in a place with lots of people, you’re quite content exploring on your own. But in a smaller group setting, you like hanging with the older kids to keep up with them. I’ve noticed that you’ve started not only initiating games like chase or peek-a-boo, you’ve also started making up some games to play with us.
We’ll go to your 18 month well-check appointment on Tuesday. Since I was spacey and totally didn’t realize you were supposed to have a 15 month check up, I’m eager to know how much you’ve grown these last 6 months. I just bought you a whole bunch of 2T sized clothes and you’re wearing a 7.5 sized shoe. I finally realized I was stuffing your foot into your size 6 shoe like a sausage. Your poor tootsies.
A poem has garnered my attention over the last few weeks because I’ve run across it in a couple of unrelated readings. By Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
I love you, angel boy. So, so much! You have my heart, always. You are one of the biggest, most profound ways my life is crammed with heaven. Even in the most ordinary days of our life together, I want to stop, look, and go barefoot.