I’m running out of ways to rave about you, my sixteen-month-old big boy. But here we are again. And I’ll do my best to do justice to your current state of awesomeness.
You are doing more, becoming more. It’s hard to pinpoint all the subtle changes that have developed in you the last few weeks. You listen more. You imitate more. You say more. When we ask you to do things, like pick up your toys before bedtime, you do it proudly. Your dad and I are amazed at how much you understand, and every day you seem to further realize the benefit of being able to communicate with the other organisms in your life.
Every morning after we grown-ups get out of the shower, we slather ourselves with moisturizing lotion. You have witnessed this part of our daily grooming rituals for long enough now that you also need to participate. You hold up your hands at the pump bottle on the dresser and wait for me or Daddy to give you a little dot of it in your hand. You rub your hands against each other until it’s all soaked in and ask for more. You sometimes also lift your shirt to get your belly, too. And speaking of your belly, you have discovered your own belly button, and it amuses you almost as much as mine, which makes you squeak and squeal with delight.
Lately, I’ve been on a baking kick. A few weeks ago, I dug out the KitchenAid mixer that we got as a wedding gift and made a batch of oatmeal cookies because I realized that I had all the ingredients in the house. The ease with which I can make cookies using this gorgeous appliance means that I have repeated the process several times since. You like to watch the mixer mix the batter up, and I just know that you’re looking forward to helping me with my various cookie and baking experiments. I love that I have become a mom who bakes. I’ve always liked baking, but your presence with me in the kitchen, even though you can’t do much yet, makes it even better.
You do love to help. When I clean, you pick up a towel and wipe down the nearest surface. When I sweep, you hang onto the Swiffer right along with me. When I vacuum, you hold up the cord and follow me around trying to make your voice louder than the sucking machine. The laundry is your favorite. You put the clothes in, and you know that something has to happen with the knobs on the front in order to make it work, though you just sort of touch them at random after I start the load. And when it’s done washing, I open up the washer and stand next to you as you reach in with half your body and pull out clothes or diapers one by one and hand them up to me to put in the dryer. And even though the chores might take a few extra minutes with your assistance, your excitement makes them far less tedious than they used to be, and I don’t mind them so much. Though we’ll have to work on the dishes, since you mostly just want to grab knives out of the dishwasher and climb onto the open door at this point.
Your little boy sense of humor is coming out. A few days ago, you were sitting on the toilet with your ABC book and let one rip. The fart was loud and clear, and then there was another one. You looked at me and giggled. I know we’re in for much more of this type of humor, but lucky for you, both your parents also find this stuff hilarious, and I totally cracked up when you laughed at your farting. You also often try to imitate burps, which is amusing and completely adorable.
You’ve been getting a little bit picky with your food, but it seems to be more about the textures than the tastes. You eat bean after bean, but after a bit of chewing, you spit out the outer parts. It’s the same sometimes with corn, though you’re a little bit better with those smaller vegetables. You need to feed yourself now, most of the time. Sometimes you’ll let me help, but sometimes, if my hand so much as makes a move in the direction of the spoon, you burst into tears. You don’t eat as much at a time as you used to, so it’s been a bit of a challenge to make sure you’re eating enough throughout the day as far as keeping a good variety of food you like on hand, but you’re growing and thriving, and I’m not worried. When you’re hungry, you’re not too shy to say so.
You love your toys, and you’ll play with some things for awhile without even realizing that you don’t have a parent’s constant nose in your business. You have a shape-sorting barn that you like to have me hold the shapes in the right place and you put your finger on them to push them in. When I let you try and do it yourself, you get a bit frustrated. You threw it one time, then the next try, when you couldn’t figure out how to turn it to match the shape hole, you just opened up the barn door and put it into the barn that way. Toddlerhood is a frustrating time, but you’ll get through it, and when you work so hard to figure those things out, when you finally do it, you’ll be so satisfied you’ll have no problems rising to meet the next challenge, and the next.
You like to draw and play catch. Your throws are improving, as well as your ability to catch a ball thrown to you. Peek-a-boo has not lost any appeal, and it’s still one of your favorite games. You like to draw, and the valentine you made for Daddy is still hanging on the fridge. You have mastered the art of the blown kiss, and you blow kisses to the photos of your relatives on our walls every night before bed. You know so much that I can’t even keep track of it all since you’re learning more every minute. You know my name, Mama, and when you run up to me and wrap me in your arms with that beautiful word bubbling out of your mouth, I can hear so much love in that little voice of yours. I am so happy to be around you, to be so much of your world, your day-to-day. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.