You are twenty-one months old now. Often I have found myself telling people how you are “almost two” when they ask. I’ll say, “Oh, he’ll be two in October” all nonchalant like it doesn’t even matter that YOU ARE NOT TWO – I DO NOT HAVE A TWO-YEAR-OLD YET! Time is moving fast enough as it is, I don’t have to accelerate the process by putting an age upon you which you will be all too soon. So, I’m going to keep counting in months a little while longer if that’s okay with you.
But speaking of two, I have to say you’re giving us quite the sneak peak of those “terribles” that everyone knows are coming. The thing is, I look at you when you are contentedly playing or flirting with sales girls, and it just doesn’t seem like you are capable of turning your mood entirely upside-down. But you do. Someone says “no” or takes you away from something you want (like juice) or toward something you don’t (like a clean diaper) and the noise that comes out of your mouth, any casual observer would think the worst of me as a mother. You kick and try to hit. I try to be patient with you because I know it must be hard not to be able to communicate all the things in that brain of yours, to be told what to do and where to go. Most of the time, though, you are very cooperative, helpful, and I’m trying to do my job well enough that you hardly even realize how obedient you really are.
You are most definitely in a testing phase. The biggest example of the moment is bathroom related. You had been so advanced with your potty learning that I was always one of those moms the other parents would hate. Because you were using the toilet regularly. Every day, even. Often twice. Sometimes more. But we’ve about reached equal footing with your peers at this point, because due to our new and more demanding schedules, you’ve become a little bit more resistant to the process. Not to mention the fact that at your age, most every toddler runs through this defiant streak. That’s okay, I suppose, and perhaps it was silly of me to even entertain the notion that I was done changing your poopy diapers for good a few months ago.
But with your age also comes tons of fun. You say at least one new word every day, and the words that you know are becoming more and more clear. For instance, you can now articulate all three letters in “bus,” where you used to say “ba,” which could also mean “ball,” or “bush.” Of course, a bus and a truck are both “bus,” at the moment, but we’re working on making the distinction. I try to teach you things as we move through our days because you are ripe for absorbing new knowledge. So you have been learning to count and say your ABCs. You seem to know your colors, since you can point to something yellow or red or green when I ask you to, though if I ask the more general question, “What color is this thing?” the answer is always “blue.” So we’re working on color words, too. I’m not trying to make you into some sort of prodigy or push you into learning anything before you’re ready to buckle down and do it, but our games seem to take us there, and you’ll need to know this stuff eventually, anyway, especially if your attraction to books is anything like that of your parents.
You now request your favorite books by name: “Hado” (Harold and the Purple Crayon), “Ahtoo” (The Little Auto), “Papa” (The Grandpa Book) and “Oma” (The Grandma Book), “Pea” (Little Pea), “Moon” (Goodnight Moon), “Baiboo” (The Bible), etc. Though you are occasionally content to browse through the books on your own, more often than not, when the idea of a book comes into your head or if the book happens to find itself caught in your glance, you embrace it with vigor and back into the nearest adult lap. We have done well with your library so far in that all the books that you love, I also happen to find charming. And even though I could totally get away with it to get onto the next thing, I really love watching you love these stories. Some of them are books I’ve loved, some are new to both of us. And I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend some time with you than with you in my lap discovering something new in a book we’ve already read a hundred times.
You are sleeping well again. Though that may change. Because it’s something that’s never certain, especially with the next molars on the horizon. But the best part about your sleeping is your waking up. You’re rarely upset when you wake, and most of the time you just make some noise to let us know you’re awake. When you want us to come get you, or if you hear us moving around, you say, “Hi?” Complete with the question mark. And when I come into your room in response, your whole face lights up with the smile and that most beautiful word, “Mommy!” You’re always glad to see me, glad to see your daddy, and truly, the best thing about my increased work-out-of-the-home load lately is that big happy greeting I get when I am lucky enough to get home to you before your bedtime.
I love your smile. I love chasing you up and down the hallway before bedtime. I love building and knocking down tall block towers. I love sitting at the table with you while we eat. I love each new word that comes out of your sweet face. I’m having a blast getting to know you every day. And even during the rough parts, the hitting, kicking, whining and screaming moments in our days, I love you oh so much.