Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dear Boy: 18 months

Dear Boy,

You are 18 months old today. You are 18 months old and such a lovely little creature. You are by turn serious and sweet, demanding and demonstrative, chatterbox-y and wide-eyed in watchfulness. You are bold and brave and shy and caring.

You are also an impressive learner, gaining even more words at an explosive rate of knots. You know more than half of the First 100 Words book; you've made it almost the whole way through Grug's ABC book and can even tell me what comes next without looking at the pictures. In one day last week you learned 'echidna', 'kite', 'ladder' and 'yoyo'; the next you picked up 'running' and started responding to me counting with 'many'. There is a wild electrical storm inside your brain as you make so many new connections between pictures and things and ideas, between the abstract ('our home') and the concrete ('house'); between noun ('Mummy!') and the possessive apostrophe ('Mummy's!'); between cause ('bum') and effect ('fart'). I can sometimes see your brain in action, as you test out a word ('buh'), listen to the way I say it ('bus'), and test it out again much more precisely ('bu-u-ssss'). Sometimes it's incredibly funny the way your mind works. When we point at pictures of you and ask you who it is - your exclaim 'You! S's You!', as if You was the name we lingered over and went back and forth on for weeks. I wonder when your little brain will start to sort out proper nouns and pronouns and all those things that label you as you (and You), all those things that you'll use to talk and think about yourself.

You have slowly started becoming more demanding and more forceful. There have been tantrums (okay, trying to swap out your evening bottle for a sippy cup when you were sick was a total rookie mistake - sorry sweet boy) and frustrated cries and rolling on floors and lashing out. But all of these are brief and forgotten in moments as you pick yourself up and move on. I love that you've learned to brush yourself off and carry on. You are starting to express exactly what you want ('Panda. Panda. PANDA!') and what you don't want, generally scrubbing food from your tray, tossing things overboard from your carseat or the pram, or slapping at proffered books or toys that don't meet with your immediate approval.

You are a book fiend. I fall in love with you even more whenever I see you in your sea of books, a Poseidon on his treasures, with a book over your lap, turning page by page, pointing and exclaiming, telling yourself the stories we've read together so many, many....many... times. I love that you use the books stacked against the wall as a chair. I love that books are a part of your physical environment as objects to hold and play with and not just carriers of your stories and your culture and your world. I want you to love them always.

You are running. You are falling. You are climbing. You are falling. You are dancing. You are falling. Over and over you pick yourself up. Sometimes you cry and sometimes you laugh. Sometimes you lay on your back and look at the roof and I imagine you are wondering how you got there. Sometimes you are up and running again before I can even react. At bath time I can count the new bruises blooming on your body, small reminders of your day and the adventures you had. I checked with our maternal and child health nurse if you were okay. She checked your legs and your feet and your shoes and laughed. She says you are normal in every way, my Dear Boy. Normal, normal, normal.

You are a sweetheart. You are not a snuggle bunny but you barrel in for a fierce leg cuddle and then run on, throwing a 'done' over your shoulder. When we pick you up for cuddles, you lay your head briefly on a shoulder and squeeze us with your tiny hands, then flip your head to the other shoulder, mirroring our little expressions of joy ('aww'). You are the same with kisses - one hand then the other ('another one'). When we brush our teeth in front of the mirror, you lay your hand on the skin of my chest or my cheek ('Mummy') then ask me to say 'aaaahhh' so you can brush my back teeth. And in my arms in the dark before bed, you sigh with your little quiet voice and pat my arm while I sing you Hoot's Lullaby.

You amaze me. You make my head spin and my body weary. You melt me and my heart.


Your Mum. xx

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