My baby turned 18 months old last week! SOB. Where did eighteen months GO?! When did the wee smidge of a baby with a dusting of blond feather-hair become this sturdy, laughing toddler-person who is on haircut #2?
I’ve been aware of turning time and passing stages as Hunter moved through babyhood, but I always looked forward too much to the next milestone to mourn the departing day. But now we are moving into toddlerhood, and babytime is so very almost slipped-through-my-fingers gone. And oh, the mourning? It’s finally here. Because my baby is waving bye-bye at me, and he’s never coming back.
I want to clutch at these last few days, hoard them away in memory so at least I can take them out and remember. The shutter has been clicking, but I want to journal too, to put the memories into words. And so, a collection of random “word pictures” of my 18 month old:
Independence is the new word of the day. He’s perfected this angry parrot squawk which means “Mom, let ME do it!”. When I see him struggling over a task, tongue peeked between his tightly pursed lips, any attempts at help are met with a chubby hand held imperiously in my face. He also knows how to roll his eyes and does so frequently, blue irises disappearing for an exasperated moment behind his outrageously long sandy eyelashes. He’s loving, affectionate, tempestuous. His moods change faster than windblown clouds. Most of all, it’s becoming apparent that he is first and foremost a comedian. He does everything for show. Instead of merely hiding behind a curtain and then peeking out during hide-n-seek, he swooshes the curtain over his face, holds perfectly still for a silent moment, and then sweeps it aside with the aplomb of a ringmaster. “Ta-da!” When I fall over in feigned shock at his amazing reappearance, he goes into a fit of high-pitched giggles and repeats the performance until we’re both too weak from laughing to continue.
He’s not walking yet, though he can stand independently for a few seconds. His crab-crawl is lickety-split-fast, and his absolute favorite activity is escaping my grasp in the library and scuttling in between and under shelves, giggling hysterically the closer I get in pursuit.
Yesterday he colored with crayons "correctly" for the first time. He scribbled a crayon on paper and his eyes opened wide as he saw the purple scrawl. Gurgling in delight he hauled on my pant leg to show me the masterpiece. Then, humming quietly to himself, he used every.single.crayon in wide, sweeping rainbows of color. After we put the crayons away, he went back to the paper quite a few times, tracing the drawing with his pointer, cooing quietly to himself. I thought my face was going to split from smiling so hard.
We've been dealing with a lot of fussing at work and home lately, so last week I laid down the law: "Okay, I'm not going to pick you up when you're whining. You have to be happy and then I will pick you up!" After a few episodes of copious tear-shedding on my feet, Hunter got the idea. Now, he scuttles over, signs up, then pastes on this huge gap-toothed grin. Every time. Heartmelter.
He is bright, shiny and hilarious. And I am so, so blessed to have this little dude in my life.