Wednesday, February 28, 2018
He turned eighteen months old this week. If anyone has any suggestions as to where exactly that time has gone I'd love to know!
He can walk, run and climb. The latter is a relatively new development, but he is using it constantly, making parenting a test of nerve and reflexes. He hasn't quite mastered jumping and the focus on his face when he sees someone else manage it is beautiful, as he tries to work out what he needs to do to make it happen.
He can eat and drink by himself, probably one his favourite past-times, and has become increasingly adventurous with food in recent weeks. He has a sweet tooth like his mummy, but will happily eat curries, soups and stews, as well as lots of fruit and veg.
He has mastered scribbling with a pen, as well as taking off pen lids, which is another test for those parenting reflexes, and his ability to open cupboards and drawers and reach ever-higher heights means that our "safe" places are becoming increasingly limited.
He has made huge progress with his language in recent weeks, which seems to have exploded out of nowhere. After months of wondering when he'd start to talk beyond lots of babbling, suddenly a whole vocabulary seems to have developed almost overnight. Mummy has finally made an appearance, along with the names of lots of his relatives, his nursery mates, lots of food (pineapple was the first word I remember him saying clearly and suddenly realising he had definitely and deliberately copied me), as well as please, thank you, hello, goodbye, and get down, which is a particular favourite at the moment and makes shopping trips with him riding in the trolley slightly less relaxing than they used to be!
He is sleeping well, and just in the last few nights has taken to being put down in his cot awake and drifting off himself, when we realised he did this every day at nursery without any issue. He has taken to it with no problem at all, though I am feeling slightly bereft at no longer snuggling him to sleep each evening.
He is so much more than a list of milestones and achievements. It is easy, particularly as a first-time parent, to get caught up in each new skill; they come so quickly in these first years, and it is so exciting to witness each new stage of development. However, it can distract from the fact that a whole person is growing up in front of you. And what a person he is turning out to be.
He has a laugh that fills me with joy, and is incredibly happy. He usually wakes up smiling, chatting and pleased to see you, and loves to make others laugh too, watching you with a cheeky, expectant grin. Hide and seek, peek-a-boo and chase are all favourites.
He adores books, and will quite happily sit chatting to himself as he turns the pages. More often though he brings it to the nearest adult and reaches for cuddles and a story. He knows his favourites off-by-heart, and can join in with them even if we don't have the book, which has been particularly beneficial when stuck in long queues or in need of a distraction. Peepo, Goodnight Room, Each Peach Pear Plum and The Detective Dog are his top requests at the moment.
He loves to dance to music, and loves playing with water - even at mealtimes he gets caught up in pouring water between his cup and his bowl and splashing the resulting puddles everywhere. He has also started to join in with action songs which is lovely to see, though my fitness levels are being tested with repeated bouts of standing up, sitting down and running on the spot. I find Wind the Bobbin Up and Two Little Dickie Birds to be a little less involving!
He is quiet in new places, and when there are lots of people. I took him into my workplace when I was off recently, he didn't say a thing then promptly launched into lots of chatter the moment we left. He likes to take a situation in and get used to it rather than launch straight in. He also loves knowing how things work, pushing buttons, pressing switches, taking things apart and putting them back together. A little girl showed him a picture of teddy on the wall at the library, and gave it a hug and a kiss, which he dutifully copied. A little while later he wandered back over and gave the teddy another kiss, but then also started prodding the drawing pins trying to work out how they were keeping the picture on the wall.
He is becoming increasingly independent and determined, more sure of what he wants and keen to find ways to achieve it. He can be known to throw the occasional tantrum but is usually relatively easily diverted, though he definitely prefers to be on his own feet and exploring these days which can make trips out a test of physical endurance, and any opportunity for adult conversation tends to come in a few short bursts between following him into nooks and crannies and trying to avert disaster.
He is making the most of his new found voice, I doubt I will ever tire of hearing the word mummy and his smile as he says it, and every day at the moment seems to bring new words and new discoveries. He has settled wonderfully into nursery, which makes going to work much easier, and is reported to be a fan of messy play, eating and song time.
He is beautifully affectionate, gives incredible hugs, kisses and cuddles, and really loves his family. He is incredibly close to his grandparents, especially his great-grandad who is definitely his partner in crime, and its is wonderful to see. There is no better feeling than those few occasions when he has spontaneously reached up and given me a kiss without being asked, the love is indescribable. Millie is also the source of much of his energy, whether he is affectionately patting her, chasing her round, or feeding her contraband from his highchair. He seems to love all animals, gleefully pointing out doggies, dirbies (birds) and squirrels from the window, or on our walks, and likes to find, name and impersonate the animals in the pages of his favourite books (he does a particularly formidable Gruffalo growl at the moment).
He is amazingly laid-back. For all he is a bundle of energy, constantly on the go, I am repeatedly astounded by how easily he seems to adapt. Even big changes like stopping breast-feeding, or starting to go to sleep in his cot seem to be met with limited fuss. Starting nursery was a struggle, but that seemed more to do with being poorly, and as soon as he was on the mend, he took it to brilliantly. New routines and experiences don't seem to faze him and he remains constantly curious about the world around him.
He brings us absolute joy, and we feel very lucky to have such a loving, giggly, beautiful son. He is spirited, approaching life with gusto, and a confidence that has already taught me to be braver, more open to other people, more ready to see the good in the world, however simple all small. Life with him can be exhausting, and I am definitely not immune to the headache induced by an over-tired child, it is lovely to see his personality grow and to have the privilege to support him as he starts to navigate his way through life. He couldn't have made parenting any easier or more enjoyable and his cheeky charm makes every day brighter. We are utterly besotted, and can't wait to see what his future brings, and everything he is becoming.