Fifteen months yesterday, Froggy.
We call you that because of the way you’ve been getting around for so long. It’s a scoot plus a bounce up and down on your tush so rapidly, propelled by your hands, and wow are you fast. I suppose technically it’s not the way a frog moves. But we are not that creative, and frog has stuck. You’re a frog, what you do is “frog” and it’s gotten to the point where it’s totally normal for daddy and me to have a conversation where one of us might say, oh Jonah frogged into the bedroom this morning or, Jonah is frogging over to see what you’re cooking.
And then all of the sudden, out of nowhere, in the last week and a half you decided the hell with it, after months of scooting, then frogging, you’ll just go ahead and crawl the “normal” way too. One morning I was getting ready for work, and there you were sort of following me around on your little flat-investigating adventures, switching between a frog scoot and a crawl. Scoot. Scoot. Crawl. Frog. Scoot. Crawl. Crawl. Frog. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And now every day you alternate between the two. You are always going to surprise me, my son.
Like earlier this month. We had a report one day from nursery that you had done the three little stairs there and then gone down the little slide. Over and over. And that you were incredibly pleased with yourself. And then like a toddler freight train forging ahead, one day later you crawled up the entire two flights of stairs leading to our flat door. I stand behind you and watch how determined and happy you are to conquer each one. It’s basically your favorite thing right now.
And all this time I was still carrying all 30+ lbs of you up the two flights. My most precious sack of potatoes. It’s hard for mommies to let go sometimes. And for 14 1/2 months you were always carried into our home. I may be a little slow, my love, but I’m always going to be your biggest fan when I get wise to the things you love to do.
Your energy is boundless and incredibly fun for me to watch. I try to participate but (a) I’m lazy and (b) your wild imagination only involves me about 25% of the time. The other three-fourths are spent moving chairs, bouncing up and down furiously on our bed, humming, babbling your daily narratives, confronting our large appliances, throwing food and plates, laughing, clapping, waving, pointing, beguiling strangers, belly flopping on the couch, opening and closing gates, pinching your fingers between drawers and child locks, distributing your toys around the entire flat, distributing our coasters and mobile phones around the entire flat, destroying, splashing, investigating, touching, testing, observing. You’re so super, son of mine.
We play a game now where I run up and down the hallway making crazy faces and sounds and you sit in one fixed spot and you think it’s hysterical. I am honored to sometimes be hilarious to you. Also, you like to put everything on top of your head. You like it even better when the rest of us put things on our heads. World, please put things on your head. For my boy.
You finally had two more teeth come in. On top this time. So you can make this freaky noise now when you grind the rows together. You have a very round tubby belly. Obviously, it’s the best tummy I have ever seen in my life. You need it to hold all the seconds they’re always giving you at nursery. Cause you scream. Literally. They say you scream for seconds. And they cave. Complicit they are in your 4+ daily poos. We have so many nice new jeans and pants (trousers) for you for fall and winter but we usually can’t button the waist closed. I don’t mean to cramp your hip style bud, but it’s elastic waists from here on out.
I know you love your family. In August when you got to be with your cousins, you would stare at them and then your face would light up when they wanted to play with you or give you kisses. When you see one of your grandparents or uncles and aunts on Skype, you bounce uncontrollably up and down and lunge forward at the computer screen. Each one of them wants to grab through the screen and hug you. You should know that. They don’t like that we live here in London but, to their credit, they support us. I probably won’t let you do the same when you’re 30. So I guess Jonah, you should just get used to that idea now. That you’re never allowed to move out of our house.
You’re asleep as I write this. I can hear you breathing on the monitor and I imagine most likely you’re clutching Doggy. You’re wearing rainbow stripes all down your legs and a rainbow-colored snake on your tummy. I love that pajamas for little ones are supposed to be tightly-fitted. The sight of a little boy in tush-hugging pajamas makes me swoon with primal maternal love. And when that little boy is you, forget it. I’m a goner. Always a goner with you, Jonah. I would say it’s the faintest hint of your dimple, or your blond perfectly formed eyebrows. I would say it’s that you have fingernails from your father’s side of the family or the way you look at me when I come to get you at nursery and you finally realize you need to look over and you get that glimmer of recognition that it’s me. I would say that it’s the way you smell – always – before or after a bath, or the way you pick up the phone and talk into it like you see us do, or maybe even the way still, at this advanced age, sometimes I still find food bits in your neck fold. It could be the way you reach your arms out and upward and clench and un-clench your fists- the universal symbol for Mommy, you’re the only one in the whole, wide world that I want to pick me up right now.
But it’s not one thing, is it?
You light it all up.