You turned nineteen months just a few days ago. Your last month of teens. Wow. And the next time you are in teens hopefully I will not have any more wrinkles and you will still make eye contact with me.
For now, you are a super duper walker. I guess runner really. You still kind of hold your arms and hands out in a dangly way that I will politely refer to as “ballerina-ish”. And you sometimes still look like a drunken sailor. And every now and then you still fall down but I can’t say it’s due to your walking skills – it’s more your zealousness for life. Mostly, I am beyond ecstatic that you are walking. Because like every new thing you do, it makes you even more fun. Which is always hard to believe is possible. Since you’re already the most fun person I know in the universe.
I like that you can get to the places you want to. You can follow us or lead. You can traumatize me by hanging out near the tops of staircases. You can run away from things and to them. You can better reconfigure the tv. You can throw a new type of tantrum where I reach for your hand because we have to walk somewhere and you projectile your crying body into the floor. We play this game now every night before bath time that is kind of my most favorite thing where I sit on one end of the hallway and Daddy on the other and you run laughing to one of us with your humongously hugely awesome smile and then you turn and crazy walk towards the other and repeat. And even though you are an expert walker, the best part of this game is that as you get near one of us, you start to do a cascading almost-belly flop into our arms and laps and you squeal with joy. My heart squeals so loudly too.
I don’t exactly know when it happened but sometime in the last month Daddy happened to be talking to you after you seemed to have finished your dinner and he said “all done!” and all of the sudden you started twisting your two hands in the air, fingers splayed. And this was a revelation: apparently someone taught you sign language! And we had no idea all that time. And so we asked at nursery and totally nonchalantly they reported that you also know “more” and “please” and “thank you”. And you could have just told me that you solved Pi I was that impressed. Four signs! Who knew! And so we make you do them all the time now and you are super cool about it. You just look at me and then rub your chest or put your fingers to your mouth or whatever it is you’re exactly doing. I love it. So then yesterday Daddy was talking about “food” and you just went ahead and did the sign for eating food. And I mean, what else do you know?? We may never find out. So proud of you.
Out of nowhere you decided you were completely in love with your baby Elmo and baby Cookie Monster stuffed animals that a friend who works for Sesame Street mailed you many, many months ago. And you cradle one in each arm and walk around with them and you sleep with one nestled in the crook of each arm and when we surprise you with one and do the respective voices (Daddy is better than me. My Cookie sounds Pakistani) you beam so big. I call them your dollies and it makes me happy that you have dollies, cause all babies should- girl or boy.
We had big travel over Christmas and New Year’s to Virginia to see all the family. It was wonderful to see all your grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and they showered you with all the love in the world and I know you made their holidays for them. And you were a star. Even while Daddy and I were sick or tired or complaining or sitting in traffic or living out of a suitcase, you just reveled in the fun of all the houses and the people and you played with your cousins and gave hugs to your aunts and uncles and gave kisses to your grandparents and shared toys with all the other babies and friends you saw. No jet lag for you. Just love and presents. You even got more doggy stuffed animals and doggy books and a doggy DVD and doggy blanket and tried to hug the real, live dogs Lola and Ziggy as much as possible. And they let you.
You still don’t really say English words. Dad tries to say you say “banana” but you don’t. And you’ll say Mamamamama and Dada but not necessarily for the right person or much at all. You repeat, but that’s not the same as intentionally saying a word. And everyone tells me it’s normal and some kids are late talkers and I am my laid back momma self and I know you’re going to one day talk as much as me and our conversations will have no end or beginning. But for now, you babble all the time and I still love it and I know what so many of your sounds and gestures mean. You have this very funny way of saying Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh in this very pronounced staccato way when you want something and it makes me laugh, so I always give in.
Giving in though is getting harder though because your tantrums are getting less funny. You throw things and throw food and hit and often while looking me squarely in the eye. And for some reason when you’ve had enough at the end of the nursery day, you take it out on me. And even though I can just barely get you into our building and up the stairs with all my work bags and stuff hanging from one shoulder and your 35 lbs from the other and our winter coats and my baby-in-the-belly and actually two flights of stairs, and each time I think I might just not be able to ever do it again but I still do it, and even then you still hurl your body on the floor at the top landing and cry and scream. I guess you’re tired and you do have a long day there. And I know I have to be better about learning how to handle toddlers and behavior, but for now I know you take it out on me and Daddy because you know you can. We’re safest and you love us the most. That I know as true as anything I have ever known and it’s how it should be and I am going to keep trying really hard to always make sure we can be the place you can always land and break your fall. But also, it would be cool if you didn’t do that at the top of the stairs.
I feel like you know you are getting a little sister or brother. Just a feeling. You didn’t even bat an eye when we taught you there is a baby in my belly and now you kiss it and give it pats and are super sweet to it. Sometimes when we ask you where the baby is, you point to your own belly. And with the size of your belly, I can see why you might make that mistake. But mostly you point to my belly and Jonah, you make my world go round and round. I love you to the moon and back. Times infinity.
I swear, last night before the big playoff game, you were doing the chant J – E – T – S JETS JETS JETS, if not in correct letters of the alphabet, in perfect rhythm. I couldn’t stop laughing. And then at almost 1am GMT this morning when the Jets won, Daddy woke you up with his jumping and screaming. And that didn’t make me laugh so much. I think he does it on purpose so you can give him high fives. Oh well. A win is a win.