You are 18 months old. I have not sat down to try and mash out all the things I think and feel about you in over 6 months. Its not that I haven't thought about it all, I just have not actually done the writing part. I don't really know why. Maybe its because we are now going through the months for the second time, and waking up on the 7th of every month does not stand out to me as much anymore. That sounds weird, but for your first year of life, the 7th of every month marked an anniversary for us. 1 month past your birth, 2 months, 3 months, and so on until we got to April 7th again. 12 months past your birth...and suddenly it is October and we are coming up on your second Halloween, your second costume, and for the second time I am wondering if its ok for me to take you Trick-or-Treating even though we all know that I am going to be the one eating all the candy.
Alot has happened these last 6 months, not the least of which is your ability to walk. You can walk now. You can walk and run. You can walk on your toes, you can walk backward, you can walk sideways, and you spend lots of your time walking in direct opposition to where I've told you to walk. You eat with a fork and a spoon and most of the time you make it to your mouth. You can do a somersault. You give kisses and backward hugs and think it is hilarious when I pretend I am chewing on your face like a zombie.
You love to play with Legos, building towers and putting your favorite Lego person (who you named "A-Pssst!") on the top, only to laugh hysterically when he falls off. You love books too. Some days it seems like the entire day is spent with you running to get a book and then running back to me, waving it wildly and insisting "Book! Book! Up!" I have many books memorized, like Baby's First Alphabet, The Very Quiet Cricket, and Goodnight Moon. This past weekend you discovered a new favorite: Everyone Poops. Your favorite page is the one with all the animal butts.
Your love for your blankies has only deepened in the past 6 months. You would not believe how excited you get when you see your blankies. You run to them with your arms open wide, yell "GANKIE!", collect them to your little body and then let out a big content sigh. And then you climb into a chair and pile them on top of yourself until all I can see is your little hands, cradling them and rubbing the soft fabric between your fingers. And I know you are under there with as much blankie stuffed into your mouth as you can possibly fit, sucking on the corner until it is soaking wet. Your love for your blankies is something I can only liken with my love for chocolate chip cookies and trashy television.
Your verbal abilities have increased amazingly. You can say lots of words and you are starting to put two words together more and more. It seems like you learn a new word every time I turn around. I love that you can talk, even though I still can't understand much of what you say. The other day you were sitting in the backseat of the car and you repeated "Fie! Fie! Fie!" for something like 5 whole minutes. I still don't know what you were saying, but it must have been something important. Sorry...
Despite your communication skills, you still understand alot more than you can actually verbalize and this makes you very frustrated. You can throw some really impressive temper tantrums when you get frustrated. Your Great-Grandpa Al confirmed that you get the talent from me, for apparently I was known to throw a fit or two when I was your age. Its amazing; one minute you are totally fine, waiting patiently for me to finish getting our popsicle out of the freezer and the next you are a whirling tornado of blonde hair, screaming "Mine!" and pulling the empty box of popsicles out of the trash and collapsing onto it like it is your most precious possession and I just used it as toilet paper. I'm still not really sure what you were trying to tell me that day, but it was a very dramatic (and loud) 10 minutes.
Sometimes when I think back to the days when you were a newborn I breathe a big sigh of relief. Things were so much harder then, when you were so dependent and I never knew if you were going to sleep or not. And its true, those days were harder and these days are easier. But in some ways, these days are harder. I don't take 2 minute showers anymore, spending those entire 2 minutes a mess of anxiety, worried that you were going to wake up screaming and starving anymore. I take 10 minute showers now and I really am glad those days are over. At the same time, I never worried when you were 2 months old that you were going to fall and break your face open while running across the kitchen tile. So really, its a trade off.
Motherhood continues to be the hardest and most beautiful thing I have ever done.
My little lovey, you bring me such joy. You make me laugh and act like an idiot as I entertain you in public places. You make me angry and you make me cry. You make me feel like I am losing my mind. You bewilder me and make me stop what I am doing to watch you and your thinking face. You fill my heart with such happiness it hurts and I have never worried about anything as much as I worry about you. Your life has brought so many things perspective, has simultaneously cleared and clouded my vision. You are wonderful.
I love you.