Illustrated with crappy iPhone videos, for your visual pleasure.
We had a bit of a milestone in our house last week. A half milestone, if you will. Des turned 18 months! It used to be such a big age to me because that’s when I took my first steps. I was such a little show-off, actually, that WHILE I took my VERY first steps, I said, “A, B, C, 1, 2, 3!” Naturally, my parents were thrilled to pieces and I have seen photos of this momentous occasion.
Of course back then, no one worried about me. I was an early talker/late walker, in a long line of them. Well Des surprised us all by taking his first steps when he was technically still 16 months. A marvel, right? So as 18 months crept closer, it lost some of its weight to me because I no longer had the deadline looming in front of me that if Des didn’t walk by 18 months, we’d have to schedule some sort of physical therapy. I do need to defend his doctor, that there was no intention or worry to do so ever.
This was my very own fear. I always knew he was ok, very bright even, but it’s sort of a neurotic mother thing. We worry.
However, I do want to celebrate my walking, talking baby-turned-toddler in all of his glory, with 18 cool things about him:
1. He wears his sunglasses at night.
Or upside down. And he is very interested in keeping them balanced on his head while he walks:
2. He is trained that if you ask him, “Who farted?” He’ll say, “Me!”
3. He hugs on command, and will really give you a squeeze while resting his head on your shoulder. And he wears cute outfits when he does it.
4. If he’s calling my name (Mama) and I don’t answer, he’ll yell, “Mom-meeeeee!” with a smile and extra emphasis on the second syllable. I’ve been pretty adamant about being a Mama, but it’s so cute that I’ve started responding to Mommy.
5. He has looked me in the eyes and said, “I love Mama.”
6. He is so curious about the world, but he’s never broken anything. We all have a tendency to leave out drinking glasses and eyeglasses and small parts of toys within his reach on the coffee table, and he’s so gentle and careful. He also doesn’t mess much with our Christmas tree and its ornaments. He only steals Scarlet’s toys when she’s at school:
7. He’s at that age in which he talks constantly and in full sentences..but half the time, it’s in his own language. When I don’t know what he’s saying, I pretend I do and we have total conversations back and forth and people just stare at us in confusion.
8. He also has conversations with himself. I’ll hear him ask a question, and then fire back with, “NO!”
9. He loves his Lambie and he takes her (yes, her) everywhere. (there are actually three spares of her..shh..) He knows her name and can call her, “Lambie.” However, if he’s looking for her, he says, “Mi-yo? Baba?” and when he’s reunited with her, he puts her nose in his mouth and throws his arms up in glee. If he sees a photo of her he’ll say, “Baba!”
10. When I walk out of the room and he cries and yells “Mama!” I secretly like it because I often feel invisible.
11. Our fierce bond started in the NICU when I pleaded (softly) with him to help us get him home. Amidst the crying (of adults and children), the alarms going off, the wires attached to every inch of him, the constant beeping of monitors, and the 24/7 cat-like yowling of the baby across the way from him, he was dreamy, peaceful and sleepy during his six day stay:
12. He started saying, “Eo” a lot while handing us things. Eventually we realized it meant, “Here you go.” It’s progressing to sound more like, “He go!” but I’ve been calling him “Captain EO.” Bonus points for getting that reference!
13. Last week I had to work at night and when I got home, he was already in bed. I wanted to sneak in a hug so I went into his bedroom and he still still awake and was singing the My Little Pony theme song in his crib.
14. Also last week he got away from me while I was on the phone, and I followed a trail of toys and trinkets to find him in the back bedroom, digging his knees into a whoopee cushion and trying to get it to work!
15. This conversation: Me: “Des really understands everything we say, right?” Des: “Right.”
16. He no longer walks like a duck. It’s more like a robot. And he used to drag two things from his knees when he scooted. Now he shuffles around carrying something in each hand. It’s often two markers, two tin teacups, or a box of Alka-Seltzer and a beaded necklace. Sometimes it’s a love note.
17. He gets very slaphappy before bedtime. So does his sister. (turn down your speakers!)
18. He often eats like a horse, but can get very nit-picky in his highchair. However, if I hold him in my lap and give him a spoon or fork, he will eat bowls upon bowls of vegetable stew. And I’m talking sweet potatoes and kale. I had never even heard of kale until I was in my 20’s.
He is 18-months-old, which seems so big when you compare him to the newborn he was not too long ago. And yet, he is so very small, and we still have so many years to grow together.