This boy is truly a boy now, no more baby. He is talking up a storm, although often I am the only one who can understand his jabbering. His favorite subjects are animals and bugs and he still assigns everything a role by size; big dada, mama, or baby. It's not just a turtle, it's a 'big dada tootle', a 'mama beetle', a 'baby camool'. It's heart melting sweetness.
With more words also has come more frustration, whining, and tantrums. When I don't understand him or just refuse his demands he channels a campy horror film and lets out a crazy raspy 'nooo' before erupting into tears. I'm waiting for the day when his head spins around and hoping he learns to use his words and express himself more calmly.
'No' still tops his list of favorite words, and if you ask him any question you will be met with a little 'no'. Unfortunately it's tough not to smile and giggle because it's so darn cute... which means this could last longer than I'd like.
Frustrations and fits aside, he is generally such a patient and curious little guy. He can sit with a small collection of toys, rocks, or pine cones, studying them and finding new ways to entertain himself. He is far more focused and calm than the average toddler and I feel very lucky when I realize that we've just spent a half hour silently enjoying our own tasks.
He loves to help out in the kitchen, has a great respect for anything I label as 'hot' or 'sharp', and shares my enthusiasm for watching baked goods rise through that little oven window. It's better than TV.
He eats all kinds of foods, although he is still struggling with utensils and tackles even the messiest dishes with his hands. Fruit is his absolute favorite and if he even hears the word he'll reject whatever is in front of him and hold out for the good stuff. He is also a fan of tofu (toe-doo), broccoli (bocoli tees), and raisins which he calls 'nut' since his first exposure was with some nutty trail mix.
After two years of a banana every morning he has decided he is completely done with them. Don't even let him see one. Maybe he figured out that they're not local and is voicing his opposition, but strawberries in January are awesome, thank you.
Although still cautious, he has been getting a bit bolder and suffering more bumps and bruises. Every injury, no matter how small, demands a kiss from mama. He will come running towards me with his hand on his tooshy or pointing to his toe, waiting for the magic kiss to make it all better. It's so cute and I know it won't last forever, so I'm really soaking it in.
He loves his stuffed animals and seems to find another one to add to his crib each day. Every morning when I go to lift him out, he scrambles around, hoarding all of the animals in a big ball between his arms so that they get freed from crib prison as well. His favorites are still the monkeys.
It's pure delight to see him able to communicate more each day, to share his own thoughts and ideas and to get to know the little person he is becoming. When I first held him as a tiny baby, I couldn't imagine ever loving anyone more, but the mystery of parenthood has already taught me that the love just grows and grows. I am so proud to call this little boy my own.