A year and a half. My sweet baby boy, the boy who turned my world upside down with joy and so much laughter. How can you be eighteen months old already? I look at you and I can still feel your tiny newborn body in my arms, warm and snuggly. I can still smell your sweet baby breath and remember the feeling of holding you, gently rocking, as I nursed you in the night. But you haven’t nursed for several months now. You chose to give up nursing around sixteen months old. My supply was pretty much gone anyway, but I still sometimes wish it could have lasted a little longer. There are just a few bags of pumped milk left in the freezer for you – I save them for when you are sick – and they won’t last much longer.
You climb everything. Everything. You run. You try to jump. You actually attempted a pull-up with the kitchen counter the other day to get to some object that had been placed out of your reach. The places we have to put things to keep them safe from you are rapidly diminishing. You can now climb up on pretty much any piece of furniture you want, unassisted. Thank goodness we bolted all the shelves to the walls.
Some of your favorite toys right now are Zoey’s plastic model dinosaurs. You make the most adorable “Rawr” sound when you are playing with them, and chase us around the house them. In fact, you seem to like all animals a lot right now. You can point out dogs, cows, fish and owls and you love trying to imitate the animal sounds we teach you. You also love the toy doctor kit, with the pretend stethoscopes and syringes. Bubbles are another favorite, be they in the bathtub or the kind we blow in the backyard . “Bubbles!” you shriek with joy. You haven’t quite figured out how to blow bubbles from the wand on your own yet, but you sure love to try.
Your fine motor skills are amazing, but your attention span is what is really mind-boggling. Just like Zoey before you, you can spend the longest time repeatedly doing some small, fine motor task: taking a wand in and out of a bubbles container, fitting the plunger in the toy syringe and pulling it back out. I’ve seen you spend half the day doing just one of those activities over and over again.
You still love to eat and will consume easily as much as your sisters – sometimes as much as the two of them put together. You never stop moving, though, which is why I suspect you still continue to fall down the percentiles on the weight chart. Fruit and veggies remain top favorites. The only food you despise, thus far, seems to be chicken for some inexplicable reason. You are great at feeding yourself and are learning how to drink from a cup (instead of a straw or sippy) and use a spoon or fork. You’re actually quite good with your utensils, provided they are in your left hand. If I place them in your right hand you can’t find your mouth for anything. Perhaps you will be left-handed?
There are so many aspects of your personality emerging, and the one I love the most is your eternal, determined happiness. There will be days when you laugh at everything and, no matter what is happening in life, I find it impossible to be in a bad mood when you are like that. Your smile is contagious, your love for life and everything around you inspiring. And you so love to make other people laugh! My little performer.
Oh Alden. What an amazing gift you are in our lives. I feel so incredibly lucky to be your Mama.