Thursday, July 28, 2016

James: Sixteen Months

My sweet little man,

You are 16 months old, my wee boy, and definitely no longer a baby.  You've got 12 teeth now and weigh only slightly more than two months ago - just over 20 pounds - but have grown a couple of inches and so have lost lots of your baby fat.

You are officially a toddler now and started walking about 6 weeks ago. A few weeks after you turned 14 months, rumour had it you were taking a few steps here and there. But I didn't see any steps until about a week before you were 15 months old, and within the week you were a proper toddler, choosing to walk more often than you crawled.  It was so strange to turn and find you standing and following me around, but now it's hard to remember what it was like when you weren't toddling after me as a near-constant little shadow.

You have added a few more words to your lexicon, and sometimes surprise me with the new ones. One morning you started tapping my face and saying "no" and then I realised that you were saying nose. To the short list of mamma, daddy, no-no-no and bubbles, you've also added shoe, buh-bye, the occasional he-roh (hello), choo-choo, vroom (car), baby, chicken and perhaps pizza (some of the few foods which you love to eat) and a couple of times, you've quacked like a duck.  Inexplicably, though
you've called me "mummy" for months, you've recently started to greet any member of your immediate family with an enthusiastic "Daddy!"  Your non-vocabulary sounds are extremely expressive, with my particular favourite being the ooh-OOO-ooh sound you make when you find something especially interesting or impressive.  You also quite effectively use the incessant and somewhat annoying "eyuh-eyuh-eyuh" to attempt to obtain the objects of your desire.

Even if you're not speaking loads, you've recently started to exhibit a significant range of verbal comprehension.  I was reading a book to your sister the other day about a dinosaur stomping around and I noticed you were off in the corner stomping your little feet, and so I asked you to do it again and, to my delight, you did.  After that I started asking you to follow all sorts of instructions, with varying degrees of success.  You're quite good at closing doors and drawers upon command... and there are a lot of those commands, because your absolute favourite thing to do is open cupboards and drawers and begin to empty them.  You do this mainly because you enjoy tidying things away, but only within your own completely random system. As a result, I can't find much of anything anymore and sometimes have to resort to following you around to discover your hiding spot du jour so I can find missing items.  Due to your penchant for throwing things away, we had to move the trash bin completely out of reach before you got rid of something really important like, say, the house keys or my phone.

Now, we really need to talk about sleep, son.  There was one magical night when you slept from 7:30-5:00 (though in retrospect you might have been fighting off a virus), but every other night you are generally up at least twice.  Add since you now wake up, without fail, between 5 and 5:30, I could really do with some uninterrupted sleep during the night.  You are also seriously flirting with dropping to one nap, but as a result frequently fall deeply asleep on the 5 minute drive from nursery.  This catnap gives you a second wind that pushes bedtime ridiculously late, and momma needs some downtime, yo.  This is not an ideal situation to say the least, so if we could sort it out that'd be grand, mmm-kay?

One of the most delightful things is to watch the relationship deepen between you and your sister.  You have that intrinsic ability of siblings to irritate each other no end.  You find anything she's playing with the most interesting thing in the world, and likewise when you discover one of her long-ignored baby toys, suddenly it's her absolute favourite toy in the world and she simply must have it back from you. Tantrums often ensue, and I must add yours are quite theatrical and impressive.  If you are left alone to scream out your frustration, you will quite deliberately relocate your performance to ensure you have an audience.   But in one of many touching moments, I heard Katherine singing the evening "cuddle-time" lullaby along with children's telly when you two were left alone together and came around the corner to find her arms wrapped around you, and it melted my heart.  "Mummy," she says, "I love you and Daddy with my big heart and I love James with my baby heart." And you love her with your baby heart right back.

As for me, my son, I love you with all of my hearts...