Monday, November 28, 2016

James: Twenty Months

My darling boy,

You are twenty months old, my son, and you now weigh about 23 pounds.  You are still a wee thing, comfortably wearing your 9-12 month wardrobe. You just cut your 13th tooth last week - your first incisor - after months of no teething at all.  You've recently learned to run, and your attempts to "jump!" are adorable, if ineffective.

The biggest development in the past four months is definitely on the language front.  You've recently hit that explosion point where you seem to add a word or two to your vocabulary each day. You comprehend so much and are happy to repeat pretty much any word you hear.  You often employ your astute skills as a mimic to comic effect.  Sometimes when I bend over to lift up your chunky little weight out of the car seat, you drive home how old and exhausted I feel by executing a perfectly pitched imitation of the "oof" or groan I emit involuntarily, but it always makes me laugh. You take pride in your new-found ability to communicate and although your diction often leaves me slightly confused, your sense of accomplishment when you manage to convey your meaning is palpable.  The sweet wide-eyed little expression on your face as you ask for something and will me to understand you is indelibly marked on my soul.

You have developed other unique and endearing little habits. You can recognise the sisters from Frozen, but you think they are both called "Anna." You put together block towers and then applaud yourself and say "Well done!"  You lay down on your back, scratching at your tummy, and invite us to "tickle?"  You think your sister's belly button is hilarious, and if you glimpse it, you'll drop everything and come charging over giggling and pointing at her tummy.  Sometimes you crawl up on my lap and put your nose one inch away from mine and just sit there, staring and grinning.  You've recently discovered the power of a cuddle, and you wrap your little arms around my head and rock back and forth, crooning "aaaawww."  And if your sister says, "James, do you want a cuddle?" you will literally rugby tackle her to the ground.  This has evolved into this funny sort of WWF move where anything you'd like to snuggle gets pinned right to the floor under your little tummy.

Being the second child, your taste in toys is rather more sophisticated than some toddlers... It can broadly be described as "anything your sister has."  Her recent birthday was an exercise in frustration as you just didn't understand why she had all these fun new playthings which you weren't supposed to grab.  It's a measure of just how much she loves you that within minutes of receiving her presents she generously agreed to let you examine them, and even abscond with one of them.  In addition to Katherine's toys, you've recently discovered two particular favourites of your own: a tower of stacking cardboard boxes as tall as you are, and of course the best part is knocking it down. You are also quite partial to carrying the smallest block around, and when that went missing you adopted the second smallest as your new companion.  We have a set of foam tiles that form a hopscotch game counting to 10.  You refer to it as "Blast Off" and love to run up and down it, then plop down on your padded little bum, shouting "boom!"

While thankfully you've largely given up your klepto-tidying tendencies (there are things we still haven't found) you've moved on to an obsession with deliberately placing things in inaccessible places then expecting me to sort you out.  The sooner you figure out how to retrieve things from under the sofa, the better, eh?

This age can be a difficult are easily transferred at nursery drop-off (though you suspiciously eye up anyone who isn't your favourite - Miss Dominka - if she's not there to receive you), but the time you spend away from me makes you clingy and demanding when we are together. You have had a few epic tantrums and countless meltdowns, and that sleep thing is still an issue.  But nature gets it right, and your little toddler grin is so darn adorable I can forgive you pretty much anything.  And those moments when you wrap your arms around my head in your own special brand of cuddle melt my heart into a puddle and make this all worthwhile.

I love you with all my heart,

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