On this, your 18 month “birthday,” I can’t help but marvel at the fact that you’ve learned so many things in three months that I can’t even put them all into words. If you glean nothing else from this little letter though, I just want you to know what a fantastic little human being you are to hang out with these days.
We spent our time now walking around, hand in hand, chasing trucks, balancing on garden ledges, picking tomatoes and reading books about trucks and animals over and over and over again.
You are a little observer of all things, at least for now. You like to hang back and watch the world with a furrowed brow as if attempting to gain a perfect understanding of your surroundings before engaging with them. The more kids and people running around you with wild abandon, the more likely you are to hang back and hold onto my leg, trying to find order in the chaos.
People who don’t know you well mistake you for serious and shy but they don’t get to see you at home where you run around giggling and trying to boss us all around by using your sign language for “please” and “thank you” coupled with a winning smile. When you are having the most fun, you laugh with your mouth wide-open so that the sound comes out from the back of your throat, so deep and throaty that it’s as if you’re so filled up with joy you can hardly stop laughing to take a breath. You still love your trucks and birds and stray dogs but now you also love playing ball and being “tossed” by your favorite people onto a pile of pillows on the bed. You like zooming around the house on your little car, with your broom or simply running back and forth across the living room while giggling uncontrollably.
We read at least 15 books a day now and its become so fun to watch you respond when I ask you to find things on the pages. You know “A” “B” and “C” now and some of your colors and numbers as well–and of course all of the barnyard animals we can give you names for. I’ll never understand why kids still learn the names of animals first in this prost-agrarian society, but you aren’t bucking that trend in the slightest and that is ok.
You are a quintessential toddler now, willfully disobeying us at least a dozen times a day simply to see what kind of reaction you’ll get, though you are still sweet and kind to your core. Throwing is once again your new favorite thing although now you actually have the muscles and control to throw things with force. We are still very much working on the concept that balls are for throwing but noodles, blocks, hammers, bowls of pomegranate seeds and water bottles are, sadly, not.
You make us laugh with the little games you play and you communicate so well with signs and gestures and just a few words that its hard to worry much about the fact that you still don’t like talking yet. Your favorite signs right now are “where is it/all gone?” and you love when we ask you questions about your day that you can respond “Yesshhh” to with a very affirmative head nod. My favorite thing is watching you tell us what is going on around you. You point, eyes wide, when someone comes to the door and you babble with a note of dramatic surprise. Other times you stride around the living room explaining in sonorous tones and with the practiced inflection of a professional lecturer the serious business of moving a toy nail from one end of the coffee table to the other. The words aren’t comprehensible yet, but the earnestness behind them makes me laugh to imagine what we’ll be in for when you decide to really start talking.
You interact with your Daddy now in a way we’ve both been patiently waiting for since almost before you were born. In the last month, you’ve finally begun to come around to the idea that maybe Daddy really is the “more fun” one and it makes my day to see you grab his hand to go read a book or go outside to throw a ball around.
Will, it seems crazy to me that I spent so much time writing about your every move back when you barely moved and so much less time now that there is a new thing to write about everyday. You aren’t a baby anymore, but a little boy who we love getting to hang out with.
All our love,