I feel like I have an extremely bipolar feeling towards toddlerhood. There are times when you literally have me laughing out loud because you are so hilarious and other times I feel like pulling my hair out because you’re so defiantly independent. For the most part, I love this age.
You are your own little person with your own ideas and
demands wishes. Yesterday was a random summer like day smack dab in the middle of our gorgeous fall. With temperatures at a high of 80 degrees you were wearing your tiny gray shorts and gray tshirt with the American flag, daddy’s favorite. As we got ready to head out to the zoo, you sat down on the front steps to put on your shoes. “Boops” you declared as you reached for your fur lined winter boots. I smiled and asked if you needed help. You’re wickedly good at putting on your shoes yourself but you accepted my help and out the door you sprinted, winter boots, short shorts and all.
You’ve started putting together three and four word sentences but most are using words I think only daddy and I can understand. You tend to speak Jacksonese unless you’re saying “oh shit”, the only phrase you seem to pronounciate in it’s entirety. Oops. You’ve recently picked up on the word big so that now everything is “a BIG tractor. A BIG truck. A BIG house.” I’m trying to help you differentiate between big and little but you’re not having it. Your favorite trucks are mail trucks and you’re still deeply infatuated with tractors.
This past month when we were at the race expo for my half marathon there was the Geico gecko walking around in costume. You were amazed. You kept asking me “what’s that” which you ask about every thing lately. I told you it was an animal, like a lizard and you innocently asked me if you could give him a hug. You bent in half and crouch/marched over to his leg, gave him a hug and ran back to me. These are the days I’m going to remember all my life. This sweet, loving, innocence.
You are still head over heels in love with baby brother but now that he can crawl you’ve become a little dictator. When he shuffles his way over to your toys to gnaw on the side of a train track or back of your wooden puzzle truck you run offer, grab it from his grasp and scream “No!” The other weekend when we were in NY Andrew was chewing on the side of a diaper wipe case. You ran over, grabbed it and said “No Andrew!” And wagged your little finger at him. He looked up at you curiously and you walked away. When he went off to find another chew toy you came back with the same wipes and pointed to them saying “no Andrew!” You’ve also discovered your new favorite game called Keep Andrew Awake. Whenever he starts to doze off in the car you scream “Hey!” To wake him up. Or you yell his name at him. If I ask you to stop you yell no at me. It’s your favorite word lately and the root of my problems with this toddler stage. You’re so fiercely independent that you’ll often stomp your little foot down and scream “no!” at me if I ask you to do something or stop doing something. You think it’s hilarious.
You have an undying love for Asian soup. But it must be clear and lacking any nutrients. Miso? Yes! Wonton? Absolutely. Anything else? NO!! You’ve started to enjoy oatmeal again which I load up with pb for some healthy fats, chia seeds, raisins and cinnamon. You call it “soup” and happily
decorate your shirt with it slurp it down. You love apples, enjoy tangerines, bananas, pears and berries. You like broccoli, green beans and edamame but still refuse to eat any meat unless it’s Wendys chicken nuggets. Not mcdonalds, no homemade. Only wendys. You have your mamas sweet tooth though we rarely give you sweets. This month you had a lot of birthday parties where you quickly caught on to the “cake”.
You are the energizer bunny in human form. You have boundless energy. You can hike 2 miles, walking the entire way on your own, jumping off rocks and careening down embankments and still have energy at the end. We can walk around the zoo for 3 hours straight without stopping and you’ll still return to the car with energy enough to run circles in the parking lot. You know one speed and that is FAST. I’ve already begun looking for kids races for you. We’ve been spending every waking moment outside trying to soak up the fresh air and ability to explore before winter sets in. I’m terrified of the bad winter they’re predicting and how we’ll survive being caged in. Especially now that you’ve discovered how to climb over the baby gate and literally disassemble the other one. You’re unstoppable.
There are times I look at you and wonder how in the world you’re so big already and other times I’m reminded that you’re still so very small. You’re over half my size but you still have so much to learn about the world and sometimes those tantrums you throw are simply your way of figuring it all out. I’ve tried to become more patient and understanding, to step back and take a deep breath and ask myself “Does this really matter.”
You are incredibly helpful and love to help daddy take out the trash by running after him, opening the door and putting your fingers all over the trash cans. You’ll eagerly run to get me a diaper, the dustpan when I’m sweeping or a towel when brother throws up. Without asking, you’ll help feed brother his bottle if he drops it, or even one of your small legos. Your favorite “chore” is to feed the dog. You’d keep scooping out food for her forever if I let you and have a blast decorating the floor with dog food kernels. You also like to watch her food float and expand in her water bowl which is always fun.
You still love showering and will ask for a “shower shower” constantly. I think you’re a nudist at heart. You constantly run out of the shower, soaking wet and sliding everywhere, screaming like a banshee trying to find your brother. You love to swim and wouldn’t take off the float we brought to NY with us, but kept wearing it, unlocking the hotel room door and begging for “wawa”. You’re a fish.
My love for you is fierce and I’m always amazed at what a sponge you’ve become, from words and sentences to just basic things. Your newest phrase is to say “bye bye, seeyasoon” when you leave a room, “oh sorry” when I walk by you and you think you’re in the way and “bye bye, thank yew!” when we cross the street (to thank the cars who stopped to let us cross). In other words, you’re amazing.