18 Months Old

21 Jan

Dear Benjamin,

The day you turned 18 months old was certainly not your favorite.  You were grumpy, and teething, and kinda snotty with a yucky cough.  And more than any other day than I can remember in recent months, of all the things in all the world, more than anything else you wanted me.  So while that made cooking dinner a little challenging, and eating dinner nearly impossible, I didn’t mind it one little bit, because the past eighteen months have barreled by – a freight train chugging along the track – and your independence, chutzpah and general get-up-and-go-ness mean that your moments of needing me to be there, at arms length, just for comfort’s sake, are few and far between.

So now you are one and a half years old, one and a half years of bustling energy, running through our house and hearts.  The past six months have been great ones for you, little man.  After months of frustration before you were moving independently, you’ve got the gross motor thing down.  I’ve never seen an eighteen month old run faster, jump higher, climb further, or generally rule the school when it comes to movement.  We find you standing on our kitchen chairs, the coffee table, sometimes the actual kitchen table. More, our horror amuses you to no end.  You squeal and laugh when we rush to pluck you down from whatever death-defying feat you’ve accomplished.  You shout “nooooo” on the way down to the ground, and immediately rush to climb back up.

Speaking of shouting, we are finally entering that wonderful age of language acquisition.  You had a big language explosion right around Christmas, and suddenly you’ve got lots to say.  It’s almost always “Mommy” on repeat, which is amazing since your brother didn’t bother with that word until much, much later.  But it’s also Daddy, Elmo, hot dog, all done, shoes, sit, toes, eyes, snack, show, ball, up, down, outside, go, clean up, banana, yogurt, uh oh, wheeeee, beep beep, and a smattering of animal noises — and likely so much more that escape me right now. Even better, you are becoming our little parrot, and no one loves it more than your brother.  He is constantly challenging you to repeat him, and falls to the floor in hysterics when your attempts are just slightly off.  He’s desperately waiting for you to say his name, but it’s one that seems to allude you right now.

You love to dance, to run around the basement and chase the dog, and certainly to play outside.  You don’t have much of an interest in books, despite our best attempts to engage you with them.  You bring them over, wiggle into our laps, check out the cover and shout “all done!  DOWN!” while you slide back off our laps and head on to the next adventure. You’ve started asking for TV shows when we get home from school, but have no interest in watching them.  Your brother LOVES that you are requesting shows by the way, and is using it as an opportunity to gang up against me — a true portent of my future, I imagine.

In the past six months, you’ve spent a week at the beach and a week in Disney World.  You also spent quite a bit of time on the sidelines of your brother’s soccer practices, and kept us chasing you through the fields and out of the soccer nets. Benny, you are our tagalong boy – along for the ride at birthday parties, dinners out, theme parks and more.  Your first eighteen months certainly had more outings and adventures than your brothers, but that’s the perks of being second born.

When it comes to eating, you would be very happy if we all turned vegetarian.  You’ve nearly no interest in any kind of meat, but are a huge fan of fruits, veggies and carbs.  You live for macaroni and cheese or tortellini in marinara sauce.  You’ve recently developed quite the taste for salad – regularly swiping mine when we are out at restaurants instead of sharing your brother’s more kid-appropriate meal.  You love tomatoes, can tear up a bowl of broccoli with the best of them, absolutely live for bananas and would bath in yogurt if we allowed it (side note: we don’t).

Benjamin Thomas, it’s hard to remember life without you here.  You are the best possible addition to our chaos and clutter, as your thread makes our tapestry so much more special.  We are so lucky to have you as our own.  Happy eighteen months, my baby.

I love you everyday.
Your mama

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