You are now 18 months old. Instead of months, I can just say you are a year and a half. This is actually easier for me in Italian because numbers 16 – 19 trip me up occasionally. (Unrelated, “quindici” or 15 is one of my favorite words in Italian. I don’t claim to know why. But I love it.)
You are so very easy to love. Please forgive me if I sound surprised. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back, I think 16 -22ish months was a really hard time with your brother. This could have had something to do with being hugely pregnant or having a newborn. I remember being so tired and struggling and Henry went through a serious Mom-clingy phase, and I felt like I was always having to peel him off of me and it was pretty emotionally taxing.
Maybe you and I are in a better place because I don’t have to peel you off of me as much. (It seems like we spend almost all of our time together.) Maybe it is just because I am savoring your baby-ness for as long as I possibly can. But you really are hilarious. You do ridiculous things sometimes like punch me in the face or throw food on the floor, and I can’t help but laugh because you are so. darn. cute. (Don’t expect this tolerance to last, please. Punching is really overrated.)
But in general you are just a fun-loving little guy. You are a total ham. You do things just to make us laugh. You seem to read the room and can always make us chuckle. Your comedic timing is excellent.
After months of being stuck when you plopped on your booty, you have FINALLY figured out how to stand up on your own. It isn’t your most graceful move, but it gets the job done. Look out, world. Plenty of times it seems like you would rather walk and your brother would rather stroll. (This gets tricky because you want to hold hands, and I can’t push the stroller one-handed when your brother is in it. Also, the Italians think I’m crazy for struggling down the sidewalk with children walking when I have a perfectly good stroller.)
I hesitate to even put this in writing, but your sleep is pretty good these days. You are still an earlier riser. You seem to need less sleep than your brother, both overnight and for naps. You are, however, getting better about soothing yourself and entertaining yourself for a few minutes in the morning without the world ending. With the cooler temps and your gift at getting your feet stuck in your crib slats, you’ve been rocking the old Serena & Lily sleep sacks these days.
For naps, however, you see to take after me. You wake up kind of groggy and out of it, and I get to enjoy a sweet treat when I come in and you let me cuddle you like a little baby. Well, a GIANT little baby. I creepily watch you doze, enjoying how young your face looks when completely relaxed. Then, after about five minutes, you decide that cuddle time is over and it is back to business.
Your business these days is moving and shaking. And talking! For a long time, I forget how much you understand because you don’t talk that much. But I can ask you to throw something away, put something away, or do any number of things and you know exactly what is going on. But now the word train is coming. You have all of our names. (Well, Henry is still “brother,” but we all get it.) You have ball and moto. You have consistent words for water, dog, and some others, even if it is not how I would pronounce them. When you see Batman, you go “nananana.” You’ve just started trying out “no.” Which is totally 100% awesome super!
Your favorite word lately is “pito,” of course being short for “chupito,” or pacifier. We’ve attempted to start limiting pito time to sleeping, but you’ve had some bad teething days and sometimes I cave. You and your brother still try to snatch each other pacifiers, chortling the whole time. (Henry will never quit the pacifier. Just for sleeping now (mostly), but still. He WILL end up being the kid in college with a pacifier.)
I adore seeing you and Henry together these days. You still adore him, but you’ve learned. Instead of blindly trusting whatever he is up to, you flinch. You can’t quite yet withstand a Henry tackle without falling over. But a lot of the time, you guys have fun together. You run around together or sit and zoom cars together. I have glimmers of moments where two kids seems easier than one because you entertain each other.
You are also pretty good though at entertaining yourself. Not while I’m cooking generally, but other times. You get pretty focused on your toys and what you are doing.
We have fun together when your brother is at school three mornings a week. Sometimes we just go to the grocery store. Sometimes we get a cornetto and cafe. (Cornetto is another word you recognize instantly.) Sometimes we hit the zoo together. (Without further peacock incidents, thankfully.) We ditch the stroller by the giraffes and toodle around together. I love to watch you watch the animals. Elephants are probably still a favorite, but you enjoy lots of others as well.
We’ve also been doing weekly larger adventures with some friends. This means that you get to terrorize buses, museums, restaurants, and other things downtown. Generally, it goes well. I mean, you don’t seem to fancy art but you do get reverent upon entering a stunning church. Sometimes I feel bad that we are ditching your brother, but we are able to cover lots of ground with just the two of us.
I keep holding my breath. I keep expecting you to turn into a terror at any moment. But for right now, you are very easy to love.