Owl is a year and a half old, as of a couple of days ago. Wow.
I ran into a volunteer from my old work that day – she spotted me at my new work, while buying pet medication. There was a lot of hugging and catching up to accomplish… and we realized that we hadn’t seen each other since I was 5 months pregnant… and now I have a one and a half year old.
I remember when he couldn’t even hold up his own head. Now he hands us heavy packages from our grocery bags at the end of a shopping run.
We have officially lost count of how many words he says either with speech or sign, usually both. He not only knows where his nose is, but also his feet, toes, eyes, eyelashes, elbows, knees, bum, back, shoulders and pretty much every other external body part (although he is still learning “thumb” and “scrotum”, both of which he confuses with “tongue”).
He also enjoys making animal noises, which he picked up on his own from books we read him. I always wondered why parents spend time teaching their kids animal onomatapoeia. Well, it turns out, it’s because toddlers think it’s HILARIOUS.
He can do everything listed in the 18 month section of What To Expect The Toddler Years (although our copy is a Value Village edition from 1996, so for all I know, nowadays kids Owl’s age are expected to have discovered cold fusion by 18 months), including the “may even be able to” section (which includes “identify 1 picture by naming” – are they kidding?).
When Owl was born he would stay up for 8 hours straight, screaming and fussing and clawing at the world.
Now he still stays awake for 8 hours straight, and he does his share of fussing still, but mostly he spends it climbing on things, taking things apart, and saying “Mama? Dada? Hiiiii! Byeeeee! Der ba da. Da! Mama? Mama? Malk? Mo? MO? MALK!!!!”
A friend of mine just had a baby and PH and I are baffled by this child. He SLEEPS. Like, most of the time. Like, they have trouble getting him to stay awake long enough to nurse. He sleeps with people in the room. He sleeps when being carried around. He barely wakes up for a cold wet wipe on his bum.
We can’t help but wonder what a baby like that would have been like. A baby who didn’t wake up if someone sneezed half way down the street. A baby who could be taken to restaurants and just slept through the meal. A baby who didn’t seem to wildly resent all moments spent off of the breast, and half of the moments spent on the breast.
A baby who wasn’t born fighting everything.
But then, we wonder if such a baby wouldn’t have grown up to be very different from the toddler we have now:
A toddler whom we can take to any restaurant because he happily eats and looks around and flirts with the waitresses for as long as the meal takes.
A toddler who never even looks back when I drop him at daycare every day.
A toddler who never cries when strangers talk to him or pick him up.
A toddler who makes other parents at daycare say “I hope our next one is more like Owl”.
A toddler who finds the shyest, more introverted toddler in the room at the community jungle gym and tries to get her to look at him.
A toddler who does stuff like this:
Owl, you still don’t sleep well. Your father and I are very, VERY tired.
But dear lord, how we love you and your ridiculous, overconfidant, extroverted ways.
We have no idea how we made a right handed extrovert, and there are days when you wear us down to our last nerve.
But you are so. much. fun. You make us laugh every single day.
It makes me sad that you will grow up and leave us, someday. But PH is looking forward to your being a teenager who refuses to leave his bed.
Because your tiny little 23 pound body WEARS US OUT.
We’re so tired.