Since you turned one, I have been reluctant to call you a toddler. But this month there is no denying it. You are independent and opinionated. You test your limits. You are busy and always babbling. You are a toddler.
Your daddy and I agree that this is our favorite age so far. (Though I think we’ve probably said that every month.) It seems as though you learn something new every day. You stack your megablocks and build towers. You make your airplane “fly” and your cars “vroom.” You “roar” like a lion and “snort” like a pig. You put small objects into holes (like pipe cleaners into a spice jar) and put together simple peg puzzles. You do somersaults (and by “somersaults” I mean you roll around on the floor and then clap for yourself) and dance (and by “dance” I mean you bounce and sway) whenever you hear music. You try to put on your own socks and shoes and wear Mommy’s headbands and necklaces. And you sit still just barely long enough to paint or color a picture for our refrigerator, or to watch an episode of Elmo’s World.
You are still incredibly fascinated by tools — from your plastic drill and hammer to the real tape measure and stud finder. Poppy spent a lot of time with us this month, building a bookcase for our office, and you are his little shadow. You imitate everything he does — from measuring blocks of wood to painting the cabinets to sweeping up the dust. And when he uses the drill or nail gun, you watch in awe.
You accompanied us to Lowe’s several times this month, too, and you really believe that place is your personal playground. You climb onto every sheet of plywood and through various levels of metal shelves. You “reorganize” the bins of gadgets, much to the dismay of the employees, I’m sure. You demand to touch every knob, every can of paint, every piece of rope. Trips that should take 20 minutes turn into hour long adventures.
You are also fascinated by anything with a lid. Whether it pops off or twists off, you will attempt to open it — usually with your teeth. You can now easily open your container of puffs, your lotion, our spice jars. One morning, while having breakfast with a friend at a local diner, I allowed you to play with the plastic containers of creamer. Well, before I could stop you, you tried to open it with your teeth, punctured a hole in the top, and the creamer exploded all over you, me, and our friend. There was nothing to do but laugh. And then clean up the mess.
You certainly keep me on my toes, bud. When I try to empty the dryer or dishwasher, you try to climb into it. When I want to fold clothes, you want to throw them all over the room. While drying my hair in the morning, you proceed to empty out all of the contents of my bathroom cabinet. If I’m swiping my credit card or signing my name with a pen, you scream until I let you “help.” You want to turn off the light switch. You want to stir the pancake batter. You want to climb the stairs. And now if I try to lift you and you don’t want to be lifted? You make your arms limp and collapse your body. I don’t always give in, and I try to reason with you. But let’s face it. Sometimes we lose our patience, sometimes there are meltdowns, and sometimes they’re in public. But you know what? I would not want it any other way. You are assertive and persistent and are exploring your boundaries. It’s all part of growing up, little man.
You may be a bit wild at times, but you are also still such a love bug. You wrap your arms all the way around our necks and squeeze so tight and it’s amazing. You also give great big bear hugs to your little friends. Sometimes they love it, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you chase them with open arms, and sometimes you both topple to the ground. But I think it’s awfully cute, and I love that you’re so affectionate. And when you stand at the top of the stairs and yell “Mooooom!” or “Daaaaad!” with a huge grin on your face, my heart melts just a little.
You caught another nasty cold this month, and I just hate to hear that hoarse cough coming from your room in the middle of the night. We tried everything to help you sleep. A cool mist humidifier, vapor rub on your chest and feet, even a bit of medicine. And every night I attempted to clear your congested nose with the ball syringe and tissues. Thankfully, I think you are the only toddler on the planet who thinks the ball syringe is funny. In fact, when you see it, you lay down on your back and giggle. Even when you’re sick, you’re hysterical.
You also had your first diaper rash this month, and it was miserable. Your poor tush was fire engine red, and you flinched and screamed every time I tried to wipe it. This called for butt paste and lots of naked booty time, and fortunately, it cleared up in just two days. But it physically hurt me to see you in such pain.
Aside from the cold and rash, you’re sleeping better this month. I truly hope the night terrors are behind us. Also, there were a few days that I deliberately skipped your morning nap, and you did just fine. In fact, you slept for almost three hours in the afternoon! I have to admit, it was glorious. I don’t think we’re ready to officially make the switch, though, because you often get grumbly and snuggly around 10am every day. So unless we’re out and about and busy, I still put you down for a morning nap.
You still sleep with three binkies, Mr. Ribbit, and Ellie the Elephant. We also added a stuffed giraffe to the mix this month. Your bed is turning into a zoo! Your new favorite nighttime story is “the choo choo book,” and Mommy already has it memorized.
Eating habits have improved this month, too. You’re back to eating almost everything we put onto you plate, unless it’s broccoli. Breakfast is your biggest meal of the day. It’s not unusual for you to eat a whole banana and a whole waffle and a handful of berries and still sign for “more.” You’re drinking a lot more milk now, too, which makes momma happy. We switched from soft nipple sippy cups to hard ones, which may have helped. And it’s amazing how well you do with utensils. Though sometimes you request that we (or anyone at our table) put the food onto your fork. You’re also now sitting in your booster seat at the big table, and you love it.
Also? I think we’ve created a chocolate monster. It’s not surprising, though, considering the size of your mommy’s and daddy’s sweet tooth. If there are brownies or chocolate chip cookies sitting on the counter (which, let’s be honest, there often are), you demand to have some. Shiny foil wrapped chocolate? You can’t take your eyes off it. And you love to help me bake. I sit you on the counter to watch the stand mixer work it’s magic, then give you a lick from the beater. And when I was making pumpkin mousse and whipped cream for our Thanksgiving Day dessert, I set you on the floor with the bowls and spatulas, and I think it was your most favorite morning ever.
Buddy, you are growing so fast. I swear you get a little bit taller every day. You can now easily reach the door handles and the kitchen table, and you can climb onto and off of the couch. I no longer have to roll the cuffs of your pants, and you are nearly too long to lay on your changing table. I suspect you weigh about 22 pounds now. You are still wearing size 4 diapers and size 12-18 month clothing. You have six teeth and two more on the way.
I love love love being your Mommy. There is no place in the world I would rather than be.
– Your Mommy