Today you are 18 months old! You are officially on the downhill side of 1, which is just insanity. I still remember the day we found out we were going to have you, the day we found out you were a boy, the day you were born, all like they were yesterday. And here you are, this grown toddler. I just can’t believe it.
Your personality has continued to blossom and evolve this month and I feel like more and more each day, I really see who you are. You’re no longer a baby, with a very typical list of likes and dislikes and a very simple line of thinking. You are this person, who has an opinion, who has strong feelings and ideas and I absolutely adore watching you come up with a plan and execute it, even if it’s (almost always) dangerous in some way. You are quite the daredevil these days.
You’ve been especially snuggly this month and have had a resurgence of separation anxiety lately. Daycare drop off has been a nightmare and watching your face fall as you realize I’m leaving is like a punch to the gut every single time, even though I know within 2 minutes you’ll be happily playing with your friends. You suddenly love to sit on our laps, love to snuggle and love to be close. I won’t even pretend like I don’t absolutely love this.
This past month was Halloween and you were the absolute perfect Charlie Brown. I can’t tell you how many people stopped to oh and ah at you in your costume. Though I only let you eat one piece of candy, you still seemed to have a pretty good time. I’m just not sure how we’re going to top your costume next year.
You are very newly in love with your cousin Addie. Whenever you see a picture of a baby you say her name, even if it’s a picture of you. Whenever you get upset in the car on the way over, all we have to say is, “do you want to go see Addie” and you squeal and say “yea!” and get so adorably excited. She loves you too and the two of you can play for a long time. Not nicely or cooperatively, but you play in the same space and with the same toys, usually after you wrench them out of her hands. To be fair, she usually then hits you, so you’re getting yours.
Your language continues to change. This month you learned how to say the word no, though most of the time, you still just shake your head. You can sing parts of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star intelligibly now too. You now say, I did it, yea, no, please, choo choo, (a) dog, (a) ball, kitty, baboon, bubbles, donkey, flowers, Elmo!, Addie, hi kitty, hi dada and a few others I know I’m forgetting. As much as your dad discourages you to say no, I find it to be adorable. I am sure I’ll regret saying that some day, but for now, you’re so funny when you do it.
Your likes this month include: The Wheels on the Bus, ketchup, snuggles, Sesame Street, your cousin Addie, Aunt Claire and Uncle Scott, all the grandparents, running away from us, climbing, riding around in the Ergo, milk, bath time, stuffed animals, carrying bags and walking.
Your dislikes this month include: The bus driver saying shhh in the Wheels on the Bus, being in your stroller, diaper changes, sippy cups, sharing toys with Addie.
Today as I write this, I’m sick in bed with a stomach virus. It’s killing me to hear you downstairs with your dad and not being able to participate or give you a hug or pick you up. Mondays are our days together, so it’s tough to be quarantined, but I know it’s what’s best. While it’s tough for me, you just love your dad so much. He is infinitely better at engaging you in play than I am. He creates wacky games and the two of you have just so much fun. It is a joy watching you play with your dad and after he was away for a week this month, you picked right back up where you left off. You are the best of pals and it warms my heart.
I know I mentioned how snuggly you’ve been this month and how attached you are and while it does make some things tough, it’s also just the best. You love to ride in the Ergo on me and you rest your little head on my chest (or my back) and just relax, contentedly. You’ve never been a big snuggler, so this is a big change for both of us, and it’s one I really love. There was a night while your dad was out of town that you finished your milk and I finished your stories, but you just wanted to be rocked and sang to. I had a million things to do to get ready for work the next day, but sitting in the glider, rocking my baby, I mean my toddler, was far more pressing. I know these moments are fleeting, and I want to savor them forever.
I can’t say enough how much we love having you in our lives. You light up the worst of days and remind us what is really important in our lives. You’ve brought us all closer and reminded us what true joy really is, and for that, we are the luckiest people in the world.
Eli, we love you so much and can’t wait to see what next month will bring.